There is a bit of inevitable chaos and clutter surrounding the holidays. You can make a few things, as gifts or for yourself, to help organize the festive whirlwind! As a bonus, many of these gift ideas work for both women and men…

Today’s Guest Curator: Beth from AskAMarmot

AskAMarmot Designs is about small things that fit into small spaces. Beth, the person who “asks that marmot,” is also a writer and a maker of things (using textiles, wood, glass and more). Beth has sewing patterns in several publications and a couple of published books (including One-Yard Wonders and Stitch magazine). The Etsy shop is a new adventure, where more fabric products will be offered in the coming year. So visit the AskAMarmot Etsy shop and go make something!

Make It


Digital Device/Tablet Case
Protect and tote in style with this Digital Device/Tablet Case from Inspiring Creations.


Leather Wallet
The Oil and Blue website has terrific sewing tutorials, printables and recipes. For organizing, you can’t beat a new Wallet, especially one of leather!


Eyeglass (X2) Case
This Eyeglass (X2) Case from AskAMarmot stores two sets of glasses (perfect for sunglasses and driving glasses). It’s a snap to make and with the right fabric, this is perfect for the guys on your list.


Fabric Phone Charging Station
Amy at Positively Splendid shows you how to make a Fabric Phone Charging Station, another gift that works for men or women.


Coiled Bowl
Lena Corwin’s Coiled Bowl via Design Sponge is an addictive how-to, and lets you create a wonderful gift for anyone with a cluttered tabletop, workspace, kitchen counter… The design possibilities are expansive.


Tissue Box Cover
Jacinda at Prudent Baby has an elegant Tissue Box Cover you can design to fit with a specific taste or decor.


Cactus Beach Tote
Although a beach tote in the summer does not sound like an organizing unit, it certainly serves as one in the winter when beach gear needs to be stored. This Cactus Beach Tote from Sara Curtis of Radiant Home Studio is perfect year-round storage for those items that you just have to have at the beach. It’s also a gift with a promise of warmer times.


Fabric Bins
Christina McKinney’s Fabric Bins for Birch Fabrics make a perfect stash-it for the holidays, and year-’round. It’s easy to customize this for the person you’re sewing for, and it’s sure to get a lot of use.


Wall Pocket Organizer
Storage pockets make so much sense, especially in small spaces. This Wall Pocket Organizer from Craftfoxes is straightforward. You’ll want to make one for yourself too!


Kite Wall Pockets
Make an absolutely inspired Kite Wall Pockets with Ann Kelle. It’s perfect for kids!

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Quilted Fabric Tray, Sevenberry Neon Nesting Cubes, Gifts for Organization, Passion for Organization, Make Your Own Spool Organizer

Mix It


Baked Apples
This traditional and easy recipe for Baked Apples from Irish Celtic Jewels is a wonderful complement to a holiday table. It is gluten-free and can also be adjusted to be dairy-free; just use a non-dairy substitute for the few tablespoons of butter the recipe calls for.


Irish Flag Cocktail
A festive Irish Flag Cocktail from We Love Donegal may be just the thing for a holiday gathering!

Print It


Wrapping Paper
Kate at Picklebums has cheery Wrapping Paper for you to print, perfect for any season.



Printable Holiday Tags
Oil and Blue share great printables, along with tutorials (see above). These Printable Holiday Tags with a mid-century vibe can complement your wrapped gifts.

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!

Time to Make: Throw Yourself at Your Creative Life. Don’t Wait.
International shipping OK.

Author: Ginger Hendrix
Publisher: American Rookie Books

You don’t have time. Or space. You might not make any money at it; so why bother making something? Why sew or carve or glue or draw?

Because our souls were made to.

The steady-hearted place that comes with making seems to still our souls: our hands moving, the hamsters that usually ride stationary bikes in our heads strangely calmed. And that experience is a vastly more important thing to foster than anything we actually produce. Time to Make lobs a question you might need to ask yourself: why wait any longer to grab the creative life you’re meant to have?

Big-City Bags: Sew Handbags with Style, Sass and Sophistication
(US + Canada shipping, eBooks to international winners.)

Author: Sara Lawson
Publisher: Martingale

Ready to move beyond basic bags and totes? Now you can create sophisticated handbags and totes with a modern look. Learn a variety of intermediate to advanced techniques–from installing zippers and magnetic snaps to creating adjustable straps–and find detailed info on selecting the right interfacing, stabilizer, or batting for any project.

  • Choose from 12 new designer-style bags and purses– alternate colorways provide additional inspiration.
  • Make use of clearly illustrated, well-tested patterns for sewing attractive bags.
  • Add stylish design elements that make your bags stand out: piping, three-dimensional pockets, fabric pleats and more.

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!

Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Edie Eckman
Publisher: Storey Publishing

Christmas stockings, ornaments, and more — this is every crocheter’s must-have holiday project book! Beginners will love Edie Eckman’s useful technique tutorial, and experienced crafters will want to jump right in and start on these 20 exciting projects. The book includes instructions for eight different stockings, festive ornaments for trees and tabletops, a tree skirt, and other decorations for the home. Each pattern includes a symbol chart and is labeled with the skill level required to complete it, so crocheters of all levels can pick the perfect project.

Hand-Stitched Home
(US + Canada shipping.)

Author: Susan Beal
Publisher: Taunton Press

100-year-old Pendleton Mill’s has heirloom style. In Hand-Stitched Home you will enjoy 25 colorful and stylish, heirloom-quality projects-to-sew. Designed for sewers of every skill level, there are comfy patterns ranging from a super-simple throw to a mistake-proof quilt.

Fabrigami
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Jill Stovall, Florence Temko, Scott Wasserman Stern
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Fabrigami is the Asian art of folding fabrics to create three-dimensional objects ranging from the practical to the whimsical. Like paper, there are countless beautiful fabric designs to choose from, only fabric has the virtue of being extremely durable.

Fabrigami began as origami legend Florence Temko’s final project. Everyone knows that origami is the art of paper folding, but Temko had begun experimenting with folding fabric to make objects that are just as beautiful but more lasting than paper. Sadly, Temko passed away before the book was completed, but her collaborator, Jill Stovall, continued their work. Now, Stovall—with the help of Scott Stern, a rising young star of origami—brings Fabrigami to print for everyone to use and enjoy.

This craft book begins by presenting instructions on how to treat fabric so it holds a shape when folded. Then Stovall shares a series of fun craft projects with simple origami-style diagrams that you can use to make a range of lovely objects.

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.