A Homemade Christmas – Sending Presents Home

Due to us being from different countries Mr. H and I have never had a Christmas, and never will, where we see both our families. Then last year and this year we have seen neither due to his schooling and our remote location. It is fine though as it was something we knew when we first started dating and seeing as this is our 6th Christmas together we are pretty used to it and like I said before have started some fun traditions for just the two of us.

One thing we have not been able to do though is send presents home, whichever home Sweden or the US, but this year I was determined to send at least something small. So I started thinking and planning way back in late September what would be good, low cost, and easy to ship. I also wanted the presents to be something that they could keep or use for awhile and I thought it would be fun to make them so they had more meaning seeing as they would be small.

While pondering all this I was working on embroidering a canvas bag I had bought in California and one day I was like this is totally what I should do! I then found a great site based in the UK that would ship to Sweden called The Clever Baggers and put in an order. They have great prices and got my order to me in less than a week which surprised me and was great as was worried about getting everything in the post in time.

I ordered some plain canvas bags with long handles as well as some plain canvas wine bags.

m wine bag a wine bag

I decided to go with a classic style for the wine bags and did the recipient’s last name initial as well as a simple design.  I also did two others but sadly it seems I did not get pictures of them.

For the bags I wanted them to be a bit more fitting to the recipients personality.

grass roots embroidery

This bag was for my best friend and her husband and I used a pattern from Colonial Patterns.

bon appetit embroidered bagThis bag was for my in-laws, I let Mr. H pick out the pattern from the supply I have and he chose this kitchen themed one also from Colonial Patterns.

book crawl embroidered bag

For my grandparents I also wanted to do a bag but wanted it to be specific to their hobby of used book shopping or as they call it a book crawl. So I wrote out book crawl and made a transfer for it and then added a partial pattern of the coffee cup and cupcake as they tend to go for coffee when they are on their book crawls.

white tail embroidery

Lastly I took a piece of plain white fabric and did a white tail deer for my father. He can frame it and hang it in his garage with all his other hunting and fishing paraphernalia.

I loved working on these projects and they were so easy to pack up and ship was was great.

gift packingI wrapped up each family gift like this and put in a flat card I had stamped and wrote a little message on under the ribbon. Then put them in large manila envelopes I bought this summer in California.

What do you do for family member presents that are far away?


27 thoughts on “A Homemade Christmas – Sending Presents Home

  1. How lovely! I wish I had your patience to be more crafty – I get all keen and buy supplies all the time, then never get around to doing anything with them, and one day am going to drown in all the unused balls of wool/thread/paints…

  2. I have pretty much got the same problem – money is really tight this year, having just made the big move two months ago, and I had not factored in the cost of having to send everything tot he UK for Christmas. Even sending the cards is going to cost near $20! We have looked at getting small (and light) presents to send, and think we have managed so far, but I love the gifts you made! Such a great idea!

  3. What awesome, thoughtful gifts! I’m usually home for Christmas…but this year I’m not…but left a bunch of gifts wrapped in my mum’s closet! For my nephew’s birthdays the past 2 years I’ve online shopped…and gotten it ‘gift’ wrapped and just shipped to their address. That seems to work fairly well. But it still is costly…and not the same as being with them!

  4. I love, love, love those! Seriously! This is my 4th Christmas with Sam but it means the 4th one without my family. You do much better than I do- I don’t even send presents. I send Christmas cards with really long letters in them, and even then shipping is ridiculous. PS- One of your screenshot snowflakes looked weird out of the corner of my eye and I panicked that the computer was crashing. It wasn’t. Just snow. x

  5. Wow, these are just amazing! I have always wanted to be crafty like this but alas, it appears that these skills (along with many others) seemed to have skipped me past completely! I usually order DVDs off Amazon & send to my family – it’s been Downton Abbey for all the last two years!

  6. These are absolutely gorgeous! I love the designs you chose, and they came out so nicely.

    I’ve been doing more handmade gifts the last couple years, too. I always like to receive those kinds of personal touches and the thought that goes into it – I’m sure your recipients will love them! =)

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