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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Make It Yourself

As you may have noticed (or not!) I have had a bit of a rearrange of my categories and menu. I’ve made a new category (and archive page) for posts where you could make the things yourself – like my tutorial for making a tote bag and how to make a running armband: Make It.

I thought I’d write this quick post to let you know all the ones I’ve written before, which are now in the archive. I’ll be checking through them to make sure they all have comprehensive enough instructions for you to follow. Let me know if you spot anything that needs better instructions.

I’m hoping to add new posts of crafty, and thrifty things you can make yourself. I love sharing things I’ve made, but I want to encourage other people to make things too.

You can make food shopping/ planning less painful (well, I find it less painful!) with this meal planner pinboard.

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Make your very own Doc Brown costume from Back To The Future – though it might be too late now it’s not 2015 any more 😦

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One of my favourite ever makes, A Beautiful Mess’s Felt Allotment, could be made for any kid in your life – and, in fact, I kinda want one myself!

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Do you know a kid with a favourite show or book? Why not make them a cushion with the character on, like my Sarah and Duck cushion?

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Have you set a New Year’s Resolution to take up jogging (or another kind of exercise)? Make yourself an armband to hold your phone so you can listen to chunes while you work out!

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Ah, the tote bag. If you’re living in the England, then what better way to avoid the new plastic bag charge than by making up a bunch of tote bags?

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I made these tea cup candles a while ago, and I plan to make more as they’re so cute!

Tea Cup Candle

If you know someone who recently had a baby, but don’t really know what to get them, why not applique some animals or flowers or letters or anything at all on some babygrows? Clothes are always a useful gift and this way they’re a bit more personal!

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I made this Polaroid camera case for a friend of mine a while ago, and the principles could be transferred to any camera. Of course, not everyone will probably like an anatomical heart adorning it…….

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This has to be one of the easiest makes ever – you just need a clock kit from ebay! And a vinyl record, of course.

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For one of my many friends who likes BBC’s Sherlock I made this Kindle cover – it’s got silhouettes on one side and the purple shirt of sex and John’s cabled jumper on the other side!

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If you don’t fancy making a cushion for a kiddie, you could make a wall hanging instead, like this one of Norman The Slug With A Silly Shell!

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Make It: Running Armband

So last year, around this time, I took up jogging (I then stopped in September, but I’m going to take it up again soon, honest!). To start with, I was just holding my phone in my hand – because you can’t run without music! Also, I used a couch to 5k app, which is really good and tells you when to run and walk and builds you up from running for a minute to running non-stop for 20-30 minutes.

Running-Armband-17I quickly realised it would be helpful to have an armband to hold my phone in, so I didn’t drop it. I found this free tutorial on Fehr Trade, the queen of work-our gear. I found this tutorial to be a bit confusing, though, so I did some more googling and found this tutorial on Brown Paper Patterns and used that for my inspiration. Because the fabric she uses doesn’t have an obvious right and wrong side, I got a bit confused and did it wrong, so I thought I’d write a tutorial for anyone who is equally confused.

My arm is 26cm round the upper arm, where I wear the armband. My phone is 13.5cm long, so my rectangle measured 29cm (twice the length of my phone + 2cm seam allowance) x 28cm (the circumference of my arm + 2cm seam allowance). I cut 2 of these.

Running-Armband-1I measured a mark down the centre line (with it folded in half on the phone measurement side) and found the centre of that centre line, and measured the width of my phone (half on each side of the centre point). Sew the 2 rectangles together, wrong sides together, with a gap in the middle where you’ve made the marks for your phone – this will be the gap to get your phone in and out.

Running-Armband-2Running-Armband-3 You need to also measure some elastic around your arm as the stretch of the jersey wouldn’t be strong enough to hold up the weight of your phone. Sew the elastic on the wrong side of one layer of fabric – you can see below the 3 other parts are out of the way of the elastic. Running-Armband-4
You then fold 2 layers from the top to the bottom, over the elastic and sew them in place along the bottom edge. I sewed them one at a time, but you could sew them together.

Running-Armband-5Running-Armband-6Running-Armband-7You then flip the whole thing over…

Running-Armband-8And fold the final layer down, so all the ‘halves’ are lined up, with the elastic in the middle of the 4.

Running-Armband-9Then turn the tube right side out, so you will be able to see the stitching that is holding on the elastic.

Running-Armband-10You then pass the tube into itself, so that it’s folded in half inside the tube. I don’t know how else to explain this, but hopefully these pictures help illustrate what I mean.

Running-Armband-11Running-Armband-12Running-Armband-13You then sew around the circular edge, making sure to catch the elastic in the seam. It should look like this:

Running-Armband-14You then turn the armband around, through the hole in the middle (that is for your phone), which will mean all the stitching is on the inside. Now you’re ready to run! I also made a matching headband, to keep my hair out the way (last year I was growing out a crop, so my hair wasn’t long enough to tie back – also, it means it doesn’t matter how shitty your fringe looks, if you have a fringe), using this tutorial from A Beautiful Mess.

Running-Armband-15 Running-Armband-16 I hope that I’ve explained this well enough, but let me know if there’s anything that isn’t clear. I think I’ve got the bug a little for making work out wear (despite the fact that I no longer work out!). There’s a Burdastyle course on making a full set of exercise gear, which started last month – I might give it a go the next time it comes around. Do you make clothes to exercise in?

p.s. let me know if you make a running armband from my tutorial, I’d love to see it!