Simple Gifts: Giving Handmade

I recently discovered Amanda Blake Soule’s book, The Creative Family, at my local library. It was a timely find as I really appreciated Amanda’s section on Giving Handmade in the lead up to Mother’s Day.

Immy and I worked together to adapt the Joy Jar concept to make Grandma’s Happy Jar for my Mum.

Immy decorated a small jar with large and small butterfly stickers as my Mum loves butterflies.

Then I asked Immy a series of questions about Mum and things we have done together and I wrote her responses on some pretty recycled card, which Immy again decorated with butterfly stickers. The idea is that you can choose a card from the special jar whenever you need a little extra happiness to make the day brighter. We made about 15 cards altogether.

For a card, more butterflies were called for…

… this time a simple crayon resist with bright coloured food colouring. Immy enjoyed it so much that she asked me to cut out two more butterflies which she painted, one for her great-grandmother and the other for her aunt.

We had a lovely time on Mother’s Day, sharing afternoon tea and giving our gifts. Of course, we had to read Immy’s happy messages out loud which gave us all a good laugh.

I really appreciated the process of choosing handmade for Mother’s Day as it acted to remove the sense of commercialism which so often surrounds holidays and celebrations nowadays. And the wonderful thing about making a joy jar or happy jar and the special notes contained within, is the process of actually slowing down and reflecting upon the person you are giving it to – memories you’ve shared and the individual traits that make that one person unique.

What are your thoughts on giving homemade? Do you have any special projects you have made with your child to give as gifts?

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  1. Hear Mum Roar says:

    I always prefer handmade gifts, and this one is a lovely thought.

  2. I love to receive handmade gifts. I think the thought behind them counts for so very much.

    But I'm wary about who I give them to, some people just don't appreciate hand made gifts which means my time and thought has gone to waste. In that case I'd rather purchase them something they would appreciate – the gift is after all about the recipient.

  3. SquiggleMum says:

    Handmade gifts are always so special. I love receiving them and enjoy giving them too. (Soule Mama has great ideas!)

  4. Bubby Makes Three says:

    too cute… my daughter is too little at the moment to make ANYTHING… but I cant wait until we can draw and craft together!

  5. Missy Boo says:

    I love this idea. I bet your mum was thrilled with it *sneakily making note to use Christie's jar*

  6. CountryFun says:

    I've starred this on my Reader, so I can find it again quickly. Nice simple idea that will be so adaptable and great use of recycled materials.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Last year was the first time I made gifts for the holidays. I wanted to focus on the thought and not the amount of money I spent. The gifts were really well received, so I'll be doing it again this year — and starting the same tradition with my kids. I love this idea … thanks for sharing!

  8. Raising a Happy Child says:

    I love your butterfly jar – very pretty. I love to receive and give homemade gifts. Every year we make calendars and photo albums for grandparents and friends. My husband also made some games and wooden toys for children of our close friends. He is a lot more crafty than I am.

  9. Yes Grandma did love the gift and it sits proudly on my desk at work so if I am having one of those days I can open it and read what my Munchkin was thinking. I especially love that she loves my black car going brooom – sweet little rev head that she is.

  10. Margaret Elvis says:

    Christie you and Dad101 have given your mum and me the very best home made gift for Mother’s Day this year that anyone could give…a grandchild and a great-grandchild. What more could one think of that would be better than that. Thanks to both of you for your timing. xxxx
    P.S. That jar sounds such a wonderful idea. We often need something to brighten us up on those darker days that we all have from time to time.

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