Hand-Me-Down Treasures

This is the time of year, I inevitably start to panic a little.  Our previous plans to avoid an extravagant Christmas are called into question as we marvel at the buying frenzy…and worry that we have enough for everyone…

I have often taken my own route and made special gifts for our family and extended family…projects that only people like me would consider taking on. I’ve even got a gallery of some of the homemade gifts I have made in the past and you will find them here:

Homemade Gifts Gallery

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Minion Shirts Christmas 2012

As our younger kids often seem to follow in the footsteps of their older siblings in their interests and hobbies, it seems silly and even a little wasteful to go out and buy new shiny sets of Lego, collections of books we already have, a new wardrobe for the same size doll, craft packages when almost new boxes sit in the closet.

So, we get creative….

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Bridget seems to be interested in sewing!  I did something similar with my eldest when she was about the same age, but back then I succumbed to buying one of those little toy sewing machines. It lasted about one hem of sewing before it broke irreparably.  We still continue to use the supplies that came with the little machine, along with the sewing kit I compiled for her.

For Bridget, I purchased a little toolbox from Walmart and added some key supplies…and supplemented from my own sewing supplies and fabric box. I think if she really wants to try machine sewing, I will teach her everything I know on my own machine.

We’ve added some craft books for inspiration…and these are books that we already had!


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With an almost 14 year old, kind-of-too-cool-for Lego, we have a small Lego fortune. It seems as though our 4 year old is also quite the builder and he is quite happy to play with the leftover pieces from Joseph’s awesome collection.  Last year, we encouraged Joseph to keep just his favorite sets and we compiled most of the regular Lego blocks into one container to give to Adam.  If you don’t have a fancy Lego container to spare…any tub with a lid will work well!


paper crafts



We’ve got some creative kids…and they’ve received some awesome craft kits in the past. Unfortunately, some kits don’t get as much use as we would have thought, but it makes for meaningful regifting when that now-teenager is looking for a gift for her little sister!  We supplemented some new paper from the dollar store and added a paper crafting book from our library! It looks like Bridget is going to get alot of craft gifts this year!


doll wardrobe - Copy


We’ve had Barbies, baby dolls, Polly Pocket, Groovy Girls (remember those?), Build-a-Bear…and now an American Girl doll. We have lots of sets of dolls and matching clothing! One year, I put together our collection of Groovy Girls and accessories for Bridget; another year it was the Polly Pocket collection and another year it was Build-A-Bear. We discovered that Build-A-Bear clothes sometimes fit the American Girl doll, if you’re willing to overlook the tail-hole.

These cute little plastic drawers make a quick little dresser and cheer up any collection!

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This collection could be good for any age!  Praying in Color Kids’ Edition: Kid’s Edition (Amazon affiliate link)  book is a great way to encourage prayer…for creative types!  We happened to have it on hand…along with the adult version Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God (Active Prayer Series) by Sybil MacBeth (4/1/2007) and it makes a great little Faith-focused package combined with some blank notebooks, a 2015 wall calendar (you’ll see why! what a cool way to pray!) and some pencil crayons or preferably markers!

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Digging out our not-used-enough craft books, we compiled another special craft box and we hope to add more materials to it regularly! We added the pipecleaner/pompom/googly eyes package to start things off!


Thomas the Train is always a favorite.  I kind of think that Adam enjoys playing with them more than Joseph ever did! We collected generic-brand trains originally (along with the expensive Thomas ones) and customized them with our kids’ names, modpodging printed text and stickers!  Our set is personalized, that’s for sure!

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My kids are collectors…so it’s easy to find other sets of cars, figures, Littlest Pet Shop: all easy to make new with a new container or a couple accessories!

What do YOU have in YOUR CLOSET?

linked up to 7 Quick Takes!


  1. We love the fun, thrift and personal thought that goes into homemade and hand-me-down gifts here, too. One year, we even based an extended family exchange around such things. So fun!

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