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. Anonymous6:56 PM

    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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