The Kids' Christmas Handmades (and bring on your doll making questions)

I didn't make any handmade gifts this year. I gave other people's handmades. Handmade gifting does not have to mean DIY. Isn't that lovely?

But for my kids it's all about handmade and DIY. Crafting is what they do.

Here's a few photos of the gifts they gave each other this Christmas.

Céline was busy sewing for most of the month of December. (She had a clay chess set commission she was doing in November, which I hope to post about sometime.)

A doggy/purse combination for Brienne. Céline made the dog for herself years ago but re-vamped it a bit, sewed a bag to go with it and gifted it to her sister.

Céline sewed a stuffed animal for Laurent, a weasel specifically. The Mustelid family are Laurent's favorite animals. He loves his Céline original weasel.

Laurent made jewelry for Céline and I and this jewelry tree for Brienne.

Not photographed are the chocolates Brienne made for everyone. We used this recipe (with a lot more honey than called for) and they were an absolute hit. Brienne packaged everyone's chocolates in these baggies she bought herself. It was so sweet.

If you like good quality chocolates and want to make some (Valentine's Day?) this is where I bought the cocoa butter.

Some of you have expressed an interest in Céline's dollmaking and want us to write a post about it. We'd like to do that post as Q&A. You ask the questions and we'll answer them. If you have questions you'd like answered - favorite sites, patterns, how she got started, etc. - please ask them in the comments and we'll put together a post with the answers.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Erin

    Erin on Jan. 2, 2013, 7:08 p.m.

    My daughter and I would like to know:

    1. How did you get started?
    2. What tools and supplies are needed?
    3. What books and websites do you use?



  • Sarah M

    Sarah M on Jan. 2, 2013, 7:25 p.m.

    All of these gifts are so thoughtful and beautifully made! I love how your kids bless each other in this way. Truly, treasures. I am about to embark on my first doll (just purchased the book Wee Wonderfuls after drooling over it a few too many times from the library) as my daughter, who will turn 4 in February, has requested a mermaid doll. Any tips (or step by step pictures!) about doing doll-hair would be appreciated. Also, it looks like Celine's dolls have drawn-on faces, are these with fabric markers, or are they embroidered and so tiny I can't tell?! Wonderful gifts, well done Tougas family! Sarah M


  • Tracy

    Tracy on Jan. 2, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

    We'd also be interested in the specifics...pattern sources, sites for purchasing the body fabric, hair, etc. Favourite books or online resources that got Celine started would be great.

    And to Laurent...your necklaces are truly lovely. They make me think of blue skies, shining seas, and gorgeous sunshiney days. What special gifts.

    And Brienne...the fact that we didn't get to see your chocolates is testament to how wonderful they must have been.

    Kudos to you all!


  • Lori

    Lori on Jan. 3, 2013, 1:35 p.m.

    A big part of Christmas for our kids is making gifts for each other and for us as well. It's so sweet to see them do that for each other, and even sweeter to see the reactions when they open the gifts.
    The gifts your kids made are amazing! They have developed their skills beautifully.


  • Shelley R.

    Shelley R. on Jan. 4, 2013, 2:05 p.m.

    I'm curious too about "How it all began" and what basics would be needed in a sewing kit--not only for doll making, but any sewing projects (even quilting). Let's say I have personal difficulty with most crafts (okay, I don't like them very much) and when it comes to sewing I'm semi-clueless. I feel like my fingers are 3 in. wider when I try to sew and I only know how to mend a button. However, my oldest daughter was inspired by a cousin over the holidays to sew projects by hand (since we don't have a machine). I don't want her (or my other two kids) to loose interest just because I'm afraid to try. Thanks for collecting our questions and taking the time to answer them!


  • Wendi

    Wendi on Jan. 4, 2013, 6:54 p.m.

    I've only attempted doll making a few times, because I find attaching the limbs to be very frustrating. They never feel sturdy enough for actual play. Any tips on that, and hair would be greatly appreciated. I have to say that I am so impressed! Very nice work, kids!


  • Monisima

    Monisima on Jan. 5, 2013, 1:25 p.m.

    Your family is so talented:) I love to DIY but there is doing it, and there is doing it with artistry. Obviously, yours is the latter. Thank you for sharing:)


  • kirstie

    kirstie on Jan. 6, 2013, 3:05 p.m.

    I am also interested in how Celine designs the faces - for the inexperienced there seem to be millimetres between lovely facial expression like the ones on Celine's dolls and scary facial expressions.

    (I am sure that it is only a matter of time before I buy Celine's doll making book...)

    (Also, on a side note, really interested to know how you combine allowing your children 'down time' on the computer and creating an environment where they clearly also spend a large amount of creative time away from the screen/or even focused creative time with the screen. I am struggling with this at the moment...).


    • renee

      renee on Jan. 6, 2013, 7:40 p.m.

      Kirstie, what a great question about computer and creative time. Damien and I have discussed this at length and have found some structure and solutions that work for our family in this regard. I'd love to share this someday on the blog and am working working on that post right now (it's in draft mode). Hopefully it wil be published (smile).


  • Amy

    Amy on Jan. 7, 2013, midnight

    As the purchaser of the soon to be posted about chess set, let me say, this one of a kind is something our whole family is proud to show off!!! It means so much to us to have a Celine original... my only doll making question is, would Celine like another commission? Addie's birthday is in July!!!! love to you all!


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