Friday, December 30, 2011

Handmade Christmas: My Gift Round-up

I hope everyone has been enjoying the holiday season!  Christmas was a success at our house, although I think I ended up unwrapping about the last 3 or 4 of the girls' presents.  They were pretty much over it.  Gift overload!  My husband and I hardly bought them anything, but Grandma is a different story :)  They are enjoying all their new toys and books, though.  They also got this ridiculously cute pink tutu skirt that I'm pretty sure my younger twin would wear every minute of every day if possible.  

Anyway, I said I would show you the gifts I made for the special people in my life, so here's a little round-up.  Some are from previous tutorials I posted and some were made from the wonderful patterns and tutorials that are posted on other blogs.  I have linked back where appropriate so you can make these treasures for yourself or your loved ones!

First we'll take a look at the girls new hair clips.  These were in their stockings!  I made a headband from Jess' great felt flower tutorial and gave each girl a poufy knit hair clip from my own tutorial.

     Rolled Felt Flowers

My mom had asked for a small purse she could take with her to choir practice and other places when she didn't need a big handbag.  I knew the sweet little Buttercup Bag from Made by Rae was perfect!  I picked a cute blue outer fabric and lined it with yellow (Mom's favorite color).  I also wanted her to have something zippered inside in case she had money to carry (Mom & Dad are the treasurers of their choir), so I made a coin purse using this wonderful tutorial I found at n'stitches designs.

           Buttercup Bag

            Coin Purse

Dad wanted a dust cover for his synthesizer.  I made one from a heavier weight, almost canvas-like fabric.  I didn't take a photo because really...when it's not on the keyboard, it looks pretty much like a big piece of fabric!  Ha!

I have two best friends and I made something for each of them that really reflects their personality!  For BFF #1, I made this shirt and I LOVE it!  I might have to make one for me!  It was an Anthro knockoff that I've seen pinned many times on Pinterest.  I'm so happy with how it turned out!  I just traced a shirt that fits her mostly for the armhole depth and measured for length and width and kind of winged it!

Again with my bathroom, LOL.  And apparently I suck at making decent faces for self-portraits.  Oh well.  For BFF #2, I made this adorable patchwork tote bag from these amazing fat quarters we found on Etsy.  Who doesn't love Etsy?  And she loves the tote!

I have 3 brothers and one came down for Christmas, which was awesome!  I hadn't seen him in almost 2 years, which is really sad :(  I was so happy to see him!  One of my gifts to him were the magnets from my glass bead magnet tutorial.

My final handmade gift has to be one of the funniest things I've ever made, but I love them!  Unless you live under a rock, I'm sure you've heard of Angry Birds.  Well, the adorable Care at Obsessively Stitching has tutorials for how to make plush versions of all of them!  How fun is that???  I made these right before Christmas, so I only had time for 5, but they were a huge hit!  The girls think it's hilarious to have them thrown at them, so we've had lots of real life Angry Bird games around here since then.  They were meant for the hubs, but the girls have pretty much taken them over.

Her tutorial spans several blog entries, but you can find the original red bird tute here and then link to the rest from there!

So there you go!  My handmade Christmas.  Did you all make gifts for the special people in your life?  I'd love to see!  Send me an email or link to your blog/photos in the comments so we can all share in the joy!  I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!  See you all in 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just realized...

I won't be posting photos of my handmade gifts before Christmas because I already wrapped them and forgot to take pictures of at least 2 of them.  Whoops!  Oh well...I will show you all after Christmas!  

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in the coming year!  See you after Christmas!!  :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Handmade Christmas: Glass Bead Magnet Tutorial

Here we go with the last tutorial of this year's Handmade Christmas series!  I hope you've enjoyed these simple gifts that you can make for your family and friends.  This last one is quick and easy and appropriate for a wide range of giftees, so let's get started!

We will be making these cute magnets from glass beads!

To make them, you will need:

-Assorted scrapbook paper
-Mod Podge (I made my own, so you get to see my awesome glass jar, haha)
-A brush to apply the mod podge (I use a kids paintbrush, but those cheap foam brushes from the craft store or Walmart work great too!)
-STRONG magnets...don't get the cheap ones.  You need ones marked "extra strong" or something like that
-Glass craft beads...the kind you fill the bottom of a vase with.  You can find them at any craft store.  Make sure they have a flat bottom side, you don't want the round marble kind!
-Strong glue to adhere the magnets (I used hot glue, but E-6000 would be great)

First you will want to cut your paper to fit your glass beads.  I find it easiest to position a bead directly over your paper.  That way you can see what design will show through.  Then simply trace around the perimeter.  It's best to put the tip of your pencil just under the lip of the bead to make sure your paper doesn't come out larger than your bead!

Cut out your paper!  You can use so many cute designs.  I'm making these for my brother.  He loves green and his name is Dave, so I used a green "D" and some other green papers.

Next you want to apply a GENEROUS layer of Mod Podge to the back of your glass bead (the flat side).  

Now take your cut out paper and apply it face down into the Mod Podge (you want your design to stick to the flat side so you can see it through the front!)

You can apply more Mod Podge over the back of your paper if you want.  Just allow it to fully dry before trying to glue on the magnet.  Once it has dried, take one of your magnets and glue it into the center of your paper.

That's it!  Now make a bunch and you have super cute handmade magnets to hang up your children's masterpieces, the local take-out menus, fun family much better than the 12 year old pizza delivery place magnet, right?

Ooh, next I want to take my cookie sheet and cover it in cute scrapbook paper to make a fun magnetic board like I saw on Pinterest!  One project at a time, though...Christmas is coming too fast!  I may be taking a short blog break to enjoy the holidays with my family, although I'd like to try and post some of my handmade gifts.  We'll see!  It's going to be a busy week!  I hope you get all your gifts done in time...and if you are already done, stop looking so smug!!  :) 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Dresses - Part 2

Simply because we don't have enough to do around Christmas, I decided to make another set of Christmas dresses for the girls!  Honestly, when I looked at all the things we have going on this month, it really made sense for them to have another holiday dress...maybe one that isn't quite as dressy as the first one.

I had ordered some of this gorgeous fabric for a dress I was making for a client - it's from the Kumari Garden Holiday line by Dena Fishbein for Free Spirit Fabrics.  Seriously, it's so pretty online and even better in person!  I'm pretty sure the day it came in the mail, I told my BFF that I was going to marry it.  She was like "soooo, the hubs is out and the fabric is in?"  Awkward.  But seriously, it's beautiful.  I knew when I got it that I would be making something for the girls too!  I went with a simple pillowcase style dress.  Easy for them to wear, but cute at the same time.

Why is it that when you ask a 21 month old child to stand still, they either promptly run away or lean up against the door like they're getting a mug shot taken?

Like I said...running away (and always in 2 different directions)...

Or looking for food...

And finding food...

Crazy girls!  In their defense, this was right after church and they were ready for lunch.

I had to make them matching hair clips, of course!

So now we have another pretty dress to get us through all the hustle and bustle of the holidays!  I made it pretty large, so hopefully they can get at least one more Christmas season of wear out of it.  I also love the fact that this fabric isn't so "Christmasy" that they couldn't wear this dress in the spring.  Yay for longer use!  

I hope everyone's holiday preparations are going well!  I should have another Handmade Christmas tutorial up for you this week and then next week I'll round up all the gifts I have made for my family and friends!  Until then, enjoy your holiday projects!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Dresses!

During one of my thrifting trips this summer, I found these amazing vintage pillowcases in a cranberry stripe with an off-white background.  Even though it was August, I knew immediately that they would somehow turn into the girls' Christmas dresses!  I was so excited, I actually made the dresses in late August!  I held of hemming until now, since these two seem to grow about an inch a week, but finally they are done and ready for Christmas!!

The girls are so cute, I am so tempted to break my self-imposed rule about not putting their faces on the blog, but I'm staying strong, LOL.  The blog is about sewing anyway, not how cute my kids are, right??  :)  Anyway, about the dresses...I'm pleased to say the dress is completely my design and I am very happy with how they turned out!  

The pillowcase was originally striped horizontally, so I cut it on the bias to get a diagonal stripe for the skirt.  The bias cut gives the skirt such a nice drape and swing when the girls walk.

I somehow managed not to take any pictures of the back, but it buttons up the back of the bodice.  The front has a faux placket with matching buttons that are just the next size down from the closure buttons.

I love the little details like the rolled hem on the gathered placket, the ruffle around the bottom of the bodice, and the gathered sleeves.  The top of the sleeves are gathered, plus I sewed elastic just above the elbows.  I placed it in the sleeve, pulled it as tight as I could and stitched it down, just around the outside.  It makes the bottom of the sleeves bell out and I think it's so adorable with their tiny little wrists sticking out :)

Now I just need to get the Christmas cards printed!  And apparently iron the dresses, based on the pic above, haha.  I hope everyone's getting as excited as we are! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Handmade Christmas: Scrappy Wreath Tutorial

I was planning on making my mom a cute little wreath for Christmas...and then I thought about how many wreaths and how much Christmas stuff she has and I started to change my mind!  Then I remembered that last year she was looking for something for the spring to hang on her door, so the wreath idea was reborn, just in different colors!  

Want to make a cute scrappy wreath of your own?  It's so easy!  Let's get started!