Sewing

10 Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas

…for Christmas or anytime…

One of my favorite parts of sewing is making gifts for the people I love. Nothing says “I love you” like a handmade gift in just the “perfect” fabric. I love seeing the smile on someone’s face when they receive a gift that is personalized to their taste.

If you house is full of little kids, like mine, you know we don’t always have a lot of time to make elaborate gifts. But even these small ones will make your friends and family feel loved and appreciated. Sometimes teenagers and men can be difficult to make gifts for, but several of these ideas will work well for your young, modern, and masculine friends and family members too.

Here are 10 quick and easy handmade gift ideas:

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business in this way!)

Potholders:

This tutorial was designed to be quick & easy. Who wants to spend hours making something that is going to get dirty? These potholders are still beautiful and thoughtful, without taking too much time to make. Just make sure to read the safety instructions and use the recommended thermal batting layer!

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Quilted Sketchbook Cover:

This one takes a little bit more time, but if you like quilting and have scraps to use up, this sketchbook cover makes a beautiful gift for artists and writers. If you don’t have time to piece together the triangles, you can skip ahead to the construction and make a solid fabric cover. It fits perfectly on a Moleskine notebook.

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket Tote Bag:

If you don’t have time to make a whole bag, updating a tote bag is a great way to personalize a gift quickly. This one uses denim scraps and some simple bag hardware to add style to a plain tote bag. I think this one would be great for a teenager!

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch:

These little gift pouches are easy to make in bulk and are also the perfect size for gift cards and cash. You can use wax on the whole pouch for a more masculine look.

How to Make A Waxed Canvas Gift Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Mini House Pillow:

These little house pillows can be made in designer fabrics for decor in a cozy home or in sweet fabrics for a baby or toddler. For the little ones, you could even add flaps over the doors and windows with peek-a-boo surprises underneath.

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Stamped Tote Bag:

This is another fun idea for updating a plain tote bag. It might even be something your older kids can make for their friends! You just need some simple stamp carving tools to make a stamp. It really fun and easy to personalize. Any pattern or design will work, so you can create something that’s perfect for anyone on your list.

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Embroidered Envelopes:

Here’s another cute idea for gift cards, cash, or other small gifts. It’s like a bonus gift when you use it to wrap other small items. The pattern linked in the post also allows you to make a bigger purse-sized bag.

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Custom Tea Towels:

These are great for hostess gifts. I usually make 8-12 each year for friends and for use in gift swaps. All you need to do is buy a yard of fabric, cut around the rectangles, and hem your tea towels. Each yard comes with 4 towels, making them very affordable. If the painted landscape isn’t your style, there are hundreds of other designs to choose from!

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Fold-Over Tote Bag:

And here’s another tote bag idea. Showcase a favorite designer print with the fold-over flap on the tote. The faux leather straps and hardware make it young and modern looking. This one is also great for teens.

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

Notebook Cover:

This is the only paid pattern I’m including. (And it’s 30% off from 11/24-11/29 with the code GIVETHANKS16) These notebook covers make great gifts for anyone. The larger size fits on a basic composition notebook, so they are great for kids! The smaller size fits on a Moleskine notebook. Either can be made in masculine fabrics for the guys. I’m planning a waxed canvas version next. (I can’t stop waxing all of the things…)

Quick & Easy Handmade Gift Ideas | Radiant Home Studio

I hope these gift ideas inspire you to give some handmade gifts to your friends and family this year. Happy gift making!

Also, linked up with these blogs: Raising Homemakers

 

Giveaways

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Thank you! This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Kath, Jennifer, and Emily!

It’s another Sew Mama Sew giveaway day! It’s so much fun to see comments roll in all week. Plus, I love giving away free sewing patterns!

If you are new here, let me tell you a few things about myself and my site! I’m a homeschooling mother of 6. I love to sew, but I’m constantly trying new creative projects….everything from decorating and building furniture, to fabric design.

Since the last giveaway I have released a pattern for the Fairport Purse & Pouch. This pretty purse or pouch can hold anything from cosmetics to your daily shopping essentials. The smaller size is just right for organizing small items and also works well as a clutch. The larger size will hold your wallet and a few basics. It comes with 2 size options, 3 closure options, and 2 carrying options.

Fairport Purse & Pouch Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

My most popular pattern is the Retro Rucksack!

Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

If you have never visited before, take a look at my tutorials and things I’ve made pages to see what I like to sew. This year, I started a series of posts called “Tote Bag Upgrade” with monthly tutorials for turning a plain canvas bag into a modern accessory. I’ve also joined the Betz White Sewing Collective as a regular contributor!

Spring 2015 Makes| Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day | Radiant Home Studio

I write a monthly newsletter which includes a short personal update and links to my favorite projects and articles. And I include updates on my most popular posts, new patterns, and occasional coupon codes. I’d love it if you would sign up!

So now for the fun!

I’m giving away sewing patterns to 3 winners. Each winner will be allowed to choose one pattern they would like from my shop.

fairport pattern cover 650 Retro Rucksack PDF Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Water Bottle Tote PDF Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio Coastal Tote PDF Sewing Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

To Enter the Giveaway:

• leave a comment for 1 free entry (please include your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win)

• each person may submit two total entries (one comment answering the question, and another comment telling me that you follow on instagramfacebooktwitter, or bloglovin)

Follow on Bloglovin

Also:

• this giveaway is open to international entries (but please keep in mind that you are responsible for following contest laws in your country)

• giveaway starts May 6th at 9am EST and ends May 10th, 8pm EST

• winners will be chosen from comment numbers using a random.org

• PDF pattern will be e-mailed to the winners within 2 days

• chances of winning vary depending on the number of entries, but is estimated at 1/200

• if you buy a pattern this now and win, your payment will be refunded!

Please leave a comment answering the question:

What makes you decide to buy a sewing pattern? Pictures, recommendations, or price? Something else?

Thank you for all of you comments! The winners were chosen using random.org. 

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Winners | Radiant Home Studio

Sewing, Tutorials

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Use up your scraps, learn to make perfect zipper corners, and make a pretty patchwork heart zipper pouch for a friend! Today I wanted to share this fun zipper pouch project. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, but you can make it work year round by choosing fabric colors that aren’t so pink and red. I’ve used scraps from the quilt I made a few months ago.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I experimented with the zipper tabs and corners a lot while I was testing the Fairport Purse & Pouch. I’ve worked out my favorite method for installing zippers so that you end up with nice square corners and not a lot of bulk. You can use the patchwork heart zipper pouch tutorial to practice your zipper skills or apply the same method to similar bags.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

The heart shape is attached using reverse appliqué. The patchwork is attached under the front layer, then the front layer is cut away to reveal the patchwork underneath. If you prefer, you can also use the template to cut a heart from the patchwork and apply it using traditional appliqué methods.

How to Make a Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch:

Materials: 

• 1/4 yd. of exterior fabric
• 1/4 yd. of lining fabric
• 1/4 yd. of interfacing (I used Pellon 931)
• small scraps of quilting cotton (to make a 7″ square)
• 8″ zipper
heart template (PDF download)

Seam allowances are 1/2″.

Instructions:

1. Sew your scraps together. My scraps were mostly triangular pieces between 1-3″ wide. There is no wrong way to do this. Just start matching edges and stitching them together. You can trim the seams as you go. You’ll need a patchwork piece that measures roughly 7″ square.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

2. Cut two 9″ squares from your exterior fabric, and two 9″ squares from your lining fabric. Cut two zipper tabs, 1 1/4″ x 4″.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

3. Trace the heart template onto the right side of the exterior fabric, and cut a small slit in the middle.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

4. Place the wrong side of the exterior fabric on the right side of the patchwork piece, making sure that the patchwork is under the entire heart area. Stitch on the exterior around the heart line through both layers. You can use decorative stitching here if you like.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

5. Using the slit you cut in the exterior as a starting point, cut out the inside of the heart to reveal the layer of patchwork below. Leave about 1/4″ inside the seam line. Trim the excess patchwork from the back.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

6. First, you need to make 2 zipper tabs. Trim your zipper tape to 8″. Make sure you trim excess from the bottom of the zipper if you need to shorten it. For each tab, fold the short ends of the zipper tab to the center, wrong sides together, and press. Fold in half again and press. Sandwich each end of the zipper into the center crease. Topstitch across the zipper tab on the open end to keep it in place.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

7. Align the top edges of one lining piece and one exterior piece, right sides together. Place the zipper between the layers of fabric, with the zipper teeth facing the exterior and one side of the tape aligned with the top edges. When the zipper is centered there will be an extra 1/2” of fabric on each end of the zipper. Baste, if desired. Using a zipper foot, stitch along the top edge through all three layers and across the tabs. Fold the sides away from the zipper and press to one side.

 

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

8. Align the top edges of the remaining lining piece and exterior, right sides together. Place the zipper (with the attached pieces folded out of the way) between the layers of fabric, with the zipper teeth facing the exterior and the remaining side of the zipper tape aligned with the top edges. Stitch along the top edge through all three layers. Fold the fabric layers away from the zipper and press to the side. Topstitch along both sides of the zipper

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

9. Open up the assembled sides and place so that the exterior pieces are right sides together and the lining pieces are right sides together. Make sure the zipper is open at least halfway. Stitch along the long sides, matching the zipper seams. The zipper seam allowances should be folded and pinned toward the exterior. Sew right next to the zipper tabs, but do not sew through them.

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

10. Stitch along the exterior end. Stitch the lining end in 2 sections, leaving a 3-4″ opening in the center. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Stitch the lining closed by hand using a ladder stitch. Tuck the lining into the bag and you’re done!

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Patchwork Heart Zipper Pouch Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

 

News

Free Tablet Bag Tutorial at Sew Mama Sew

Two exciting things to share today! I spent a lot of my summer writing sewing patterns for publication. After a few months of keeping secrets, I can finally share some of them!

Today I have a free tablet bag tutorial on Sew Mama Sew. This is a beginner level bag—no zippers or complicated pockets—just the right size for carrying a tablet or e-reader. And you can use up some of your favorite scraps. Please head over to the Sew Mama Sew blog for the full tablet bag tutorial!

Sew a Tablet Bag Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Second, I’m excited to share that I have a bag pattern available in the Winter 2015 issue of Stitch magazine! (affiliate link) The digital edition is now available, and the print issues are available for pre-order. I haven’t seen the finished photos yet, so I’m in suspense as I wait for my issue to arrive in the mail. Stitch is available by subscription, or you can find the single issues at your local craft store. It’s a bit more expensive than a typical fashion magazine, but you worth it when you consider that you are  getting 30 sewing patterns with it! (The pattern I used for the men’s waxed canvas messenger bag was originally published in Stitch…) This issue looks like it has a great variety of projects and tutorials.

Stitch Winter 2015 Cover and Contents  | Radiant Home Studio

Don’t forget that today is the last day to get Perfect Pattern Parcel #5!

Finally, if you would like to keep up with my latest patterns and projects, please…

Holidays, Tutorials

Embroidered Autumn Leaves Garland

The temperatures are finally dropping here, and we’re enjoying the beginning of fall. Normally, it’s November before I dig out the autumn crafts. This year, I’m a whole month ahead!

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my business in this way!)

My mother-in-law encouraged me to do some seasonal crafts with the kids on Thanksgiving day a few years ago. While the adults are busy catching up with family (or watching football, if that’s your tradition…), the kids have something to occupy them. We started these embroidered autumn leaves 3 years ago. I intended to make them into a garland. Last year, we finally had enough…just in time to put up the Christmas decorations.

My children have been able to make these leaves as early as age 5. Just make sure you teach them to use the needle correctly and stay nearby until you are confident that they can use it safely.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve created an autumn leaves template that you can download and use to make your own leaves! There are 5 different leaf shapes, each with 2 sizes. You can use them for this embroidered autumn leaves project, paper crafts, or anything else you can think of! You are welcome to share the link and sell items you make using the pattern, but please direct people back to my site for the download.

Embroidered Autumn Leaves | Free Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Embroidered Autumn Leaves Garland Tutorial:

Materials:

Wool felt in several autumn colors (usually found on a bolt, not in the kids’ craft section of the store)

Embroidery floss in 3 or more colors

Embroidery needles

1/8″ ribbon (or string)

Printable leaf template

Instructions:

1) First, print the leaf template pages and cut them out. You can print 2 copies of each page, or cut the larger sizes first and then trim down the pattern pieces to the smaller size.

2) Lay out your leaves with contrasting colors of felt and thread. They look best if you mix up the colors and highlight the stitching with high contrast thread colors.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

3) Starting with the knot at the back, stitch the layers of felt together using a simple running stitch. Stitch around the edge, with a line up the middle. Or be creative and stitch the veins from the center to the points. You can stitch quickly, or take the time to focus on the details.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

We have a wide variety of stitching styles among our leaves, but the colors tie them all together in the end.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

You can use loose leaves to decorate the mantle or table.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

4) When you have collected enough leaves, make the garland. I used a 1/8″ satin ribbon, threaded through the embroidery needle. I made one stitch through each stem allowing them to slide back and forth. You can adjust the spacing after you hang the ends.

Felt Embroidered Autumn Leaves Tutorial and Free Pattern Template | Radiant Home Studio

You can find more fall inspired projects at The Hankful House link -up.

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