You know that moment when your heart explodes because your kid eagerly gives you her gift, her work of heart — your portrait, in scribbles and stick limbs? That moment is the inspiration behind my manifesto for handmade giving, shared in my latest guest post on

handmade gifts diy eco-friendly

Handmade gifts trump mall-finds any day. But as romantic as it sounds, the idea of making gifts scares away busy moms. You might be turned off by the thought of complicated projects and a time-consuming process.

As far as the first concern mentioned, just keep it simple. You don’t have to sew your mom a new set of drapes for Mother’s Day. She’d be delighted over homemade bath salts.
And as for time, follow my workflow (shared below) and you might actually end up saving time spent otherwise on aimlessly wandering from store to store.

The Super Stream-lined Workflow For D.I.Y Gifts

1. A date with Google Calendar – get some smooth tunes playing, pour yourself some wine, and open up your Google calendar. Enter all the upcoming dates when you will be celebrating your favourite people. For each entry, set a reminder 8-10 weeks prior to the date. That timeline seems over-the-top, but rushing creativity is a sin, punishable by awkwardness when your friend sees that the gift isn’t your most sincere of efforts.

2. Inspired by Pinterest. Organized by Evernote – While waiting for a special occasion, get inspired by my Pinterest board for D.I.Y gifts which has a growing collection of the best D.I.Y gift ideas for everyone on your list.

D.I.Y Gifts Pinterest Inspiration

Make sure you follow me on Pinterest for D.I.Y gift inspiration

When you see a suitable gift idea, save it in yourEvernote archives (you are using Evernote, right?). Unlike Pinterest, Evernote allows you to organize gift inspiration for each person and each occasion on your list using tags. And, since Evernote is not a public platform, your gifts remain a surprise.

3. Map it out – When the Google Calendar reminder pops up, it’s project planning mode. That’s when you open up your Evernote tickle trunk to decide on a D.I.Y gift project and do a quick overview of what the project involves. Then, head back to Google Calendar to set aside some time to work on your project. Aim to be finished 2-3 weeks in advance just in case it turns out to be a D.I.Y disaster.

There you have it– the stress-free way to D.I.Y gifts that result in a whole lotta slow livin’ and meaningful givin’.

Where To Turn When It’s A D.I.Y. Disaster

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions and a solid system, the D.I.Y gifts don’t work out. When that happens, choose to support an artist by purchasing handmade goods at local craft fairs and boutiques. Vancouver, make sure you check out my favourite craft fair, make it! The Handmade Revolution, and my favourite gift shop, brick & mortar living. Or if you prefer online shopping, there’s always Etsy.

If you have yet to give a handmade gift, tell me which obstacles prevented you from doing so. If you are an experienced D.I.Y. gifter, share your favourite D.I.Y. gift resources. Let’s chat in the comments below.


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4 Responses to A Busy Mom’s Guide To Giving D.I.Y Gifts

  1. Jessica says:

    What an amazingly helpful post, Nat! I’m going to follow your steps and make this a year of giving from these two hands and this here heart 😉 I’ve given handmade gifts before and always feel so proud of what I’m giving, so it’s a win-win!

  2. Thank you for the shout out Nat!! You’re absolute the best! -Jen

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