Monday, December 17, 2012

A Little Glimpse of Christmas Gifts + Links to Tutorials!!

I have been busy working away on making handmade Christmas gifts for the family, friends, and teachers.  I'm not sure I know who is getting what just yet, but I at least have some ideas and finished products that I can share.  We will see where it all ends up.  

I mentioned these cute coasters in a previous post, that I made from scrap Christmas fabric last year.  I don't think I finished them until after Christmas.  This year, I sent most of them off to D'Boutique, the little shop in downtown Manhattan Beach that carries a few of my products.  These are super cute.  You can use any kind of fabrics.  It is a great way to use up scraps, but don't kid yourself ... it takes a lot of scraps to make these bad boys!  I haven't decided if I am giving these out to the neighbors or teachers yet, but I'm leaning toward the neighbors.  I was planning on making homemade peppermint patties for the boys (who may not be to interested in cutesy Christmas coasters).  I will share that recipe if it turns out good.

I also found a cute idea for handprint coasters.  I'm not 100% in love with these, but I do like them.  I guess I prefer a little more cushion to my coaster, but they work just fine and I like that they have a personal touch to them, since they are each a handprint from my children.  I feel like these will be a cute gift for the teachers, since they had a "hand" in sculpting their little minds.  I added some stitching around the edges for a little more durability and color pop.  Each one is reversible with a different front and back fabric for contrast.

We gave a set to Aubrey's piano teacher.  :)  I love this sheet music fabric.  

I wanted to make her piano teacher a little something extra special.  He is great with both my kids.  It's Aubrey's piano teacher, but he also teaches drums and whenever Bayne is with us he gives him a lesson, too.  He even has me playing drums and bass!  I hope to get Bayne signed up with his own drum lesson soon.  I've been very pleased with how well he works with Aubrey.  She requires a different level of patience and he seems to have just that.  He goes over on time with us a lot, too.  I knew I was going to get a good experience at Dietz Brothers, since I loved taking guitar lessons there years ago, but we are getting much more than I could have imagined with Rich.  He inspires all of us and I know that he will have a tremendous influence on the direction of Aubrey's life.  Music is so important to me and I can see talent in Aubrey and I believe that with all she has to deal with in her life, music will help her heal, grow, thrive, cope, and survive.  She definitely has it in her to do great things with it and with a teacher like Rich behind her, I believe she will.  Either way, he deserves a little some of my extra time, so I made him a fabric folder.  I thought it might be a nice way for him to carry music sheets or whatever fits his fancy.  I used a nice heavy organic hemp fabric I got from the remnant box at Hemp Traders a while back.  The inside fabric is more of my favorite sheet music fabric that I had left over from a pair of shorts I made for Aubrey.

Aubrey has been having a great time making cards for everyone.  I love seeing what she comes up with.  This one, for Rich, is so far my favorite.

It says "I <3 - and there is a music note which stands for - music"  I thought that was so clever.  Then below the red guy (which is Rich) is supposed to be a check (it's backwards and half green) with plus signs following it.  He always gives her a check on her music if she plays it properly and if she can play it with chords, or sing along, or play in tempo, etc he gives her a check plus, check plus plus, or a check plus, plus, plus if she's super cool.  :)  Apparently, by Aubrey's standards, Rich deserves a check plus, plus, plus :)

I had so much fun making that fabric envelope that I decided to use that idea for another person.  My upstairs neighbor, Kevin, recently gave me a bunch of his old jeans and shirts.  I like to refashion clothing, especially jeans.  Kevin is a great guy and he's become a good friend of mine.  He likes to play guitar, too, so we've bonded over that and finally started  hanging out and jamming together instead of listening to one another play alone through the ceiling/floor of our apartments.  He also deserved a little something extra special because ... well, he's my favorite ... (sorry other neighbors!)  :)  I made his fabric envelope from a pair of his own jeans.

I used the leg for the envelope.  Cut a pocket off and sewed it onto the back for a little extra storage space for pens or whatever fits his fancy.

I lined it with a nice green fabric I had.  I took one of the buttons off the other back pocket and sewed it onto the front for the closure.

I remembered to sew the label on BEFORE I put it together (forgot to do that on Rich's!  OOPS!)  I prefer it on the inside.  I like how this one came out, too.  

 These are so easy!  I just want to keep making them .... and I probably will.  I did mine a little different from the tutorial.  I added a 1/2 inch to the pattern, so I could add a lining.  I just cut the lining the same as the outer fabric, added interfacing, pinned them right sides together and left a turning hole at the bottom of the flat edge (that will become the front of the envelope).  I stitched the top of the triangle flap and the top of the front of the envelope before I sewed the sides together, so it had some stitching around all the edges.

I also made a couple shirts for the kids.  Bayne is obsessed with Minecraft and he REALLY wants me to make him a Creeper shirt.  I love that he loves the clothes I make him.  I could only find this weird green at Target.  Hopefully he will like it.  It was easy enough that I can make him a new one when the short sleeve shirts get stocked again.

And whatever Bayne loves, you better be sure Aubrey loves, too.  I don't allow her to play Minecraft just yet, but she loves to watch her brother.  She had this plain green shirt hanging in her closet left over from a preschool field trip where she was required to wear green.  She'll never remember the shirt and now it has a new life!

She also had this plain long sleeve black shirt hanging in her closet.  I had bought it for Halloween, to go under her costume, so she wouldn't be too cold.  I added a heart made from my favorite sheet music fabric.  She has a tank top just like this, but now she has a winter version for the cold months.  I am sure she will like this and I doubt she will remember the shirt was ever in her closet.  :)

I have a few other handmade gifts I could share, but I wrapped them before I thought to take pictures, and anyway ... a couple are for Grandma and she may be reading, so we wouldn't want to ruin the surprise.  I will try to to remember to take pictures after we open the gifts.

I think I am mostly done with all my handmade gifts.  I was going to make a couple more handy coasters.  We see Aubrey's Cardiologist on Thursday.  He, for sure, deserves a gift.  Please say a prayer and think positive thoughts for Aubrey this week.  I am hoping for good news, but the reality is she is getting older and each year drawing nearer to her next heart surgery.  I anticipate that it will be this summer, but I will hold my breath until we get a good look at her beautiful ticker on Thursday.  Fingers crossed!  

Good luck with all your Christmas gifting and crafting!  Remember it's not how much you spend, but how much love, energy, and thought that goes into what you give that matters.

Happy Holidays!!


  1. Oh these Christmas gifts are great. I love the coasters and the jean fabric envelope - how did you manage to sew such thick fabric so well. I think I would have busted my sewing machine. Well done - I'm your newest follower :-)

  2. Thank you, Agy! I used a denim weight needle on my regular sewing machine and it zipped right through. It's all in the needle :)