Start Those Gifts Early!

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I hope yesterdays posts got you thinking about getting Christmas photos scrapped. Just having that one two-page spread from last year completed makes me so excited! I love that I will be able to add it to my Christmas album and the kids and I can enjoy looking at how things have changed and how they have stayed the same from year to year. And now that I have gotten started, there are definitely more Christmas stories that I want to tell! Sometimes we just need a little push.

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Now let’s move onto another area that we scrappy people struggle with — gift giving. I think most of us love the idea of giving handmade items to our friends and family. We have huge plans for all the cute stuff we are going to make and all the projects we are going to tackle. We buy all the kits, have all the ideas, and then…well…you know how it goes. That time of the year — between Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually crazy busy. School parties, work parties, family parties. Shopping trips, decorating, baking. Music recitals, dance recitals, basketball games. I think I would be hard pressed to find someone whose calendar had an empty day on it in December. So, as much as we love the idea of giving handmade scrappy items, we often get so busy that it never happens. Or like me, I get started and then don’t finish…like those cute CD calendars above…never got much farther than what you see there. Ugh.

So….I want to encourage us all to start early. To start now. To think about what we really want to make, who we want to make it for, and then get started. There is no reason that it all has to wait until December. Here are some tips and suggestions for getting started:

1. Ask yourself if giving handmade gifts is really important to you? If it is, then you need to make time for it. If it isn’t important to you and you do it because you feel like you should, let that guilt go and don’t stress yourself out about it. Making handmade, while nice, is time consuming.
2. Ask yourself if that person you want to make something for will really appreciate it. As much as we scrapbookers think that scrapbooking and crafty = wonderful, not everyone shares that point of view. There is no use spending hours (or days!) making a gorgeous scrapbook for someone who would rather have a gift certificate to Red Lobster. Think it through…for those friends and family that would really appreciate the time and effort, do it. For those who might like it but really don’t care either way, those gift cards stands are at almost every checkout aisle.

3. Once you have decided who you really want to give gifts to, decide what you want to make. Don’t tackle too big a project or you will never get finished. Here are some great gift ideas that you can use your digi supplies for:

CALENDARS: I think that by far, calendars are the most widely made scrappy gift. They are fun, pretty, and useful. And, they come in all sorts and sizes. Many digi stores have calendars that hit the {digital} shelves around September including quick pages, CD calendars, calendar templates, and more. Start now by starting a folder of photos and kits you want to use. Or, you can reuse a calendar from last year (you know you have one sitting there that never got used!) and just redo the dates. Artist team member Ana made this beautiful (and totally handy!) table top calendar. LOVE it!

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Steph made this cute Shadow Box Calendar a few years back.

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MAGNETS: For the last few years, people have been enjoying the amazing refrigerator magnets from Something Blue Studios. They are small, sturdy magnets that you can create using a photo, a scrapbook page, or anything else. You can get them in circles and in squares. I have been telling myself to do this for so long and I never get around to it. This is my year…I can feel it 🙂 Here is what team member Katie has to say about them: “These are not flimsy ink-jet printer magnets! They are sturdy magnets that turn your scrapbook pages, photos, or even your children’s drawings into 2 inch square miniature works of art that friends and family are proud to display on their fridge or magnet board. These are always a hit! I think my favorite ones are from my children’s artwork. Such a great way to display a lot of artwork in a small space.”

COMPLETE ALBUMS: This is probably one of the most daunting gift ideas. Unless you plan to just print out pages you have already done, make sure this is something you really have time for. If finished, it would make a great gift. But if the time isn’t there, the album will sit half completed and you will be rushing around at the last minute trying to find an alternate gift.

OTHER COOL GIFT IDEAS

Glass Tile Pendant Necklace

Personalized Notecards

Photo Pencils

Photo Puzzle Blocks

All sorts of AMAZING hybrid gift boxes/bags by Kelleigh Ratzlaff

Altered Notebook

Personalized Starbucks Tumbler

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We’d love to hear some of your gift ideas and/or see pictures of project you have done in the past. Inspire us!

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