One of the requests I’ve had regarding the Crafty Christmas Countdown is for gifts that can be made in bulk. Boy, can I relate to that one! With so many people on my list, I find it important to have one or two gifts I can make lots of, especially if it’s something that works for either gender.
Probably my all-time, No. 1 gift I make in bulk is food. Cookies, breads and the like are always a hit. And if you have freezer space, you can start making them up to six months ahead of time (assuming you can stand to heat up your kitchen during the summer).
My friend Katie has a great tutorial for creating patchwork fabric bookmarks. They’re probably not enough to give as a solo gift (better for stockings and maybe as gift toppers for a little something extra) but worth making a stack to have ready for giving.
I think scarves are always handy (depending on where you live, of course) which makes them great for gifts to crank out in multiples. I don’t crochet but I’m still tempted to try one of these Crocheted Ribbon Scarves from The Caffeinated Crafter. This Patchwork Scarf tutorial from the Sew, Mama, Sew blog is designed for kids but I bet it’s fairly easy to modify for grown ups. Or make this Scrap Scarf from JavaJem.
One of the gifts I’ll be making this year will be reusable grocery bags. I’ve made the switch myself and bought about 15 bags (and another dozen for my folks) but really wish I had made them now that I’ve seen all the great tutorials out there. These would be great for using up old (or thrifted) bed linens or some clearance fabric that was too good of a deal to pass up. Plus, they’re such a handy gift that can be used over and over again. Check out these great bag-making tutorials:
I have this tendency to see something crafty and think, “Oh! I bet I could make that!” That’s pretty much the case with these Scrabble tile pendants. I’ve admired them on many occasions but just never gotten around to trying them until last week.
Can we say “fun”?
I started off with this great tutorial. Definitely worth checking out before you get started. I ended up buying the Aanraku bails online because none of my local craft stores carry them. (I’m sure I could find them at a bead shop but the one closest to me moved and now it’s not so close.) My first batch of Scrabble tiles came from the local “treasure shop.” When I started shopping around to see if I could get better prices, I found that better deals could be had on Ebay and Etsy.
Epoxy is easy enough to find, and I used Mod Podge for my adhesive. The ones above were made with some older scrapbook papers from my still-too-large stash as well as fabric. I have to be honest; the fabric is easier to work with, in my opinion. The main challenge with both is finding an image that’s small enough for the tile, which is .75″x.8125″. On the other hand, that means you can use up some of those small scraps that aren’t big enough for pretty much anything else.
I’m still not sure I’ve got down the epoxy thing yet. More bubbles than I would like and some coverage issues. If you’re going to do a lot of pendants, I’d recommend doing them in small batches of three to five. Twelve at a time? Save it for when you get faster.
I did not “cure” the epoxy on the first batch I did but the most recent I did, and I plan to continue with that. Of my first three pendants, one dried sticky. The other two were fine, so I’m not sure what I did differently but obviously it was wrong.
My Christmas gift-giving list has quite a few folks who would appreciate a custom piece of jewelry, so I plan to make many, many more. (If you’re on my list and get one, act surprised!) And they’re really not that expensive to make, especially if you raid your existing supplies. I think the batch of 100 Scrabble tiles I just bought was about $12 (a good bit cheaper than the 20 cents/tile I was paying). The most expensive item is the bails but I think that’s not something I’d want to skimp on.
Sixteen to go!
I dug out my Sublime Stitching book yesterday morning and selected a few transfers to use on these tea towels I picked up at the craft store. I bought the book last year but had not done anything with it, other than flip through the pages and admire Jenny Hart’s handiwork. I know: Bad Mary!
Because I have Craft ADD, I have plenty of things like embroidery floss, needles and hoops. Dug them out of the pit that has become my craft closet, and got to work. I thought some outlining really did these patterns justice, with just a touch of satin stitch and cross-stitch. I kind of view these towels as a set, even though they aren’t identical, so I used blue with a bit of yellow on all the serving pieces.
Honey was very sweet in admiring my handiwork last night, and agreed that they would make good gift ideas for Christmas. Guess I’ll be doing some more embroidery this year!