Last-Minute Gift

I found out on short notice that a new friend from my design classes had a birthday a couple days before Christmas. I really wanted to come up with a thoughtful gift, something that didn’t look like a last-minute (lame) idea.

She works at a bookstore, so that eliminated so many gift ideas that came to mind at first. I know she plays piano, and she’s in the same design and illustration program with me, so I customized a couple fabric-covered moleskin notebooks with these cool musical fabrics using this tutorial. Every artist carries a moleskin everywhere they go!

In the gift bag, I also included a set of coloured pencils, which are always fun to play with.

I do hope she liked these goodies, especially because I secretly wanted to keep them for myself… sshhh. I am definitely going to make more of these – they are so fun to customize for just the right person or occasion.

Saving Time and Energy

I listed some new gift bags in my shop this week that make great time savers, so I thought it would be fun to share the idea with you.

Save yourself some time this gift-giving season by giving a pretty handmade gift bag. They can provide you with that last-minute solution to gift wrapping.

Here’s what I do: put the gift inside a handmade drawstring bag instead of wrapping it in paper that will just get thrown in the trash. Then I offer the recipient suggestions for further use of the bag, such as a knitting project or keeping dirty clothes or shoes separate in your suitcase.

I always make my drawstring bags fully lined so they are more sturdy and have a more finished look.

They measure 9.5 inches square, so they are big enough to gift a paperback, a CD, luxurious soap, cooking gadgets, even gift cards. You can also use reusable bags to carry snacks, your camera, or other odds and ends that tend to fall to the bottom of your large tote.

I also made stuff sacks which are modeled after Stuff Sacks used by backpackers, with a drawstring closure and a flat bottom.

I put flannel in between the fabric layers and added piping around the flat bottom, making them more sturdy and giving them a more finished look too.

Hope that gives you some inspiration for more give-making and gift-giving ideas!