Wednesday, December 17, 2008

handmade holiday

I was determined to save a little money and make some fun little gifts this year. So, I searched the internet high and low for ideas that I could pull off. I found tons of adorable ideas, but most involved sewing. I have no idea how to sew on a sewing machine! I learned in middle school, and unfortunately forgot everything I knew. My talent in that department stops at sewing on a button, or fixing a tiny hole in my niece Emma's stuffed bunny! In her eyes, Aunt Lala is a master seamstress! She's never forgotten that I "healed" bunny a few years ago. Her mom says every time they have something that needs patched, she says "oh, we should take this to Aunt Lala." Thank you Emma Jean for being my biggest fan!

Back to the gifts...I fell in love with a few ideas, so I had to call in a professional. My sister-in-law Kim, came to the rescue again. Her talents are never-ending, and she was happy to help me out! She probably wouldn't call herself a professional, but she has her own sewing machine and she knows how to use like Emma, I am her biggest fan!!

The last two mornings, we've been at my dining room table working away like little elves! Me doing all the measuring and cutting, Kim doing all the sewing. I really should have jumped in at some point and attempted to learn. But, hey! She was doing great! Barrett must have known Mommy was busy, because both mornings he took great two hour naps! After he did get up, he had fun playing with Aunt Kim's thread tin, so we were able to keep working.

So, are you ready to find out WHAT fun little pretties we made?!?! I am so excited to give them to my sweet little nieces Emma and Lauren. I don't think they read my blog, so hopefully the surprise won't be ruined! As you know, they moved to South Carolina in July and I MISS THEM so very much!

"I Spy" Bags

I'm sure you've seen these. They're all over Etsy. They sell for around $18.00. I knew I could make my own for way less than that and I wasn't crazy about any of the materials I'd seen on Etsy. I had so much fun at Hobby Lobby picking out fabric! That could get addictive very easily. After walking circles in the fabric department for close to 30 minutes, I finally picked some out.

I used plastic name badges to attach my "can you find it" lists to the bags with ribbon. One side of the badge has their name, and the other has their list of trinkets. These will be so much fun for them in the car. They will have a long trip back to South Carolina after Christmas.

Here's Kim, sewing away. My hero!

Crayon Rolls or Crayon Caddies

These are all over Etsy too! These were super easy and inexpensive to make. I love the way they turned out, and they are such a great idea! Mommies can keep them in their purse for quick and easy entertainment at the doctor or a restaurant!

Ours have 12 slots for crayons, and a little pocket on the end for paper!

We also tried our hand at making an applique. I found a plain brown shirt at Toys 'R' Us, then used some of that cute fabric and drew a little birdie design. Kim stitched it on with some pink thread, then I ironed on some other little flowers. It gave us a few challenges, but we made it work and it turned out pretty cute for our first attempt.

THANKS a million for all your help, Kim! It was so much fun! One of these days I'll get a sewing machine and learn how to work it!


  1. What great ideas. I have been eyeing those I spy bags on etsy for a long time. Too bad I can't sew a lick either. I think I may have to have Audra teach me :)

    Looks like you have been very busy.

  2. What great ideas. I have been eyeing those I spy bags on etsy for a long time. Too bad I can't sew a lick either. I think I may have to have Audra teach me :)

    Looks like you have been very busy.

  3. Ok...So...I had to work up a lot of guts to ask this...but...COULD YOU BE MY AUNT LALA TOO? I am dying over how cute your gifts are!

  4. What cute items! And the material you've chosen is fabulous. Handmade gifts are the best - I didn't have time for handmaking myself this year, but I believe I did almost all of my xmas shopping on etsy. :)

    And I totally relate to you on the sewing. I bought a sewing machine and was so intimidated by the bobbin that I didn't touch it for more than 4 years. I did eventutally figure it out, but I'm still terribly awful at it - ie, I can make things look pretty but they probably won't hold up through a washing, and I wouldn't even dare to have anyone take a look at the crooked seams. I envy your sis-in-laws talent. :)

  5. Laura!!! How CUTE this stuff is!! Not sure if you remember or not, but I had some "I Spy" bags made for the kids in May. They haven't quite got it all figured out yet, but in time they will! What a great idea for Emma and Lauren!! And the crayon caddies? CUTE! I have seen those all over too but seeing yours makes me want one!! Must be that cute fabric...

    So speaking you happen to have any left?! I am IN LOVE!! I'd trade ya some hair flowers or bows or something for a bit!! The flowers and the polka dots are just TOO sweet!! I have a boy and hair bows are so not usable for you, but maybe you could give them away?!!

    I, like you, belong in the group of non-sewers out there. I have a sewing machine though...making it a goal to USE the thing in 2009!!

    Fun stuff!! And the shirt is darling too!!

  6. I forgot to tell you...let me know if you have any questions about PS or actions! I am no pro, but I have come a LONG ways in the last year and am happy to share what I know!! I know NOTHING about Illustrator though!! We can even do it over the phone sometime after Christmas too!! Hope to see you over the holidays!!

  7. I had so much fun sewing with you, it seems we can have a good time with whatever we do lately. Thanks for bragging on me you silly girl. You make it sound like everything went so smoothly... he!he!

  8. Nice work! I will have to show my little sister, she sews with the best of them. It would be a great idea for Celine. Can't wait to see you in a few days!!

  9. You guys are an awesome team together! Love the bags and the crayon rolls....very cute. I like to sew, have a machine, just don't have any where I can leave it up and it's too much work to drag out...blah blah blah, let me think of some more excuses! You gals motivate me, i may have to drag it out and blow off the dust bunnies!

  10. How fun! I'm going to have to try my hand at the I spy bags and crayola holders. I have a sewing machine, although I'm not sure if I also possess the talent.


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