My mom won't allow us to buy her Christmas presents. Yes, we've disobeyed her wishes in the past but for the last few years I've made her things. It started as a threat-- "If you won't let me buy you anything, I'll just make something!" She called my bluff and told me she'd love anything I made. So, she's gotten scrapbooks of my brother and sister's basic training graduation photos, a first year scrapbook for E's first year, a memo board and at least a couple other things that I can't think of right now.
This year was a special challenge. She and my step-dad are in the process of finding a new house so they're not putting anything on the walls and I didn't want to make anything that would clutter up the house at all. Also, since my sister is deployed in Afghanistan, I wanted something extra sentimental.
There's not a lot of time for crafting around here with a one year old running around, so I thought I might get her these keychains that I found on Etsy. They were perfect. I could get her one for each city where her kids/grandkids are located. That's 5 cities. That's an awful lot of keychain and I'm not even sure she uses much of a keychain since she has keyless entry on her car.
So, I drew some inspiration from those, strolled the aisles of the craft store and came up with my own idea-- heart-shaped map magnets! Each one represents a city where one of her loves (kids and grandkids) is located.
These were so easy!
heart-shaped wood; sheets of magnet that are sticky on one side [Michael's]
maps [Magazine section of Target; or the Internet for the Afghanistan one]
Mod Podge; pretty fine sandpaper
Since the wood is already in heart shapes, that's the template for everything else. Using a pencil, I traced a heart around the cities and on the magnets. (You could really use any kind of magnet, but I got sheets so I could cover the entire back with magnet.)
I Mod Podged the maps on one side of the wood, let it dry, sanded the edges a bit, and added one more coat of Mod Podge. Once it was all dry, I stuck the magnets on back and voila!
Total working time was around 30 minutes for 5 magnets. I did it over a couple days, though, so the Mod Podge would have time to dry. An hour of dry time is probably plenty.
I mailed them to my mom today so she hasn't seen them yet. I'm sure they'll be a hit. When I tested them on my fridge, I almost kept them for myself. I might have to make a couple more sets.
Did you make any Christmas gifts this year? Do you prefer to get store bought or handmade gifts?