Category Archives: Gifts to Make

Secret Santa Gifts that Kids Can Make themselves

My son’s Year 2 teacher this year decided the class would do a Secret Santa, but with a twist. The kids had to make their gifts. There was to be a boys gift and a girls gift. Boys make for boys, girls make for girls and then it would be lucky dip on the last day of school.The lucky dip bit threw me a bit – it was hard to know what to make when you didn’t know who would be getting it. So I figured the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so let’s bake something.

It was also a project I knew my son could be involved in. So we baked some simple vanilla cookies and before baking studded them with red and green M&M’s. We then baked them, and once cooled pack them in a plastic bag tied with ribbon. It was an easy and effective gift that the recipient loved! We also packed up the leftover ones and gave them out to all the boys’ cousins.

Next I’ll show you some simple Teacher’s Gifts.

Easy Christmas Gifts that kids can make for their friends

Every year my kids love to write Christmas Cards to all the friends in their class. Most kids also include a candy cane or chocolate santa in with their cards. This year with two boys at school we need 52 gifts to make sure every child in each class got one.

So I decided to do something a bit different. My son had learnt at school how to make his own sherbet. So we set about making green and red sherbet. If you need a sherbet recipe click here.

We then packaged the sherbet into tiny clip seal plastic bags and included a green or red lollipop for dipping! We tied the whole lot together in a plastic bag with ribbon and attached a mailing label to each one.

On the mailing labels we decorated one side with washi tape and the other side I print out little messages to stick on each one. The message read:

 

Here’s some Yummy Elf Dust,
To spread the Christmas Cheer,
And say thank you for being my friend,
Throughout our first Prep year.
(or other variation “throughout our Year 2 year”)

 

Love from Charlie.

This was a really simple gift, but was much more personal than store bought cards and candy canes.

Next time I’ll show you an easy Secret Santa gift.

Burlap Bag Lady at the Brisbane Craft Fair Christmas Gift Workshop

The Brisbane Craft Fair starts next weekend, and I am so excited to have a stand there! The fair runs from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th of October at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

I will be running a free workshop at 1.30pm everyday in Workshop Room 4 and I would like to invite you all to attend.

Easy Christmas Gifts to make in 10 minutes or less
Learn how easy it is to make your own Christmas Gifts for Friends and Family. You will learn 3 easy gifts that you can make in under 10 minutes each, that look fabulous and are very budget friendly! One general craft and two easy sewing projects. Includes free online pattern sheet. Never be stuck for a gift again!
Here is a sneak peak of one of the projects I’ll be showing you:
So if you are visiting the fair be sure to stop past and say hello, and if you have time come to the workshop. After all Christmas is fast approaching and it’s always handy to have some extra gifts on hand.
I will also be selling my beginner sewing patterns at the fair. We will be running great deals on a 10 pack CD of themed patterns e.g. gifts, baby, travel Visit me at Stand F18 The Handmade Swap to find some great deals.

Aqua and Cream Burlap Tote for handmade swap

It’s swap time again and this time my recipient had Aqua and White as her favourite colours. Luckily I had just the perfect printed burlap to make her a gorgeous tote for summer.I was in such a hurry to get it made and sent out, that I completely forgot to take photos along the way. So I will make another one soon and post the tutorial then.Printed burlap is such a great way to add wow to a simple burlap tote. There are so many designs available in printed burlap in the major fabric stores at the moment I would highly recommend experimenting with it to create a perfect summer beach tote!

I hope Jo enjoys her new tote as much as I enjoyed making it!

Heart Shaped Pocket Warmers Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you my heart shaped pocket warmers which I made for Mary for the last Handmade Swap I participated in. Even though Spring has sprung here in Australia, I thought these might come in handy for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are just about to embark on your cool season.

So here is the tutorial of how I made them:

  1. Cut two heart shapes out of felt. I used a printed felt for the front and a solid yellow for the back.

2. Place hearts wrong sides together and stitch around the edge leaving a 2 cm opening.

3. Insert a funnel into the opening and pour in enough rice to fill the pouch.
4. Pinch opening closed and stitch opening closed.
5. When you are ready to use the pocket warmers, simply place in the microwave for 30 seconds on  high and insert into pockets.

These are a lovely gift for Christmas tied together with ribbon and a small gift tag explaining how to use them.
If you are looking for other easy to make gifts, I am running a free 30 minute workshop at the Brisbane Craft Fair 16th – 20th October 2013 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. It runs daily at the fair at 1.30pm in Workshop 4. I will be showing you 3 easy Christmas Gifts to make in 10 minutes or less. So if you are coming to the Fair be sure to stop by and say hi!

Final Ekka Entry! Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cradle

Here is the last of my entries for the Ekka craft competition this year. For the Childrens Toy section I have made a Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cot.

This small bag, opens out and inverts into a stand up doll cradle!

I would like to claim credit for the ingenious design behind this cradle, but I can’t. A friend of mine recently showed me a knitted version that she had been given as a child. It was one of her favourite toys as a child and she had not seen anything like it since.

So I took it upon myself to create a Burlap Version. The great thing about sewing and crafting with Burlap is that you can use it to give your projects real structure and form. If you were to make this out of cotton, it would collapse when turned into the cradle position. But using Burlap, it stands really well.

I hope the judges at the show appreciate the dual functionality of this cradle. The Ekka starts next week, so I’ll let you know how I go.

It is a bit complicated to explain how to make, so I will work on a proper sewing pattern and put it in my pattern store soon.

This cradle got me to thinking about my favourite toys as a child. Most of the really memorable favourites were handmade. The timber crib for my dolls and washing line that my Uncle Dave made me, Maxi and Mini dolls that Uncle Dave’s Mum made me. What were your favourite handmade toys as a child? Have you made them for your kids? Let me know. I think we should restart the handmade toy movement! I’d love to hear about your handmade toys as I think my boys could do with some Handmade love!

Entries for the Royal Show

Tis that time of year again in Brisbane when the Ekka comes to town. The Ekka is the Agricultural Show when ‘country comes to the city’. It’s also the most competitive show in the State for Crafters. This year I’ve opted to enter three categories:

  • Funky Fabrics and Wearable Art
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Childrens Toy
And for once, I’m actually somewhat organised.
So I thought I would share with you what I am making. The first is the Christmas decorations. Given many people celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ now is a good time to share with you my Burlap Christmas Trees.
Here’s the final product:
If I were displaying them around the home, I would probably sit them on top of wine or champagne glasses at varying heights, but for now, they are just sitting on the table.
To make, they are really simple. Take a large sheet of cardboard (I used old manilla folders) and roll them around using one corner as the point to form a cone shape.
Sticky tape the cone shape to hold in place, and trim the bottom with scissors so it is level.
Paint the cone with PVA glue. Lay on a corner of Burlap and roll to cover. Overlap the end about 1 cm then trim the burlap. You will need to apply more PVA to the Burlap where it overlaps so it sticks together.
Trim the Burlap at the top and then the bottom leaving a 2cm edge at the bottom. Then apply more PVA glue around the inside bottom edge and fold in the Burlap and glue down.
Once dry, you can then embellish with ribbons, sequins and beads using a hot glue gun to apply them.
As Burlap comes in so many great colours, you can make trees to suit any colour scheme. And the best part is how affordable they are. So if your celebrating Christmas in July, get busy with these Burlap Trees for your centrepiece, or you may like to get an early start on some fresh decorations for this Christmas.
Next week I’ll show you my funky fashion, wearable art entry.