Homemade Stocking Stuffers

Every year, I stay well within my Christmas budget until I reach the stockings. Then, my budget goes out the window as I try to find the many stocking stuffers I need to fill 10 stockings to the brim. This year, I am determined to keep to the budget by using homemade stocking stuffer gift ideas.

I am starting the fun with handmade charm bracelets for the girls. I purchased a bunch of small bracelets very cheaply the other year and have been stockpiling little odds and ends, such as buttons, sea glass, single earrings and game pieces. If you don't have bracelets, you can substitute a pretty piece of narrow velvet ribbon and a ribbon necklace clasp set for them.

  • Group pieces according to color to make all the odds and ends into a coordinated piece of jewelry.
  • Alternate long and short charms. For example, an earring or a small key could be next to a single bead or a button.
  • Adding an alphabet charm that has the recipient's first initial on it is a nice way to finish the bracelet.

Softies, which are easy to make little stuffed toys, are another great stocking stuffer. I have two requests for the Ice Cream Sandwich toys from the book Softies by Therese Laskey. I had no idea that stuffed food would be so popular. There are trees, whales and monsters in the book, too, but the ice cream was what excited the kids. These toys just use a bit of felt, fiberfil and embroidery floss and didn't take long to make at all.

If you can't find this book in time to make your softies, there are many free patterns for simple stuffed toys online. In fact, if you make two-dimensional softies, you can easily create them without a pattern. I made several heart characters this way and they are well-loved.

A few other ideas for quick handmade stocking stuffers are:

  • cross-stitched bookmarks
  • fleece mittens
  • small handmade notebooks (I used my new Bind It All machine and made a half a dozen 4 x 4 inch notebooks using handmade paper scraps and one set of coils. They are perfect for mini scrapbooks, art journals, or just making lists.)
  • a square of fudge or other handmade treats
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