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Country Discussion Topics
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Homemade presents- ideas?
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Holiday tradition-    Posted 10-15-2003 at 07:21:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hello y'all,
Every year my better 1/2 and me make up gifts for our relatives. Usually a shelf, or pegs for coats, some sort of small woodworking project.
For us to get it all done means that we got to start about now. Just about an hour or two, every now and then up until about the middle of December. Being a carpenter I got lots of scrap from jobs that are finished up. None of the stuff we build is alike.
This has been going on now for some time. Each year we have spent more on wrapping paper than the gift itself, that is if you don't count our time. I'd much rather be at home, in the shop, then hunting for a parking space at the back of a mall somewhere. Problem is we've nearly run out of good ideas for projects this Christmas. Do you have any ideas or gifts you've made that you'd like to pass on? Thanks- Mike D.




coop    Posted 03-12-2004 at 18:38:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I need to make a wedding present for my sister and her husband who were married over a year ago (oops, guess I'm a bit late!). I have 2 small children and work part-time so my spare time is very limited. Wondered if anyone had any suggestions for gifts.


Matt    Posted 10-16-2003 at 08:06:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Home-made candles make a very nice gift.


buck    Posted 10-16-2003 at 07:32:44       [Reply]  [No Email]

Old window sash turned into mirrors or picture frames and old shutters turned nto shelves or tables. There is a fair demand for these now. I presently am trying to figure out what kind of project will require old bowling pins.


Byllylover    Posted 07-31-2004 at 08:30:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've been looking at garage sales for old bowling pins to make side tables/coffe table/ foot stools for our basement. I figure I can use them as legs, then use some old business signs or something colorful as tops.


TimV    Posted 10-16-2003 at 13:41:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Buck: The most obvious one is lamps--I've got a couple myself. I spent summers during college working at a bowling pin factory, and came away with quite a few rejects that made nice lamps, display stands, hat racks, etc.


Thank you all-    Posted 10-16-2003 at 07:17:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just reading your posts has put me in the 'gear up' mode. I appreciate the responses. All of those are exactly what gift giving is, even the Barney photo! Those are terrific ideas in those posts. Touching stories of giving.

Last winter my neighbor dumped about 2 cords of cut & split wild cherry and red oak next to the house. He put a bright red ribbon on top of the stack. Wonderful gift.

Mike D.


cowgirlj    Posted 10-15-2003 at 15:20:04       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I try to make homemade gifts every year. This year I'm making scrap books for my boys. I'm one of those Mom's that has saved every report card, certificate of achievement, school pictures, ribbons, medals, special art projects and whatevers from my kids over the years. I have been toting these precious memories around for 25 years along with thier childhood pictures. Now that the boys are all grown up, it's time to remind them of their childhoods. Especially my middle son who now has a baby girl of his own.
Along with their gifts, they get a special tin of home baked goodies to share with their friends.


screaminghollow    Posted 10-16-2003 at 00:51:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
When my eldest son was about 14 he fell asleep on the couch. We placed a "Barney" plush doll next to him and darn if he didn't cuddle with it in his sleep. We got a good picture. Maybe I'll frame it and give it to his fiance.


TimV    Posted 10-15-2003 at 15:19:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
My all-time favorite Christmas present was a barn my uncle built me (or us, counting my two brothers) when I was about 5. It was on a 3x5 sheet of plywood, and about 3' tall. One side was open, with a second-story "hayloft". It's still at my parents house, and 30 years later, it still gets a lot of use by the second and third generations. Some other nice homemade gift ideas are birdhouses, doll houses, corner knicknack shelf sets, wind chimes, bowls, vases, clocks (got my parents an absolutely beautiful curly maple clock last year hand-made by a 18-year old local kid) along with various home-made board games (dominos, Chinese Checkers, checkerboard and/or chess sets to name a few). It's nice to see people taking the time to make gifts themselves--I've done a few myself, and it's much more satisfying than a trip to the mall for new tie!


geo in MI    Posted 10-15-2003 at 13:58:23       [Reply]  [No Email]

Do you have grandkids? Might try a marble race. Made from wood, stands about three feet high. Put the marble in the top and it drops down to an incline to the end, then drops down to the next incline in the opposite direction. About four inclines in all, then into a wood collection box, to start all over at the top. Kids love it, very fascinating, noisy and will keep them going for hours. Scrap wood, a bit of paint, a bag of marbles and you've got the most popular toy under the tree.


screaminghollow    Posted 10-16-2003 at 00:47:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
If you need to see one, John Book made one for the Amish kid in the movie Witness.


bulldinkie    Posted 10-15-2003 at 13:55:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I love making home made gifts.we made our sons these beautiful lamps. One is a contractor lamp the supplies we got at a craft store,tool antique shopping. It has a beautiful planer wood,vise a lantern on the side,electrified.My other son is into fishing so we put an old fishing basket,lantern,antique lures,antique fishing reel..Just cant remember what all is on them. something to hand down.Fun doing too.My husband is a contractor too...


deadcarp    Posted 10-15-2003 at 11:57:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
this might not be a present, but i remember the prettiest card we ever got. it was from gene & donna wroe, who used to run nimrod fire tower/station. donna had taken a fancy writing (caligraphy) course and boy she made pretty announcements and things. well the wishes were in caligraphy and that was special enough, but the cards themselves were solid birchbark and there was a tiny flattened pinecone and red ribbon bow attached to one corner. can't bring a misplaced young parent home much better than that :)


Jim(MO)    Posted 10-15-2003 at 09:45:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our presents to adult friends and relative's are homeade blackberrie and rasberry jellies or preserves and apple and pear butter. All this comes from our own bushes and trees except the apples which come from a local orchard. Have planted apple and cherry trees this fall to take up the slack there. Takes some work but not much wrapping involed. Kay uses scraps of coloful cloth under the lid rings and some ribbon. Everybody likes it so much they bring back the empty jars to be sure they are refilled. Wish I had some carpenter skills to make toys for the kids. Just buy them now.


screaminghollow    Posted 10-15-2003 at 08:25:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Got a gift years ago from a couple that made those wooden wall sconce candle holders with the hurricane lamp glass chimney. The really nice part was the wife was fairly artistic,she painted a design on the glass or on some of them, she used masking tape and a sand balster and made pictures that looked like etched glass. She did an intricate Pennsylvania long rifle and possible bag on mine. On another I saw, she did holly leaves. Some of them had punched tin or brass reflectors behind the candles. The punch designs were of deer or Christmas trees, etc. Normally, I regard craft stuff as dust collectors, but the fact that she went out of her way to customize them for each recipient, like the design on mine because she knew my hobby. I just picked up a sand blaster and thought about trying to do it myself.

When my aunts favorite shade tree was busted up in a storm, years back, she paid me to clean it up. I stacked the firewood up behind my parents place. A year later, one large piece of a branch was still there. I used my dad's band saw to cut the wood into slabs, and used the saw and router to form the slabs into a fancy wide picture frame. We found a picture of her house with the tree still standing and enlarged it for in the frame I made. She really liked the fact that the frame was made from "her tree"

When my wife's grandmother and grandfather bought a small farm, she planted a lilac bush from a cutting. The cutting came her grandmother's farm. Some fifty years later,when she realized she had to sell off the place, she started a small lilac bush from that one for each of her grandkids. She realized she didn't have much to pass on, but wanted her grandkids to think of her every spring when the plant blooms. I had never thought of a plant as an heirloom, but it was very touching. We planted "her" lilac near the house.


Rustybones    Posted 10-15-2003 at 14:44:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't know what kinds of woods you have access to, but a few ideas are: wooden trivets, custom mirror/picture frames, clay flowerpot holders, boot jacks, shoe scrapers w/scrubrush, coatrack w/fancy hooks, personalized bulletin boards, etc..... I've been woodworking for about 9 yrs and these are a few of the things, I've made. I hope they give you some inspiration.


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