Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

Handmade: the Best Made

When my kids were growing up, I was a single mom and often didn’t have extra money for gifts. Wait, what am i saying?  I NEVER had any extra money!

I learned to use what talents I had to create something for family or friends.   It’s a tradition I’ve passed along to my children that when you give something you have made yourself, you give a part of yourself.

Even though they have better jobs and partners to help with the budget, they still know the value of a hand made gift.   One of my favorite things my daughter ever gave me was a scrapbook.  She has such a gift for making a page tell a story and she presented me with a story of her and her brothers as they grew.   It’s a treasure.   Her son is the grandson who makes soap and when he brings me my favorite,  which is patchouli, I know he has made it especially for me. My gran daughter, Jessie, and Jessie’s husband make beautiful wreaths.   They made me a special one for Halloween and one for Yule last year.   On Mother Day, they came with a vase of flowers that they had grown in their own yard, beautifully arranged.   It was so special!

My youngest son, Justin,  has not found an artistic talent yet, but he has a passion for hard work and takes pride in a job when he does it.   He gives the gift of his labor.  Ditto for my oldest son.

Now, the next generation is learning the value of something handmade.  Justin’s boys are 6 and 7 and they have put their hearts into gifts for their dad’s birthday, which also just happens to be Father’s Day.

Little Justin made this “treasure box” for his dad.   We took a wooden box from the Dollar Store.  It cost a whole dollar.  His dad loves dragons so we found some dragon wallpaper and Justin measured the box himself.  I downloaded the picture and we decided on the size.   I printed it but he cut it out and mod podged it onto the box.  His dad also loves the Lord of the Rings and we decided together that an Orc battle scene would go well with the dragon and that is what went on the sides of the box.   He measured and cut and mod podged.   Then it had to dry really well so we waited until they came down the following week and he mixed the resin for the top.  He spread the resin (I only helped get it into the corners) and we let it dry again.   He is really pround of this box.

Little Justin with his “treasure box”

Dragon on top of the box

Orc battle scene on the sides of the box

Little Ben fell asleep while Jay was making the box.  We talked about making another but thought that the box should be special since it was a treasure box.    Ben likes to cook so we decided that he would make New York style meat sauce for hot dogs, one of his dad’s very favorite things.   Ben cooked the sauce, with supervision from Mimi and we made a special label.  He chose the colors and the font and I put it together.  He cut it out and taped it to the container.  It sure looks special and smelled GREAT!  The name he chose was Ben’s Best Meat Sauce.

Ben’s label for his “best” meat sauce

Because Dad wants to cook out for Father’s Day, we  thought he needed some barbeque sauce.  Together, Ben, Justin and baby Nicholas (who helped by staying out of the way and playing with his ball), made Sweet Baby Boyz Bar-B-Q sauce. (we are all fans of Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce)   We made a special label for the barbeque sauce too..  The boys chose their colors and fonts and I printed them then they cut them out and pasted them to the container.

label for barbeque sauce

They are SO very proud of their gifts and can’t wait to give them to Dad

Two proud guys

Nicholas doesn’t care much about anything except his new red ball.  He will like the food when it’s time to eat it, until then…… ball time!

Nikolai and his new red ball

We even included a recipe for the new “secret family barbeque sauce recipe”. They are going to put it in Dad’s card.

One 40 oz. bottle of ketchup

1/3 cup molasses

1 tablespoon of brown spicy mustard

secret ingredient #1

secret ingredient #2


ha ha Dad!

and everybody signed it, even Nicholas.

It’s going to be a great handmade holiday!  And the fun they had will be remembered long after Father’s Day is over.  The love, the excitement of starting a project and finishing it then giving it is priceless.


June 16, 2012 - Posted by | Kid Stuff | , , , , , ,


  1. I think the gift ideas are AWESOME!! The boys were so proud and there’s nothing better they could’ve bought for him!! Thanks for sharing your creativity with them!! 🙂


    Comment by Nikki Koopman | June 16, 2012 | Reply

  2. Yeah for handmade gifts!! The BEST things I remember about Christmas when we were small aren’t the presents but the days leading up to Christmas when you would make that handmade advent calendar and each day we would open a window or door and “create” something….cookies, ornaments, tie dyed wrapping paper, stringing popcorn and cranberries for the birds. Spending time together was way more fun than presents! Now, the question is……what did you MAKE me for my birthday? LOL Seriously, these ideas for Justin were awesome and I know the boys had fun making them!


    Comment by Dawn Ball | June 16, 2012 | Reply

  3. ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, your birthday? LOL……………you have a choice……..I made a couple of things I thought might interest you. You choose.


    Comment by stregajewellry | June 16, 2012 | Reply

  4. I grew up in a poor family. When we owned something, we took care of it, and we used it until it had breathed its last breath.


    Comment by Russel Ray Photos | June 22, 2012 | Reply

  5. […] Handmade is the Best Made […]


    Pingback by 2012 Recap « Strega Jewellry's Blog | December 14, 2012 | Reply

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