A Little Something Extra…

So, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before:), but I like adding a little handmade gift to the mix at Christmas for each member of my family.  Last year I went a little crazy and made scarves for everyone…which turned out pretty awful.  It stressed me out making them and then I’m fairly sure no one has ever worn them.  Which bums me out – but I totally understand since they were so pitiful looking.

This year – I learned my lesson.  I think.  I tried to stick with gifts that I knew I’d have success with – and that no one would have to wear in public.

First off – I decided to make my sister a nail/string map of Italy, with a heart around Rome, where she studied for a semester in college.  I’ve done this project before…so I pretty much had it down.

I stained a small piece of wood I had a dark walnut finish first…then found a map of Italy online while I was waiting for it to dry.  I cut the map out and nailed around its borders to create the outline of the country.  Then I tried to make a tiny little heart at the approximate place where Rome was on the map….but that was just too hard.  So I changed the plan a tidbit and just made it right in the middle…she does love the whole country after all.  After a little (ok a lot) of wrapping thread around all the tiny nails – my project was complete!

I think Italy has a chunkier heel in my rendition than in real life…but she got the picture.

For my dear pops, I decided to do a little project for his office.  Since all his kids live in different cities, I used an old atlas and cut out hearts around the cities we’re in.   I had to do a little cutting and pasting to make this work for Omaha and Des Moines…since someone ripped the atlas in half on these pages.  I can’t imagine who would have done that…

But I made it work, and then framed the hearts in a shadow box frame.  I did have to improvise and make the white background out of card stock I had – but as always, I think it just gives the project more character.

My brother got a passport cover and my mom received the felt brooches from my last post.

For my husband (ok, this one is totally for me) I made the stenciled world map I saw on Secret’s from a Stylist’s Holiday special…check out her holiday guide, she has so many amazing DIY holiday decorating projects and interesting gifts!

I like this mid-project picture cause it looks like I’m stenciling the word “pee” on the map.  But of course – I didn’t!

I think I’ll keep this one up year round….

We had a wonderful time and my handmade gifts made Mom cry…which made it a successful Christmas in my eyes!

Happy New Year everyone~

Brooke- Brooke@Goodsmiths.com