Friday, June 21, 2013

Prep Craft and Gift Ideas

     It is summer time as I post this blog note.  School is out, the kids are already  looking for something to do, I am a busy person with limited funds.  I was taught to make my own fun and I learned how to make many of the gifts I have given over the years.  This page is to help you transition from the convenient habit of buying an easily forgotten gift and the inconvenience of paying for it later when the bill comes to a new simpler way of living.

     First things first, though.  Like with our initial prepping, we made lists of what we have, what we thought we needed and the amount of money available to spend on those items.  To budget out gifts and occasion giving, do the same. Make a list of all the anticipated family occasions where you are expected to give or exchange gifts.  There are birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and special events like a new birth, a wedding, a retirement or housewarming.  

     Look around your home and think what do I have in the way of raw materials.  Before rushing out to buy a craft kit to keep the kids busy, do a little research and find a craft that uses what you have or allows you to gain a skill you have been wanting to learn. 

     For example, say that you have been wanting to learn to hand sew.  If you have no needle or thread you can start your creating with as little as one dollar at the dollar store.  A mending kit comes with needles thread and a needle threader, some time even a little scissors.  You can purchase tiny spools of thread in an assorted color pack at the same time and you are ready or should I say AS ready to learn to stitch as any school girl in the American Colonial period.  

     The sampler above left was made by a young girl learning her letters, numbers and stitching techniques.  There was no embroidery hoop or frame used and a needle to this child was a valued possession, kept and used until it broke, then sharpened and reused.  Begin with a simple back stitch whose instruction can be found in a Simplicity pattern or even on You Tube.  Double strand the thread from the dollar store and you can create a sampler, stitch a clever saying on a pillow, mend your wardrobe, or make a rag doll for gift giving.


Braided Easter Egg Bread Recipe 
     If you already know the basics of sewing and want to learn how to make bread, you need flour, yeast, and salt, sugar and baking powder.  These things may be in your pantry right now.  You can find basic bread recipes at with still photo instructions, or video at Martha Stewart living, Rachael Ray or on YouTube.   Make bread and while you are at it find the recipe for the bread you don't eat....this is a craft dough recipe that makes air hardening play clay. Also, buy a good polyurethane liquid sealer.  Bake bread, learn your craft, then take some of your specialty breads and seal them with polyurethane to make a beautiful bountiful centerpiece that lasts forever, this too can be a gift to the homemaker who loves the look but has no time to bake.  The clay you can make from the same ingredients as bread making can also be used to busy the children, learn to sculpt and in the making of gifts.
     If you or your children are more bent toward science and warfare, there are a number of blogs and sites available to teach the catapult, and potato cannons and other dangerous 'crafts'. 

     Be sure to stop in in the next month to check for more ideas for gift giving, craft /skill building and low cost fun projects that use what you have and offer an alternative to watching yet another rerun  this summer.

No comments: