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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.

notanyanymore Sun 03-Nov-13 10:32:20

i think they sound like lovely presents, my children would certainly be very pleased.

Coconutty Sun 03-Nov-13 10:30:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EvenWickedierDevil Sun 03-Nov-13 10:22:08

I love home made presents, I am often touched by the effort people have gone to, especially if I know they are hard up. I am really sad that some people would throw them away.

Katz Sun 03-Nov-13 10:07:20

Anyone considering the tshirt idea. Matalan do really nice plain white t shirts for around £3.50 for 3. I've used them for dds birthday party instead of party bags.

curlew Sun 03-Nov-13 10:01:07

"I hate the thought of people spending ages on a home made something or other which I would probably just chuck out"

But why would you chuck it out? Unless it's horrible, in which case you deal with it in the same way you would deal with any horrible present. Why is home made different?

dementedma Sun 03-Nov-13 09:55:30

I love getting home made stuff from Dcs or family, but otherwise would be fine wit just a card. I hate the thought of people spending ages on a home made something or other which I would probably just chuck out.
A friend does these bits of felt with stitches all over them which are hideous. I really would rather get nothing than another one of these things.

Sheeparefluffy Sun 03-Nov-13 08:45:25

Your idea sounds lovely OP!

Can you link me to your idea please?

TurquoiseTranquility Sun 03-Nov-13 00:45:24

It's a sad world where people would rather SPEND money on bubble mixture shipped from China (WTF????) than make some like we all used to do.

Although I've personally been given lots of "crafty" stuff I didn't like, I always appreciated the effort and the thought. It never went in the bin.

Plastic tat, on the other hand, has.

Kids get so many toys and then those don't ever get played with. Personally, anything that's an activity rather than a toy, is welcome.

Just an idea, maybe you could throw in a biscuit cutter or wooden rolling pin (50p from ELC if memory serves me right) with your biscuit jars? ONLY do that tho if those families do lots of baking or the kids in question like playdough.

Elsiequadrille Fri 01-Nov-13 14:10:57

It would depend how well the story stones were done. I've seen some poorly finished examples.
I'm not sure about the cookie mix, the DC would prefer to make their own, they liked the mixing and measuring best, almost as much as cutting out the cookies.

Badvoc Fri 01-Nov-13 14:05:41

It was William Morris SD.
I try to live by that rule.

SoupDragon Fri 01-Nov-13 13:41:42

Was it William Morris or the Shakers who said something along the lines of Have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

Aplpy that to gifts with the recipients taste in mind and you shouldn't go far wrong.

HeyJudith Fri 01-Nov-13 13:10:23

Homemade stuff that goes in the bin is just as much landfill as plastic tat. The fact that a recipient may glance and think "Aw, they made that themselves, what a shame" before lobbing it in the bin makes it no superior to the plastic tat nobody has any real use or like for. Home made tat has a lot in common with shopbought tat in that respect.

What makes something not tat destined for landfill? Generally something useful or beautiful. However we would need to actually know what the recipient considers useful and/or beautiful.

Story stones a case in point. One person's "educational, creative" present, another person's "oh no- missile potential".

The best thing to do is know your recipient well and if your homemade stuff does not fit into their style (my sister does not do "shabby chic" under any guises, for example) nor is it useful to them, then give it up and buy something useful and/or beautiful.

CambridgeBlue Fri 01-Nov-13 08:11:01

I would appreciate a handmade gift as much as I would something shop bought just because I am always touched by anyone going to the trouble of giving me a present.

Something well made and genuinely attractive or useful would be lovely but as someone else said it can cost a lot to make something decent so you won't necessarily save money.

But if it was some of the badly made tat that I see people touting on FB I would put it quietly to one side after opening it and either bin it or give it to charity (bet the charity shops are delighted after Xmas!)

It annoys me how everyone is a crafter/'cupcake' baker/purveyor of crap these days although I appreciate people are just trying to make some cash. There is a lot of beautiful well made stuff out there, created by very talented people - I think the bad stuff detracts from this and gets everyone tarred with the same brush.

chanie44 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:10:07

When I was on maternity leave I started looking at homemade, but it's not cheap. By the time I'd bought the items needed, I may as well have spent the money on something else.

I good compromise i found was 'half homemade'. Last year, I made chocolate selection boxes. I bought some baskets and filled them with chocolate and sweets. It was much better value than the overpriced shop made ones and I made sure it contained the recipients favourite chocolates.

If a family member or friend was having financial difficulties, I wouldn't expect anything from them. I'd rather they spent the money on themselves, but then I'm quite practical.

FannyMcNally Fri 01-Nov-13 08:03:58

How much are those story stones from Poppit's Cupboard? I can't seem to find a price and they would be perfect to use in class.

SoupDragon Fri 01-Nov-13 07:58:52

I like the idea of cake stands but the reality is that cake is snarfed very quickly from the cooling rack a tupperware box. smile

I may make some of the presents this year but they will be made for the person not the same thing for everyone. Although it's tempting to make family hats for everyone grin

Badvoc Fri 01-Nov-13 07:44:46

SD...yes, she asked for one! smile I know, not my thing either but it's what she what's. So I got her a naice one.

SoupDragon Fri 01-Nov-13 07:39:47

Does your SIL want a one of a kind hand made slate cake stand? That's the kind of "crap" that would sit at the back of a cupboard in my hose.
That's the point.

A lot of people don't even have hot water bottles anymore!

They may appreciate one given the hike in fuel prices! grin

Badvoc Fri 01-Nov-13 07:36:20

That's true curlew.
I take time to choose gifts.
I put a lot of thought into it.
It irritates me when others don't...just give to charity or don't bother.
I don't need 2 chipped wine glasses, or the free no 7 gifts from boots am looking at you Dhs aunt or cheap costume jewellery.

curlew Fri 01-Nov-13 07:07:02

"I am not against hand made bespoke stuff, but I am against people making stuff and then foisting it on people who are supposed to be grateful for things they do not want and will never use!"

But doesn't that apply to any present? Why is it worse that it's home made? The subtext certainly seems to be " I don't want this present ^ and^ the giver is a cheapskate as well"

Badvoc Fri 01-Nov-13 06:50:49 seem offended by the fact that some people wouldn't want a hot water bottle cover!
If your sil wants one, and you can make one, all well and good.
But for most it would be a fairly useless gift. A lot of people don't even have hot water bottles anymore!
I am so fed up of seeing everyone on FB trying to sell their homemade, artwork, shabby chic, burning...and fecking cupcakes! £7 for a jar of chutney!? No thanks.
I have just bought my sil a handmade one of a kind slate cake stand.
I am not against hand made bespoke stuff, but I am against people making stuff and then foisting it on people who are supposed to be grateful for things they do not want and will never use!
Hardly Xmas spirit is it?
And why should people clutter up their homes with unwanted stuff!?

justanuthermanicmumsday Thu 31-Oct-13 23:04:43

I think it's a great idea lots of love going into a gift rather than popping down to a bargain store for a cheap toy that will break in the first hour of play. Small kids will appreciate any gift their teacher gives them. There may be the exception but most kids hark on about their teachers a lot mine do.

I think you'll find objections are usually from parents not small kids, kids do really appreciate such things despite all the modern gadgets and expensive toys. No teacher can afford expensive toys for a class of 30 kids anyway.

Have you seen cake pops on Pinterest they look like really good gifts. One for each kid with bow and cellophane wrap looks store bought I've made them look fab and taste good too.

elQuintoConyo Thu 31-Oct-13 22:56:16

I think I shall cancel Christmas, reading some of these replies.
Or steal tiny skinny presents that wouldn't take up any precious space.
Things made with best intentions and love be damned.

(And, no, I don't hoist crap on people, my DSil needs a new hot water bottle (DH buying) and I shall make a nice snuggly soft cover for it).

If you wander through the Christmas Bargains thread, you'll see links to things such as socks that look like you're wearing sandals-over-socks hmm Made in China for tuppence happeny, funny for 30 seconds, tat in the bin. Yours for only 7.99.

level3at6months Thu 31-Oct-13 19:56:00

We would have loved story stones when DS was little. I'm surprised by the responses on here to be honest. Simple things that encourage imagination and creativity go down a storm at Nursery. Yes, they might throw stones or put them in their mouths if they are being left to their own devices with them, but it's the kind of thing you'd be doing with your child, not leaving them to do on their own.

NumptyMum Thu 31-Oct-13 19:47:56

Ooo - the other home-made thing that I think looks GREAT is stencil T-shirts, using freezer paper (google to find out how). See here: Totoro T-shirt (change to suitable simple character for kids T-shirts). You'd need to buy T-shirts and decent stencil paint for this - would only work out cheaper over time if you repeat it for other years/presents...

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