Give sustainably this year! Help your friends and loved ones re-use (bags, napkins, etc.), and wrap it all up with eco-friendly gift bags, tags and more.


Today’s Guest Curator: Theresa from A Little Bird Made Me

Theresa lives in Canberra, Australia and blogs at A Little Bird Made Me. She loves to a curate regular lists of great tutorials, “including bags, aprons, more bags, fabric buckets and different bags.” Theresa also designs and sells bags in her A Little Bird Made Me shop.

She writes, “I have always made ‘things.’ At times the making didn’t happen for months or years at a time, but eventually I have always found my way back to creating. I love to make gifts for my family and friends. I think that when you make something with your own hands, a little piece of you and your love goes into the article… I also believe that having a creative outlet helps me to stay sane as the rest of my life can get a bit hectic. I am very lucky to be the mother of three beautiful children, to have a busy ‘other’ career (I practiced as a criminal lawyer for many years but now work in management in the Public Service), to have pets to care for (a rescued cross-breed terrier, five chickens and a budgie), and to have wonderful family and friends.” Stop by A Little Bird Made Me to learn more about Theresa, and enjoy her eco-friendly gift ideas below.

Make It


Summertime Sewing Placemats + Napkins
Summertime Sewing Placemats + Napkins are perfect year-round! Nichol shows you how easy it is to whip up a set of your own at Nichol Magouirk.


Make Your Own Oilcloth
Vicky shows you how to Make Your Own Oilcloth, for this iPod cover in her tutorial at Vivid Please or for durable totes and more.


Pocket Full O’ Geese Tote
Rebecca of Frybread Quilts & Cuterie designed this Pocket Full O’ Geese Tote for us here at Sew Mama Sew. It’s a nice option for quick shopping trips and makes a beautiful gift.


Eco-Friendly Christmas Bon Bons
Celebrate with Laura’s Eco-Friendly Christmas Bon Bons at Sustainababy!


Front Zip Pouch in Four Sizes
Kristin’s Front Zip Pouch in Four Sizes here at Sew Mama Sew supplements her free Craftsy class, Bag Making Basics: Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch. You’ll find tons of uses for these handy pouches, and they make a great present for everyone on your list.


Bowl Cover
Megan from A Kitschy Kitchen shows you how to make your own Bowl Cover. She adds that it’s a great beginner project!


Cloth Gift Bags
These Cloth Gift Bags by Sue Zipkin for Clothworks would be nice in some of Clothworks’ latest Christmas collections like Not Even A Mouse or Peppermint Lane. The bags can be made in 5-10 minutes!


Reusable Felt Gift Tags
Megan makes it easy to keep track of presents in cloth wrapping with these Reusable Felt Gift Tags at Megan Nielson.

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Gifts for the Eco-Conscious, Wrapping It Up tutorials

Mix It


Holiday Pan Forte
Pam has a delicious Holiday Pan Forte recipe at Gluten-Free Gus. Pan Forte is a traditional Italian dessert; Pam writes, “Roughly translated it means ‘Strong Bread,’ a reference to its dense texture and combination of spicy flavors.”


Gluten Free Linzer Torte
Make a Gluten Free Linzer Torte this season, another traditional holiday treat from Pam at Gluten-Free Gus.

Print It


Advent Calendar
Just in case you didn’t get enough from yesterday’s Advent Calendar round up (see the November 9 link below), here’s a sweet, printable Advent Calendar from Kate at Mini-Eco.

Win It

Comment on today’s post for a chance to win one of these prizes!
Tip: If you’re hoping to win a prize that notes “US Winners Only,” include your state in your name (i.e. Beth in WA) so we can confirm residence and avoid any disappointment on your end. Shipping range is determined by the generous companies and artisans that donate Handmade Holidays prizes.

Mollie Makes Woodland Friends: More Handmade Projects for the Home
(US Winners Only)

Publisher: Interweave

The latest book from the Mollie Makes team takes its inspiration from woodland creatures. Ten of our favorite crafty contributors have put together over 18 exclusive projects featuring crafty foxes, cute and cuddly mice, wise old owls and any other forest-dweller you can imagine! There are ideas for home accessories, toys, gifts and cards, covering a wide range of techniques including sewing, crochet, embroidery, papercrafts and more. Whether you are a knitter or a felter, or fancy trying out some crochet, stitching or paper-cutting for the first time, there is something in here for you. Each project is accompanied by clear step-by-step photography and stylish photography, with hints and tips direct from the makers. So dig out your very best vintage fabrics, most colorful yarns and threads, clear the kitchen table and prepare to be inspired.

Sewing for All Seasons: 24 Stylish Projects to Stitch Throughout the Year
(US Winners Only)

Author: Susan Beal
Publisher: Chronicle Books

From autumn’s bursts of orange and red to spring’s lush greens, summer’s long-lasting golden light and winter’s cool whites and grays, the changing seasons provide endless artistic inspiration. In Sewing for All Seasons, author Susan Beal offers 24 beautiful projects imbued with the spirit of each season. Home sewists will enjoy stitching a cozy patchwork throw for autumn, a bright gardening apron to welcome spring, a colorful picnic quilt for summer and soft woolen slippers for those chilly winter nights. With how-to illustrations, helpful templates and patterns, tons of color and eye-catching photography, this book will leap off shelves and inspire crafters all year long.

Handmade Books for Everyday Adventures: 20 Bookbinding Projects for Explorers, Travelers, and Nature Lovers
(US Winners Only)

Author: Erin Zamrzla
Publisher: Shambhala Publications

Handmade books are the perfect way to take note of those things that ignite your creativity and inspire adventures. These twenty simple projects are meant to be used while out and about—from a canvas-covered camping songbook to a waterproof book perfect for the beach, these books are designed with adventure in mind. Traditional Japanese bookbinding techniques meet contemporary style in this unique collection of projects; the clear step-by-step instructions and beautiful photos make this the perfect book for beginners and experienced binders alike.

Crochet at Play: Fun Hats, Scarves, Clothes, and Toys for Kids to Enjoy
(US Winners Only)

Author: Kat Goldin
Publisher: Running Press

Projects ranging from one-of-a-kind hats, blankets, and cardigans to mermaid-tail sleeping bags, hedgehog mittens, ballet slippers and toys for the play room make this an irresistible collection of crochet projects to make for babies and toddlers. The book is organized into four chapters for: Head and Shoulders (capelets, wizard hats); Fingers, Knees, and Toes (ballet slippers, hedgehog mittens); Whole Self (silver birch tunic, wolf cardigan); Play Room (star rug, sleepy octopus pillow). Photography of the 30 projects modeled on adorable tots throughout make the book truly precious. Suitable for crocheters of all abilities, Crochet at Play is a must-have for crafty parents, grandparents, and aunts.

Don’t miss our Handmade Holidays photo pool, and check out our 2012 Handmade Holidays list for more fabulous ideas. Here are our 2013 themes:

November 9: Advent Calendars
November 8: Gifts for Make-Believe
November 7: Gifts for Travelers
November 6: Gifts for Geeks
November 5: Gifts for Babies + Toddlers
November 4: Holiday Party Clothes + Accessories
November 3: Gifts for Cooks
November 2: Gifts for Gadget Lovers
November 1: Gifts for Tweens

We respect the copyright of all crafters. All photos are used with permission from the artist.