November 30, 2010

easy recycled gift bags

I tend to save anything that I can potentially use again--great for the environment but not so great for my storage situation.  I had a stack of brown paper wine bags like this--

Gather some acrylic paint, foam brushes, and foam stamps--

And stamp your bags--

Tie them shut with a cute ribbon and they can be used as a gift bag for a bottle of wine or other small gift.  You can reuse any paper bag or even a sheet of paper to make your own gift wrap.  This is a great project for kids, too.  My 3-year-old son stamped some gift tags while I was making my gift bags.  I must have been really happy with the results because each time he stamped a gift tag he would say, "Mom, don't you just LOVE it?  I just LOVE it!"  Glad my husband wasn't around to hear that!

November 22, 2010

Melvin the monster

Have you been checking out the daily inspiration over at Sew, Mama, Sew! for their 4th Annual Handmade Holidays? I religiously check their site every morning and have already bookmarked too many projects. My to-do list is getting very long. My son and I actually made one of the projects using a Monster Doll Tutorial from Dragonfly Designs. Our little monster. . .

He's already looking a little ragged as he has been well-loved the last few days! I drew up a pattern in a shape I liked, and we used fleece fabric for the body. (I have a whole bin of fleece remnants, and I'm not sure why I purchased so much. I probably had grand plans for it at one time.) My son helped me with the face, and even though I tried to talk him into two eyes, he was insistent his monster have just one eye. We had a lot of fun with our project, and I'm sure there will be monster friends in the future.

November 17, 2010

cute reversible baby pants

As I've probably mentioned before, I rarely buy craft books. I'm too cheap, and my local library usually has any craft book I've considered buying. One exception was Anna Marie Horner's Handmade Beginnings: 24 Sewing Projects to Welcome Baby. I was on the library waiting list forever, but it was still "on order" after a few months so I broke down and purchased it. I really wanted to make the Quick Change Trousers for a baby gift. Before buying the book, I tried to make my own version of the pants but the results weren't so good. I just finished up my third pair. (Please be sure to note how perfectly the stripes are matched up at the crotch seam. I'm pretty proud of myself.)

The pants have this cute little contrasting panel across the back--

. The reverse side--

The floral fabric is a remnant I purchased at Hobby Lobby. That's the great thing about making baby items--you can use up all those cute little pieces of fabric. The polka dot is a Michael Miller remnant, and the striped fabric is from a thrifted men's dress shirt. I had purchased the shirt for another project but when I saw it next to the floral fabric on my sewing table I thought it looked perfect together. I love the look of the different fabrics. It's girly but not all pink and over-the-top. This will be a gift for a friend who is having a little girl in December. But I secretly want to keep them even though I have no use for baby girl pants. They're just too cute.