Yum Hey What's for Dinner Mom?: The Penny Worthy Project


The Penny Worthy Project

Wow our Christmas was pretty great. FANTASTIC AND AWESOME are also apt and descriptive words you could use to describe it. But let me tell you it is a LOT easier to throw money at Christmas presents than it is to dream up, plan, execute, FINISH (I struggled here) and give them. Every night for weeks, years practically I was a slave to projects needing attention and finishing. It nearly killed me, perhaps a wee tad of exaggeration there, but it was harder than I thought.

And we gave so many fewer presents this year. I can't imagine making and giving as many presents as we did in the past. Yikes. I literally would never be done. It does help when trying to cut back on gifts to MAKE a lot of them, it's limiting.

 Our kids each got ONE toy from us. One got a hot wheels track and the other got a beyblades fighting tops set. Not one complaint from either of them and they are STILL playing happily with them. In the past so many things were given it was always a battle to make them go play as if so many muddled their brains. One though? ONE IS THE BOMB and we will play with them for hours. Don't get me wrong though they got plenty of things to open.

They got build your own tool boxes from dad.

One got a handmade kit to hold crochet hooks-designed and made by me.

The other one got a blanket, pillow case and curtian set in matching fabric with old airplanes on it. I got some sheets free from a friend and upcycled them to create the set for our littlest boy who loves airplanes. They were a HIT.

I also made him a soft fuzzy neck warmer to slip around and fill the gaps of his coat and keep him warm.

New dragons for gnomes showed up courtesy of my friend Regin--they landed on the tree!

Each extended family member got a wooden tool box kit OR a wooden garden hod kit (harvest box with screen bottom) and the promise of help making them in the future if needed. My husband was the creator of those and they were AWESOME presents.

I worked hard for weeks on end on this crewel kit for my husband, he has a treadle sewing machine and it looks a lot like this. It was a LOT of work and I didn't finish it. I have been working on it since Christmas and it is almsot done and a wrinkled mess.

This is the direction page--whew!

The little boys and I made their dad a

quiver to hold his arrows. We hand sewed the leather and designed it ourselves.

I also gave my husband TWO growlers of local beer and bag from the brewery.

Family currently in Arizona got Christmas in a Box--cookies, candy canes, candles and some Alaska books.

I myself got a garden hod kit and a tool box kit, a necklace made by my youngest son. A vintage toaster and vintage phone both which need work and the promise to fix them. I got a tart pan from my mother in law and my sister made me beautiful wreath for our door.

Since we were taking presents off the center stage I decided to create a gingerbread house to decorate on Christmas day. Then having said that I had to MAKE it happen. I didn't want to buy one of those premade things, they're all right but not great. So I spent a day making this beast

and we spent Christmas Day decorating it.

It turned out really great. I doubled the batch of dough from Coleens blog , I did NOT use her dimensions and used whole wheat flour to make it super strong. I also glued it together with hot glue. I WILL NEVER GO BACK TO TRYING TO CREATE WITH ROYAL ICING. Hot glue is the bomb!

I feel like I barely scratched the surface of the things we made--each boy made each other a present. I made all three boys homemade pajamas. And for teachers we gave potted bulbs to grow in the classroom. Lots of NON dusting gifts came from us.

How was you thrifty hunting this week? Share a link! Show us what you care to spend time on or your pennies on.
Also trying a new paging link up--tell me what you think eh?

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Peace and Love--



  1. I'm impressed!! I am also exhausted just READING about all of the work you did...I'm way too lazy. Your Christmas sounds fantastic!! I would never (in my wildest imagination) have thought of saltines for gingerbread house shingles...brilliant!! I wish I could use your hot glue tip, but our grandkids love to eat the whole gingerbread house. Merry Christmas friend.

  2. Truly impressed! The crochet hook organizer is beautiful and the leather work on the quiver is great!
    I've never tried to make a gingerbread house but with hot glue it doesn't sound so impossible. You've really grasped the true spirit of Christmas. How wonderful!

  3. You post sounds like my Sister's - Yours was a great way to have Christmas. (her family has over time winnowed the gifts down to home made stocking additions with her now adult children). She posted their Christmas Day www.thisgreenlife.ca. Family, love and time to be together.

    We have cut back on the 'buying' over time and this year gave one gift plus 'use now additions' for the children and consumables for everyone else. Thank you for hosting.

    A Happy New Year to You and Yours.


  4. My daughter is 31 - when she was 10 things were rough for she and me. The only present she got was 2 pictures: one from a Barbie gift bag she had gotten for her birthday and one of a unicorn I cut out of a magazine. I found two old frames in my parents garage and painted them to match. I purchased some matting and cut it myself. Over the years she has cited those two presents (which still hang in her house)as her all-time favorites. Once I said to her that while it may have been her favorite, it was our poorest and I was so sorry about that. She laughed and told me that the fact I put so much effort into it was what made it her favorite! There's something to be said for handmade Christmas either by choice or by force. Merry Christmas!

  5. I am super impressed by your Christmas. That is something I'd like to get a lot closer to this new year.


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