Homemade gifts - what do you REALLY think?

(77 Posts)
Splatt34 Wed 30-Oct-13 09:31:22

OK so I'm on mat leave which means 2 things, I have a bit more time on my hands than usual & cash is a bit tighter. I have also become slightly addicted to pinterest.

I am thinking of making story stones & cookie jars for the few pre schoolers we normally gift too. But if your DC received would you think I was being tight (receivers are DCs of my best friends and DN). My DD will be receiving too.

PS - if you don't know story stones have pictures on (ie tree, castle, boy, animal, house, rainbow etc etc) & the child makes up stories as they pull them out of bag.
Cookie jars contain all the dry ingredients to make a batch of cookies.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 30-Oct-13 09:33:28

It won't be to my taste. Sorry.

BigOrangePumpkin Wed 30-Oct-13 09:33:30

I've never heard of them but they sound lovely! I would assume that your best friends will realise you're skint, and would understand. But even if you weren't skint, I think this would be a lovely thoughtful gift and I'd be happy for my DD to receive it.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 30-Oct-13 09:33:43

Not wont - wouldn't.

Isildur Wed 30-Oct-13 09:38:45

I'm not madly keen on homemade stuff to be honest.

The only exceptions are the blankets and dolls clothes made by my mother, but I think we only really appreciate those because they came from my mother (the children are enormously fond of her).

Stones, cookie jars, baskets full of random things, bloody sock monkeys etc. are never really appreciated by the children or anyone here.

We recognise the effort that has gone into the things, but they usually end up being thrown out.

SpockSmashesScissors Wed 30-Oct-13 09:44:38

If you want to do homemade why not make the cookies and then give them. Christmas is pretty busy, I wouldn't want a child nagging to make the cookies, we would be doing our own baking.

If you are skilled at knitting/crochet those types of things can be nice but a jar of cookie ingredients and a bag of stones, they would probably be binned.

Lancelottie Wed 30-Oct-13 09:45:10

Cookie jars would go down well here but story stones would have baffled them.

Other homemade things that have been well loved: patchwork pillow with something the child likes in the pattern; teeny knitted teddy clothes for a specific teddy (hard to do for random toddlers though); hair bands and scrunchies.

500internalerror Wed 30-Oct-13 09:48:25

If you can paint very well, then story stones are fab - they are loved just for the artistry.If youre going to botch thm together with mediocre art skills, like mine, then I wouldnt do it. It will just be a bag of badly painted stones!!!

siblingrevelry Wed 30-Oct-13 09:51:50

If done well and good quality they will be lovely-I and my kids would appreciate them.

Where I think homemade is naff is when they're shabby (not chic!) and badly made-this can look cheap. if you have a talent and can make things as well or better than craft shops/markets etc then go for it.

Or when parents assume EVERYBODY wants stuff made by/featuring their kids. Bookmark made for me by my kids=lovely. Bookmark from others=no thanks!

Love the story stones idea by the way

Splatt34 Wed 30-Oct-13 09:52:20

Wow fast responses. Many thanks.

Think I will trial the story stones on DD & if they are liked can use for birthdays for other kids in Jan & March. DD received a cookie jar recently and it was a big hit & I know all these kids love baking so still tempted with that.

Nishky Wed 30-Oct-13 09:52:23

story stones sound fab and mine would have loved them when they were little- I suspect that they would still now at senior school age!!

If people don't like your gifts then they don't deserve to be your friends

Smiles affectionately at original painting from friend for 18th birthday 30 a good few years ago

I'm really not keen on that sort of thing. Although I like getting homemade food.
Unless the maker is truly talented they tend to be a bit shit and go in the bin/ to charity ime. And there are a lot of people as evidenced by my fb friends "businesses" who are quite deluded about their 'creativity'.

siblingrevelry Wed 30-Oct-13 09:58:06

If you want to make stuff, great.

If you're just looking for a less expensive Xmas gift (which often ends up not being the case with homemade), head over to the bargain Xmas thread. There'll be loads of ideas of inexpensive kids presses.

Off the top of my head, get them a pair of pj's each with an individual homemade wrapped cookie (character.com has cheap ones, or get them when 3 for 2/half price at mother are etc)

Or personalised pencils from Studio24, maybe in a pencil ase from pound land/home bargains.

There's loads of ways to do it cheaper without the extra effort of totally homemade-start a thread and you'll no doubt get loads more ideas better than mine.

Ignore this if you want to do homemade by choice!

Katnisscupcake Wed 30-Oct-13 10:15:27

I've never heard of Story Stones but as my 4yo DD constantly makes up songs and loves US to make up stories for her, I think she would love it!!

I think that kids get too much at Xmas (and believe me I am the MOST guilty of spoiling my DD) so sometimes something with a little effort is lovely. Having said that, I wonder if I would appreciate it more than DD would - I embarassingly admit that as DD would come across as very ungrateful... blush

<<wanders off to find a friend with artistic skills to make some story stones>>

I bought story dice for a 6yo and she lovesthem. Homemade jewellery always goes down well too.
I made stockings for kids last then you can put anything in them

Bluebell99 Wed 30-Oct-13 10:36:38

Someone up thread said they didn't like sock monkeys, we do smile and when we have made them, they have been much admired by dd's friends. My dd also had a gift from a friend which was a felted alien, accompanied by a story written by the friend. That was fab. Also my dd has crafted little felt plushies for her friends, which have been in demand. Another idea is friendship bracelets.

Shente Wed 30-Oct-13 10:38:44

I don't know about the specific things you mention as dd is one so a bit young but I love thoughtful homemade gifts. Last year my sister gave me some really thoughtful framed photos of her and me when we were little - probably the gift I value most. She also made me a patchwork baby blanket when dd was born and again I love it!

SoupDragon Wed 30-Oct-13 10:42:45

I think it all depends on the presentation. If it looks professional then fine, if it looks like, say, a load of flour dumped in a jam jar, not so good.

darkdays Wed 30-Oct-13 10:45:53

I love homemade gifts. My friend made a monster hat and a raspberry hat for my twins for Christmas last year. They were excellent. People stopped to ask where I got them. I can't wait to see this here's creations!

FrauMoose Wed 30-Oct-13 10:45:57

I think if people are so up themselves they can't cope with a home-made gift then I should be inclined to give the money you'd have spent making those gifts to one of those charities that gives goats/bicycles to people in third world countries.

In your situation I might email round relatives and friends to say you are doing things differently this year. If a small home-made gift would be appreciated let you know and this will be provided gladly and with love. If it was surplus to requirements, that is absolutely fine because then the funds will be diverted to charity.

I think children giving homemade gifts is OK.
I think people giving gifts that they've made which are genuinely nicer than anything similar in the shops (homemade chutneys, knitted stuff by a talented knitter etc) is OK.
Lumpy, poorly executed stuff that is going to clutter up my house? I'd rather you saved yourself the cost of materials and didn't worry about it - I'm happy with a card and a hug.

ThisIsBULLSHIT Wed 30-Oct-13 10:55:22

I would LOVE the story stones!! How amazing. And my dc always make presents for their GPs.
And the cookie jars sound brill too, I am sure these are in some shops anyway?!

I'll have some!

curlew Wed 30-Oct-13 11:00:06

I was very depressed by a thread on here once where people were saying they automatically throw away anything home made.

Why?????

Splatt34 Wed 30-Oct-13 11:00:07

OK so I think the answer is, IF it looks like you bought it at a craft fair it's OK.

If the families are the type to make up stories and do imaginary play (2 definitely are) then the story stones may be a goer IF they are done well.

Best get experimenting!! Thanks all x

Badvoc Wed 30-Oct-13 11:39:52

Cookie jars are a nice idea. I would like that.
Not sure about the stones tbh...just a bag of pebbles isn't it? Not sure about age range for that one, either. Some pre schoolers still put small objects in their mouths.
If people are good cooks, bakers etc then a home made hamper would be lovely.
But not if people are doing it because they simply want to save some cash.

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