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handmade gifts make your own

The pre-holiday consumerist orgy is in high gear at the moment and it’s easy to get stressed out by shopping lists and crowded stores. Ever wonder why such a joyous time of the year needs to be so complicated? Ever hope for a more enjoyable and simpler alternative? Why not show those who matter to you that you care and have fun while doing it? You don’t have to be brilliantly creative to make a love-felt handmade gift.

Here are some great ideas:

1.  Paper flowers: You can make a stunning everlasting gift from old gift wrap or even newspaper.  This pattern utilizes unwanted junk mail! Using Japanese Kusudama techniques, any kind of paper can become an awesome art object.  Why not make a whole bunch?

2.  Origami Holiday ornaments: You can use the flowers mentioned above as fashion decorations for your tree, or you might like to try making these small origami boxes from Samantha Miller. Other origami ornaments include hearts, tinsel trees, blossoms, leaves and stars.

3. Simple but stylish necklace hanger: For the woman who has everything, you need somewhere to put everything!  With just a few pieces of hardware and a drill you can craft this retro looking jewelery hanger.

4.  Japanese paper doll bookmarks: Simply gorgeous and always appreciated for the bookworm in your life.  These easy to make bookmarks are sure to please anyone!

5.  Simple kids tent: trapped indoors during the winter holidays?  Go camping with this home made kids tent.

6.  Microwaved jam: Food is always appreciated! Find what fruit is in season at your local farmers market and make bulk jam for all the family so they’ll be thinking of you  every time they have toast.

7.  Baby shoes: This can give new life to a favorite old garment you’ve grown out of.  This Japanese inspired style is easy to slip on and off and requires very little sewing.

8. Gingerbread: A holiday traditional, fun to make for the whole family. This recipe is vegan and made without dairy or eggs.

9. Handmade soap: You don’t need any specific soap-making skills to mold your own colorful scented soaps.

10.  Sweets! Great last minute easy-made candies that will always be well received include: Toffee, Marzipan, Peanut butter cups and for the truly healthy gift, flax seed balls that require no cooking (all vegan!).  You can dress them up with the origami box featured above or this larger one made of eight sheets of paper.

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