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Home-made birthday presents

How do you feel about home-made gifts? Really. I know some say they’re a really thoughtful way to say thank-you or happy birthday or welcome – but I wonder at the end of the day if it’s just better to buy things.

I love making home-made gifts. If I’m honest, it’s mostly a selfish thing. It makes me feel really good to give someone I care about something I’ve made. I have very little time right now, so when I want to show someone I really care I like to make something because that comes from one of my most precious possessions – my time. But really at the end of the day that person may have just wanted a really nice bottle of wine or a barbie and not whatever thing I just bestowed upon them from my midnight workshop… so often times that is what we give.  Because no one wants to be the bad gift giver, right?


I recently made a gift for a friend of Matt’s for her 5th birthday – it was building off of an apron and cookbook idea I posted about earlier. I love the idea of making craft kits for kids. I do a lot of things wrong as a parent. But one area I have confidence in (and I find it can turn around any blue day) is crafting. Every week we make incredible creations and I often think I’d love to package the tools up and give them away to other families so that they don’t have to worry about all the parts and pieces and they can just dive right into the craft. Not like regular boxed crafts. Something that still leaves room for the kid to be creative and inventive. I think crafts are such an incredible way to watch kids learn. Rolling, drawing, counting, reading, writing, gluing, sewing, cooking – you can really increase or decrease the dexterity required, the creativity and the learning curve so easily. Recently, as I watched Matt writing out menus for us while we wait for dinner to cook, and reading words from our recipe books – I thought it might be cool to make up all the pieces of the apron, and also include tools like fabric markers, puffy paint, and sequins so that Matt’s friend could create her own apron.

I made the apron – see the tiny baker post for details on how, and then I attached iron-transfer paper to the back of other corresponding fabric and cut out the letters of her name. That way she can place her own name on her apron wherever she wants and her mom can iron it together (I included instructions – that stuff seems intuitive but like a kids’ tattoo if you leave on the wrong paper you’re doomed).

1receipe cards
Knowing this clever little monkey I thought she might also like to start writing/drawing out her own recipes – so continued the theme with her own recipe cards (and included one of Matty’s favorite recipes in there in the font he made earlier this year)

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We added in a favorite baking cookbook that our kids love, and packaged it up just for her with her own “Gabby’s Bakeshop” labels … the packaging might be my favorite part…

…I created a little mini-brand for these pieces called “Little Bud” – it was what my Dad called me when I was a little kid and I was a make-it crazed little person – thought it might be fitting. I’ve done a couple of other kits with different themes that I’ll post about later – but I really liked this one as a fun starter – and something you can totally do too if you like (I can send out templates). Our adobe suite expired so I literally made all of the paper parts of the gift using power point, sticker paper, card stock and a paper cutter. Very doable. I’ve gotten to know PPT well and you can create your own graphics easily using the program and a little help from google.

Have you made any gifts recently? I always love some inspiration!

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