Sunday, December 6, 2009

Handmade Holidays, Part 1

This year, I want to give as many handmade gifts as possible. I feel like there's something so personal about a handmade gift...but it does take up a lot of time!

First, I had to get in the holiday spirit. So I made some Christmas stockings. Since this is the first Christmas that Keith and I will be living together, I thought it was suitable to have new, matching stockings.
This project reinforced to me the importance of planning out the WHOLE project before you dive in...I think it ended up being harder than it needed to be because I didn't think it through. The stockings came out smaller than I'd hoped (I seem to keep forgetting that seams make things smaller) but I'm pleased with the final product. Keith and I went together so we could each choose fabric for our stockings...mine is the green one (of course) and Keith, also predictably, chose one with penguins. My favorite, however, is the one we chose for Rufio...
Now, on to the presents...
I had planned on making Beth a paintbrush roll for Christmas, but I finished it early and got excited so I gave it to her for her birthday, which was last week. She was really excited! Up until now, she's been keeping her paintbrushes in plastic it will be much fancier.

My grandmothers are two wonderfully crafty women who will truly appreciate a handmade gift. They are each getting one of my snowmen, and I've made tote bags to hold them. I recently acquired a copy of a great book called "Sew What! Bags" by Lexie Barnes. The projects vary from very simple to "pro" difficulty, and the best thing about it is that it gives directions on how to make various types of bags without patterns, and great instruction on how to customize projects to your needs. It also gives lots of basic sewing tips, which are great for a beginner like me, but I suppose someone more advanced could just skip them.
Anyway, I used this book to make a collection of tote bags from various Christmassy fabrics.

This gift package went today to my Aunt Helen, a master knitter and crafter extraordinaire. She is 105 this year, and can't knit anymore because of her arthritis (a fact which bothers her to no end!)Usually I hate putting faces on my creatures, but I think this one came out pretty well.
I'm going to round out my gift bags with star ornaments and hand warmers, made from a pair of (sadly) defunct jeans and some scrap fabric.These aren't stuffed yet, because I haven't decided what to put in them yet. I got the idea and directions here, and they were remarkably simple to make.

Next up: a few manly catchalls for Keith and my dad, possibly from the other leg of those jeans...


  1. Hello, fellow PEAR!

    Your stockings look so sweet! All of your holiday crafting is great inspiration for me to get moving on my handmade gifts. :)

  2. You've been very busy over here! What a fun bunch of projects! :)

  3. Nice job!! I'm all about the handmade holidays! I love your stockings!

  4. I love all your bags - esp. the pink (or is it red?) and green one! I wanted to make a fabric banner with pinks and greens, but don't think it will happen this year. I made a couple drawstring bags for knitter friends to put small projects in. I was hoping to fill them with a few treats, but haven't had time to do that either....I'm trying to make it a handmade holiday! Great job on your projects!

  5. Very cool ideas! Handmade is much more special for the recipient and it is good for the soul who is the maker.

    Stopping by with some PEAR love... ~Lanie

  6. Yay! I love your stockings. And your gifts are coming out great. Can't wait to hear about what you decided for your dad...


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