Monday, July 26, 2010

Handmade Holiday - for Men

Well, I haven't actually started a project that will become a Christmas gift yet. However, having my notebook/journal devoted to my ideas and divided up by recipients, has been wonderful. As an idea comes to me, I reach for it and write it down.

This week I am summarizing some of the ideas that were shared for teenage boys and then requesting ideas for the second hardest category ~ men.

Julie suggested fleece throws.

Elizabeth mentioned knitting hats and socks.

Erin left a link for a handmade laptop cover.

Finally, another reader mentioned making a sunglass case, ipod cover, mp3 player holder, cell phone holder of a recycled felted wool sweater and using velcro to close it.

I came across this free knitting pattern for a men's or teenage boy's scarf that I look. I think it would look great in a brown or grey tweed.

I would love to share some images and stories of readers' projects next week. Just leave a comment letting me know about them - and, please leave ideas for homemade gifts for men.
And don't forget to visit the Handmade Holiday page to visit the blogs of those joining in. (Just leave a comment if you would like your blog added.)

Warm wishes, Tonya


  1. We have a longstanding tradition of handmade gifts on Christmas Eve. Gifts for my husband have included a wool vest, bathrobe, tool organizer, framed maps of our land, and a history of our land that I wrote. For some reason I can't link to the collection of posts, but there is a link on my blog called handmade Christmas. Http://

  2. I haven't started anything for men yet, although I will knit dh a hat and probably make him a felt glasses case to hang from his rear view mirror since he keeps prescription sunglasses in his car. I've been posting handmade Christmas presents on my blog almost every Wed though. Here's my latest:

  3. Oh Tonya - I would love to take part. Abby and I were brainstorming this last week - and of course, stuck on an idea for Julian. Men - they're so hard to make for. Last year, for father's day, we made Julian a wooden set of memory cards (see here - it was without doubt, the best present we have ever made for him and he loves it. We are in the process of adding more pictures at the moment!

  4. great idea! I had thought of knitting a "man purse"- aka- a holder for a cell phone and not much else....

  5. I love this so much & I hope to join your handmade holiday. At least in part, its a little nerve wracking thinking about making something for even extended family although it is always so special.

    For guys: Both my dad & husband are the sentimental type, so they always love stuff that have some thought into it. My dad, husband & brother in law all went to the Naval Academy for college, so I took a very cool night-time shot of the chapel & gave it too them. I was given an old box of photos that have pictures of my dad when he was a baby and my grandparents. I'm planning on preserving them through framing or creating a photo book. My daughter last year handpainted a mug for my dad & my mom says he shows it to everyone who comes over. :-)

    For birthdays I made my dad a few years back for my dad's 52nd birthday I wrote a 52 reasons why I love you list & framed it. He has it hung in his office. For my hubby's 30th, I had all our close friends write him letters & then put together a scrapbook with their pictures to correlate with the letters.

    I love all these idea posts, I come back and browse through everyone's comments. So many great ideas!

  6. Oh my poor husband, all these years of my making and I have sewed him maybe two things ever. Once it was pajama pants. And, well, I'm thinking of making him another pair. And the last hat I knit him became way too big once he shaved off his head of curls, so that is an option.
    About 12 years ago I made him an embroidered picture with an owl in a tree for his birthday. But I never finished, it is still sitting in the closet somewhere! So not good. I always say I will finish it someday...
    I did just give myself another idea though... of course specially drawn pictures always make a nice gift from child to dad, but maybe this year the girls would like to make him embroidered pictures, Jason is quite the nature loving guy, so a little nature scene perhaps, but another child (not too young I guess) can embroider a little picture of whatever daddy likes best.

  7. Tonya, your idea for listing gift ideas and recipients has worked wonders for me! For the men in my life, I am looking to the book Last-Minute Knitted Gifts for the majority of them. I am choosing from the following patterns: Kim's Hats (a basic hat pattern that can be adapted to have ear flaps, roll brim, etc), Hand/Wrist Warmers, Men's Rustic Scarf. I also might try some fabric bookmarks embroidered with the kids' artwork (Handmade Home by Amanda Soule and featured on her blog).
    Maybe your dudes will like the wrist warmers or the bookmarks.
    This process you have set up has changed my holiday life-really! ;) Thanks!

  8. Last year was my first year of doing all handmade gifts and other than a few things that /I broke downto actually buy, we did good. This year plan on gettig my girls in on it too and can't wait to get started!! I would love to be included on the list of blogs but couldn't figure out how to email you without using outlook. Could you please include my blog too?! Can't wait to get started, so glad I'm not the only one thinking ahead! :)

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  10. Oh men!!!! Last year I made a hat for Keith out of a felted wool sweater, and then I embroidered a tree branch onto it, (sparse and wintery). I also made him a bunch of mix cds of jazz music, (as he had decided at that time he like jazz music)...I borrowed every jazz cd from every friend I had!
    One year I did up some tie dyed longjohns for him, and some shirts as well! Also did a iron on transfer of Che!
    This year I think I'm doing knitted hats and scarves for all, (as I'm new to knitted so its still a novelty to get a knitted thing from me)!
    Today on our blog we posted a great idea for the girls and ladies on your list...easy funky hair barrettes...
    I'm going to try to post a gift related idea every Monday!
    (I still have to grab your button to put on my blog...I will do it soon!)
    xo maureen

  11. okay, i didn't read through the above comments (yet) so i don't know if this was mentioned, but i plan to make dad a french press cozy. here's a link to a sewn one:

    and a knitted one:

    i am participating. ;) i though i left a comment saying so before, but maybe not. thanks for inspiring us all!

  12. I'm always stumped when it comes to making for men, or buying for that matter.Loving all these great ideas, though.

  13. I have a lot of men in my life so while I was out weeding in the garden (my best place and time to think!) I was thinking over some of the handmade gifts I've given my husband, father, and sons over the years and here's what came to mind: the handprinted handkerchief I gave my Dad one year and the couch pillows I embroidered for two of my sons who had their own apartments. Thanks to all for some really great suggestions!

  14. I am planning to either make or buy locally all the gifts for loved ones on my list. I am stumped on most of the men on my list so I am looking forward to everyone's ideas :)

  15. I found a relaxing neck pillow pattern at that I have been using to make gifts for family and friends. One pillow takes 20 minutes from start to finish, and only takes 3/8 yard of fabric plus 2 feet of 7/8 " ribbon and polyester fiberfill. You can use sports team prints and colors, or any other masculine type fabrics. This is a great way to up cycle or recycle old cotton clothing as well. 100% cottons and flannels work the best. If you want to make it a little bit more, you can always sew matching or coordinating jammy pants.

    This is the link to the pattern and instructions.

    I might add that my chiropractor uses these pillows in his rest area and I can attest that these work better than smooshing a pillow under your neck for support. I can't sleep without mine.

  16. Hi Tonya!

    For my dad: I have made him cookies, and a blanket out of the t-shirts from a race he's participated in for the last 30 years and this year, I'm writing him a story about a funny little plastic horse he found in a parking lot that he sort of fell in love with, and I'm sewing him a pouch to hold the maps of the places he loves to go.

    For my husband: A crocheted blanket, and I've done home-made iron-on t-shirts (that's a lot of hyphens!) with pictures of the kids. I'm working on a photo collage and I'm AIMING to do a multimedia DVD of his guitar playing and band shows.

    I found some great ideas in the comment section here, so I'm hopeful, I'm optimistic, and I'm scared. :)

  17. Tonya! Thanks so much for the kick in the pants I needed to keep on top of my holiday crafting. My notebook is coming along wonderfully. Lots of great ideas, patterns, colors, etc. Now to make it a reality.

    As for men, in the past we have done photo collages, a decorated jar for homemade trail or chex mix that we have then tried to keep full, knit hat, homemade coupon book, wool felted soap on a rope, book mark, a basket of canned jellies, pickles, fruits, etc. (my father-in-law loves this and gets it every year)

    This year we are sewing dad a couple of new ties, knitting a sweater and hat, making a wool felted pillow for HIS chair our of recycled wool sweaters, and a "subscription" to the pie of the month club.

    I have also seen some wonderful patterns for sewn or knitted checkers and backgamon boards. They may end up a family gift if I have the time.

    I am enjoying all the wonderful ideas that are being shared.

    Thanks again for putting this all together.

    Blessings, Elizabeth

  18. I joined the handmade holiday group in the beginning... but now I have a little problem! Well, a big problem actually! I do plan on making most of my presents this year instead of buying them, but the people I am making them for (my entire family!) are all avid readers of my blog. If I post anything I am making or have made then nothing will be a surprise when the holidays do finally come around! I have several great ideas, and would love to start posting them, but I don't want my guys to find out ahead of time. Do you ladies have any good ideas how I can participate without letting the cat out of the bag?

    I thought of another fun present for teen boys (or men, or anyone else who is into this actually) My 13 year old son was given a handheld GPS for his birthday so he can go geocaching. I wanted to make him some geochaching tokens out of small tree branches, like the blanks that Plain and Joyful Living has in her etsy shop:-) and use a wood burning tool to engrave his name and something like "Geocaching since July 2010" for him to leave in the caches he finds. I also considered some kind of stamp instead of woodburning to stamp his name and beginning date on them...

    And I think I am going to borrow Maureen's idea (twigandtoadstool)and make my hubby a hat out of a felted wool sweater with something "manly" needlefelted on the front. That sounds like a great present for hubby, especially since I can't knit (yet!)

  19. Thanks so much for organizing this! I'm brainstorming ideas for the fellas in my life, too.

    I'd love to be added to the list of participants!

    Best wishes, Kara