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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Handmade Christmas Gifts: A Chisel Case and Toolbelts

Each year for Christmas I make something handmade for our kids.  I partly do this because Christmas is so commercialized (although we do purchase some gifts too), but I think mostly I do it to give them something that no one else can give them.  Something created by me, from the heart.

It is a bit of a challenge each year to think of something that they would not only appreciate, but something that I can actually make.  Their first Christmas they will receive their stocking. The second Christmas they get a toddler sized pillow, made from a flannel with a print that reminds me of their personality or interest. After that, it's time for me to start dreaming up other projects.

You may have seen the sneak peak of one of my Christmas projects on my The Beginning Farmer's Wife Facebook Page, and if you were wondering just what it was . . . it's a chisel holder for our son - made from passed down fabric, Ethan's worn out work jeans, and a bit of elastic that I had in my sewing box.


Last Christmas our 9 year old son received a woodcarving book, Carving for Kids, along with some chisels. This past year he has been learning about how his different chisels work, practicing his carving skills with bars of soap, and is excited to soon work his way to carving some wooden projects.

We had just been keeping his chisels in a plastic zipping pencil case, but it made it hard to find the right chisel and really see what his chisel options were for the particular part of the project he was on. So this Christmas, I decided to sew him something to hold his chisels. 

Most of the projects I end up making for the kids are things that I have no pattern for, so they usually take a bit of time to create.  And a bit of seam ripping.   And sometimes even a few tears of frustration along the way.

This project was no different, but just like all of the other projects, it was one that I had set in my heart to make.  So I rip out the seams, try again, rip out more seams, gather encouragement from Ethan, and learn a few things for the next project. 

On Christmas morning, it is worth all of the hard work!

As for our other 3 kids, they received a hand made tool belt to hold their new Christmas tool in.  Caleb had received his tool belt for Christmas at age 7, two years ago.  I figured though, that since all of the kids have been working so hard and helping out so much with our hoop house project and the other building projects from this year, they really all needed a tool belt.
Along with being able to carry screws and nails to Ethan and myself, our 8 year old daughter now can tote along her own hammer, our 5 year old son can pull things with his pliers, and our 2 year old can check to make sure everything is level (and for some projects, a 2 year old's opinion of level is good enough!)
As I prepare to pack up our Christmas decorations and take down our tree, I will start my year long brain storm of what to make the kids for Christmas next year.

(I took this photo when setting up our tree to show how I keep my lights from getting tangled, by the way.  Each set of lights is folded and placed into its own grocery sack to be stored in a tub.)

Now that Christmas is over and secretive gifts have been opened, I'd love to hear of any projects you created this year . . . or even ideas of what I could make next year! 

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