Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waste Not

The owl softie panel I recently bought from Spotlight had 4 small owls and 2 large owls.
I only needed 3 little owls for my 3 boys.... so what to do with the spare....

turn it into a Christmas shirt of course!

Some May Say Late, Others Will say Head Start.

Bright idea on Christmas Eve morning to make a couple of reindeer softies... didn’t get them finished before Christmas.

But at least they will be ready for next year!

These were made using the Molly Monkey pattern I already had, ditched the tail and ear pieces.
Made felt antlers and drew my own eye and ear patterns.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hoot Hoot Little Owl Family

I couldn’t resist buying this Christmas panel during Spotlight's recent 50% off Christmas fabric.

It felt a little cheating to merely cut out the image, sew, turn and stuff.
I considered adding stitching details and ribbons and buttons etc.... but soon opted for the easy way.

The big ones make great decoration pillows during this festive season... and the little ones.... seem to be flying around the house, scattered in different rooms.

Monday, December 12, 2011

SUPER Cheap Stocking Holders

These stocking holders cost me less the $2 to make! And look GREAT holding my handmade stockings!


1)I went to the local hardware store, who told me to go and look in their scrap wood bin to see if something suited my project

They even helped by cutting the piece I found in to my desired size. Because it was a left over bit of wood, they didn’t charge me anything, however even if they do charge you a little, I'm sure it would only be a little, and perhaps $1 per cut... it would still be super cheap :)

2)I bought a packet of screw in hooks (from memory these were $1.50 for a packet of 6)

3)I wrapped each block in wrapping paper I already had here from previous years.

4) Placed a little piece of sticky tape where I will be putting the hook, so the paper would rip.

And screwed in the hook!

5) Add bow, ribbon or other gift decorations to really set it off.

And you’re DONE!
It's that SIMPLE!

Best of all, I can easily change the paper each year to bring in different colours or if I change my colour theme all together!

Mini Christmas Trees

How super cute are these?
AND a great use of your Christmas scraps.


1)Using a compass draw the largest circle on a piece of paper (for the large tree I just did the largest an A4 page would allow)

2) Then make your compass 1cm smaller and continue to down size your circle in this manner to the smallest circle you like to make- remember it halves again in size when you sew it (be sure to use the same centre point inside the previous)

3) Starting with the largest template, cut this out and out of your fabric

4) Trim your template to the next circle and cut out of a contrast fabric

5) Continue this until all the circles are cut out of fabric

6) Then it is time to make the yo-yos

7) Join together, almost like you are threading beads by sliding the needle and thread through the centre of each yo-yo, one at a time. And finish off the top with a normal button or star button.

And you’re DONE!

It's that SIMPLE!

I used a wooden cotton spool (which had been cut in half through the middle) and hot glued to the bottom as the tree trunk!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gifts for Under $10!

Handmade gifts are becoming bigger and bigger, and I love making handmade for personalisation (and more often than not it's more cost effective on my pocket)

So I thought I would share with you, a gift I have been making for a few years now and always appreciated (and one year when I had a new born, I had a few disappointed people when they didn’t receive this)

Best of all, it costs under $10 per gift!

you will need:
2 different plain colour sheets of card stock ($1.10 each= $2.20) - the more calendars you use this may be 2 per 2 calendars, because you use a large piece of piece A and small of piece B on one calendar, and the other will be the opposite
1 sheet of print scrapbooking paper (up to $2)
buttons, ribbons and other embellishments (I benefit from having a heap here, but you can often get coordinating ribbons from scrapbooking shops for 50c a metre)
standard photo (15c from big w)
memo board calendar from reject shop ($2) - this can be found in the craft/stationary/diary section or near the front counter. it has a white board/memory board at the top and a whiteboard pen, but it provides a nice sturdy top to cover with our new scrapbooked layout
minimum total of $7.35 (working on 2 different ribbons)


I make these for all of the grandparents, great grandparents and 1 of my aunty's.
I also write in our birthdates, so they are never forgotten.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Results From Our Activity Advent Calendar

I thought I should show some photos from the creations the boys (and I) have made from the instructions in our activity advent calendar.

They are looking great on their tree and around the house as additional decorations.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Treat Tubes

I thought I would avoid the standard candy cane this year for the kids friends (though now this idea seems very popular lol)

But here are our Christmas treat tubes to go with the kids Christmas cards.

I bought the tubes from Pack it in.
And the gift tags were from The Reject Shop, $2 for 16.

Colouring Carry All

For many years I have wanted a child (other than my own) to make gifts for, for Christmas, as I had so many ideas running through my head.

Now this year I had a 7 year old to make for and I became completely stumped!

Thankfully browsing my local Big W I found bunch of colouring in books on sale for $2 each and an idea sparked.

This colouring carry all has a detachable pencil case, plenty of room in the main part for colouring in books (currently has 3 from the sale, and room for more) and the small front pocket is holding an A5 sketch book since this photo.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"But The Christmas Tree Isn't a Girl"

Is what my son said when I showed him the new tree skirt (after I first tried to tell him I had made a skirt for him to wear)

I have wanted a handmade tree skirt since last year, but wasn't confident with my sewing then, so had planned to put it on my sewing to do list for this year.
Kind of slipped my mind until I pulled out my tacky store bought tree skirt, and discovered ALOT of storage staining.

After quickly drawing a rough template of an 8th of the previous tree skirt, it went straight in the bin.

And here is my beautiful new tree skirt (matches the stockings too :))

Friday, December 2, 2011

Activity Advent Calendar

As well as our chocolate advent calendar, I also thought I’d use our fabric hanging advent calendar for a selection of Christmas activities, to help us get in to the spirit of Christmas.

Some are for the whole family to do, and some are just a little quiet activity for the kids.

As well as some will be used for gifts, decorations and other things that need to be done at Christmas time :)

1. Decorate Christmas tree
2. Write wish list to Santa
3. Colouring activity.
4. Christmas puzzles

6. Visit Santa with wish list, and get photo taken

8. Make paper chain decoration

10. Write Christmas cards for friends

13. Paper shape tree decorations

14. Hand and foot print creations

15. Make pipe cleaner candy cane decorations

18. Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn

20. Look at Christmas lights

21. Make paper lantern

22. Make Christmas cards for family's gifts on Christmas day

24. Bake cookies to leave for Santa (and left overs for Christmas day)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christmas Attire

I changed my mind so many times with the type of shirt I was going to make the littlest Mr for Christmas events this year.

But it suddenly all came together in my mind yesterday and created today.
(Sorry about all of the pictures, he was such a poser and I HAD to show off all these great photos of him looking very proud of his new outfit!)

Only two more shirts to make for the other boys (they have chosen and told me what they would like on theirs.. so stay watching)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Handmade Gift Bags

Not only does it avoid wrapping paper waste, but they are pretty cute... and reusable!
I just made a simple calico bag (next time I might use ribbon or twill strips for the straps to save time and allow me to make more, or even buy some premade calico bags) and embroider the simple Christmas greeting to the front.

I hope they will be repurposed in future gift giving or as a carry bag during the Christmas time.

DS Cover/Case

Shhh... My older two boys are getting DS's for Christmas.
And as you may know they are expensive, especially with all the accessories and games etc.

So I got creative, not only did I manage to get 2 pre-owned DS from a games shop at a fraction of the price, and they still come with a 12 month warranty on them.
Plus a bunch of pre-owned games from forums and classifieds.

But I decided to make them covers each for storage rather than buying them.
Plus I don’t think store bough ones have this much storage.
These have storage for 12 games, the stylus, the DS, and games instruction (and I added another pocket because I had a bit of extra fabric because I managed to cut one pattern piece twice for both cases)

This is the tutorial I used.

And if they fill up the 12 game slots, I have intensions of making something like this.

Patchwork Diary Covers

Using the exact same method as I explain in my Fabric Covered Book Tutorial (except instead of drawing the measurements on to my interfacing, I did it on some paper beforehand because all 5 books were going to be the same size) I made some patch work diary covers for Christmas gifts for the kid's teachers.

Work out the fabrics you’d like to use for the front.

Using a couple of different sizes of paper (I just used a notepad I have, similar to post it notes, 1 was the full size, the other was folded in half one way, and the other folded the other) I then cut out a few of each fabric in the different sizes.

With my paper pattern as a size template I arrange the fabric pieces to fit in the best without too many of the same fabric touching completely. (Remember your fabric pieces are going to NEED to hang over the edge of this pattern, because when you sew each piece together you are going to lose a bit of its size)

Once you have created you "Main fabric" you continue all the steps exactly the same as the other tutorial!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas.

Years and years ago, back when we had only one child, I found these HUGE Christmas stockings, like novelty size (but actually practical to fill with toys).

I loved them so much I bought 2; we had talked of having a second, so I knew this wasn’t too ridiculous.

Little did I know we would end up with 3 children and the store since close, so I couldn’t find the same size stocking again.

The first year we had our youngest, I got away with buying a MINI stocking (novelty size to the other extreme) because he was the baby and it suited.

But last year, it just wasn’t working, and still no luck finding a large one for him, AND to top it off the other boys were starting to fall apart inside where it had this weird foam lining.

So I promised myself I would make new stockings for ALL of us this year.

I had intentions to make jumbo ones for the kids, and regular size for mummy and daddy, but changed my mind.

By the way, I used this pattern, just added the fold over cuff and didn’t worry about lining
The red tree fabric is from Spotlight, the green with white spots is from my own stash.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Marble Mazes TUTORIAL

Marble mazes are a fantastic QUIET activity for the children, plus involves fine motor skills for their little fingers and hands to push the marble around.


1) To make the pattern size I used, I simply folded and A4 piece of paper in half and cut two piece of fabric to this size.

2) Leaving approx. 5cm turning gap on one of the short sides, sew around using the .5cm seam guide.

3) turn in the right way, making sure you push the corners out with something such as a pen, paint brush or scissor tip if you are very careful.

4)2 maze patterns can be found here.
My advice is to print this out, and keep as a master copy.
Then for each marble maze you make, simply trace over the lines with tracing paper or baking paper.
You can then pin this to your fabric with the marks on the top near your turning gap, sew straight over the top of the maze lines, and rip the paper off once you are done.

Much easier than remeasuring and ruling on each marble maze if you are making a few. And making sure your drawn on lines wash off.

5) REMEMBER TO PUT THE MARBLE INSIDE, push it around the maze a little so it is in the centre and out of the way, now top stitch all the way around.

And you're DONE!
It's that SIMPLE!

Drawstring Bags are the BEST!

Not only are drawstring bags very simple to make, but also one of the best storage solutions for all sorts of things!

Faced recently with a dilemma on how to store these 3 puzzle sets that were very similar to each other, and didn’t quite fit in their own boxes if you had just ONE piece jumbled up, which meant juggle pieces between the 3 boxes... WAY too time consuming, and kids wouldn’t even bother trying to fix if the lid didn’t slid on.

So I whipped up a drawstring bag!

For years we have stored the Ka-Plunk marbles in a fruit mesh bag, and I mean YEARS as its the same set my brother and I use to have as kids. It was starting to kind of stick together where it was knotted, making it hard to open (and the kids couldn’t master a knot as it was, let along slightly stubborn one)

So I whipped up a drawstring bag!

Wonder what else I can bag up...?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Welcome to MY space.

I thought I would show you where I create and spend a lot of my time sewing.
I love my sewing nook, and I say nook, because the rest of the room in my youngest son's room (though his toddler bed is in our room at the moment, but that’s another story)

Just a little bit of warning, I am a neat FREAK!
So it is organised to the max.(I promise this is how it always looks, and not just tidied up for the photo), this is how it HAS to be when I walk away from it, and am done for the day.

It does get a little messy while working, but I really can’t work in mess, so even that isn’t real different than what you see here.

Here is what the book case consists of:
My patterns are in the green basket on the top shelf, any I have traced are in a folder on the bottom shelf.
How fantastic is this organiser caddy! I cant even remember which facebook page I bought it from, hopefully it will come back to me soon!
And my inspiration board and pocket frame help keep everything I need above me. (Though I think I need some more photos and jazz it up a little more)
And when I am using the overlocker, I tend to pull this little table out and away from the desk.