This time last year, I put together a round up of my top 20 tutorials for homemade Christmas presents that I’d found elsewhere on the web, for the delectation of my lovely readers reader. (Ha! That is actually almost true. I had only been writing the blog for a few weeks and I was so excited that 20 whole people read that post in the first few days!)
This year though, oh frabjous day, I thought I’d put together a round up of some homemade presents from my very own blog posts, sharing some of my favourite presents that I’ve made over the past 12 months.
Not all of these are my own tutorials, but all link to a tutorial for you to follow, so I hope there is some inspiration here for anyone planning on making some presents in this fine month of December. So, without further ado, here are my top 17 homemade Christmas presents…
For vintage lovers
A huge fan of a vintage or retro image myself, I’ve made a fair few things using some (copyright-free) vintage pics over the past year. These are the ones I’ve been most pleased with
1. Lobster necklace
Who wouldn’t want a pink vintage lobster strung around their neck?
This was my first experiment with shrink plastic and, I’ve got to say, I was pretty chuffed with the results. He’s rather spectacular, isn’t he? I also made some rather lovely shrink plastic teapots, which would work brilliantly as tags for presents…
Check out the full tutorial here: shrink plastic lobster necklace
2. Home-printed bookplates
Looking at this photo, I’m reminded that I want to make some more of these for myself…
This was a gift from Christmas last year and one I was really delighted with. It takes no time at all to print out all the bookplates, but I think the (slightly time-consuming) additions of the little envelopes really added to the cute factor.
Read more: print your own bookplates
3. Homemade paperweights
This is a little asparagus beetle caterpillar, ready for his transformation
A slightly cheat “do it yourself” because really all you do is buy a kit and add your own images. I’ve made these with the bugs, above, and also with a whole bunch of other vintage images…
Read more: check out my tutorial or have a look at some other suggestions for pictures that work well
All of these are pretty quick to make and small enough to fit into a stocking. Ideal for the homemade touch if you don’t have time to go the full hog on bigger presents…
4. Moustache mugs
What a fine selection of facial hair
Okay, okay, the moustache thing is a bit overdone by now, but these mugs are still pretty amusing to me. (It’s like she’s got a big moustache when she drinks tea, ha ha ha...)
Of course, you could also use the same method to create any artistic mug you fancy, or let your children have a go with some different coloured pens to make an artwork for Granny.
Read more: moustache mugs
Lavender soap, complete with actual lavender
Of all the presents I’ve ever given people, my homemade soaps have got the best feedback (and requests for replacements when they’ve run out…) Using a melt and pour soap base, these are straightforward to make, but still give you that pleasing mad scientist feeling as you stir them all together.
Read more: homemade soaps
6. Business card holders
I like the octopus one best
For the loveable executive in your life… …what better than some homemade business card holders?! I’ve got to admit, since I made myself one it has seen very, very little action — but then I really must start carrying my business cards around and handing them out a little bit more. Again, this is a quick project, perfect for when you’re half paying attention to something on TV.
Read more: business card holders
7. Plastic bag stuffer
The world’s sexiest present
If you thought the business card holders were a prosaic present, let me introduce you to the plastic bag stuffer! Sexy? No. Romantic? No. Thoughtful? Erm, perhaps. Useful? Very!
The thing is, buying something like this in the shops costs a ridiculous amount of money and it’s really, really easy to make with some beautiful fabric. But, I reckon, don’t give this to someone unless you know they have a plastic bag mountain hidden in a drawer or cupboard. This is the sort of present that could see you on the receiving end of a pair of socks the following year if given to the wrong recipient.
Read more: plastic bag stuffer
8. Felt food
Anyone for bacon?
Erm, what can I say about this? It’s a fairly weird present, I know, perhaps better suited to children with a toy kitchen, but this felt breakfast really pleases me. Those little yellow yolks on the eggs, the curly bacon, the bright red tomato. Visually, it’s rather glorious.
Read more: felt fry up
9. Egg cosies
Yum, yum, eggs you can actually eat
Infinitely more practical than a felt breakfast, these egg cosies can keep your actual eggs warm and toasty on a winter morning. Also good for getting the most out of scraps of beautiful fabric…
Read more: egg cosies
If you’ve got a bit more time…
Ideally, if you were making these presents, you would have started a while ago. But, hey, I’m only posting this today so you couldn’t have known… If you’ve a fair of time before the big day, these would make lovely presents though.
10. Hot water bottle cover
Just add a ribbon round the neck for some extra flair
This might take you a couple of evenings to knit, but it’s a really nice pattern and very simple to follow. I was delighted with the way it looked at the end and (as is the way with every present I make for someone else that I really like) have been meaning to make a version for myself ever since. It never happens, of course, because there is always another present to make for someone else first…
Read more: knitted hot water bottle cover
11. Apple and blackberry vodka
Oh this is a sight for sore eyes!
Not that this takes a long time to make, but it takes a long time to get really tasty. If you knew a patient person (it’s not me) you could make up a bottle of this now and tell them not to drink it for a year. Otherwise, make up some bottles now, and save until next Christmas for giving out…
Read more: apple and blackberry vodka
12. Dog draught excluder
I was umming and ahhing about including this, since I don’t have a (non-photocopied) version of this pattern to point you towards. But, this dog draught excluder is so amazing that I couldn’t resist including it. If you’re good at sewing, you could probably take one look at it and figure out how to make it. It’s just two main pieces for the body, plus a garter at the top of the head (and the ears, of course)…
Head over to the main post for more pictures: dog draught excluder
There’s something almost irresistible about making presents for babies. From their cute little tiny person clothes to lovely snuggly soft blankets for keeping them toastie and warm, there’s an almost infinite option of things to make you super broody while you whip them up.
Of all the presents I’ve made this past year, the large majority have been for little people. These are my faves:
13. Knitted blanket
Looks so complicated, knits up really easily…
I knitted this for the sproglet while I was pregnant, working my way through a few rows every evening. It’s called the shale baby blanket and is one of the few patterns I’ve ever paid for. Worth every penny though, because it’s utterly gorgeous. The finished result looks really complicated, but it’s actually only four rows to remember so is quite a relaxing knit…
See more: shale baby blanket
14. Baby bibs
I couldn’t resist this 1950s cowboy fabric…
If there’s one thing every six-month old baby needs it’s a lot of bibs. I made this pattern myself (not that it is hugely complicated, ha ha) and the bibs are all backed with velour, for easy post-meal mouth wiping.
Best of all, it’s super easy to make so you could whip up a little bundle very quickly for a last minute present.
Get the (free) pdf pattern and step-by-step tutorial here: baby bibs
15. Printed babygrows
The one on the far left looks a little evil, doesn’t she?
If you’ve visited here before, you’ll know I’m a big fan of using iron on transfer paper to add images to fabric. This works particularly well, I think, with babygrows, which can look adorable with an extra embellishment. This matryoshka is one of my favourites…
Check out the matryoshka babygrow or take a look at my tutorial for transferring prints to fabric
16. Quilted burp cloth
Yet more 1950s fabric. Don’t you love it, though?
There’s no denying that little babies are cute. But there’s also no denying that they are very vomitous. Very, very, very vomitous sometimes. I sewed a burp cloth before the sproglet was born and it’s fair to say it’s seen a bit of use in the intervening year or so. This isn’t the most glamorous present, it can’t be denied, but it’s a super useful one. Perhaps pair with some bibs or babygrows to up the cuteness quotient…
Read more: quilted burp cloth
17. Baby trousers
Stomp, stomp, stomp go the elephants
I’ve saved the best til last with the baby pressies. I’ve made a few pairs of these baby trousers now and I think they are utterly gorgeous and great for showcasing a nice fabric. These red elephant ones are my most preferred.
Read more: a trio of teeny, tiny trousers
What better way to finish off a handmade present, than with some lovely handmade wrapping. Here are some suggestions to get you started: