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.

notthefirstagainstthewall Wed 30-Oct-13 17:45:52

They have to look really well done though. Cookie jars should be nice Kilner jars, brown luggage label, calligraphy writing for recipe etc etc. I think often it's cheaper to buy something small that is appropriate.

Our neighbour does handmade gifts - small wooden decorations cut on a laser machine, quality homemade beer with designer labels (this could be outting me)- that you'd happily buy in a shop.
It's all time, money and lots of effort to make a worthwhile gift.

DSJamesHathaway Wed 30-Oct-13 18:41:56

I think the story stones are a really nice idea but I think you need to put something with them that explains how to use them. As homemade gifts go, I think it's original and in our house would be used definitely.

fiddlemethis Wed 30-Oct-13 19:05:13

I am actually buying a set of story stones for my daughter for xmas this year by this lady https://www.facebook.com/poppitscupboard?fref=ts
I love them and think my dd who is 4 would get a lot of fun out of these!

LoganMummy Wed 30-Oct-13 19:36:36

I love handmade gifts! We're doing quite a few this year. Mainly food based but also making up some craft things.

I'd love to have you as a friend as they sound fab ideas.

I love handmade gifts. Even if it's not to my taste I would far rather receive something that someone has actually taken time over rather than a lazy gift like scented candles which go straight to the charity shop .

Your ideas sounds great. smile

StuckOnARollercoaster Wed 30-Oct-13 19:51:10

I don't think the issue is so much whether a gift is handmade but whether it suits the recipient - and this minefield applies equally to bought gifts.
Although I'm sure some people would love your gifts I would probably prefer the cookies ready made!

curlew Wed 30-Oct-13 22:38:31

"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"

Why on earth not? I don't judge a present by how much was spent on it. It seems, however, many do.

I enjoy making the flavoured vodka many of my friends appear to look forward to getting for Christmas. And I like the fact that I am giving someone a present that costs significantly less than the same stuff would cost in a shop. Would my friends value it more if I didn't like saving money as ell as giving a nice present?

mydaftlass Wed 30-Oct-13 22:49:04

We love homemade!
We have story cubes and love them so I'm sure the stones would be great.

ethelb Wed 30-Oct-13 22:49:22

There have been a few threads like this. The general consensus was that cookie type things are great, at any time other than xmas ( do you really want to be nagged to make cookies on boxing day?). Hm kits are fine as ling as they are more personalised than shop bought ones. Artsy things are good as long as you are good at them.

I would like story stones for ME! grin

sniffywhiff Wed 30-Oct-13 22:50:37

I'd rather not have more stuff, especially if it's going to be a financial burden for the giver. I do think Xmas is for children though - if I want something I'll buy it, and if someone gave me Skittles vodka or a hamper of random stuff that I'd get in the supermarket anyway (bubble bath, DVD etc), I'd hate it.

The person who said you bake with your kids is right not get harassed into emptying a jar out on Xmas morning is right, as is the person who said there are a lot of deluded 'crafters' out there.

I think the bargain thread is great for finding deals on things you'll be getting your kids anyway, but there will be an awful lot of us getting bashed Elemis boxes and 98p owl earrings at Xmas and knowing exactly what's going on . . wink

BadRoly Wed 30-Oct-13 22:58:06

I am delighted with home made if it is well thought out - so the jar of lemon curd/chocolate cake/big coffee mug/key ring I have had over the years from friends have been super as they have all been gifts they knew I would want or use.

The generic jar of jam that we get every year from the same person (none of us especially like jam) that has given it to everyone they know is not so well received!

So with your examples - I would love the cookie kit because I enjoy cooking/baking with the dc but if I didn't, I would stick it in a cupboard and it would be forgotten about until next Christmas!

Tyranasaurus Thu 31-Oct-13 07:23:11

I think homemade/cheap gifts are absolutely fine so long as thought is put into them. I don't like homemade when it's obviously a thrown together generic thing.

Out of the OPs list I'd like nicely painted story stones but not a cookie mix jar (I hate that kind of thing from shops too), but I'd also be fine with you coming to me now and saying things are tight shall we skip presents this year.

WipsGlitter Thu 31-Oct-13 07:35:45

Not sure about the stones.

If you're skint is it not maybe time to knock these presents on the head? Do you still want to be getting them stuff when they're in their teens.

When I had kids I agreed with best friends that we just got adult presents for each other as we'd always done.

Badvoc Thu 31-Oct-13 07:43:15

I just think that to do homemade gifts well - proper kilner jars, labels, packaging etc it is actually cheaper to get shop bought stuff.
When I have made homemade stuff (not for gifts, mostly food) it has ended up costing far more than if I had just popped to the shop and bought it.
I will make mince pies this year, and perhaps some Xmas cupcakes but that's it.
The year I made candied peel is still very fresh in my memory!smile (tip: don't do it...it takes ALL DAY)

Badvoc Thu 31-Oct-13 07:45:25

Badroly...that's my feeling too. The people who give jam to everyone because they had a glut of fruit and made loads in the summer annoy me.
I would really rather recieve nothing than something with so little thought gone into it.
(I do like jam, but not damson jam which this person invariably gives)

elQuintoConyo Thu 31-Oct-13 08:04:51

I make most of my birthday and Christmas presents every year because I'm skint (except DH's this year as I can't make a guitar stand out of felt, much as I try).
Sometimes it is biscuits, sometimes little felt thingies (brooch, keyring), sometimes bigger (fleece hot water bottle cover for DSil this year, pyjama cases for the kids).
Sometimes I batch make things, sometimes I make individual things, it depends on the year and my inspiration. I'd make the stones myself for my dc, family and friends who I know would use them.

None of my friends/family mind that things are homemade - my super-crafty DGM is delighted !

If anyone did snear, then they'd get sweet FA the next Christmas, or perhaps a fake hug and a packet of Pringles for being such an arsehole.

Isildur Thu 31-Oct-13 08:16:17

It's really not sneeryness though.

As someone said upthread, it's largely that things that can be home made, are generally not things that people would consider giving me in the normal course of things.

Nobody who knows me would think, 'Oh yes, Isildur would love a hot water bottle cover, key-ring, jar of flour, hat, painting' etc.

They might buy me an obscure (but cheap second hand) book, or an add on for the Raspberry Pi for one of the children, or funky coloured scooter wheels, or more books, or some Amazon/iTunes vouchers. Inexpensive stuff that would be appreciated and used.

We just don't do cluttery stuff, we are awash with biscuits/food, and are rather short of space.

We don't expect gifts at all though, and amongst anyone other than close family we just stick to cards and good wishes.

zzzzz Thu 31-Oct-13 08:30:42

I have a large family. We like homemade things (and shop bought). At Christmas the children bring home -a shit load- tons of creations. So long as it wasn't similar, I'd love it.

The key for us with ANY present is how easy it is to store. So story stones in a nice draw string bag/box that shuts great. Story stones in a paper ripped open container so I have to make th box/bag, not so great.

Badvoc Thu 31-Oct-13 11:40:06

It's not about sneeriness.
It's about not particularly wanting felt key rings or biscuits....

Badvoc Thu 31-Oct-13 11:40:48

Exactly isuldur.

SoupDragon Thu 31-Oct-13 11:47:41

It's about not particularly wanting felt key rings or biscuits....

The key is choosing the gift to suit the person whether it is homemade or mass produced tat or anything in between.

Badvoc Thu 31-Oct-13 11:49:10

Very true SG.
A handmade bookmark for example would be a great gift for me. Or a painted mug/cup.
But if I want biscuits I buy them!

kiwidreamer Thu 31-Oct-13 15:45:10

Not sure my kids would get much use out of story stones but they have a remarkable fondness for pet rocks that my DH drew faces on... so that's another idea perhaps if you can paint a really nice face on a flat medium - small pebble and give it in a felt bag so it has a home, my kids would adore that!

I bake all the time, pantry is well stocked, I wouldn't overly appreciate someone imposing their favourite recipe on us but it would get used, I would never throw something useful like that out.

pamish Thu 31-Oct-13 18:41:14

Biscuits. They are called biscuits.

HeyJudith Thu 31-Oct-13 19:06:40

Preschoolers. I would do new box of Crayolas, new drawing/colouring-in book, and if I wanted to throw in home-made I would do a simple pencil case with a zip - or a fabric pencil roll. Both very easy to make with basic sewing skills and a machine as basically they are just small rectangles of fabric. Tutorials available all over the net.

If no sewing skills then new pencil case as well (Poundland).

Tied together in a neat attractive pile with red/festive ribbon smile

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