Handmade Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, the library is here to help you make gift giving affordable, unique and fun.

Something Unique

Book cover Holiday crafts - Christmas tree with homemade ornamentsMaybe you’ve got someone on your list who’s impossible to shop for. Maybe you want to add a personal touch to your gifts this year. Maybe you want to gift them the best pair from shoehero.com and you’re undecided. Or maybe you’re just tired of spending so much money on presents. Whatever your reason to go homemade this holiday season, we have your back. From beginner to expert, we have the resources to help you make decorations, gifts, cards and even wrapping paper. A personal favorite of mine is Holiday Crafts: 35 Projects for Home and for Giving by Catherine Woram. Focusing mainly on Christmas, this book includes projects for all ages and abilities. There’s even a chapter all about holiday treats for the foodie on your list.

book cover with a heart wreathWhether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule or simply the beauty of winter, we’ve got something to help you ring in the season. Beautiful Winter is a perfect nondenominational book that includes 53 easy home projects to warm your heart on the coldest days.

Explore the library’s newest artsy crafty resource, Creativebug. This online tool gives you access to thousands of video classes and downloadable patterns, templates and recipes. You’ll find classes on art & design, sewing, quilting, crochet, paper, knitting, food & home, jewelry, holiday & party, and kids crafts. Creativebug adds new classes from top artists every day.

Fun for All Ages

Paint chip calendarMy favorite thing about handmade gifts is that I can include my daughter in the process. To avoid the classic reindeer made from clothespins or pipe cleaner Christmas trees that have become synonymous with kid-made presents, we turn to books like Homemade Holiday: Gifts for Every Occasion to help us create personalized presents for friends and family. These projects require a bit of supervision, but the outcome is something heartfelt and unique that your loved ones will treasure so much more than anything bought on Black Friday. I love the paint sample calendar project found in this book. The step-by-step instructions make this a useful gift that is easy to customize.

Wrapping it Up

homemade gift wrapThe fun of homemade gifts doesn’t end once the presents are made. The library can help you customize your holidays right down to the wrapping paper. The Big Book of Handmade Cards and Gift Wrap is just one book that can show you how to create delightfully coordinated presentations for all your handmade treasures. Homemade cards are a joy to give as well as receive. The best part is the price! You can make your own custom wrapping paper for a fraction of what you’d spend at the store. You can incorporate scraps of fabric, pieces of nature and any art supplies leftover from your gift making into handmade cards. It’s a budget friendly way to cut down on waste and play a small part in conserving resources every holiday season.

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Sharing the Love

We’d love to hear about your favorite holiday craft! This time of year is all about getting together to create and share new memories, and the library would love to play a part in that. Let us know how the library helped you make something special for your loved ones. Leave us a comment, send us an email or simply stop by to chat with us. If you’re looking for a quiet space to get together and work on one of these projects, consider reserving one of our Team Rooms for up to six people.

Emily Hopkins

Emily is a Public Service Specialist in the bookmobile dept. When not on a library vehicle, she can be found educating kids at local elementary schools. Known to many kids as, "The Bug Lady," Emily loves introducing children to her insect friends in the Going Buggy program. A Topeka native, Emily graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor's in Anthropology before completing her master's in Biological Anthropology at Portland State University. She has a deep love for both art and science, and tries to incorporate those interests into her work.