Mrs. Sand Dollar’s Holiday Gift Guide

Happy holiday season, everyone! It may come as no surprise that this year that I’m focusing on hand making as many gifts as possible for the loved ones in my life. I get a little overwhelmed by the whole shop! shop! shop! mentality, so I’m slowing down and really thinking about what people will appreciate. And while every gift won’t be handmade, I’m focusing on small local businesses, sustainability, and personalization. So, let’s get to it!


Cast Iron Cookware


Image via The Bold Abode

I’m trying to move toward chemical-free cooking and phasing out my nonstick pans. Bonus points if they’re thrifted and I’m giving someone’s castoffs a new life. I’ve even searched how to reseason them so they’re ready for use!

Reusable Kitchen Gear


I bought a few of these NeatOs reusable snack and sandwich bags, and would love to have some gallon sized ones as well. I’m also looking for reusable baking mats so I can stop wasting aluminum foil.

Canning Supplies


Image via Williams-Sonoma

I’ve been growing my very first garden, and am really excited to start storing my own fresh produce! I already have a water bath kit, but a copper pot for making jams and jellies would be great. And one can never say no to canning jars!


A Holstar Beer Holster


My husband loves him some beer, and holsters. He’s also a huge fan of the Chive, so I had it personalized and stamped with KCCO in kelly green.

KitchenAid Sausage Attachment

Screen shot 2013-11-28 at 3.14.42 PM

Lately the mister has been processing his own meats, and we have a freezer full of wild venison and pork. Yum! He’s been interested in trying out sausage, and the meat grinder attachment worked so well that I’m excited for him to receive this one!

A Straight Razor


Image via Straight Razor Designs

These straight razors are so beautiful, and he’s been really interested in straight shaving. I’m a bit nervous to try and pick something for him since I’ve read that there are different options based on preference. But I think a gift card to a shaving store would be a good solution!



Image via The Survival Place

I mentioned above that my husband is an avid hunter, and a good pair of binoculars can be crucial. Not only that, it’s great for watching wildlife in the off season.


Photo Fleece Blanket from Shutterfly


Image via Shutterfly

I saw these and knew they would be perfect for all the grandparents. Who wouldn’t like to snuggle up with their favorite kiddos whenever they can?

Homemade Ornaments


Image via Growing Up Gabel

I never had much luck with the salt dough recipe, but this cornstarch and baking soda clay recipe works great for hand prints and stamped letters. We’re going to make a big batch for all the Christmas trees in the family.

Donations to Charities


My father is a Vietnam veteran, so I’m making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, who help injured veterans with rehabilitation and reintroduction into homeland life. Heifer International is also a great organization; they bring aid to communities by teaching them husbandry and farming.


Homemade Play-Doh


Image via The Imagination Tree

My daughter LIVES for this stuff, but tends to go through it so quickly because she smooshes all the colors together and leaves it out to dry. So instead of buying the packaged stuff, I’m making her a batch of her very own custom dough!

Outdoor Cedar Teepee

Image via Jana’s Blog

How amazing would it be to have your very own playhouse shaped like a teepee? I’m planning to build ours using cedar fence posts and pickets so it’s lasting yet chemical free so it won’t leech into my garden.

Play Table

modern end play table and stools

I spoiled the surprise a bit by setting it out early, but I built my girls a modern style play table and stools that also works as an end table for our couch. It’s a big hit! We’ve already had tons of Play-Doh dates and tea parties here.

Fabric Memory Game


Image via CatchAStarCrafts on Etsy

I saw these fun little games and decided to make my own using some fabric scraps. It’s a great stocking stuffer! And if you’re not great at sewing, you could repurpose a deck of playing cards with some pretty scrap paper or family photos and Mod Podge it on.

Are you making gifts this holiday season? What are you making?


See all the bees’ 2013 gift guides here & get in on the fun on the boards””we might feature your gift ideas here on the blog!


Mrs. Sand Dollar

Wedding Date:
September 2010
Bamboo for Two: A Tender Moment Goes Awry
Honeymoon Adventures: Australia Part II

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  1. genie Member
    genie 723 posts, Busy bee @ 10:04 am

    I love your unique ideas, Mrs. Sand Dollar! I wish I was as talented with my crafting as you are. That teepee seriously look awesome!

  2. msbicycle Member
    msbicycle 718 posts, Busy bee @ 11:45 am

    I’ve been thinking about those NeatOs a lot lately but wondered if they were worth the effort. I assume you like them if you’re buying more? How do you clean them?

  3. sand dollar Member
    sand dollar 1334 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:05 pm

    @Mrs. Genie: You’re too sweet! I’m hoping our teepee turns out just as good as that one. It’s going to be SO much fun to play in!

    @Mrs. Bicycle: The NeatOs are seriously the best. I’ve completely eliminated sandwich bags, and am excited to get rid of the gallon size bags as well. You can either pop them into the top rack of the dishwasher or rinse them out with soap and hot water and air dry.

  4. msfilly Member
    Mrs. Filly 72 posts, Worker bee @ 2:08 pm

    I love these ideas, especially your sustainable/eco-friendly focus! Cast-iron cookware is fantastic; I hope Santa brings you a few pieces :)

  5. Member
    Weddingmuse 81 posts, Worker bee @ 6:03 pm

    Mrs. Sand Dollar, is it possible you have two little girls? How wonderful, congratulations.

  6. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:41 am

    I love how most of your gifts revolve around food and cooking, that’s the way things are in our household too :) These are great ideas!!

  7. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:40 pm

    Those Neat-os look really cool. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Camille, Guest @ 1:01 pm

    Thank you for including my ornament “recipe!” I just got the ping back today or I’d have come over to visit sooner.

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