Give college kids the comforts of home with these fun (and sensible!) presents. Most of these ideas work well for a wide range of ages…

Today’s Guest Curator: Sherri from RebeccaMaeDesigns.com

Sherri has designed her own patterns for years, and shares her design talents at RebeccaMaeDesigns.com (a site named after her daughters). Sherri is a contributor to the Sew Mama Sew site and her work has been published in Generation Q Magazine as well as Machine Quilting Unlimited. She is the designer behind Madawaska Mittens (from wool sweaters), as well as RebeccaMaeDesigns which includes her popular Coupon Bag pattern and her iQuilt Block of the Month quilt patterns (plus free tutorials)! Sherri will host two block of the month quilt-a-longs in the months ahead; follow along at RebeccaMaeDesigns.com so you don’t miss out!

From Sherri: I love love love (that’s a lot of love) giving handmade gifts at the holidays… That’s one of the reasons I love participating in this series at Sew Mama Sew! The ideas and inspiration are fantastic! My oldest daughter is in college and we are always looking for fun tutorials for college students and dorm rooms. I already have my Survival Kit printable ready to ship for finals! Have fun and Happy Holidays! (P.S. Go check out my Phone Charger Pocket tutorial!)

Make It


Giant Pillow Cover
Make that dorm bed a little more comfortable with a Giant Pillow Cover from Polka Dot Chair.


Duffel Bag
The Duffel Bag from Punk Projects is on our must-make list! This is perfect for short trips home from college (or– for those of us at home– for weekends away!).


Laptop Bag
Keep the essential college tech tool safe with a new Laptop Bag from Crazy Little Projects.


Take Note Notebook/Wallet
A Take Note Notebook/Wallet by Jenelle Clark of Echinops & Aster for Imagine Gnats can work for lots of people on your holiday list! It’s easy to customize for the recipient, and it’s great for women or men with the right fabric choices.


Pajama Pants
Everyone can always use a new pair of cozy Pajama Pants! Learn how easy it is to make your own pattern and sew them up at Melly Sews.


Stairway to Heaven Quilt
Cover your college kid with warmth and thoughts of home… Make a quilt! Quilting in the Rain’s Stairway to Heaven Quilt is quick and cute.


Wall Pocket
Dorms and tiny apartments can always use a little organizational help. Try Wall Pockets from A Bright Corner for important cords, papers and more.


T-Shirt Rag Quilt
The T-Shirt Rag Quilt from Sweet Tea in the South is easy and will be loaded with meaning for the recipient. (Just be sure to ask before you cut up all of those tees!)


Running Belt
The Crafting Chicks show you how to make a handy Running Belt for essentials like ID and keys.


Easy Laundry Bag
This Easy Laundry Bag from Ms. Marie DIY Designs will help corral the mess!

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Gifts for College Kids, More Gifts for College Kids, First Aid Kit

Mix It


Pumpkin Pie Spice Cupcakes
Here’s another recipe for all of you pumpkin spice lovers out there! The Pumpkin Pie Spice Cupcakes from Hoosier Homemade might be a fun addition to upcoming Thanksgiving festivities.

Print It


Planner Printables
Miss Tiina shows you how to get organized with her bright, cheery and free Planner Printables.


Starving Student Care Package
Your favorite college kid will love a Starving Student Care Package, with free printables from Strawberry Mommy Cakes.

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.

Here’s a link to all of our prizes for WEEK THREE!

Sew Fun
(US-only shipping, no P.O. boxes.)

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

Unlike many sewing-for-children books, Sew Fun: 20 Projects for the Whole Family is a thoughtful approach to crafting with and for children. Readers will discover a variety of ways to get children involved in fun sewing projects, whatever their age or ability. Several projects are strictly for adults to make and children to enjoy. Others incorporate a child’s drawings printed on fabric and used as a template or design. Some projects allow older children to begin sewing for themselves and are perfect for short attention spans or low frustration levels. Essential quilt patterns allow children to contribute to a group project while an adult handles the actual sewing. Deborah Fisher has developed a range of projects that will appeal to adults and children alike. Fun costumes, beautiful dolls, story-time blankets and communal projects are just some of the patterns included here. Sewists will enjoy combining bright colors and contemporary fabrics while spending time with their families. They’ll get tips for working with children and learn how to involve them in ways that are enjoyable and stress-free.

The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking
(International Shipping)

Author: Wendy Ward
Publisher: Stitch Craft Create

Do you dream of making your own unique clothes which you won’t see anyone else wearing? Have you got a collection of fantastic designer fabrics just waiting to be turned in to clothes? This is the ultimate dressmaking guide, teaching you how to make your own clothes even if you have never done so before! As well as step-by-step instructions for all the basic sewing and dressmaking techniques, there are six garment sewing patterns to choose from. It even includes multi-sized paper patterns for all the garments so you can get started immediately.

The garments include a maxi dress/skirt, jersey top, simple jacket, trousers, fishtail skirt and a shift dress. The author has also included advanced techniques for optional techniques such as pockets and collars which you can choose to add to the basic patterns as your dressmaking skills improve.

Visit the F+W Handmade Christmas section + Craft eBooks and Downloads page.

How to Crochet
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Sara Delaney
Publisher: Storey Publishing

The perfect guide for beginners! Sara Delaney shows you her techniques for working a basic chain and creating single and double chain stitches. You’ll learn about changing colors, joining, fastening off, reading crochet patterns and working with different shapes. Working on small projects, such as a simple potholder or scarf, gives you the practice and experience you need before you move on to crocheting more complex patterns on your own.

How to Make a Quilt
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Barbara Weiland Talbert
Publisher: Storey Publishing

With basic sewing skills and these simple step-by-step instructions, you can easily learn to make your first quilt! Barbara Weiland Talbert outlines the complete process in an easy-to-follow sequence, from selecting a design and choosing fabric to cutting pieces, assembling blocks, assembling the quilt top and finishing your quilt.

Sweet and Simple Sewing: Quilts and Sewing Projects to Give– or Keep
(US + Canada shipping, eBooks to international winners.)

Authors: Carrie Jung, Jessi Jung + Lauren Jung
Publisher: Martingale

Discover a visually striking collection of sewing and quilting patterns featuring modern colors and clean designs. Create everything from quilts to luggage tags, a hand-bound journal, pleated clutch, makeup bag and more.

  • Stitch affordable small accents to brighten your world–many projects require less than a yard of fabric and can be made in just a few hours.
  • Select from 13 unique projects ranging from beginner to advanced; easy-to-follow instructions with color diagrams guide you step by step.
  • Impress your friends with inventive gifts that look complicated but are actually simple to make.

Best of Stitch: Bags to Sew
(US-only shipping, no P.O. boxes.)

Author: From the Editors of Stitch Magazine
Publisher: Interweave/F+W

Welcome to a selection of the best bags from the popular Stitch magazine, plus 5 brand-new projects, curated by its editors. The book features designs from Malka Dubrawsky, Ayumi Takahashi, Kevin Kosbab, Carol Zentgraf and many more.

Techniques include patchwork, applique, pleating, creating dimension with fabric and embroidery. Bags of a variety of shapes and sizes were selected, including coin purses, gadget bags, clutches, slouch bags and messenger bags, so you are sure to find something to make for yourself or give to your friends and family.

Inside you will find all of the best bags from Stitch magazine in one place, plus 5 brand-new designs- there’s something for everyone!

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.