We all love hand-made personalized gifts. They are very special and one of a kind. We think of the giver every time we use them or see them.
My personal favorite is to make a memory book for children or grandchildren. You can buy some really nice memory scrapbooks for $10 or less; make sure it is a nice sturdy one.
When our family all relocated around the same time, I found tons of old report cards, school pictures, mementos, certificates and cards that I had saved in the attic. When each family member packed things up, no one wanted the ‘junk’ as they called it. I couldn't leave all these cherished memories, and put everything in one big box and moved it with me. After the move, I went through the ‘junk’ box, which were really family memories of the kids’ growth and accomplishments. I sorted them into 3 piles, one for son and one for daughter–and one for combined memories of their formative years (grandparents, parents, pets, house pictures, etc.) I recopied some of them to a smaller size so the book would not be so voluminous! The whole project took me 3 months and I worked on it a little each day: I have to say I looked forward to creating it each day, reliving those memories. I made each book differently.
• In the beginning of each book, there were pictures of grandparents & parents weddings, dates, pictures, and houses. I brought the pictures I wanted to use to a store to copy them or you can copy them at home if your copier does a good job. It might cost about the same.
• Both books had the same beginnings of history until it came to the part when each was born.
• The next portion was of their own history from my pregnancy to birth including photos. Then their school years. I selected specific award letters, or special reports or school activities about each one and copied and reduced them so I could fit many in places on the pages.
• I copied quotes and special readings from the internet or scriptures and pasted them alongside pictures and events and awards.
• Each portion of ‘personal’ notes were for each book & them personally.
• The last section was ‘where they were now’ and included degrees, special interests, new houses, new babies, etc.
It helped my own project that I sent a book to my sister because it was fun to do and for her to make one for her daughter. She and I shared this memory-lane project and she found pictures I didn’t have and vice versa. I was able to discard the ‘junk’ box once I had copied and pasted all the memories in the book.
Although I knew both my son and daughter would enjoy receiving this ‘memory’ and collection of family pictures, I had no idea how revered and special it would become to them. They showcase them and take these books out all the time to look at old pictures–aunts and uncles and old cars and houses we lived in.
The last gift selection is not a DIY, but a gift idea. Hand-made items such as needlepoint and yes, they are special gifts from the heart and hands, and cherished. I do not do needlepoint, crochet or knit. What I do, is attend our own as well as other church craft fairs where neighbors and or friends portray their handiwork for sale at most reasonable prices. I have purchased a hand-knit sweater ($8.00) and a matching shawl ($8.00); hand-knit bags ($10.00) and many other lovely scarves, aprons, baby clothes, blankets, home and holiday gifts for $10 and under. Don’t pass by church craft sales – stop and shop; they are one of a kind and professionally hand-made. These ladies know their trade. Happy gifting!
© Marie Coppola Revised November 2019