Between weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other special occasions you can tie up a lot of money just purchasing gifts for everyone! Are all those celebrations taking a toll on your wallet? Mine too! You know the year won’t pass without you needing to get a baby gift but don’t worry about spending a bunch of money. Make the gifts yourself this year and you’ll save a bundle!
It’s easy to create many different gifts for a new baby. One that’s quick and easy is made when you start with any small blanket or piece of fabric. Hem the edges of the fabric to ensure they don’t unravel. Take short lengths of narrow elastic and stitch the ends to the corners of the blanket or cloth. Before stitching them slide a toy onto each one. Position the toy in the center of the elastic, put the ends of the elastic together and stitch them to the corner. The cute arrangement can be placed on the floor for baby to play. Great toys include rattles, small stuffed animals with a loop tag, or other novelties with loops large enough for the elastic.
If you sew you can make a handy bag for Mom to carry all of baby’s needed items. Use two cloth place mats to make a cute baby bag that’s inexpensive but impressive. Make it much larger by creating a band which will go around the sides of the bag. Cut a wide strip of fabric that coordinates well with the place mats. The strip should be long enough to go down one short side of a place mat, across the bottom (long side), then back up the other short side. Split the strip in half and install a zipper which is the same length as the cloth strip. Stitch the strip around three sides of one place mat then stitch the opposite side of the band to the other place mat. Now when the mom unzips the pack it will open all the way up and lay flat. How handy! Stitch elastic pieces inside to hold diapers, bottles, toys and more. For easiest maneuvering stitch the elastic pieces to the wrong side of the place mats before sewing on the band. Add extra storage by sewing pockets to the outside of the bag. These, too, should be sewn on before attaching the band. Give the finished bag a baby theme by attaching novelty baby beads, charms, baby animal shapes of cloth, or even a baby block applique.
Create a lovely wall hanging set by using your home printer. Print out nursery rhymes on colorful paper and frame them. Do you have beautiful handwriting? Great! Instead of printing them you can write them in perfect cursive using colored pens. Embellish the frames by gluing on baby-theme novelties. Add stickers to the paper, inside the frame, to enhance the nursery rhymes. The stickers can have a baby theme or can be choices made from the scrapbook section of a craft store. Make sure the finished artwork will go well with the theme of the nursery before choosing this gift.
Go to the nearest bank and get a penny, nickel, dime, quarter and half-dollar in the year of the baby’s birth. Align the coins, in order, on a piece of colorful paper and draw around them. Cut out the openings. Place the paper on a piece of cardboard. Draw around the holes. Cut the cardboard circles with a craft knife then begin removing layer after layer of the hole until it is deep enough to hold the coin. Glue the paper onto the cardboard making sure all the holes align. Place the coins in the openings then create the theme for the coin set. You can cut an oval, so the mom can put a picture of the baby there, or you can just use stickers to write the child’s name and birth year. Instead of stickers you can use fabric letters or even paint markers. Place the finished coin holder in a nice frame before gifting.
Create a keepsake box from a cigar box or similar box. Glue on fabric or thick paper and use pink or blue ribbon to conceal the raw edges. Make a clasp from an elastic hair tie and a button or purchase a purse fastener from a craft store. Use a gold or silver paint marker to write “Keepsakes” or “My Life” or something else on the box. Mom can drop in pictures, baby jewelry, ribbons and awards later, from school, and other things to save. When the child is off to college give the keepsake box (or jar) to the kid. He or she will love looking through it and saving it forever!
You know you’ll need gifts for new babies this year but don’t fret about the hardship on your wallet. You can make beautiful gifts without spending a lot of money but the receivers of the gifts will never know. The ones you make are just as lovely as ones purchased from a store – even more so because you made it yourself!