Make It: 15 Homemade Christmas Present Ideas

15 Homemade Christmas Present IdeasOn Saturday  the boyfriend and I went to see the Christmas lights being turned on in Cirencester and it was really lovely. We all sang a couple of carols then Ben Miller (or Armstrong and Miller fame), who is apparently local pressed the button then there were fireworks on the roof of the local church. It has definitely got me feeling in the festive mood so I thought I’d share my pick of homemade presents I’ve made for various people in the past – I have no ideas of things to make this year, so if anyone has any ideas I’m definitely looking for some inspiration!

(click on the picture for the full post)

One of the most versatile and adaptable presents you could make is a tote bag – you can applique something on it to suit the person you’re making it for. I’ve made them with a car, a strawberry and BBC’s Sherlock on for various people!

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For your tea-loving friend or relative, why not make them a tea-cup candle? You can flavour them with any essential oil – I used chocolate, mmmm.

Do you have a friend who loves lego? If so, you could make them a lego doorstop – there isn’t a huge amount of knitting involved, so you’ve still got time to make this in time for the big day!

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You could make a genuinely one-off present in the form of a scrapbook, as I did for my dad’s 65th birthday.

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For your music-loving friend or relative why not make a vinyl record clock?

For your internet-meme-loving friend or relative you’ve still got just about enough time to embroider a cushion cover 😉

thumbnail_img_1309For your friend or relative who loved cooking and baking you could make them a lovely apron – there are lots of free patterns out there. I used the one from the first Great British Sewing Bee.

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If you have a friend or relative who loves running or exercising, you could make them a useful present in the form of a running armband to hold their phone and keys while they’re out doing their thing.

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For Kids:

If you know a kid who needs entertaining while traveling (or at other times!) why not make the travel match game I made for my friend’s daughter?

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If you know a kid (or have a kid) who would like to learn about growing things, why not make them a felt allotment? (p.s. this is really, honestly, one of my very favourite things I’ve ever made – I was more excited to give it away than I think the recipient was when she opened it!)

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Why not make their favourite book into a cushion cover……..

Sarah-&-Duck-cushion-2or a wall-hanging?

Clothes are sometimes a good option for kiddies (though they will grow out of them in no time at all!) I’ve appliqued babygrows, made dungarees and made the cutest dresses with matching knickers!

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Are you making any homemade presents this year? I’m not sure I’ll have time to be brutally honest, though my sister has asked me to make her some skirts so I think that will count….if I get them made in time?!

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Homemade Christmas Presents

Usually around this time of year (i.e. after Christmas) I start posting about all the homemade gifts I’ve made for people. But this year, for the first time in about 6 years, I haven’t made anyone a present. I found this year that the run-up to Christmas was a bit stressful and it went really quickly – I had only about 4 evenings and 2 weekend days off in the month running up to Christmas! So instead of posting this year’s makes, I thought I would round-up the things I’ve made in previous years. Maybe if I start having ideas now, by next year I’ll have made a couple of things!

I’ll list these from quickest to longest to make (roughly), so you’ll have an idea of what you can complete in time if, like me, you start too late!

You can easily, and quickly, make a bowl out of a vinyl record for someone, like I did with this one for my brother-in-law.

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Or another idea for a vinyl record is to make it into a clock.

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Tea cup candles are pretty and can be flavoured – I gave mine a chocolate smell! And they’re not as scary to make as you might think!

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You can always make clothes for someone else (and not just for yourself!) as I did with this Grainline Scout Tee for a friend, out of Strawberry fabric – Strawberries are her favourite thing!

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A good alternative to clothes is an apron, which you can customise depending on the taste of the person you’re making it for – this one is cake themed for my baking friend.

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An easy gift for any new babies in your family or friendship group is to applique some baby grows. You could do flowers or trains or other animals, or whatever the kid is into (if they’re old enough to have interests).

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If you fancy a bit more sewing, you could make a tote bag for someone, using this tutorial, with their favourite thing on – in this case BBC’s Sherlock (who’s excited for New Year’s Day!?).

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Or, also requiring a bit more sewing, you can make some baby clothes.

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If you’re not into sewing, or if you fancy a non-sewn gift, you can make a scrapbook, like this one I made for my dad’s 60th birthday.

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If you know how to knit and know someone who likes lego, what better than this knitted lego brick doorstop (with an actual brick inside).

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Again for the kiddies, maybe for older ones than the baby grows, why not make a cushion or wall hanging with their favourite book or character on?

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Probably the first thing anyone makes when they learn to knit is a scarf, so why not knit one (or more) as gifts?

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If you’ve got a bit more sewing time, and an older kid than for the cushion or wall hanging, you can make a felt allotment or a (travel) matching game. This both take a while because there’s lots of bits to make (and lots of squares to sew for the matching game!), but you can make then as complicated as you like or have time for.

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Finally, if you have lots of knitting time (in front of a boxset, perhaps?!), then you could make a rug like this one, which was based on a cushion pattern).

Round, stripy rug

Do you make Christmas presents for people? If so, how early do you start and what have been your favourite makes?

Another Great British Sewing Bee Apron

So it was my sister’s birthday at the beginning of this week (and mine, we’re twins!) and after seeing the apron I made for my friend, she requested one of her own. She said she likes rainbow colours so I drew a few versions I could made from things already in my stash and decided a full-on rainbow might be a bit too much (though in retrospect I slightly wish I’d done it), so I just went for the warm end of the colours as they are the ones she likes and wears most.

There isn’t much to say about the construction -it’s super simple, and I’d already made it. The only thing I will say is don’t melt the fabric of the lining as you give it a final iron before slip stitching the lining to the ‘skirt’ part. D’oh!

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I had my iron on the cotton setting and didn’t even think of checking it. It turns out this orange polycotton must be a lot more poly than it is cotton! It was super annoying to make such a stupid mistake, but it was easily fixed with a new lining piece.

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And here’s the whole thing in all its glory:

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Sorry if this isn’t that interesting, since I’ve already made it and its only an apron, but there will me lots more sewing posts coming as I’ve just had a week off work and although I didn’t get as much sewing as I hoped, I have many plans. I’ve bought 3 new patterns – Christine Haynes’s Emery Dress (for the sewalong), Megan Nielsen’s Banksia Top (of which I’ve already made one and am about to cut out 2 more!) and By Hand London’s Victoria Blazer, which I’ve been umming and ahing about for ages, then I saw the coat version Victoria posted on their blog the other day and decided to spend my birthday money on it. I have most of my stash allocated to a pattern, so hopefully there will be many things sewn in the coming weeks. Then I need to move onto bottoms I think….

GBSB Cook’s Apron

So last week was one of my best friend’s birthday and I decided to make her the cook’s apron from the Great British Sewing Bee Book.

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I made her an apron because she makes the most amazing cakes out of anyone I actually know! Behold (cue gratuitous photos of beautiful cakes):

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She even made the cakes for her boyfriend’s sister’s wedding:

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Amazing, right?

So I figured the only thing I could do would be to buy fabric with cakes on!

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The top of the apron is lined, but due to me being an idiot and misreading my list of how much fabric I needed and therefore buying too much, I lined it with the same fabric. Which is a good job because I downloaded the pattern ages ago and it turns out they mislabelled the lining and the bib pattern pieces as each other, so it didn’t make sense. I had sewed on the waist band before I was totally confident that it was wrong. Thankfully it was easy to fix. I’ve checked and they have now corrected the pattern as far as I can see (without sticking all the pieces together again). They did make one other mistake in the pattern:

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Heh, ‘coks’. I know it shouldn’t, but this made me giggle every time I looked at it! Lamentably, they have also fixed this now.

There isn’t really much to say about the pattern or construction – it’s pretty straight forward. It doesn’t need fitting, so just cut it out and away you go.

I used some really nice soft cotton from the same shop in Goldhawk Road as I got the cake fabric from for the straps and ties and I got some blue spotty bias binding. I quite like how it all matches without being too matchy-matchy.

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The only thing I would change, would be to get softer bias binding. This stuff was a bit thick, so it made the ruffle at the bottom a bit stiff.

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This might be the neatest top stitching I’ve ever done, btw!

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And the finished article:

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