Owner/Creator:Anita Knits

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Homemade Christmas Gifts

I am going to start by confessing something.  I am always nervous when I share something I've made or crafted for the simple fact that I just don't want anyone to think I am taking credit for the idea.  I am well aware that most if not all of these crafts or ideas are not new.  They may have been re-invented or become popular once again.. but definitely not new.  I can only take "credit" for our take on what is very likely to be an old "idea".

Every year our oldest daughter wants to buy presents for everyone in our family.  As she gets older it actually becomes more and more fun to brainstorm and just spend time together thinking up what to give to each family member.  This year we decided on making the gifts for her siblings.  Ava has had a lot of fun learning how to sew and use my sewing machine.  I too have really cherished our evenings together sewing, learning and just spending some one on one time together.

For Gabriel we decided on an indoor hopscotch game.  I thought it was pretty original, but once I Googled it I realized it has been done (much like many crafts or gifts or what have you).. nonetheless we were pretty excited and proud of the end result.  I prepped many of the pieces by ironing the hems and even sewing some of the smaller pieces together.  Ava did a lot of the sewing and pretty much pieced the whole item together.

 She really enjoyed learning how to use my sewing machine, and I had a lot of fun teaching her!  I really loved to just sit back and watch her creativity, it was really amazing to watch her.  I think it's moments like this that help a person to really think out side the box.  What are the possibilities?  What are some potential issues that may come up?  Really helps you to think ahead and problem solve.
 All in all this was a really simple project, a bit labor intensive, but this is how we tackled it and the materials we used.  First off, the cream fabric is actually from tab top curtains that I owned.  I really don't like tab tops, so I thought I would put the fabulous cream fabric to good use :)  The green and white-ish fabric we bought at a second hand store.  I can't even tell you how much fabric it was... not very mathematical.. but it was alot and for $3.99 - so you can't go wrong there!

I cut out the size of squares that would allow numbers 1 through 10 to fit on the cream fabric.  Then I used mircosoft publisher and chose the font that I wanted to use for the numbers.  You can use any program you like, I just happen to really like microsoft publisher.  OK... so this is the super easy part... I just scaled it to the size we wanted to use.. and get this.. taped up the a small piece of fabric and traced it right from the screen using chalk.  Yup!  No printing, or making pattern.  Easy peasy - love it!.

Then the squares were hemmed and the numbers were sew on top.  Every piece of fabric was double stitched.  The reason behind this is because this is going to get a lot of use and there will be a lot of rubbing and jumping going on.  So I thought it would be best to reinforce where we could :)

 Along with the hopscotch we made a ball.  This I did "research" and I found this website to be very helpful on how to make a fabric ball.   For that I am grateful..........thank you! :)

Here is the finished project.  This took us two nights to make.  The design is pretty simple, but we think Gabriel (and the rest of us) :) will have lots of fun playing with it!


 The bag was a bit difficult for Ava to make, so I went ahead and made this draw string bag. Inside both the hopscotch "sheet" and ball fit perfectly.

 Added the "G" monogram and there you have it!

Another gift that we worked on together was a fabric bowling set.  Again, pretty sure this isn't new.. but we thought it would pretty darn cute!  For this project, we used another set of curtains that we re-purposed (which is the moss green coloured fabric), and the second fabric we actually re-purposed a sweater!  So really this project was very inexpensive as well.

This project we found to really move along quite quickly and was very straight forward.  We measured the length we wanted the bowling pins and then sewed them together to what look like a sleeve.  Then added a circular piece of fabric on the bottom.  Once the bottom piece was added it started to take shape, essentially looking like a cylinder.  To add weight to the bottom Ava added dried large beans (we happen to have a large bag left over from our fall crafts).  Then the rest of the cylinder was filled with stuffing.

She then sewed across the top of the "pin" to ensure all the contents stayed inside.  Then tied the top with the green fabric.  I simply ripped a long strip of the fabric to give it the frayed looked (which we like).

For the numbers I again used mircosoft publisher.  Chose the font we liked, sized it, and traced it straight from the computer screen.  We actually decided to hot glue the numbers to the pins, the reason for this is because for this we didn't want to see the stitching.  I'll admit there probably is a better way to do this, but I am not a "professional" sewer!  Nor do I sew very often.  I am certain this will last and stand up against time.

Made a pull string bag to fit all the items in.  We added the monogram letter "L" for Linden's name - and viola that's his Christmas gift from Ava! (with a mommy assist) :)  And of course we also made a ball to go with the pins.


All in all we think they turned out pretty great, but I think most of all Ava and I really just enjoyed staying up late, just the two of us, sewing, chatting and having a bit of fun and testing out the toys we made :)

A special memory I will always treasure :)


  1. These are FANTASTIC!!! I love both gifts and I really ADORE the monogram bags you made too - what a perfect touch! So sweet that you and your daughter do this together! Those are some special, treasured memories being made there!!

  2. Thank you Kaitlin! We had a lot of fun doing this together... it really was special <3

  3. AHHHHH these are so incredible!!!!!! Great sewing Ava!!!! Fun and beautiful:))


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