Thank you so much for all the sweet words and emails about the DIY family tree yesterday.
I so appreciate you.
So many of you were curious about the other gifts we make every year. You wanted to know what other gifts my brothers and sister have made.
You know what’s funny? Whenever I say that our family exchanges gifts we make ourselves, people sigh and exchange glances.
Handmade gifts, they say. Bless your heart.
I say nothing.
I just smile to myself.
If only they knew.
Around here people take handmade gift-giving to an entirely different level.
I know, right? If you have read this blog through Christmas before, you are nodding with me so to celebrate Christmas this week, I put together a top 10 list of my favorite handmade gift ideas from our family gift exchange.
Here’s to a handmade holiday.
1. Felted book cover
In 2015 I wrote my first book.
To celebrate? My sister made a felted book cover that looked exactly like my book.
She told me any book would be lucky to look like mine. 🙂
Here’s how to make a felted book cover that looks like your book
2. Carved wine barrel logo
The only thing better than a logo?
Having a logo carved onto a wine barrel.
My brother carved this into the middle of the lid.
Here’s more about this routed logo on wine barrel.
3. Book page sculpture
And then there was the year that my sister made book sculptures.
She folded paper into art and she created a thistle for me.
4. Sugar bowl lid tree
Some of the best gifts we share are made from thrifted items.
Like discarded silver sugar bowl lids.
My sister took all those discarded lids and made a tree out of them.
5. Word picture of a thistle
My sister created this for me the year after my blog started.
She took the words from the blog post and created a thistle.
A picture of a thistle created with the words from my blog. See what I mean about next-level presents? They don’t get any better than this.
6. Hand-carved bowl
My father planted a tree years ago at our house.
It was struck by lightening the year after he passed away.
My brother took the wood from the tree and carved it into a bowl for each of us.
7. Handmade Chinese Checkers game
My brother hand carved this game for us one year.
I’ve decorated with it and played the game, too.
I even wrote a story about it for the blog.
8. Wooden box people
Your eyes do not decieve you.
This box was designed to look like a person. My brother made these for all of us one year and they all look different (even down to the teeth).
See more of these wooden box people here.
9. Map Star
Every time I pull out this star I smile as I put this at the top of my tree every year.
My sister made this star from my father’s stacks of favorite maps.
See more about this Star cut and folded from old maps here.
10. Acorn nativity
I still have this nativity.
My brother created wise men and shepherds and Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus out of acorns.
See the rest of the acorn nativity here
But of all the handmade presents I’ve ever gotten—this one is my favorite. It’s a book called Love Letters from Thistlewood.
Because it’s not from a brother or a sister or a mother.
It’s from my son. He created the book from all the stories I’ve written on the blog. It’s amazing to watch as the handmade gift tradition continues.
Here’s to the next generation of handmade present givers. 🙂
PS I can’t WAIT to show you what I’m making this year and when I was researching the blog for this post, I found this cute story from our family Christmas Eve a couple of years ago