December 06: Make some cool holiday gifts! December 4, 2006

I keep seeing all these great handmade tutorials all over the place for making everything from cards and holiday decorations to presents for everyone on your list… so I’ve put together links to a bunch of free online how-to projects for you to check out, if you haven’t already spotted them. Happy DIYing!

*now updated with new projects at the top of the sections, with more to come!

Decorations and Embellishments
Holiday Decorations to Make
elf stitchette by Hillary Lang, mirror garland by Kathy Cano Murillo, dreidel by Star Wars Kids Crafts, and soft tree by Stephanie Barnes

The CRAFT blog has cool new tutorials for making paper stars, a video for stylishly wrapping presents with fabric, DIY gift tags, and fun-fur mini tabletop trees. And One Hour Craft is offering a gold star for the top of your Christmas tree how-to.

Crafty Chica created a new collage wrapping paper project that’s super-customizable! Kiddley has a ton of cool kid-friendly decorations to make: a gumdrop wreath, paper garlands, Christmas pinatas, a pom-pom garland, and a paper doll/ornament.

Natalie has posted some amazing new projects over at the CRAFT blog — a Santa peanut ornament, stenciled holiday cards, crocheted snowflakes, photo ornaments, Star Wars holiday collage cards, and a MAKE magazine podcast on making woodcut cards… wow!

Alicia of Posie Gets Cozy wrote up a beautifully photographed tutorial on making your own Santa Lucia dolls this week. And Cake + Pie has a very cute stockings how-to, including the finishing touches.

Here’s a big list of all the CRAFT magazine how-to project podcasts to date, including a pom-pom tree and garland, and a MAKE podcast on making woodcut cards.

I also added a how-to for a quick and easy flower ornament this week. And One Hour Craft has a new yo-yo ornament project up as well!

Sarah sent in a great tutorial on making a button tree by embellishing a styrofoam cone with pearls, beads, buttons, and broken jewelry from your stash. Cute photos are here.

Hillary Lang has posted a Wee Wonderfuls Stitchette elf pattern on her site… so adorable. She’s also shown how to make adorable ornaments and decorations using cotton balls, of all things!

Kathy Cano Murillo, AKA Crafty Chica, has a gorgeous round-up of past holiday projects on her blog — everything from mini mirror garlands to glittered cards, ornaments, and boxes to make your holidays sparkle!

Anh-Minh posted an amazing Plexiglass photo display that could look incredible with your favorite photos or vintage holiday cards.

CRAFT magazine’s site has a projects page with free downloadable how-tos and patterns — the bird stencils would look great on cards or windows! You can even get their new patterns automatically delivered podcast-style via iTunes. Plus, the holiday projects section of their amazing blog has all kinds of ornament how-tos — I love the Star Wars dreidel and ornament especially!

Stephanie Barnes of Little Birds Handmade has published her pattern for making simple, beautiful soft trees — download it and make a forest in all different sizes and fabrics.

And Sunset magazine has put together a lovely mix of articles on making wreaths and garlands, easy ornaments (I love the photo ones in particular), mod paper ornaments, centerpieces and table toppers, creating your own gift wrap, and making a modern menorah and advent calendar. Sunset is one of my favorite magazines — it’s very crafty!

Handmade Gifts to Make
boyfriend hat by Bleu Arts, bath salts by Susan Beal, kanzashi by Maria Binns, and silhouette necklace by Abigail Percy

A new round of amazing projects are up on the CRAFT blog: tutorials for making stuffed animals, solid perfume, v-stitch scarves, and coin cufflinks.

One Hour Craft has a tutorial for making a quick, adjustable bracelet, and Vickie Howell added a new holiday-themed knitting needles roll to her site this week. And Christina Loff wrote up a great snow globes how-to using miniature figurines and baby-food jars.

The CRAFT blog recently posted a tutorial for twisted-wire tree branch earrings.

Cutting Edge is offering a pattern for a fleece pocket scarf, appliqued with snowflakes. And Laural of has an inspiring project index, offering tutorials on some of her cutest projects, from a zippered pouch to a super-simple belt. Check out her recipes, too!

Sunset also has recipes up for cocoa in a jar — classic, Mexican, peppermint and mocha. Don’t miss their Gifts from the Kitchen section — spices, liqueurs, and delicious things to bake. And then there’s a fun soaps projects to make, too.

Leah Kramer of craftster posted a round-up of fabulous gift ideas from the site, all using basic techniques — decoupage, soaps, marble magnets, and etched glass.

Check out the Craftster winter holidays forum for lots of ideas, too. And of course there are inspiring how-tos all over the boards — check out this row-counter bracelet tutorial by skutterat — the perfect gift for all the hard-core knitters in your life!

Speaking of knitting, why not try making Aunt Purl’s Easy Knitted Felted Bracelet Bag? It takes less than two hours, start to finish! Ansley of Bleu Arts has posted a Rolled Brim Boyfriend Hat pattern too, as well as a great lip balm tutorial. If you want to whip up some bath salts or salt scrub to go with it for a whole bath and beauty package, I just posted an easy tutorial for making two kinds — coffee-cinnamon and green tea-ginger.

One of my favorite sites for inspiration, CraftyPod, has amazing podcasts and projects, including plenty sorted by type: check out all the Holiday Crafts, Bead Crafts, and Paper Crafts Sister Diane has put together.

The wonderfully redesigned not martha site has a great things to make section, including projects like wineglass charms and party crackers. And for the sewers on your list, how about a darling little wrist pincushion from My Little Mochi?

Whip-up has a fabulous collection of tutorials up, including a customizable silhouette necklace by Abigail Percy and beaded bracelet by Linques Design.

Maria Binns’s One Hour Craft has an incredible array of quick projects to make — look through the categories (like the All Time Favourites and Great as Presents sections) for projects like Kanzashi cloth flowers and customized stamps.

One Hour Craft has a great list of kids’ craft projects too, and don’t miss the fun Arts and Crafts projects over at Kiddley, collected by Claire of Loobylu.

Finishing Touches

I just added a few gift wrapping 101 ideas for recycled present packaging.

Adorn has some pretty handmade projects up from their print issues, too — crochet some little flowers or make some paper-covered boxes… perfect to add to your handmade gifts. Also, be sure to take a spin around Nice Package on flickr for tons of inventive ideas on wrapping and packaging all your presents this year.

I would love to update with more ideas so please e-mail me (susanstars at yahoo dot com) or comment and I’ll add your suggestions… happy handmade holidays!

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