Handmade vs. Handcrafted (and a few DIY Gift Ideas)

Warning: there are 16 Friday’s left until Christmas. 

I’ve never considered myself artistic. If I attempt to draw a person it ends up being a stick figure with grossly exaggerated anatomical parts. I can hardly even trace in a straight line.

However – I do consider myself extremely crafty. I love finding DIY gifts to make or projects to do for around the house.

When I married Travis I had no idea how artistic he was. In the year we’ve been married I’ve seen him jump from one project to another, and it seems like there is nothing he can’t do! Last week we went to All About Art in Enterprise, Alabama and picked out some pottery pieces to paint for our future sons bedroom. I picked out the owl bank, and Travis painted the fox and frog. They are so cute!

Woodland Nursery Pottery

Travis recently finished up this giant (24″ x 36″) Super Mario Brothers birth announcement to hang on the door of our delivery room at the hospital. Apparently it’s a thing to do birth announcements on the door, and most people get wreaths to decorate (we saw a lot of hunting themed wreaths when we did our hospital tour.)

We weren’t going to do one, but then Travis had the idea to do this. At the top of the piece it says our sons name in the form of the old school red and gray Nintendo logo. When we get home it will be displayed in babe’s bedroom. Super Mario Birth Announcement

Earlier this year Travis painted this adorable three panel cat painting for me. We had some bare walls to cover and he came up with this idea, originally planning to make the number of leaves on each panel correspond to our wedding date. Somehow that part of the idea didn’t pan out but I still love the painting! Looking back, I think the majority of things that he’s given me have been DIY gifts. I love it. Custom Cat Painting

For my birthday last year he made this Twin Peaks cross stitch. Yeah – he cross stitches! Probably twice as fast as I do too.
Twin Peaks Cross Stitch

While in graduate school I had an etsy shop that did pretty well. It made enough monthly to cover ‘fun money’ and pay off all the supplies I purchased, and other things on etsy I had to have. I made a lot of simple jewelry like this locket necklace. Locket

I made some super easy tile coaster sets using scrapbook paper. (I’ll probably do a tutorial on these soon. So much fun to make!)Easy DIY Tile Coasters

I did a lot of cross stitch projects, and started branching out into shadow boxes (but couldn’t part with this one so I never tried to sell it!)Romantic Shadow BoxTravis and I have already been talking about DIY gift ideas we could make for the Holidays. A lot of the stuff I come across when searching for DIY gift inspiration looks … handmade. There is a big difference between handmade, and handcrafted. Handmade is what I  brought home from summer camp to give to my Mom. Handcrafted is more artisan, and takes skill and time.

Granted, most of what I shared on the blog today looks handmade (in my opinion.) That’s why we are brainstorming early what we could do that would be truly treasured and appreciated. Some of my most memorable gifts have been handmade. We have gorgeous blankets made for our baby by both great-grandmothers, and for our wedding my grandmother gave me one of my grandfathers original paintings that she knew I had been in love with for years.

Last year we made up wedding albums with our photos and had them professional printed and bound into books to give to our grandparents who weren’t able to be at the ceremony. I also made Travis a Christmas stocking. Everyone in my family has an identical felt stocking with our names printed at the top. My grandmother first made them for her kids, my mom made them for everyone in our family, and then I made one for Travis. I can’t even remember what else I got him for Christmas but I do know that was one of them! 

For inspiration I have a few DIY boards on Pinterest: DIY Natural Bath & Beauty, General DIY, and Holiday Crafts.
What was the best DIY gift you received?
What type of presents could you make?

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