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Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts


I know I know, we’re still in November christmas_stocking_but if you want to make your own Christmas gifts then you have to give yourself time! I’ve put together a few ideas for easy homemade Chistmas gifts

Some of these ideas are for babies but we adults like our gifts too!






Plush Baby Toy

A simple thing to make and a Baby Lilly with plush baby toygreat gift. You can craft a few and hang from a covered coat hanger to make a mobile. Baby Lilly loves it as she can grab hold of the ribbons easily. Go here to get the tutorial.








Handmade Bookmark

A really simple thing to make Handmade book markis a bookmark, I’ve prepared a tutorial here and you’ll probably already have everything you need to make it.

You can also adapt the shape of the bookmark and make lavender bags. Make the shape a square instead of a rectangle and fill the sack with dried lavender before sewing the end. Embroider the recipients name on it for a touch of personalisation. Great for aiding sleep when placed under a pillow!





Festival Utility Belt

Or how about a festival/utility belt, Eve4not just for the young, I’ve had friends my own age asking for these and have a few planned for presents. Remember you can pick up bargains at the charity shops for upcycling.


TIPFlick your eyes along the rails for colours and fabric that “jumps out.” Don’t pay attention to the actual garment, you’re going to be taking it to pieces anyway!




Handy Wallet Bag

I made this Diaper Bag but it can be used for Diaper Bagmany things. Get some pretty fabric and sequins and it can be turned into an evening clutch.

Another use would be as a jotter and pencil holder for children. Pop in some crayons and a colouring book and you have a lovely Christmas gift.







Useful Links

I’ve put together some links to free sewing ebooks, some great tutorials in them. You can also check out my Pinterest board  “projects to try” for some great ideas.









  • And this one is so simple, easy travel pouch(use your imagination as to the fabric you use and fill it with nice travel size toiletries/perfume).







Doing an online search for easy homemade Christmas gifts will also throw up lots of ideas! And finally, how about this, looks tricky but I’d love to try one!

Hand sewn Advent Calendar HAPPY SEWING!





I have Fabric Scraps, what shall I make?


I was thinking the I have fabric scraps, what shall I make?other day, “I have fabric scraps,
what shall I make?” I’m sure most crafters have the same dilemma, what to do with fabric scraps! My daughter asked if I’d ever tried applique and suprisingly enough I hadn’t. I’ve heard the word in sewing circles but never really given it any thought so went Googling to learn more about it.




This is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

In its broadest sense, an appliquéApplique image from Wikipedia is a smaller ornament or device applied to another surface. An appliqué is usually one piece. In the context of ceramics, for example, an appliqué is a separate piece of clay added to the primary work, generally for the purpose of decoration. The term is borrowed from French and, in this context, means “applied” or “thing that has been applied.” Appliqué is a surface pattern that is used to decorate an aspect of a garment or product. It is highly used with the Textiles industry, but lately is a key trend for make do mend items.”

Ah, “make do and mend items” perfect for my upcycled projects! So, off I went Googling and found a ton of stuff about Applique and how to use fabric scraps. There were tutorials, videos and thousands of images! I work better following text and pictures but will occasionally use a video to help when I first start learning a new craft.

Having done my research it was time to have a go.

I decided to use some of my scrappiest fabric scraps for a trial,Fabric scrap pieces and interfacing cut out ready to press I didn’t want to waste some of the prettier pieces. I followed the instructions on one of the tutorials I’d found and got my pieces ready for pressing. I decided not to do a complicated shape for my first go and figured an oval shape shouldn’t be too challenging.



After pressing the the pieces together prepared applique on sewing machine ready for was time for the sewing. You can do this by hand and there are plenty of tutorials explaining how to. I used my machine as it has the decorative stitches. I chose to use a zig zag stitch quite close together. It was tricky keeping the stitching exactly in place moving round in a curve but I got better as I went along.




I thought it looked not too bad for a first attempt! One thing I did learn that wasn’t in the tutorial, make sure your bobbin is full. Mine ran out halfway round the flower and you can see where I’ve rejoined.

Fabric scrap applique first attempt complete

I haven’t shown the messy bit in the photo!








Back to the question “I have fabric scraps, what shall I make?”, I wanted to use applique for something useful. I’ve already written a tutorial on how to make baby bibs so decided to try and add applique to one. Again, I used the scrappiest fabric in my stash and quickly ran up a baby bib. I used the flower fabric scrap in first attempt and cut a square this time.Completed applique bi made with fabric scraps

It was challenging going round the corners but I’m sure I’ll become better with practice.

I’ve got all sorts of ideas now. Animals on bibs are popular and nature scenes would also work. The little dresses I’ve made with plain fabric would look great with some applique. In fact, you could apply it to any project!






Sometimes you might have a specific project in mind and need to purchase small pieces of fabric. Hobbycraft do a great selection of fat quarters with some really pretty fabrics. I also found some lovely fabric at Create for Less in the US

So the next time I ask “I have fabric scraps, what shall I make” I’ll know the answer!




Plush Baby Toy



Plush Baby Toy

Yesterday I had an idea about making Light-bulb-momentmy own plush baby toy but wasn’t quite sure how I would implement it. I did a Google search (don’t you just love Google!) and found this tutorial.…..DING……the ideas started coming in.



Now I had some fleecePlush Blanket left from the booties I made in a previous post (here) and you’ll know by now that I like to get the most out of everything! This bit of fleece started life as a baby blanket, cost £2.45 and I’ve already made 4 items out of it.

I decided to incorporate the teddy bear embellishment for this one. I also decided to use the purple ribbon I had in my stash but you can use your imagination here, even do different shapes if you wish. I had a cushion I no longer needed so took the stuffing out and used some of that. No purchases needed for this upcycled project!



I used a 6″/15cm bowl and drew around it Cut 2 circleswith tailors chalk to cut 2 circles.











The next step is to cut your Showing how to pin ribbon onpieces of ribbon, (mine were about 5cm) then fold each piece in half and lay on the bottom piece of the plush fabric. Lay the upper piece right sides in on top then pin making sure you also pin the ribbon. The folded end goes in towards the middle and leave a small bit sticking out over the edge.



Leave a few cm open, this is Circles Pinned togetherwhere you’ll turn right sides out, put your stuffing in and add the piece of ribbon for hanging.








Carefully sew where you’ve Round circles sewn togetherpinned it, I put the machine on slow speed when I’m doing anything circular for more control. Remember to leave the end open.









Turn right sides out and stuff, Plush baby toy stuffed with  top edge pinneddon’t stuff it too tight, you want it to feel a bit “squeeshy!” Cut a longer piece of ribbon, length depending on where you’re hanging it then, pin into the opening at the top at the same time turn the edges in and pin.








I machine stitched this part but in hindsight it might have been a bit neater hand sewing it. And that’s it, a simple plush baby toy which took around 1 hr to make! You could make a few of these with different shapes and colours and hang them from a baby bouncer handle, no need to purchase expensive toys!

plush baby toy finished


Handmade Bookmarks



In our busy lives it’s always handmade bookmarks nice to find time to sit and read a good book. It’s also nice to have some lovely handmade bookmarks to hand, I hate to see a book getting the corner of it’s page turned over!


These are really simple to make in about 30 mns, depending on whether you hand or machine stitch.

If you’ve read my other posts you might recognise the fabric and trim in this bookmark, remember my tip about not throwing small pieces of fabric away?




So, gather your materials Materialstogether,

  • Fabric, most fabrics can be made into bookmarks.
  • Iron on interfacing (if you’re using a very stiff fabric you won’t need this)
  • Trim


Cut a piece of fabric Pieces cut out12cm x 23cm (I used an existing bookmark to measure). Cut a piece of interfacing 6cm x 23cm.







Iron the interfacing onto oneSewn up and tseams trimmed with pinking shearsInterface ironed on to fabric half on the wrong side of fabric.


Keep right sides together sitch the long side and one short side together. Trim the seams.







Turn right sides out and press Book mark top stitchedSewn piece turned right side outturning the open end in.

This is another place where you can use my favourite Top stitch technique. Top stitch round all four sides making sure you catch the open end.








All that’s left now is to add your trim/decoration. There are lots of things you can use:

  • Fabric paint, paint your own designs
  • Buttons
  • Lace
  • Ribbon
  • The decorative stitches on sewing machine if you have one

I used gift wrap ribbon for mine, Gift ribbonit was on special at Lidls (discount store), it was in the bargain bin for 49p. I’ve already used it in a few projects!









One completed bookmark. I would normally make a batch of these they’re so quick and easy but did a single for this tutorial. They make great wee gifts and stocking fillers!Completed bookmark with gift ribbon sewn on as embellishment8


Diaper Bag from Old Curtains


After searching for some fabric suitable Completed diaper bagfor my latest project I located a curtain pelmet which I’d stripped down into fabric and lining. So now for my latest project, a diaper bag from old curtains using a tutorial I found at Karen’s blog here.



TIPDon’t throw away small pieces of fabric, even small pieces can be used for decoration.




I started with my curtain pelmet material Materialsusing the lining for the inside and cut a piece out of each plus the straps, following the instructions on the tutorial.






Pieces cut out






At this point I noticed my white thread was getting low so had a look round for special offers. With thoughts of Christmas gifts starting to appear it might be prudent to make sure you have all you need, there’s nothing worse than starting a project and not having the right colour thread etc. I decided to stock up on threads and sundrys when I found this special offer Save 10% + Free P&P with offer code CRAFT10. Valid on orders of £20 or more at Stitch Craft Create



After the excitment of buying some nice bits and pieces it was back to the diaper bag.

My overlocker came in handy for the next Sewn seamsbit as the lining was fraying everywhere! Pinking shears will also work for this (check here for help on buying scissors). You can also do a zig zag stitch close to the edge.




Following the instructions, I turned it Turn right side outright side out but didn’t manage to get the corners as neat as I’d liked. I’m going to practise this technique, neat square corners look so much better.




 Strap sewn onNext it was the strap, straight forward following the instructions.






I didn’t have nappies/diapers and wipes to test Upcycled Diaper bag completefor size so guessed based on the tutorial image.







Then finally a fastener for the strap, I used velcro as it’s what I had in my sewing box.

And that’s it, it took me around 1hr 30mns to do including the photos, and it would make a nice gift filled with some nappies, wipes and cream. I’m going to be making more of these, a great way to use up smaller pieces of fabric.

Complete with diapers and wet wipes open Complete with diapers and wet wipes closed shut


Onesie Dress Tutorial



Babies spend a onesie dress tutoriallot of time in sleepsuit/onesies, they’re easy to get on and off a wriggly squirming baby! The thing is, when you have a new baby girl you want to dress her in girly things so I’ve found a solution, this onesie dress tutorial from Emma’s blog

Now I’ve done my own take on this, I live in Scotland and we’re coming into the cold weather so I used a sleepsuit (see right). I also upcycled an old shirt so had to fiddle around a bit to get enough fabric.




I took the back of the shirt and Materialscut 2 strips, overlocked around the edges the joined the 2 sides.


TIPPress your fabrics before you start.








Long-Tube overlocked












From there I followed the Gathered tuble to make skirtinstructions on the blog, doing the gathers was fiddly but keep measuring against the sleepsuit till it fits.








I had some trim in my stash so edged the hem with it to pretty it up, then I made a wee bow for the kneck and VOILA, a pretty but cosy dress for your baby girl!

Complete onsie dress


Festival/Utility Belt


Ever seen a cool looking festival/utility belts, you easily make your own with an old pair of trousers and scraps of fabric. It can be used at festivals but staying on the theme of Upcycled Baby items you can keep your own bits and pieces in it when you’re trying to juggle baby and paraphanalia! I made this festival/utility belt up as I went along, but you can let your imagination run wild for pockets and trims.


I started with a pair of cords, a fake leather jacket, (both off bargain rail in charity shop) and some vintage fabric given to me by my Mum..



I wanted the belt to be adustable, size 10 to 14 (UK measurement) so I cut off the trouser legs (leg length was 30″), turned one leg inside out then put one leg inside the other right sides together.

1Leg Inside Other

Cut along the top to straighten, then pin and stitch.


Turn right side out and you’ll be left with a long tube.

LongTube after being sewn together

The next thing to do is shape the bottom edge, I used an existing festival belt for this,.Turn the tube inside out and draw the shape with tailor chalk then cut it out.

Cut Shape


Stitch along 2 long sides and 1 short side, if you don’t use an overlocked seam trim (use pinking shears if you have them). Turn right side out and give it a press.

Sewn and turned right sides out

This is the basic belt so now it’s time to think about pockets. The jacket already had zips in the cuffs so I utilised 1 cuff by cutting it off and sewing up the 2 sides leaving the zip in place.

Cuff Pocket

For the next pocket I used the vintage fabric. I wanted a mobile phone to fit in it so took measurements from that but doubled the fabric for extra strength. Remember to leave a bit of room to allow for the thickness of the phone.

MoBile Phone pocket measurement

Keeping the folded edge for the top of the pocket stitch 3 sides and trim seams. I used the neck fastener from the jacket for the fastener on this pocket, you can use your imagination here or Velco (hook and loop fastener) works well.

Phone-Pocket laid in place with fastener

This gives you some ideas for making pockets. Depending on what you want to carry you can make pockets to suit with any scraps you have. It’s also useful to make a discreet pocket on the inside for carrying money/credit cards. I used some of the trouser fabric that was left, overlocked the edges then folded the piece so there was a flap and stitched it to the back of the belt. A bit of Velcro under the flap to fasten so there’s nothing to rub against the skin works well.



Position the pockets onto the belt then stitch them on. I had to hand sew the “cuff” pocket as the seam was too thick for the sewing machine. Sew on any fasteningsDepending on what you used or your taste a little bit of trimming can be added. I had some in my stash (picked up from a sale in Hobbycraft) which I thought was a good match.

trimming Finished

TIP: Keep your eye on the bargain bins in craft shops, there’s quite often end pieces of trimming from the large “by the metre” rolls

Finally it’s time to get the press studs on. To make it adustable use 6 and sew them on at an angle. It’s useful to have a model here to position the studs! I sitched mine on but you can use the snap fastener rivet type.

Stud fasteners sewn on


And that’s it, lots of scope to use your artisticness (is that a word?)! This is my grandaughter with the belt on (excuse the photobombing Rosie dog!).

Festival/handy belt on Eve

Festival/utility belt on Eve 2

Festival/Utility belt on Eve photo bombed by dog