The Table Gifts – Last Project Before Christmas!

We have a family tradition of putting small wrapped gifts at each place setting for Christmas Dinner. This year I made these tree decorations. I couldn’t post these before Christmas Day and spoil the surprise for our diners.

To get the basic design shapes I found Google images for each of the figures and zoomed to get each image to the right size for a tree decoration. I was going to print these out, but ended up just tracing the the shape on copier paper held up to the screen. This gave me the templates for cutting out the shapes from felt, two for each.

These were the simplest two to make. It was easier to add the features to the front piece before sewing the two sections together. For the penguin I appliquéd a white oval with a notch out of the top end, then added black sequins for eyes and a yellow diamond shape for the beak. I sewed the front and back sections together, using tiny running stitches close to the edge and sandwiched the yellow felt feet and a ribbon hanging loop between the two pieces, stitching them in to the seam. – I left a gap, stuffed with polyester fibre (not too much – just enough for the item to hold it’s shape) then sewed it closed.

The star simply had silver sequins stitched on to one pattern piece and a ribbon loop added as before prior to stitching the two sides together and stuffing.

For the tree I sewed on sequins, including a star-shaped one at the top. After sewing and stuffing I wound a glittery pipe cleaner round for tinsel. and added a few more stitches to secure it. The bell had a row of sequins sewn close to the bottom edge and beads added for the ringer.

The robin had a red oval and a white crescent shape appliquéd onto the front. The beak was a yellow felt diamond shape. I crocheted the legs and stitched them into the seam at the bottom. The snowman’s nose was made by rolling up an orange triangle of felt and sewing in place. I added black sequin eyes and embroidered a smile and twiggy arms. I crocheted a hat and scarf to finish.

I loved the way these characters and the penguin took on a bit of a life of their own as I created their faces. Now most of them have gone to their new homes, I’m tempted to make some more to add to my own tree!

Our Christmas was lovely. K made a delicious meal: He cooked a goose to perfection. Daughter made a trifle as an alternative dessert for those of us who don’t like Christmas pudding. Hope you all enjoyed your festivities too. Merry Christmas!

Getting The Party Started….With a Little Bit of Christmas Crafting

The Ukeladies

I’ve had a couple of days off from blogging, because of all those getting-ready-for- Christmas jobs that were mounting up…. and the party season of course!

Our friends, K and A organised a Christmas party at the village club on Friday night. Everyone brought something for a shared buffet and the ukulele group I’m part of (The Ukeladies) played a few Christmas songs to get everyone in a festive mood. Our founder was ill and couldn’t make it but the rest of us were in good form and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We only played five short songs so nobody really had a chance to get bored!

One of the reasons Christmas prep takes me so long is that I keep getting distracted by crafting opportunities. Take gift wrapping for example. I do actually enjoy doing this and could have had it all done and under the tree days ago, but oh no….. had to fiddle about with some handmade gift labels didn’t I?

I was rather pleased with them though. Here’s how I did it.

A while ago I picked some alder twigs, with tiny cones on and lightly sprayed them white to give a frosted effect.

I also used the following, all of which I had already

  • craft wire
  • red beads (I had quite a mixture from old necklaces etc,)
  • narrow ribbon
  • tiny jingle bells
  • fresh foliage (I used some Leylandii sprigs)
  • plain brown luggage labels
  • hot glue gun

I began by cutting a 7inch length of wire and threading on three beads, moving them to the centre and twisting the wire.

I then added a bell on to the wire an arranged a small twig of alder cones and a sprig of foliage, twisting one of the wire ends round the stems to secure.

Then I cut a length of ribbon about 8 inches long and adding a small dot of hot glue to the centre to secure it to the wire-wrapped spray, tied it round in a bow. I added a tiny blob of the hot glue to secure the bow.

I threaded the remaining wire tail through the hole in a label and twisted it back on itself to the underside of the spray, making sure that the end was tucked underneath and not sticking out. Applying hot glue to the back of the spray, I then held it in position on the label for a few seconds until the glue had hardened and the spray was securely in place. Then it was just a case of adding a message to the label.

I’m pleased with the results. I’d been reading loads about how bad for the environment a lot of gift wrap is, not just the plastic foil type. Many papers have a plastic coating or glitter (which is usually plastic fragments). I found some printed brown paper wrapping in Flying Tiger that appears to have the right credentials and looks great with these labels. I have now wrapped all the presents, so that’s another job ticked off the list!

Have you been creative with your gift wrapping this year?