Thursday, January 3

What I made for Christmas - Volume 1

This year's Christmas gifts were about 50% homemade. Featured here are two of the gifts I made, plus our new Christmas/winter wreath. This was an old wreath that has been twice made over. It was first given to me at my bridal shower, decorated with jingle bells and bright red berries. Julia made it over the next year, just repurposing the jingle bells and adding other small touches. This year, 4 years later, the jingle bells were not so shiny and so I looked around for a few things and found an arrangement that I was constantly moving from Aaron's reach. It now has new life in our door ornamentation. I have a fall wreath that is on a grapevine base, so now all I must do is come up with a spring/summer wreath and my front door decor will have full seasonal rotation.


This was our generic gift of the year - bread in a bag mixes. I have tons of fabric scraps lying around, and for these, it took about 2 minutes to whip up 4 cloth bags, unfinished at the top. It would have looked much nicer if I had pinking shears, but I just pretended. Chances are that no one will be re-using the gift packaging. She recommended brown paper sacks, but I wanted it to look a little different than that. I used half unbleached white and half whole wheat flour. I was going to do dessert in a jar mixes, but then I got this great deal on flour and decided to do this instead. I ended up making about 20 mixes and clothing them in various colors.


This was my favorite gift to make this year - reusable shopping totes. I made 16 of them, using this pattern as my inspiration. (I lengthened the straps and widened the bag just a tad) I used fabric I had on hand, some of which was home decorator fabric, some of which was plain sturdy cotton. The checkered one is an old navy bedsheet with some heavy poly/cotton blend I almost made a skirt out of in my early college years. Thankfully I did NOT. It makes a much better shopping bag, don't you agree? This set went to grandma in OH. All the bags I made are fully reversible. The other photo shows the general structure. The pink/red set went to my mom. I apparently didn't get as many photos as I thought - like of my favorite color combinations - but you get the idea.

Stay tuned for volume 2!

8 comments:

Conleys said...

cute ideas..thanks for posting. i love homemade stuff that's useable too! we are thinking of doing things more like that for next year.

journeyer said...

The bags are nice - so GREEN!

Rosemary at Rose Tree Threadworks said...

VERY NICE gifts, Jenny! The shopping bags are a great gift idea! I bet that the recipients will find lots of other uses for them too. And very economical..to use your old sheets and unused material. I have TONS of fabric...I confess..I am a "recovering Fabric-holic"..Does anyone know of a "FAA" organization that I could join?:) I think that I will get busy and start making up bags now for future birthday, new baby, graduation, Christmas gifts. Thanks for the great idea!
Aunt Rosemary

Karen said...

So impressed. Love the shopping bags, and came thisclose to doing the bread mix!

I'm sure your checkbook is thanking you already!

Kara said...

Pleasant View Schoolhouse is pretty much my favorite blog! I lOVE the bags! Nice color combo.

jeileenbaylor said...

Love the shopping Totes!

Autum said...

I like the ones I bought at Walmart, but should make some more to give to family. The hardest part about cloth shopping bags is remembering to use them. I also like the Kroger and Meijer give you $0.05 off your bill for each bag you bring to carry your stuff.

partyofsix said...

you are seriously amazing. wow. your gifts turned out so beautifully. i am really impressed by your ambition as well.

i made gifts this year, but yours definately put mine to shame. (i made rice warming packs to go around your neck along with a washable pillow case.) - you are an excellent seamstress.