Saturday, January 15, 2011

2010 Handmade Christmas Gifts III

    It is difficult to decide what to give people for Christmas. 
You know this.
I always appreciate the challenge, but as the family grows my brain gets more and more baffled by such decisions. Therefore, each of the gifts in this post was inspired by a blog I came across. Before I started planning Christmas gifts for 2010 I read a blog or two here and there, but once I realized how many ideas I would need to come up with I began intentionally (perhaps frantically) seeking out craft and sewing blogs to inspire me. As it turns out, the craft blog world is tightly interwoven, so once I found a few that had good ideas, they led me to others. The three family members listed here were the people I had the hardest time brainstorming for, but I am happy with how each of the projects turned out for them. Probably my greatest resources in discovering superb project ideas (besides google, of course) were the annual Sew Mama Sew Handmade Holidays gift idea lists.

 Projects #8 and 9 Hand warmers and Foot warmer for Micah

These rice filled hand warmers can be microwaved briefly, and then placed in your jacket pockets to keep your hands toasty. They are also good for soothing ear aches without making your whole face hot while you nap.
I followed the hand warmer tutorial on the blog no big dill, then made them a little fancier by adding stripes of 5 fabrics instead of choosing just one. These hand warmers will smell particularly good because they are filled with popcorn rice, a splendid local aromatic variety.


I used the same technique and designed a foot warmer bag, which will be nice for cold afternoons or nights. I chose to make it long and narrow so it can also be used to warm sore muscles, and especially sore necks. This one is filled with both rice and beans, but if you make one you could fill it with rice, beans, or even feed corn (like they did on no big dill with their foot warmers).

Projects #10 and 11 Flat Iron and Curling Iron Travel Cases for Megan


 I was really excited when I came across the tutorial for these hair iron travel cases (there actually are two there in the second picture). I think they are perfect to help my stylish younger sister travel neatly, without melting any hairspray bottles, or arriving at her destination to a knot of cords. As you can see I used the same combination of materials as I did on the art tote for my Mom, but I added navy bias tape to give it a little different spin. I found this tutorial on the blog Crap I've Made. It doesn't really have my favorite name, but I found some other interesting tutorials there, including rubber cement dyed eggs, and a fancy laptop sleeve.

Project #12 Charging Station for Gabe

This charging station is basically a pocket that hangs neatly on your phone or camera charger box while it is plugged in to the outlet. This is especially useful when the only available outlets are in hallways or other high-traffic locations where there are no places to set your phone, but you'd rather not put it on the floor. I found this pattern on the German blog sew-mad (I don't speak German, but she writes her blogs in both German and English). It was simple and fun to make because thick interfacing makes the station stiff enough to stand up on its own. The middle picture of it shows you that I used the button hole stitch to embroider the edge of the circle, which was the most time consuming part for me because Nathanael's Singer 15-91 from the 40's does automatic button holes. This means after every third of an inch I had to turn some knobs and readjust the fabric, which is why the stitches are a wee bit wiggly after my three times around the circle.  I was pretty excited when I was finished with this one...but I really liked the finished product so I might just make another.

I have a few gifts left to show you from Christmas 2010, so don't go too far!


  1. Great job on the hand warmers! And I love your long one! Perfect for around the neck!

  2. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    Christmas Gifts


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