Use natural inspiration and a little repurposing know-how to make your holiday season more eco-friendly!

Today’s Guest Curator: Sally from Make It Yourself, Do It Yourself

Sally is the sewing lead on the Make It Yourself, Do It Yourself blog. After a city career, she now lives on a small farm in Kent, U.K. with her family, chickens and alpacas. Her mum taught her to sew as a child in New Zealand and she’s been sewing ever since. Sally loves the resurgence of interest in sewing and she also loves having time to teach kids and adults to sew. MIY, DIY is a great site for beginner and advanced sewing inspiration for all age groups, especially if you’re a countrywoman at heart. It’s also a good resource if you have kids or teenagers who want to learn with age-appropriate projects. Sally is sure these ideas will help you find a healthy, natural and/or repurposed gift to make this holiday season!

Make It


Mittens from Sweaters
Beth’s Mittens from Sweaters pattern at The Renegade Seamstress is brilliant! Make a pair for everyone you know. This is an excellent way to give new life to a favorite old sweater.


Orange Pomanders
Sally shows you how easy it is to create traditional Orange Pomanders at Make It Yourself, Do It Yourself. These are a sweet hostess gift!


Burlap Christmas Pillows
Melissa’s Burlap Christmas Pillows at 2IY are thrifty and festive.


How To Wrap Gifts With Fabric
Joy shows you How To Wrap Gifts With Fabric beautifully and simply at Frock Files.


Natural Christmas Wreaths
Find everything you need to make these Natural Christmas Wreaths on your next walk after a stormy night, via Sally at Make It Yourself, Do It Yourself.


Repurposed Wine Bags
Kelly made her Repurposed Wine Bags from old jeans at My Soulful Home, but the technique works with any fabric. Give wrapping they can re-use!


Natural Gift Wrap Ideas
For more Natural Gift Wrap Ideas check out this lovely selection from Laura at Artifact Uprising.


Nude Food Sandwich Wrappers
Marisa from thirtynine recently showed us how to make these fabulous Nude Food Sandwich Wrappers at Sew Mama Sew. A set of these makes a great gift for a family or co-worker!

You also don’t want to miss our Favorite Lunch Bags.

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Quilted Lunch Tote, Quilted Tote Bag (From Any Quilt Block), Eco-Friendly Gifts, Gifts for the Eco-Conscious

Mix It


Homemade Gingerbread Gift Tags + Garlands
The Homemade Gingerbread Gift Tags + Garlands from Bethan at Decorator’s Notebook will be admired, then devoured! This is a happy way to wrap and decorate.

Print It


Gift Labels
Lia Griffith’s beautiful Gift Labels are perfect for any sweet treats you’ll deliver this season.

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 publishing companies that contribute prizes.

Carefree Clothes for Girls
(US-only shipping.)

Author: UONCA
Publisher: Roost Books

Ruffles, buttons, and lace are the perfect ingredients for little girls’ clothes; add some unfinished hems and plenty of room to run and play, and you have garments full of fanciful charm and practical playfulness. The twenty patterns in this book—from simple dresses with ruffled sleeves to blouses with crocheted lace and pants with sewn-on legwarmers—are of simple construction, yet full of the personality and details that little girls love.

With beautiful photographs, clear step-by-step instruction, and detailed diagrams, this book offers a treasure trove of whimsical outfits for girls ages four to seven. Full-size patterns are included in four sizes so that you can make the perfect fit.

Make the projects in this book and add a little bit of carefree style to your child’s life.

Pincushion Appeal: Patterns for Pincushions to Make You Smile
(US + Canada shipping, eBooks to international winners.)

Author: Cecile McPeak + Rachel Martin
Publisher: Martingale

From the creative minds behind Just Another Button Company, this book features unique and irresistible pincushion patterns. Find step-by-step instructions and lots of inspiration at a terrific value.

  • Choose from eight wonderfully whimsical pincushions and create a handmade work of art that has lasting charm.
  • Learn clever ways to embellish using buttons, felted wool, embroidery floss, yarn, and other craft materials.
  • Enjoy artistic projects that are quick, easy to create, and great for gifts.

Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Amie Petronis Plumley + Andria Lisle
Publisher: Storey Publishing

Authors Amie Plumley and Andria Lisle teach a children’s sewing camp that delights kids and parents every year. Now, they have put their experience to work in creating this lively, how-to-sew book for ages five and up. Featuring 21 inspired projects, Sewing School shows kids how to create fabric masterpieces with minimal supervision. All projects have been kid-tested, and most can be made using simple hand stitches—no sewing machine required. Projects include pillows, dolls, blankets, wallets, totes, coasters, pot holders, sleep masks, mats, and more; each project features step-by-step instructions written at a second-grade comprehension level, a close-up photo of every step, and a photo of the finished project. The book includes full-sized cut-out patterns in a front pocket. Sewing School will have your kids in stitches!

Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples: Motifs
(US-only shipping, no P.O. boxes.)

Author: From the Editors of Stitch Magazine
Publisher: Interweave

More and more sewists and quilters are adding embroidered details to their work. While there are a bevy of embroidery stitch dictionaries currently available, this book goes beyond basic embroidery stitches to full-fashioned designs. A collection of 123 embroidered motifs that incorporate beads, this book allows readers to create designs that range from beautiful to whimsical.

Motifs vary in range from elegantly simple single motifs, to complex all-over patterns, to 3-dimensional designs. Along with step-by-step instructions are numerous examples of how to use and place the motifs on hems, pockets, cuffs, collars and handbags; or as home décor trim on pillows, curtains or lampshades. Patterns emphasize beaded edgings and trims, as opposed to heavy, solid beaded fabric motifs found in other beaded embroidery books.

Sewing For a Royal Baby
(US-only shipping, no P.O. boxes.)

Author: Sew Beautiful Magazine
Publisher: Interweave/F+W

Sewing for a Royal Baby will let new mothers and grandmothers create a royal wardrobe for their new little one using the complete patterns and instructions provided with the book. These aren’t just any children’s garments, but elegant designs featuring heirloom sewing techniques. Some, like the Royal Christening Gown or a suit worn by a young Prince William, are inspired by actual royal attire, while others have been selected from past issues of Sew Beautiful magazine for their majestic style.

From bonnets and booties to breathtaking christening gowns and sweet toddler looks, Sewing for the Royal Baby lets the sewists create a wardrobe fit for a little prince or princess using a variety of machine and heirloom sewing techniques.

The Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Kari Chapin Nixon
Publisher: Storey Publishing

Since its original publication in 2010, Kari Chapin’s The Handmade Marketplace has inspired thousands of crafters around the world to find the courage and know-how they need to make money — and even to make a full-time living — from doing what they love best. Now, this best-selling guide has been completely revised and updated to include solid information on the latest on-line and social media opportunities for sales and marketing, as well as fresh advice and invaluable tips from successful crafters and artists. With Kari Chapin at your side, you can live a more creative life and enjoy a lucrative career at the same time.

Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Akiko Mano
Publisher: Roost Books

Sew the perfect mix-and-match wardrobe for your little girl. From girly dresses to menswear-inspired outfits, the twenty-one sewing projects in this book offer classic styles for dresses, tops, pants, and accessories for girls. This collection of coordinated separates will make the perfect addition to your child’s wardrobe. Customize each piece to suit the season or the recipient—simply choose the basic colors and versatile fabrics to make clothes that will grow with your child. With an emphasis on natural fabrics, these garments are designed to feel good, look good, and to last.

Full of beautiful photographs, clear step-by-step instructions, detailed diagrams, and full-size pattern sheets for sizes four to seven, this book will guide both new and experienced sewers in making clothes sure to charm the girls in their lives.

Sewing Deal of the Day

Delight someone you love at Christmas with handmade fabric from Guatemala. Use coupon code sewguatemala for 15% off your purchase. Check out all the beautiful hand woven Guatemalan fabrics at Spanglish Fabrics or on Facebook.

Don’t miss our Handmade Holidays photo pool, and check out our 2013 Handmade Holidays list for more fun, creative ideas.

Other ideas from our 8th Annual Handmade Holidays series:

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