Every year, I run into the same problem: in the months before Christmas, I fail to plan ahead for all of the homemade gifts that I want to give. I know that I want to make something, and I usually have some ideas months in advance, but then I forget to actually get the supplies or I forget that I should really begin making those gifts before Thanksgiving if I can help it. Obviously, not all gifts should be made months in advance, but for things like my sewing projects? I should definitely get started early. I’m always racing around the house the last week before Christmas, sewing machine whirring, art supplies busy, flour flying, and I stay up late on December 23rd wrapping the last of my Christmas presents. So when the opportunity came up to be a teacher for the Handmade Christmas Gift Boot Camp came up, I jumped at the chance because I realized that it would be something that not only benefited me but other people like me who like making handmade Christmas gifts. The boot camp is not just for reminding people to stay on track with their gifts and to plan ahead. It’s filled with video tutorials made by different people who either blog or vlog about the gifts that they are teaching to make. They all have experience making the gifts that they will then teach you how to make, but more about that later.
I have been anxiously awaiting the day I could give everyone more details about the Handmade Christmas Gift Boot Camp, and not just because I hope you’ll join the camp (even though I do, because I think you’ll have fun with it). I’m also telling you about this because I’ve mentioned this project in a previous post and promised to fill you in on the details. That, and I need to journal why all other work around here stopped for the better part of two weeks. 🙂
Do you remember in one of my recent posts when I talked about needing a head-shot and working on a potholder project? Both of those things were for this Christmas Gift Boot Camp. I had to make a video (re-learn video editing), write a written tutorial, take pictures, get a head-shot, decide on a logo, write up a mini-bio and actually make the project as well. Then I had to figure out some ideas for wrapping and presentation of the gift. Plus my site and my social media pages needed a bit of work before the boot camp went live. And I was given a week to get all of that done. Who knew it would end up being a boot camp for me, too? (Ha!) In the end, we all ended up being given an additional week to work on our tutorials, which was a huge relief for me (and I was one of the last teachers to sign up, so I’m pretty sure the others had more time to get their projects completed.
A friend of mine sent me an email about the boot camp and how Bill and Jennifer were looking for teachers for the camp. She thought of me when she saw that they needed somebody to make a sewing tutorial. I spent maybe 20 minutes mulling over whether I should fill out an application or not. Just the idea of making a video and teaching a “class” made me ridiculously nervous. First, I had to figure out what a Christmas Gift Boot Camp was. Then I had to figure out if I even wanted to try and participate. Then I filled out the application, and in the comments, I listed some project ideas along with all of the reasons I probably shouldn’t do the tutorial. (You can learn more about my sewing experience here.) I figured if they picked me, then I was meant to do it. If not, then I’d breathe a sigh of relief and move on.
Well, they accepted my application and asked me to do potholder idea I had suggested. When I got the email of acceptance, my heart started racing and my stomach started doing flips. I was excited because I found out I now had the opportunity to work with some people who are pretty well-known in the homesteading world, and also because this could be something to really help with what I do here on the blog. But I was nervous because the deadline was only a little over a week away and I had a lot to learn and do. One week! I pretty much ran out the door with the kids to go find fabric for the project. I did look through my fabric stash first, but nothing was really standing out to me. I emailed by photographer brother and sister, asking if one of them would be able to snap a few pictures of me so I could get a new head-shot, and worked on other plans for the project. And then everything came to a screeching halt when E ended up in the ER.
Five days later, I was finally able to start working on the project. I had emailed Jennifer to let her know about our situation and to tell her that I’d like to still participate, but I wasn’t sure if I could meet the deadline. She was very understanding. The deadline was fast approaching, and I was actually really close to getting everything done when Jennifer emailed and said that the dates for the boot camp had been moved back by a week. They had some setbacks on their end and needed a bit more time to get it all put together. That was a big relief for me because then I was able to make some adjustments to the video and brush up on details for the project. (I wouldn’t say my video is great, but considering I haven’t done video editing in something like 15 years, I was satisfied with the results.) Once everything was submitted, I just needed to wait on the final details for the Boot Camp’s opening before I could tell you more about it.
What is a Christmas Gift Boot Camp?
If I didn’t make it clear before, this is an online thing. All of the videos are going to be available online, and there is a Facebook group just for those who purchase the boot camp as a place for them to ask questions to the instructors and receive encouragement to stay on task and help as they learn and make their gifts. The boot camp is meant for people who want to make handmade Christmas gifts. You can learn a new skill or learn how to make a new project and use the end product as fantastic homemade gifts. It’s meant for everyone… both experienced and inexperienced handmade gift givers. You’ll have to go look at the site to see if it would be worth it for you to purchase the camp and take the classes.
Even though making handmade gifts is not new to me, I will be partaking in the boot camp as a student, too. I love that it’s a reminder to start your gifts early (it always takes more time than I give it credit for) and that it’s meant to help encourage you and keep you motivated to finish your projects on time. Seriously. Every year, Scott rolls his eyes at me while I make my crazed final rush to finish my gifts on time. He’s always reminding me that I should have started earlier, and he’s right. I could do better. I’m also seriously excited that there’s a tutorial for soapmaking. I will definitely be doing that (among other things).
The boot camp officially starts on October 9th (next Monday), but it is up for pre-sale now through October 10th for $29.97, and after that, the price of the camp goes up to $49.97. You’ll have the option to join until November 20th. (Update: Boot Camp is open, and there’s a new sale price of $39.97 now until October 23rd, when the price of the boot camp will go up to $49.97.) I’ve got to say, if you are hesitating to purchase this, I get it. I really, really do. I rarely do things like this myself. But I want you to think about the last time you paid to take a class to learn a new skill, paid to have help from a teacher, paid to go to a social event. Chances are, you got something out of it. You learned something new and had a good time. The camp is certainly not just for ladies, but ladies, when was the last Wine and Canvas event you went to? Your last sign-making class? How many of you have done a day class to make any kind of crafty project with a group of friends, your sisters, your mother, or even by yourself? Let me expand…
Why not buy the classes? You’re getting something like 28 video tutorials that you’ll have access until next year when the next boot camp comes out, PDF downloads of each tutorial (yours to keep and reference forever), and if you join the Facebook group, you’ll have access to the teachers and a group that’s going to encourage you to get your projects done and meet your deadlines. These are skills, recipes, creations that you can use all year round for yourselves or non-Christmas gift-giving, not just at Christmastime. There’s a30-day money-back guarantee if you purchase and then decide it’s not for you.
One of my favorite things about this being an online event is that you have the flexibility of doing this on your own schedule. It’s not like you can’t sign up for this because Thursday evenings you have meetings for some organization and the class is only available on a Thursday. If $30 or $50 seems like too much money for you to spend, split the cost with a friend or a family member. Do your projects together! Make a day of it. Or a week of it. Have your friends over for an afternoon of making beauty products, hot chocolate, and pre-Christmas cookies. Spend your evenings making gifts with your kids, learning a new skill and making gifts that you can give to friends, family, and neighbors, truly made with love by your whole family. I don’t know about you, but these are all great reasons for me to do this boot camp.
If you purchase your place at this “camp” through my affiliate link, I will get a commission on the sale, so I’m not gonna lie, it would be REALLY cool to see some sales come through. But I don’t want you to buy this just for me. Don’t spend the money if you aren’t interested. If you are interested, I would be really grateful if you’d make the purchase through my link as the commission would go to me and not somebody else. I’m not going to push it on you. Go to this link to find out more about who’s teaching, what they’re teaching, and what you’ll all get. The gifts are mostly small, and I don’t think the cost investment into any of them is huge (the cost investment of your supplies will be divided up among the quantity you are able to make with the supplies).
I am very seriously considering hosting a day to learn soapmaking (maybe with a donation for supplies). If you are in the area and would like to do something like that, let me know as I’ll need to figure out the logistics ASAP.
With the help of my mother, we are planning some handmade Christmas gifts for the Sewing Saturday series, and we’ll be giving you some ideas for (purchased) gifts for the sewist in your life too, so keep an eye out for that. I know I was not very active on the blog for awhile, but suddenly there’s been lots to write about, so you can probably expect to be hearing from me a little more regularly (besides the Saturday posts). I will be mentioning the boot camp occasionally before the final purchase date, so there will be reminders for you if you aren’t sure if you want to participate. I hope your fall is off to a great start!
P.S. I do have one final request to make. Whether you are or are not interested in partaking in the boot camp yourself, would you please do me a HUGE favor and pass this post along to your family and friends, either through email or other social media? https://lf264.isrefer.com/go/bootcamp/DanielleFaust/ I know for a fact that there are a lot of people out there who would love to partake in something like this, but we need help getting the word out there. Thanks a million! 🙂