Our little granddaughter, Katie, is getting so big! It’s definitely time for her to have her own Playdate Backpack. Her Uncle Charlie (Yes, Charlie’s been an uncle since he was one!) uses his every time we go out. It’s perfect for carrying all of his little essential toddler/preschooler things. Katie’s mama requested owl fabric for her backpack, and I happened to have this sweet pink Japanese owl fabric hiding in my stash. I think it mixes perfectly with the larger print owls from Jenn Ski’s Ten Little Things collection. I can’t wait to see what Katie and her mama think of it! I love the funky orange straps and the green snap hidden under the flap!
We were supposed to go see Santa today, but two little boys with two runny noses kept us home. It was okay, though, because we took advantage of being homebound by mixing up some homemade gingerbread playdough! We used the simple, no-cook recipe here: Atkinson Drive Oatmeal Playdough. Except for the food coloring, I had all of the ingredients on hand. We just omitted the color and added extra cinnamon to give it a more gingerbread-ish appearance and smell. Our first batch was a little dry (probably because of our whole wheat flour) so I added a couple of tablespoons of oil to the second batch.
Our second set of handmade ornaments for the tree this year are these very simple felt trees with pompom decorations. This is an easy afternoon or evening project! You can choose to do the cutting and stitching before having your kids decorate (I did that part during naptime and had the pompoms and glue ready to go as soon as they were up), or you can have your older children do the tracing, cutting and sewing, too!
Here’s what you need: the Christmas Tree Template, two sheets of craft felt for each four ornaments, ribbon, white (or tacky) glue, pompoms and a sewing machine. (If you have time, you could actually stitch these by hand for a more handmade look!)
Start by cutting out one tree template. (The other three are on the printout so that you can see the best layout for your felt.) Trace your template four times.
Stack a second piece of felt under the first and cut out four trees. Each tree will consist of two felt layers.
Cut a 10″ long piece of ribbon for each tree.
Form a loop with each ribbon and tuck the raw edges about 1/2″ down from the top of the tree, between the two layers. Pin in place.
Stitch around each tree 1/4″ from the raw edges. Be careful to sew the ribbon hanger in well.
Call in your little ones to decorate!
Enjoy your new ornaments!
Need a quick and simple last-minute handmade gift or a dozen gifts for a dozen friends that won’t take a dozen days to finish? With the right hardware on hand, you can turn out a pile of fabric key fobs in no time! I love how simple and practical these are, and how you can tailor them to the receiver just by choosing the right fabric. The rainbow of key fobs above are all going to be little handmade extras for the ladies on my list who are receiving store-bought gifts.
How about a quick tutorial so you can make your own? Before you start, you’ll need to purchase the metal hardware online. A quick search turned up quite a few Etsy sellers who carry the parts: Key Fob Hardware on Etsy. I used 1 1/4″ hardware. (Update: Check the purse hardware section at Joann Fabrics if you need a quick local source for the pieces.)
Cut a piece of fabric 10″ x 4 1/2″.
(If you want to be able to slide the key fob loop around your wrist, add a couple of inches in length. I prefer the slightly shorter length because I tend to toss my keys in my purse or tuck the fabric end into my jeans pocket.) Iron a piece of very lightweight fusible interfacing to the back of your fabric. Fold your fabric in half with wrong sides together, matching up the long edges. Press. Unfold and press the long edges to the center.
Fold the fabric strip on the original crease in the middle and press well.
Topstitch along both long sides about 1/4″ from the edge.
Grab a pair of pliers from your toolbox. (I like to use my needle-nose pliers.)
To prevent scratches or dents in your metal hardware, wrap a piece of fabric around each set of teeth on your pliers. (I use strips of microfleece, but flannel would work well, too. You can tape these on if you have trouble with them sliding around too much.)
Now you’re going to fold your fabric strip over so that the raw edges are together. (I like to pin the two sides together to keep the ends from sliding apart while I’m attaching the hardware.) Slide the raw edges inside the open end of the hardware.
Press the hardware shut.
And, you’re done! That was quick and easy, wasn’t it?
Our Christmas tree is covered with a beautiful array of handmade ornaments that range from incredibly intricate design work to designed with love by a two-year-old. It’s such a blessing to unpack them every December and share stories that they bring to mind of Christmases gone by. Adding new ornaments to our collection is a family tradition that we look forward to each year!
I ran across the Punched Fabric Ornament while browsing Pinterest a few weeks ago and knew that we just had to make these! I happen to love fabric, and I happen to have an enormous stash of fabric, so anything that uses fabric is obviously going to top my list. These were so simple to put together and really fun! The instructions can be found on the Crafts ‘n Coffee blog: Punched Fabric Ornament Instructions. We used Tacky Glue for a strong, long-lasting hold, and we punched the fabric pieces in with well-sharpened colored pencils.
Some of us got creative with patterns, some of us used a whole lot of fabric, some just enough to cover the ball and some of us had our hands full with a certain two-year-old who was a little too excited about stabbing something with a sharpened pencil!
Last year, I began a tradition of sharing 12 Days of Handmade Christmas Projects (or at least 12 Christmas projects spread out over 12 days . . . life gets a little busy around Christmas time.) This year, I’m going to incorporate some projects that I’ve sewn for our home and for gifts, as well as some things that I’ve made with our children AND a few new Christmas recipes!
First up is a little mantel decor. This is the first year that I’ve owned a mantel to actually decorate, and it was so much fun! I started out with our family portrait which will be there year-round and built around it. The “framed” wreath was inspired by the wreath hung over a vintage window on this mantel at BHG.com: Window Wreath. I always enjoy decorating with live plants, so I added the miniature potted Christmas tree on the opposite side of the framed wreath, threw in some Mason jars filled with miniature pinecones and ornaments, and added some scattered larger pinecones from our immense backyard collection.
It needed something else, though, to balance out the family portrait. I searched the internet for inspiration. A print of some sort would work, but I really wanted something handmade. How about piecing together a small Christmas tree quilt and stretching it over a canvas? A quick trip to the craft store and an hour of so later of cutting and sewing resulted in this Quilted Raw Edge Stretched Canvas Tree!
What do you think? If you want to create your own, it’s a very simple project. Just choose the canvas size that you’d like. Cut a base fabric piece wide and long enough to wrap all the way around the canvas. Cut fabric strips of various lengths for your tree branches. Decide on your arrangement, then applique them to the base fabric. Add a star for the finishing touch. Finally, stretch your quilted fabric tree over the canvas and staple it in place on the back of the frame. (If you wanted to make this more colorful, you could also stitch buttons on to your tree before stretching it!)
Have you been following along with the Holiday Bake & Craft Sew Along over at Skip to my Lou? There are some great sewing tutorials already posted and lots more to come, AND today is my turn to share! Be sure to click over and check out A Christmas Tee in a Twinkling!
I also get to treat you to a SEW Amazing giveaway as part of our crafty series.
- Singer ONE Sewing Machine this is Singer’s easiest sewing machine! True to SINGER, it is easy to learn on, simple and has basic stitches for crafts.
The perfect machine for stitching home made goods or something fun this holiday season!
- Simplicity SideWinder Quickly and easily fill bobbins without having to un-thread and re-thread your sewing machine. The SideWinder transfers thread from spool to bobbin effortlessly and quickly; works with most bobbins, metal or plastic. An adjustable tension knob accommodates different thicknesses of thread! So cool!
- Simplicity Bias Tape Maker This Simplicity Bias Tape Maker will Create customized single fold bias tape with the push of a button!
- and so you have something beautiful to sew, $100.00 of fabric from Riley Blake!
Simply wait for RaffleCopter to load and enter there! Be sure to check out all the fabulous sewing projects shared this month for this Holiday Bake Craft Sew series going on all month long!
. . . and all through the house, no more projects were waiting, at least not for now!
Handmade Christmas tree ornaments wrap up my list of handmade projects. These are simple, inexpensive wood blocks adorned with scrapbook paper and digital pictures printed from my home printer. We followed the guide for these at How Does She? These will be great fun to hang on our tree year after year!
Of course no Christmas is complete for a sewing mama without handmade Christmas jammies for her little ones. I suppose that means you get 13 projects for the price of 12 . . . a baker’s dozen! (Isn’t this Cowboy Santa fabric perfect for a Texas Christmas?)
Praying that each of you is blessed with a Christmas packed full of joy and overflowing with many wonderful memories! Enjoy this beautiful telling of the Christmas story by Linus as a little Christmas gift from me to you:
This sweet giraffe is for my granddaughter, Katie. All of my little ones have had loveys that they’ve played with, slept with and just loved on, and I’d love for this on to be hers. (I have learned over the years, though, that children decide for themselves which lovey is theirs!) I used Bit of Whimsy’s Juju Giraffe pattern with just a few minor modifications. I added a dress with sleeves by cutting the body out of a second fabric for the dress and adding shortened arm pieces trimmed in underwear elastic for the sleeves. I also cut the back of the body in half and added a seam allowance so I could sew the tail into the seam. Since it’s for a baby, I wanted to be sure the tail was secure. Little ones tend to love playing with stuffed animal tails!
I sewed this bowling set for Charlie, but I may have to make up a second set for Jamie. He told me while watching me handstitch the stuffing openings closed that Charlie was going to love it, but he’d love one, too! He does have a birthday coming up in a few weeks. I used the I Heart Bowling pattern designed by my friend, Berritt, of Birdiful Stitches. Such a cute pattern and really easy to sew!
My Lego-loving boys are getting these great drawstring playmats/storage bags for Christmas this year. I first saw the Lego Sack Tutorial during Celebrate the Boy month in the spring and immediately added them to my sewing list. I think these are going to get a lot of use around here!
A quick side note on these: The long drawstrings made me a little nervous so I tacked each one down in the center of its casing so that can’t be pulled out. I’ll also be sure to remind the boys of the safety rules when using anything with a long tie like this.
My art-loving daughter, Samantha, asked me recently to sew her a wrap for her extensive set of markers, so she’ll be excited to find this on Christmas morning. I used my Art-on-the-Go Kit Tutorial, extending the width and leaving off the art pad . . . easy peasy!