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Friday finds – a list of Eco-friendly Christmas gifts, gift wrap, and decorations to make

Your calendar is not wrong. Today is not Friday. However….my submission to the Handmade Holiday series on Sew Mama Sew – Eco-friendly Gifts– is on their site today, so I thought it would be useful to have a complementary list to celebrate this event!

Looking after the environment, reducing waste, re-purposing and re-cycling, being aware of our eco-system and, as my boy says, looking after nature, are all things that are important in this nest. In fact, for most of my friends and family, these things are automatic these days, and form part of our everyday life. We have a water-tank, raise chickens, compost, grow vegies (with variable success), recycle, etc. Being able to make gifts that incorporate these principles is great – both from an ethical point of view, but also from a budgetary one! In my search for eco-friendly gift ideas for my submission to Sew Mama Sew I found wonderful ideas. Not all of them could be published on their site, so today I provide you with the supplementary list of ideas – and hopefully some inspiration for other ways of making eco-friendly gifts, decorations and having a cleaner, greener Christmas!

Lacy at Every Day is a New Day has a tutorial for making Resuable-washable paper towel. I love this concept. One step past having a pile of cloths to use for spills – making a roll that is convenient to ‘tear off’ and use instead of paper towel is a great gift for the eco-friendly domestic goddess in your life!

Vicky Meyers has a blog full of wonderful ideas about how to make recycled bags, however it was the idea of a Recycled denim Foot Muff that caught my attention. A great gift for the hipster in your life!

Of course denim can be used to make many wonderful re-purposed gifts. This denim bag from Art Bar is another great idea.

Another denim idea is this one from Planet Forward – The Green MacGyver Eco Friendly Crafts Blue Jean Notebook

On the same site there is also a tutorial for Recycled T-shirt Bracelets – a great way to upcycle old t-shirts.

Another up-cycling idea comes from Creative Jewish Mom – Crochet with Sheets.

Fabrics from favourite clothes, or sheets can also be re-purposed into pillow covers. The Creative Place has a great tutorial for making a Repurposed Clothes College Pillow.

The tutorial from Happy Hour Projects – Resuable lined snack baggies is a great present for children and parents alike. It shows you how to use plastic shopping bags to make a plastic liner for a snack bag, so it is doubly eco in my books – reducing plastic bag waste in landfill, and providing an alternative to using more plastic bags and wrap! Gifting it with some homemade treats inside would be a great eco-gift!!

Similar principles are used for the Recycled plastic bag placement by Inhabitat. Although it was designed as a Father’s Day gift it would adapt well to the Christmas season too!

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Another way of using up plastic shopping bags is to re-purpose them into ‘plarn’ – plastic yarn – and then crochet something new from them! At Sustainable Baby Steps there is a great tutorial on how to do this!

7 Easy Steps to Make Yarn from Plastic Bags

The number of tutorials for re-using old woollen jumpers (sweaters) is large. Here is one with a bit of a difference – just great for an eco-baby – Felt Block Rattle – My Poppet

On the same site there is a great tutorial for making your own Dress Up Girl.

 

Excess CD’s can be used to make very pretty coasters, using this tutorial from Crafts by Amanda

Stenciled CD/DVD Coasters - CraftsbyAmanda.com

Another upcycle idea is to use Scrabble Tiles to make fridge magnets. This tutorial by Adventurous Every Day – Upcycled Scrabble Tile Magnets shows you how.

Other gift ideas that are eco-friendly, are a bit like the non-paper paper towel at the top of this list. Making things that replace disposable objects is always good for the environment. One of my favourite things to make for use around the home is crocheted dish cloths. I use bamboo yarn as it is super absorbant. When you have used a cloth for the day, its just goes in the wash and comes up fresh again. One of my wise friends has 7 in 7 different colours – one for each day of the week. A gift like that would be a beautiful thing to make for an eco-conscious friend or family member. I have used this tutorial from Bubblegirl – dishcloth pattern with great success but there are a plethora of patterns out there to use (maybe I will put my collection into another list one day!).

In addition to the market bag tutorial linked on my Sew Mama Sew post, there are, of course, a list of tutorials for market bags here on this site that I prepared a few months ago! Where I live the shops charge you for providing a shopping bag, so we carry our own fabric bags instead. It has reduced landfill and makes us all think twice about using plastic bags. They make great presents!

When it comes to wrapping gifts, the possibilities for being eco-friendly are endless! I was reminded recently of different ways of wrapping presents that I had employed for gifts about 20 years ago. The fact that one of the recipients still remembered and treasured the effort I had gone to in making her gifts so special gave me great joy. Some of the ideas I used included brown paper with hand drawn and painted decorations, calico fabric parcels tied with string, handpainted or stamped paper, etc. If I had access to these links back then, who knows what else I would have done!

How to make Newspaper Gift Bags – How About Orange

DIY Maven – Recycle Greeting Cards into Gift Pillows

Gathering Dust – Last minute Gift Tags

Decorella – Easy Eco Holiday Gift Wrapping Bag

Zakka Life – Eco Christmas Wrap

Eco Novice – DIY Resuable Gift Bags

As for making your ornaments – either for yourself, or as gifts, again there is a lot of inspiration out there.

Wayfaring Artist -Upcycled Christmas Ornament

Eco Empire – DIY Recyclable Paper Christmas Wreath

Recyclable Paper Christmas Wreath

Computers memory Christmas decorations – Recyclart

Computers Memory Recycled for Christmas in electronics diy  with ram Ornament Christmas

Michele Made Me – Heart house ornament

Needles and Wool – Recycled Card ornament

Recycled Lovelies – DIY Light Bulb Ornaments

Of course I am not the first one to think of such a list! So here are some links to other sites that have gathered together tutorials for making eco-friendly gifts, decorations and seasonal craft.

1800 Recycling – DIY Gift Guide for the Crafty and Financially Savvy Greenie

Ecouterre – 14 Eco Chic Gifts you can make yourself

Fave Crafts – Recycle Crafts

Everything Etsy – 101 Green Handmade Gift Tutorials

Mom Coloured Glasses – Eco Christmas fun

I hope that between all of these lists you are able to find some great ideas to have a cleaner, greener Christmas this year!

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Friday finds – a list of DIY gift ideas for a 9 year old girl with links to tutorials

Oh dear. The middle chick turns 9 next week and I am drawing a blank about what to make for her (let alone buy for her!) Last year I made her bunting with her name on it, and a creativity suitcase. This year? I am just not sure! So I decided to prepare a list of the links I find and share them with you in an effort to find inspiration for myself! Let’s hope it works!

Hair accessories

These days my nearly 9 year old is very fashion conscious.  She puts together her own outfits with more style than many adults – layering colours, textures and different fabrics to create her own ‘look’.  I think that some hair accessories to assist in her styling wouldn’t be out of order!

Interchangable ruffle headband – Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

Hair accessories – Life and Grace

Hair Accessories – Style My Party

IP-HAIR-ACCESSORIES

Rolled Ribbon Rosette Hair Accessory – Mom Advice

Home décor

Part of developing her own style means that my nearly-nine year old is a ‘tween’.  So it is time to update the bedroom décor and let her have her own space to express herself.  Some of these accessories might just do it!

Alphabet cushion – Hobbycraft

Fabric covered magnetic board – Riley Blake Designs

Fabric buckets for storing ‘things’ might also be useful as part of a ‘makeover’ – see the list I prepared earlier! Friday Finds – a list of 23 tutorials for fabric baskets and buckets

Fabric Covered Pin Board – The 36th Avenue

Reading Nook – Club Chica Circle

Clothing

Hmmmm….. perhaps making her some things that fit her ‘style’ might work!  With summer coming on she definitely needs a new hat – and is very picky about what she will and won’t wear.  Perhaps if I make one with funky fabric that might work!

Reversible Bucket Hat – Oliver and S

The other thing about summer is that she wants to wear shorts – all the time.  So perhaps I need to make some of these for her (adjusted to her size of course!)

25 DIY shorts to try – Cameo Blog

Or a skirt?

25 Girls Skirts Tutorials – Every Little Day

Technology accessories

Like so many young people my tween has an embarrassment of electronic gadgets.  A cover to assist in protecting them would be just the ticket (and in fact now that I remember, something that she has been asking for!  Yes, yes – insert the embarrassed face of a forgetful mother here!)
Kindle Cover – Diary of a Young Teacher

Padded Gadget cover – Riley Blake Designs

Ipad Cover with wrap around Pocket – Sewn Up by Teresa Down

Under

Gadget Pouch – WhipUp

iPod Case – WhipUp

Kindle Keeper – Polka Dot Chair

And to assist with the earphones that I keep finding tangled in a heap!

Earbud Pouch – Erin Erickson

A list of iPad and Kindle cover tutorials – TipNut

Things of her own

My middle chick loves to have her ‘own’ things now rather than sharing in the communal household things.  She also loves to ‘borrow’ her mother’s heat pack for all sorts of imagined ills….. so maybe she needs her own!

 Heat Pack – Fellow Fellow

She does have a large amount of pencil cases, but when you are the artist-in-residence you can’t have too many!

Pencil roll – You Go Girl

Notebook Cover – Sew Up by Teresa DownUnder

Although she already has one of these, I need to share the link again as it is such a wonderful gift to make for an artist person!

Creative Suitcase – WhipUp

She does love to cook and create in the kitchen so perhaps this is required!

Chef’s Hat – WhipUp

My tween also likes to complain that she can’t sleep – so this would be a great addition to her accessories!

Sleep Mask – WhipUp

Shower Cap – WhipUp

The good news is that after spending the last hour or so preparing this list, I DO know what I am planning to make for my middle chick!  Now to see if I can pull it off before she returns from her holiday!  I hope that the list helped you a bit too!

Friday Finds – a list of 18 free tutorials for Diaper/Nappy Bags

Although we are a few days away from the official beginning of Spring, the weather has decided to anticipate the change a few days early, and it is beautiful!! The sort of weather where you want to be outside, pottering in the garden, going for walks and being energetic. I love it! Here’s hoping that it will last and not revert to the gloomy winter conditions again!

Today’s list of finds are well and truly for me to make as gifts, not for personal use! When I had my chicks I had a fabulous nappy bag (diaper bag for some) that my sister gave me – a black, quilted, backpack, lined in plastic lined materials, with great pockets. I found that having my hands free was wonderful. And it didn’t look like a nappy bag. I have written before that I think that diaper bags can be sophisticated, with no little duckies or teddy bears etc. Having this cool black bag meant that I felt a bit groovy instead of completely lost in motherhood. So it is with this in mind that I have collected these patterns for diaper bags. The ‘cool’ factor is defined by the fabric that you choose, and therefore only limited by your imagination!

Diaper Bag – Nap Time Crafters 

Easiest Nappy/Diaper Bag ever – Sew Christine 

Diaper Bag – My crazy beautiful life   

Diaper Bag – Prudently Painted Vintage 

2 in 1 Bag – Stroller Bag into Messenger Bag – Make it Love it

Diaper Bag with a Divider – Warehouse Fabrics

Diaper Bag – Sew Much Ado 

Simple Diaper Bag – Life on 19th

Hip Mama Diaper Bag – A Mingled Yarn

Diaper Bag – Sleep Owl Studio (with ideas on adapting the Hip Mama Diaper Bag)

Pretty Bird Quick Trip Diaper Bag – Sew 4 Home 

Diaper Bag with elastic pockets – Craftster

Diaper Bag – Crafty Couple 

Mod Diaper Bag – Vibrant Designs 

Anna’s Diaper Bag – CocoJ Designs 

Diaper Bag – Mommysewing

Angela’s Diaper Bag – Moda Bake Shop 

Baby on the Go Diaper Bag – Moda Bake Shop 

 

Friday finds – a list of 28 free tutorials for making skirts for grown ups

Well, the suspense is over. I have prepared a list of Friday finds after all. The collection this week is a list of tutorials for making skirts. For grown ups! While many of the patterns and theories and lessons can be used to make skirts for little people, the aim of these are skirts for big people. Like me! I am so over this winter and it’s dreariness. I keep looking at my cotton wrap skirts with longing. Waiting for the day I can wear them with bare legs and sandals. A list of patterns might keep me going until the season is right to wear them again. Or I might find one for a winter skirt! Let’s see.

Pleated wrap Skirt – Grand Revival Design

Paris Skirt The TutorialParis skirt – Nothing too fancy

Circle Skirt Maths explained – By Hand London

 Miranda Skirt Pattern – Pattern Scissors Cloth

All About the Skirt – Freckles in April 

Simplicity in a Pillowcase – Casa Crafty

Paperbag skirt pattern – Grosgrain Fabulous

How to draw a skirt pattern – Simply Modern Mom

Circle Skirt Pattern and Tutorial – The Ribbon RetreatCircle #skirt #pattern #tutorial by Kaysi on [http://www.craftskeepmesane.blogspot.com/] via, [http://www.theribbonretreat.com/blog/circle-skirt-pattern-tutorial.html]

Hemless a-line skirt – One Avian Daemon

Make your own full gathered skirt – Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing 

Dana Wrap Skirt by Fitzpatterns | Sewing PatternDana Wrap Skirt – Craftsy

Everyday Skirt – iCandy 

15 free knee length skirt patterns – Fab n Free

Friday Finds – a list of 22 free patterns for cushions (and a few pillowcases)

Something about the hint of Spring in the air makes me want to start freshening up the house. Cleaning out cupboards, sorting out piles of paper that need filing, de-cluttering shelves, sorting wardrobes. In the midst of all this I have a hankering for some fresh cushion covers. Given that I have a significant stash of fabric my challenge is to make some without buying new fabric…….could be tough but I am sure I can do it! In support of this, the list of links to free patterns this week are for cushion covers, pillowcases and ottomans. Now to move them from my ‘to do’ list onto my ‘done’ list!!

Confessions of a pillow addict – Vintage Revivals  A Pillow Addicts Guide To Sewing An Awesome Pillow Cover

Pillow forms – The Sewing Loft

Zippered Pillow Cover – Make it Love it

 Quilted Floor Cushion – Dobleufa

Simple Throw Pillow – This Big Oak Tree

  Felt Applique Cushion – Hobbycraft

Ribbon Embellished Pillow – This Big Oak Tree

IMG_1189  Scrap Buster Fall Pillow – Cluck Cluck Sew

Alphabet cushion – Hobbycraft 

Fake Quilt Cushion Cover – Fia Lotta Jansson

Simple Envelope Cushion Cover – Messy Jesse Crafts 

Super Crazy Easy Fast Ten Minute One Piece Cushion Cover – Happy Housie

Basic Cushion Cover – Made by the Little Blue Duck 

Diagonal Striped Cushion Cover – Made by the Little Blue Duck

How to Make a Boxed Cushion Cover – Piping and Pleats 

 Pillow Fight Anyone Cushion Case – Time for Dinner

Cushion Cover – Mildly Crafty 

Diamond Lattice Pillow – Sew Sweetness

DIY Hand Stamped Cushion Cover – Hobzy image

 Applique Cushion Cover – Crafty Habit

Piped Bench Cushion – The CSI Project 

20070614990Button Back Pillow – Knit One Quilt Too

Pillowcases

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPillowcase from fat quarters, with an ipod pocket – a little bird made me

Road Trip Pillow Cases – Amazing Mae 

 Tie Closure Pillow Case – This Big Oak Tree

Pillowcase – Twiddletails pc023

Posh Pillowcase – You Go Girl

Pillowcase – Notes from the Patch

Conkerr Cancer Pillowcases – Dana Made It

Friday finds – a list of 21 links to free patterns for crochet market bags

I think that Fridays are my favourite day of the week. Work is over, the weekend is stretching out in front of me, full of possibility, and there is nothing that ‘has’ to be done other than self imposed things like posting a blog post! When looking through my collection of ideas that I go to when I need inspiration I realised that I have collected a large number of links to crochet market bags. I have yet to make one, but love the concept, and, once I have finished the ripple afghan (soon, I promise, soon!) I intend to make a couple. I have made a crochet beach bag as a gift for my sister, and loved the process, so think that market bags would be similarly delightful.

On a cold and blustery day, curling up on the couch and crocheting away is so appealing… To assist, here is my list!

Crochet Grocery Bag – Fat Cat Crochet, RavelryCrochet Grocery Bag - free pattern - http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crochet-grocery-bag

l20065a-187x300Hobo Market Bag – Daisydozit

Rainbow Market Bag – allfreecrochet

Beginner Market BagCrochet Market Bag – Dearest Debi

Cotton Shopping Bag – Posh Pooch Designs

Market Bag – Hippy Hooker

Simple Market Bag – All Free CrochetSimple Market Bag

Dynamite Market Bag – Crochet Dynamite

Market Bag – Ravelry.com

Crocheted Market Bag – Ravelry

Hexagonal Net Crochet Bag – Ravelry.comRavelry: Hexagonal Net Crochet Bag pattern

Crochet bag – Fine Craft Guild

Colourful Cotton Bag – Knitting and some more

Crochet mesh bags.  Free pattern from Michaels.Sugar and Cream Crochet Market Bag – Micheals.com

Go Lightly Tote – Ravelry.comRavelry: Golightly Tote pattern by Lion Brand Yarn

Pattern for simple crochet bucket bagCrochet Bucket Bag – Joann.com

Lacy Crochet Market Bag – Red Heart.com

pattern imageProvence Crochet Bag – Classic Lite Yarns

Crochet Market Bag – Hip 2 Thrift

free crochet market bag patternMarket Bag with Floral Accent – Bobbles and Baubles

Go Green Market Bag – Suzie’s Yarnie Stuff

Friday Finds – links to 50 free patterns for pincushions!

This week has flown by, with drama performances, work, and general family life keeping me very busy. The weekend is stretching before me with lots of unplanned time (when you have three kids it is never ‘free’ time!!). I have a list of projects I want to tackle – more work on the memory quilt, a bag for a silent auction at a ball I am attending next week, and thinking about baby gifts for two of my staff who are pregnant. In the process of trying to sort through all these ideas I realised that what I need is a little project – something useful and colourful and not too time consuming. Then I hit upon it! A pincushion!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the one that I whipped up for myself about a year ago. While it does just fine, we have a craft stall at the school fete coming up, so making things to be sold there is next on the ‘sewing with obligation’ list….. (I will talk more about that concept another time!). So – today’s list of finds is a collection of 50 free patterns for pin-cushions (I did cheat a bit – one of the links is to 25 free tutorials!) There are hundreds more out there but here are some that appealed to me. Enjoy!

Bug Chunk Pincushion – A Girl in Paradise 055

Recycled Jar Lid Pincushion – In it to Kawaiify it

Paper Pieced Pineapple Pincushion – Katies Quilting CornerPaper Pieced Pineapple Pincushion Tutorial

Pinfeathers Owl Pincushion – Riley Blake Designs

RoseBud Wristlet Pincushion – Riley Blake Designs

Chick Pincushion – Quiltscapesqs

Hexie pincushion caddy – Macaroni and Cheese

Summery pincushion – Elsie’s Girl

Wrist Pincushion – Balzer Designs8-pincushionontowrist

Bitty Bowl of Pins – Bitty Bits and Pieces

Square Pincushion – Heather Bailey Designsquare pincushion tutorial

Felt Cup Cake Pincushions {tutorial}Felt Cup Cake Pincushions – Tipjunkie

Mushroom Pincushion – Little Dear Tracks

diy berry basket pincushionBerry Basket Pincushion – A Pumpkin and a Princess

Pincushion – Creative Breathing

Star pincushion – Lots of Pink Here

Spools Pincushion – Charley Dee and Me

'Simply Geometric' Pincushion DIY ... http://mousechirpy-polkadotpineapple.blogspot.com/2010/01/prety-petunia-pincushion.html#Pretty Petunia Pincushion – Mouse Chirpy – Polkadot Pineapple

Strawberry Pincushion – Embroideroo

Tiny Cottage Pincushion – Molly Flanders

Felt Fairy Pincushion – Red Brolly

Tin Can Pincushion – Cut out and Keep

Teapot Pincushion – Join the Mood

Pincushion – St Louise Folk Victorian

Scrappy Pincushion – Ellison Lane

25 Free Pincushion Tutorials – Babble