I would like to share a few of the handmade gifts we gave this year. I think I am finally over the feeling that I have to make every gift that I give. I would love to do that. But, unfortunately, the holidays are my busiest work season and I’m usually under a time crunch. This year was no exception.  In fact, I’m still filling back orders. So thanks to everyone for their patience!

Our sweet little neighbor is 3 1/2 now. I thought a customized car play mat would be fun to make and give.  I bought iron-on vinyl and tested it on some duck cloth. It seemed to have a good bond, even though the fabric is not perfectly flat.  

The iron-on vinyl is only a little more than 24″ high, so I used a piece of duck cloth that wide and about a yard and a half long.  I drew our street, house, intersections and all the main places that our neighbors frequent. Now that he is in school, I included his school, church, sports place, Panera.  I added a few stop signs and stop lights.  Annie decorated some of the locations. We simply used permanent markers and/or fabric markers.

We bought some cars at Toys R Us. I was hoping to find a mini van like our car, but it is very hard to find basic vehicles. I went up in our attic to get our “vintage” Matchbox and Hotwheel cars out and the boys proved to me that you are never too old to play!

I made a quick little drawstring bag to store the play mat and threw the cars in. Down the road I will have to make him one of those cute, car cases.

My daughters made quite a few of their gifts. I don’t have photos of all of them, however.  Annie made this scrabble tile pillow for her sister. Her sister was laughing at the 7 points for “M” and that is when Annie realized that the tiles have different values!!!

It works well with the new IKEA letter duvet set I got her!

My daughter made my husband and son a chess set using nuts and bolts. It’s really neat! My husband painted one silver and one gold.

My youngest son made coasters for all of us. He took photography last year and his “gift” is taking close-up portraits of anyone around him. (We have a hysterical collection of photos – mostly annoyed cousins – from our summer reunion.)

He selected and edited the photos. Don’t you love the one with me and my big mouth???  He glued them on to a $ .15 tile and then used polyurethane to seal them. Two coats. He glued a piece of felt to the bottom and I have to say they look fantastic!

Annie made me this measuring tape bracelet! I love it! She added the scissors charm and I added the sewing machine charm which I had received as a gift.

 Annie also made me more eyeglass chains.

She made Billy a charging station made out of a hockey puck. My husband helped her and, essentially, stole the project from her (in her opinion….) They went through a couple pucks before they got it right.

Finally, Annie made this pencil holder for my husband. She asked him to cut the piece when we cut down our Christmas tree. She did the drilling herself and sealed it with modge podge.

It was a nice holiday. Everyone was home. The girls are still home and today we have a snow day! I am regrouping for the new year and will be setting my schedule. I don’t have any major goals for the year. I want to continue to work hard. The kids got me a FitBit….so I hope to get fit….in a bit….