Make A Birthday Wish is Wishing You A Merry Christmas!

Tree1Hello fellow bloggers, readers, and supporters of Make A Birthday Wish! It’s been a great year, we’ve helped bring birthday joy to a lot of children in San Jose and it has been amazing to spend time with such special children. But there is so much more work to do and we are excited to be gearing up for another year of birthdays for even more kids in need.

We wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! And to remind ourselves and our readers to keep in mind what the holidays are really about. Presents, cookies, and turkey dinners are nice, but this time of year is about precious time spent with the people we love and care about. So today (and hopefully everyday) hug your loved ones tight, tell them you love them, and focus on the memories you are making. One way we like to remember the real joy behind these holidays is to focus on giving. Giving more than gifts, giving time, attention, and energy to those around us. Giving to those that are truly in need. What are you giving this year for Christmas?

DIY Gift Ideas: Homemade Coupon Books

Holiday Coupons Image from One Artsy Mama

Christmas is just around the corner… no seriously it’s next week! And we at Make a Birthday Wish are extremely excited for all the love and giving that takes place this time of year. If you are still lost for gift ideas, then have no fear, we’ve got a collection of great resources to help you make a great gift for just about anyone on your list (even the person that has everything!). The best part about this gift idea, it is practically free (except for the paper it’s printed on) or close to it.

DIY coupon books are the perfect solution for someone that is difficult to buy for, or if you want to give something more meaningful and personal this year. You generally are giving your time (a foot rub, scrubbing the shower, etc.) , or maybe entitling a friend to a cup of coffee, dinner, or a movie. One of our favorite things about DIY coupon books is they let you be as creative as you want to be. You can completely hand-make your book, or use a free online site to generate a clean-looking book that you can print out. To get started think about the person you are giving the coupons to. What do they enjoy doing, what do they need more of in their life (maybe time, or quiet), what do they hate to do (clean, laundry)? Then make a list of possible coupons:

  • Back massage
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Organizing the closet
  • A cup of coffee & good conversation
  • Their favorite dinner
  • A trip to the bookstore
  • A night of babysitting
  • An at home spa day… the list could go on forever

Once you have your list you can use MS Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Photoshop, Online tools, or old fashioned paper, glue, and scissors to create a coupon book. Here are some of our favorite resources:

Have you ever made your own coupons or vouchers before? What kind of coupons did you come up with?

Enhanced by Zemanta

DIY Christmas Ornaments!

There are a ton of tutorials out there for crafting your own ornaments. Handmade ornaments not only look great on your tree, but they also make fantastic (and affordable) gifts! Crafting a new ornament each year could also be a special holiday tradition you start with your friends or family. And if your family isn’t down to craft you could see if there is a craft swap nearby where fellow crafters get together and swap handmade ornaments. Check out these tutorials for dozens upon dozens of DIY ornaments!

25 Christmas Ornaments To Make

This collection of tutorials comes from The Ornament Girl and is full of really beautiful decorations.

The Best Handmade Christmas Ornaments

We would expect nothing but the best from Martha Stewart! These tutorials are really divine and the results are awesome!

20 Easy Handmade Holiday Ornaments

This collection comes from HGTV and several tutorials involve easy-to-find natural materials!

Do you usually make ornaments for your tree? Feel free to share pictures 🙂

Have A Paper Holiday: 3 DIY Paper Crafts For A Homemade Christmas!

At MABW we love crafting, reusing, re-purposing, and putting a personal touch on special occasions. Today we’ve got 3 tutorials to share with you that will have you crafting most everything you need this Holiday season with paper!

DIY Recycled Paper Tree

We love this idea! Imagine using brown packaging paper, newspaper, or magazines to make mini versions of this tree? Can you say great centerpiece for practically nothing?!!!

DIY Tutorial for Recycled Paper Christmas Tree by Casa Sugar

DIY Tutorial for Recycled Paper Christmas Tree by Casa Sugar

DIY Star Wars Snowflakes or Garland

These snowflakes would make any nerd proud. Such a fun idea, you could try it with different colored paper too!

Free Printable Template from Matters of Grey

Free Printable Template from Matters of Grey

Free Holiday Gift Tags

These printables from Sass & Peril make adorable homemade packaging a cinch this holiday season!

Gift Tag Printables by Sass & Peril

Gift Tag Printables by Sass & Peril

Which is your favorite holiday paper craft? We are partial to the Star Wars Snowflakes 🙂

Our Favorite Cookie In A Jar Recipes

Cookies are amazing any time of the year, but fresh baked cookies at Christmas time takes amazing to an all new level. If you are looking for great cookie recipes to bake up for a party or searching for a great gift idea we think you’ll love these recipes we have collected from around the web. Some of the recipes even accommodate special dietary needs (vegan & gluten free).

Cranberry Hootycreeks from All Recipes

Cranberry Hootycreeks – Recipe from All Recipes.

These cookies look great in the jar and taste delightful. You could even change out the cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts to suit your personal tastes. Dried currants, walnuts, & white chocolate chips could be a lovely combination! This recipe would make a great gift for a neighbor, coworker, or as a hostess/host gift if you are visiting family or friends over the holidays.

Julia’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe from All Recipes.

Chocolate chip cookies rank at the top of most people’s favorite cookie lists. Simple, chocolatey goodness. This recipe is very delicious and again provides opportunity for experimentation (different kinds of chocolate chips, or swapping chocolate chips for M&M’s etc..). If you aren’t sure what cookies your friend would want, chocolate chip is a safe bet.

Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe from Oh She Glows

This recipe promises thin, crisp, and chewy chocolate chip cookies that even those on the most restricted diets can enjoy. But don’t get us wrong, these cookies aren’t really a compromise. They are kind of amazing. Angela’s recipe uses a mix of almond & oat flour to create this crowd pleasing cookie. Scroll to the bottom of her post to see the recipe!

Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies From Oh She Glows

Gingerbread Men Cookie Mix In A Jar – Recipe from Food For My Family

These gingerbread men are tasty and adorable. We love the idea of attaching cookie cutters to the jar to really complete the gift! We love this recipe for a holiday staple! Shaina even included free printables—holiday gifting can’t get much easier!

Gingerbread Men In A Jar Recipe from Food For My Family

Have you ever given cookies in a jar before? What are your favorite recipes?

Enhanced by Zemanta

4 Handmade Gift Tutorial Collections We Love

We hope you had a wonderful and loving Thanksgiving! But with the next round of holidays right around the corner there is little time to catch your breath. Don’t worry, we’ve collected some links to great tutorials for you and your kids to make handmade gifts this year! Handmade gifts can save money and are so much more personal. Oh and there are a lot of ways to reuse materials or repurpose scraps—making the handmade option more green! If you don’t have time to hand make gifts this year you should think about supporting artists and crafters that do hand make beautiful things on sites like Etsy! These tutorials make great gifts for kids and adults alike! We love the blog Everything Etsy, and she has rounded up 101 Simple Handmade Gift Tutorials for Kids! These would be great for your kids to make for their friends, or for you to make for them!

101 Simple Handmade Gifts for Kids by Everything Etsy

The 36th Avenue Blog has a list of 21 handmade gifts for guys! Great for husbands, boyfriends, dads, brothers, or just friends! Definitely worth checking out!

21 Handmade Gifts for Guys from 36th Avenue

The Huffington Post even came out with a list of last-minute handmade gift ideas that is worth perusing! These are great small gifts that would be worth making to have on hand for those times when someone unexpected comes over for the Holidays!

Homemade Gift Ideas: Quick and Easy Last-Minute Gifts by The Huffington Post

The blog The Tip Junkie is another great go-to gift-making guide. We love her collection of hand-made gifts you can see here.

Tip Junkie’s Homemade Gift Tutorials

 

Are you trying homemade gifts this year? Need some ideas? Let us know what you want to learn to do!

3 Handmade & Recycled Gifts

With a little over a month left until the winter holidays it’s time to start crafting some handmade gifts! Today we have three tutorials to share for amazingly beautiful and recycled gifts! These gifts will show just how much you care about the person receiving, and the planet… all without breaking the bank. So onwards to the tutorials!

Recycled Woven Rag Rug – We love this rug tutorial from craft passion! It is so adorable and really only costs you some time (if you have 3 old sheets). This would make a great birthday, christmas, or housewarming gift 🙂

Recycled Woven Rug from Craft Passion

Tin Can Planters For Succulents – These succulents would make great gifts for the holidays, or again for a housewarming party. This fantastic tutorial comes from ElizaKPrints!

Tin Can Planters for Succulents by ElizaKPrints

DIY Teacup Candles – This tutorial comes from Martha Stewart. What a sweet homemade gift—it would be the perfect relaxation gift paired with some homemade bath salts or body scrubs 🙂

DIY Teacup Candles by Martha Stewart

Are you having a handmade holiday this year? If you are looking gifts for someone in particular and would like some help let us know! We can help find some ideas to help you out!