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This year, my gifting circle has grown with family expansion (a new nephew, my sister's engagement) and the birth of little ones to good friends. I love crafting cards, or creating pretty planters, but have little skill in creating other handmade gifts, which can save money. It takes a little money to learn a skill, but once you acquire it, it's yours for life. Here are a few holiday DIY ideas!

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Home ec. studio (2225 30th St) in North Park is offering two classes where you can learn to sew and create gifts for the holiday. "Dream Tops," a basic sewing class, takes place on Sunday, December 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $80 and all materials and machinery are provided. Students will create a "a paneled blouse in cotton and lace with decorative buttons in the front." Or, you can join the Tote Bag class on Thursday, December 20, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. for $50.

On Saturday, December 15, San Diego Writers, Ink (710 13th St) hosts Bookmaking with Kevin Greeland and Rob Williams from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of this class is $65-77. Students will learn basic skills for bookmaking and create unique folios and signatures, and try various attachment methods. Writing prompts are included to help fill the pages of these personalized books. All skill levels are welcome to this class.

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