Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A small flurry of handmade gifts

I still have one belated Christmas gift which I'm working on.  But I thought I would show pictures of the last few more-or-less handmade items that I gave.  You'll see why I say "more-or-less" in a minute.

Quite a few years back, I came up with a small "puzzle kit" gift for kids which really seems to go over quite well with kids and parents too.  Basically, it's a small-size child's puzzle from the dollar store or Walmart, packaged with a packet of microwave popcorn and one of hot cocoa mix.   (If you know kids who can't eat popcorn, or their family doesn't have a microwave, you can just adapt this by using animal crackers, fruit treats, or something else instead of popcorn.)I designed Christmas packaging for the packets and a little instruction tag for the kit.  Sometimes I will design new packets specifically to go with a a certain puzzle, like Cars, Toy Story or Thomas the Tank Engine.  Here is the blog post where I tell about how to make the kits. Puzzle Kits

And here are some of the kits I gave this year. I tied them all together with some candy-striped yarn I found at a dollar store in Nevada.


I also made some more "His Eye is on the Sparrow" embroidered pillowcases.  These are a slightly different design from the ones I did last year.

Here's where to find the bird designs:  Bluebird Embroidery Designs.  And, if you would like to read my post from last year about using the designs in other ways, plus learn exactly how I transferred the designs to the pillowcases, you can find that here:  Bluebird & Sparrow projects.

Lastly, I did several crocheted pot holders.  My daughters use these as hot mats on the table, and they keep them in a drawer, so I eliminated the hanging loop on these.  This is the pattern I use:  Scalloped Potholder.  This easy pattern can look so different depending on your color combinations.  I saw one done in red & white which I really loved.  Future project!
In Christmas colors

The reverse side of the hot mat below

More Christmas colors

The variegated color in the next few is called "Winterberry".  I actually only made 2 mats, but they are double-sided.

Hope  you have enjoyed this look at a few little crafted gifts!


  1. How talented you are! I love the embroidery. I’d like to learn someday how to embroider. Is this different that cross stitching?

  2. Thanks, Cindy! Embroidery is similar to cross stitch -- in fact, it sometimes includes cross stitches as these pillowcases do. But it is not done on even-weave fabric like counted cross stitch. The design is stamped on the item and you just embroider over it. It's very easy and fun!

  3. Well let me tell you...those puzzle kits are a fantastic idea! thanks so much for sharing....I'm so happy to have found your blog tonight...and I've signed up to follow you as well!

    you have sparked a creative idea within me.

    from one crochet, embroidery....crafty person to another....I hope you have a great night!

    ciao bella
    Creative Carmelina

  4. Creative Carmelina,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such thoughtful comments! I am glad you enjoyed your visit to my kitchen table. Come back and browse around anytime... I may not post every day, but there are lots of ideas in the archives.

    Have a great day!

  5. Mrs. T,
    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. I enjoyed seeing your different gift ideas.I may try that puzzle kit idea with a couple of my nephews birthdays.I am not creative at all and your ideas inspire me.I loved the hot mat idea as well.:)That candy cane yarn was really neat as well.

  7. Hi ladies!

    Cindy -- hope your surgery went well and that you'll have a speedy recovery. Get plenty of rest!

    Nikki -- thanks for stopping by. Hope you do try the puzzle idea; I'm glad you like it. You could even adapt it for older kids by using a more difficult puzzle or a small craft kit. I also found some very cute puzzles (these were for little kids -- only 25 pieces) at the dollar store which were packaged in nifty little tins. Good idea to keep the puzzle pieces from getting lost. Yes, wasn't that candy-striped yarn so cute? I wish I had bought more than one skein now.

    Have a nice weekend!


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