Mid-January already? Time flies when you’re having a baby! Here’s a rundown of the DIY gifts Ben and I gave this past holiday. I’ll link to the blogs where I found them, but for one easy location, you can check out my Pinterest board here.
(This will be a long post. For some reason, everyone but me recognized the economies of scale and made multiples of the same thing. I made a bunch of one-offs, and subsequently did little else for most of November/December.)
Ben’s parents are currently decking out our basement apartment as a “grandcave,” so I emailed their interior designer, got the color scheme, and personalized this doormat.
Initially I just spray-painted on the blue through a stencil I made by printing the legend on cardstock and cutting it out, but it was hard to read (probably due in part to the funky Hindi-style script and the rug’s nubbly texture) so I went back and added the white highlights by hand.
There are lots of tutorials online for various permutations of the personalized coir doormat, but the one I referred to can be found on Curbly.
My parents, though not Bengforts, did not entirely escape the DIYing. Ben and I needed an inexpensive solution for repairing the seat on our bentwood rocker. We ended up having enough supplies for two and, knowing my parents had the same problem, we made an extra. It cost far more to ship it to North Dakota than to make it! We used the tutorial at Nagle5 News as a guide.
Likewise, Ben and Beci got a mix of storebought and homemade gifts, despite never agreeing to DIYness! I liquified some Lava soap, following the instructions at the My Useful Ideas blog. I had planned to send it in an empty bottle of their favorite spirit, but when I discovered that the latte pump I’d bought fit perfectly on an old appletini mix bottle, I decided to personalize the bottle instead, using glass and ceramic paint I had from another gift. The original inspiration, though, came from The Hallway Spectacle on Etsy.
Bethany is set to do some moving in the next year, so we wanted to give her something portable–a trio of necklaces. The bird’s nest tutorial is on Sarah Ortega’s website, you can learn to make the triangle from Evie S. (I added turquoise beads as I went!), and I was inspired to make the basic pendant after visiting Beautifully Contained. I made each of them with a different chain length, so that they can be layered as well as worn singly. (Here’s a useful guide for necklace lengths.)
Devi…oh, Devi. We wanted to make you a penny ball for your garden. I know how you like to grow lettuces, and I know what slugs can do to them.
Alas, after the marine-grade glue we were using exploded all over Ben’s hands, new shirt, and favorite jeans, the penny ball remains elusive and only half-complete. After wracking my brain for a replacement DIY gift on short notice, we ended up giving her DC-themed canvas for her office, modeled after the tutorial at Tatertots & Jello.
For Andy, there was a bicyclist’s survival kit, complete with tire patch supplies, some loose change, alcohol swabs, Band-Aids, an ICE card and a half-used book of matches. (DIY, people.) I used the tutorial at Giverslog as a guide, but made a few adjustments here and there. This project was by far the most challenging as it required the use of a sewing machine, which I do own but am less than competent at using.
Finally, for Josie, a whimsical mug. I used paint made for the purpose rather than Sharpie marker (a popular method on the Pinterest craft boards) to make it a more lasting statement. This is one of those ceramic travel mugs that looks like a paper cup. I had a few different sources of inspiration on this one, but the main one was a post on The Tortoise and the Hare.
Also caught up in the DIY madness were some of our friends. (Sorry/you’re welcome?)
Haley and Laura got watercolor sets ala Shealynn’s Faerie Shop, while Harper, Haley’s son, got a fun knit ball for in the house, in the colors of our alma mater (with a Marine Corps blood stripe). The pattern for the ball is from About.com.
In honor of Will and Joni’s infamous (at least to me) Egg Cup and Spoon YouTube video as well as Ben and Will’s enduring love for Minecraft (I don’t get it), I knitted up some Creeper Egg Cosies, using this Ravelry pattern. I had intended to embroider the faces on, but when that didn’t work I used a black canvas iron-on patch. They promptly made–you guessed it–another YouTube video.
For Bethany’s boyfriend Tony, I wrapped a candle in photos stolen from their Facebook profiles and printed on parchment paper. I really wanted to light it up and see what it looked like, but I thought that might take away somewhat from the gift if the candle was pre-used…still not apologizing for the matches, though.
There’s a super-simple tutorial at Photojojo!
And, to finish off this massive post, there are the gifts for Jesse and Sarah: Bulleit bottles made into oil-and-vinegar dispensers (this idea in fact stolen from Andy and Devi) and a burlap dry-erase board made from a basmati rice sack and inspired by a post on Jill Ruth & Co.
Wait, did I say I was finished? Whoops! One more gift remains…
Ben got a mix of vintage, personalized, and DIY. His DIY portion? A set of cork coasters, made to sport maps of some places that are important to us (Oxford, Paris, Palma de Majorca, and Washington, DC!). I more or less followed Martha’s instructions on these.
Ok, seriously. THE END
(But only because I’ll cover the “gifts” made for the nursery in a separate future post!)