Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Christmas Crafting

One of the best parts of the build up to Christmas, is the crafting, baking and making involved. In my previous post I stated that handmade gifts, when half hearted, aren't always perfectly delivered as shown in the glossy magazines. However, I discovered a unique and fun way to hand over my family and friends gifts without having to go out and buy boxes or bags to finish off the somewhat passable wrapping. Without having to go out purchasing fabric, or even salvaging for cut offs in charity shops, I used lots of material my Nona had given to me and recycled old fabrics, already saving myself the pennies. I decided to make Christmas Stockings which I could use as gift bags and also it was an extra little present, something they could keep and use for decoration next year or even to replace their own Christmas Stocking.
 All I had to do, was; 
1: Draw around my own stocking as a template on the fabric of choice creating 2 sides. Then 2 pieces of plain fabric for the inner layer, (however if you want a stronger, thicker stocking then you can use wadding). 
2; Before pinning together, I stitched the pattern or buttons onto the outer fabric so the stitching would not be seen on the inside.
3; I could then pin the inner and outer piece's of fabric together making sure they were opposite to sew together. After, trim away any excess material and frays.
4: Once each side was stitched to the inner fabrics, I could then sew the two sides together inside out, folding out after to have a complete stocking.

I must admit, I thought they looked great. The buttons and detail certainly made them very attractive and they almost had a chic style. So cheap and easy, I shall certainly be doing this again in the future. 

Another great gift idea, if you have a slow cooker, is make some chutney. I recycled old jam jars and managed to get a preserving jam/chutney kit from Tkmax for just 99p in the clearance. Bargain! I was given a wonderful Tomato and Garlic chutney recipe that I tried once before and it was spectacular, beginners luck I was thinking. But I decided to try it again as homemade chutney makes for a wonderful Christmas gift. The best time to go and shop for the ingredients is, what I like to call, a late night super market sweep around 6-7pm to get the clearance items. You would be surprised the little prices you pay. Once made, jarred,  labelled, and decorated with ribbon or pretty string tied in a bow, you have yourself a wonderful, tasty gift.