I often write about food, health and share recipes from my kitchen. I am going to change it up today and share some handmade holiday gift ideas that I like to make for family and friends. I hope that it inspires you to get creative this holiday season! You may not choose anything that I try but I love to share what inspires me to get those artistic juices flowing. I also am going to share some things that I have made in the past along with some new things that I am trying!

Here are some of the benefits of making gifts instead of purchasing them:

  1. It helps feed your heart and soul while you make them along with working some of your brain that you may be neglecting. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I find when people feed themselves with interesting things that are not related to food, that they will eat less when they are not hungry. They are being fed in other ways!
  2. You can use recycled materials to keep them out of the landfill and bypass items that you may purchase that may end up there anyway. Many of my items use recycled wool sweaters, sometimes beads from broken jewelry and used paper.
  3. You might save some money if you go about it from a thrifty stand point. When I knit, I can spend a lot of money at the knitting store but I have a friend who actually will unravel old sweaters if they have a desirable, natural fiber. What a great way to be productive while watching a movie or listening to an audio book.
  4. It is a heart-felt gift! You care about the person enough to spend your precious time to make them something special!
  5. You can find a group to craft together building community! Some of my dearest friends are the ones that I have met through crafting. One has taught me the love of wool crafts and the other one has taught me to knit. Another friend has taught me to screen print.

Here are some of the mediums that I use most often to make my crafts:

You might find other mediums that you enjoy like metal, glass, straw, paper and clay.

  1. Fiber: Whether it be embroidering a child’s name on a fabric bag to use to wrap their gift that they can use again to carry toys or a recycled sweater that I recreate into something new, this medium is my go-to! I also love to make wall hangings or ornaments. You can also make a wrap to decorate a wine bottle to help keep it cool or just decorate it or to insulate a coffee cup!

    Sweater made from recyled ones

    One year, I made everyone in my immediate family a sweater vest. This was a lot of sewing! I sew them by hand because I can get more creative!

  2. Beads: Handmade earrings are the quickest gift yet and I also like to make them to match someone’s outfit or personality. I also enjoy making necklaces. You can sew them on fabric to give a wall hanging a pop or even a old top. I recently saw a blouse that I wanted to purchase in a catalog and found not one but two tops that I already have at home that I can add a few beads. I already have the beads too!

    Silver earrings

    I love these silver shell looking beads!

  3. Paint: If I have a small piece of furniture that needs an update, I might put a splash of paint on it and folk artsy, but some of the easiest things to paint are a flower pot. I have painted so many flower pots that I have sort of given that a rest. When the paint chips, the pot breaks or I get a special request, for example, my mom had to re-pot a plant and needed a bigger pot so she asked me to paint one!
    Painted Flower Pot

    This is actually an old one that I painted from my shed years ago so it was definitely recycled! It is for me since it is stained with dirt on the inside. No problem, I am dropping a plant in there anyway!

    4. Food: Gifts from our kitchen are always enjoyed! Granola, jam, chutney, salsa, bread, mixes, toasted seasoned nuts, homemade pasta, cookies, cakes, candies are a welcome site during the holiday season and can be shared. Here are just a few from our kitchen!


    Holiday Gift Giving

    If you don’t have a chance to make your own holiday gifts this season, be sure to get out and support a local artisan where you live and put money back into your local economy not somewhere else!

    And I also have a few books that I would love to sign just for you!

    Farm Fresh Nutrition

    My book is a great resource that produces seasonal menu ideas and recipes!

    I hope that my ideas inspire you to make a few things for those folks special to you! I would rather be in my house or at a friends house crafting than standing in line at the store or cooking in my kitchen! As an registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I work with clients to help them feel nourished and this can be learning to feed the heart and soul with other things besides food. Finding ways to be creative can add a lot to our lives. Stay tuned for more tips and recipes to survive the holiday season and another upcoming post on feeding the heart this holiday season! You can learn more about me here!



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