Refresh the holiday kitchen and give something hand-crafted to the cooks on your gift list! These ideas are a welcome treat for the cooks you love…

Today’s Guest Curator: Nesta from Ella and Nesta’s Little Room

From Nesta: I live in the north of Italy. When I’m not working as an architect or playing with my two wonderful daughters, I’m busy working on at least three sewing projects at the same time! I love sharing my ideas on Ella and Nesta’s Little Room; have a look at the tutorials page for some fun ideas.

Make It


Circular Quilted Placemat
An elegant Circular Quilted Placemat from Laurel at Sing All You Want for Imagine Gnats would make a beautiful centerpiece mat for the Christmas table too, using Christmas-themed fabrics.


Perfect Squirrelly Oven Mitt
These Perfect Squirrelly Oven Mitts from Melissa at My Fabric Relish have a pocket on the back to slip your hand in. They’re practical and fun at the same time!


Jolly Apron
This stylish Jolly Apron by Jeni Baker at In Color Order is a modern apron with pockets. You can easily customize the apron using different fabrics or by adding patchwork and embellishments, and it would make a great present for teens who like cooking.


Reversible Geometric Cloth Napkins
So elegant and simple to sew, these Reversible Geometric Cloth Napkins by Kirstin at Kojodesigns look especially nice in geometric fabrics!


Simple Linen Apron
The smart Simple Linen Apron from The Purl Bee is suitable for men and women alike. It’s a useful gift for the barbecue expert too.


Pot Holder Pocket
Bright and colorful to cheer up any kitchen, this handy Pot Holder Pocket by Anorina at Samelia’s Mum would look fun with Christmas fabrics too.


Tea Towels
Bunting-style Tea Towels by Lindsey at Fort Worth Fabric Studio are great gifts; they’re so pretty it’s almost a shame to use them! Choose fabrics to match the cook’s kitchen.

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Sashiko Tea Towels, Make & Bake Apron, Flying Geese Placemats, Gifts for Cooks, More Gifts for Cooks

Mix It


Chocolate Trifle
This Chocolate Trifle is a delicious recipe with a beautiful presentation from Blooming Homestead. The post also includes Marie’s useful tips for filling the jars.


Cookies in a Jar
Your friends will love these thick and chewy chocolate chip Cookies in a Jar! Find the recipe and printable label by Kristyn at Lil’ Luna.

Print It


Printable Watercolor Place Cards
If you’re looking for an elegant idea for the Christmas table check out these Printable Watercolor Place Cards from Alicia at Atypical Type A.

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 Merry and Bright: 21 Easy, Fun, and Festive Patterns
(US + Canada shipping, eBooks to international winners.)

Author: Linda Lum DeBono
Publisher: Martingale

Have yourself a colorful little Christmas! From popular designer Linda Lum DeBono, this handmade-holiday collection offers an exciting array of decorating ideas.

  • Fill your sleigh with 21 fun and whimsical projects, including wall hangings, place mats, ornaments, stockings, table runners, a tree skirt, an Advent calendar, and more.
  • Indulge in bright novelty prints; projects also work nicely in a more traditional palette.
  • Find a host of cheery home-decor items and gift ideas for Christmas.

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.

Vintage Made Modern: Transforming Timeworn Textiles into Treasured Heirlooms
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Jennifer Casa
Publisher: Roost Books

Create modern heirlooms using vintage materials— a collection of 35 innovative projects that showcase the exceptional beauty of timeworn textiles.

Every handmade project has a story to tell. In Vintage Made Modern that story is given more depth through the materials used: textiles with histories all their own. From Granny’s well-worn apron to a threadbare family quilt or a tattered tea towel you picked up at the thrift shop, every fabric and textile has a tale to tell. With a little resourcefulness, some gentle care, and a bit of creative repurposing, the simple sewing and no-sew projects in this book breathe life back into these treasured textiles, refresh their beauty, and create new memories. Vintage Made Modern will have you collaborating with makers from the past and continuing the stories they began long ago, becoming part of the narrative yourself in the process.

The Knowledgeable Knitter
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Margaret Radcliffe
Publisher: Storey Publishing

This is the definitive reference for any knitter seeking better results, whether the challenge is reading a pattern chart, substituting yarn, modifying a pattern, fixing a mistake, shaping a collar, or adjusting an armhole. Expert Margaret Radcliffe, author of The Knitting Answer Book and Circular Knitting Workshop, demystifies and thoroughly explains the “why” behind every knitting technique, from modifying necklines to fixing dropped stitches and creating sleek edges and seams. In this fascinating and comprehensive guide, she covers everything from how to identify a well-written pattern to evaluating schematics, revising a pattern so it fits perfectly, and making adjustments throughout a project. Whatever your skill level, with this book you’ll become a better, happier, more confident knitter!

Novel Living: Collecting, Decorating, and Crafting with Books
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Lisa Occhipinti
Publisher: STC Craft

In this digital age, the fate of physical books remains in question. Even the concept of curling up with a good book conjures new images. But there remains a sensory thrill to physical books—to seeing and feeling them, to turning their pages—that makes many of us value them even more as digital reading grows in popularity. In Novel Living, artist Lisa Occhipinti celebrates her love for physical books by presenting us with her unique ideas for collecting and displaying them, for conserving and preserving them, and for crafting with them. Guided by Occhipinti’s artful eye, you’ll be inspired to build and display collections based on your personal passions and to use books for crafting, either by deconstructing or by copying favorite elements. Amazingly, most of the projects—ranging from easy shelving to a headboard constructed of book spines to napkins composed of scans of favorite text passages from books—require no special skills or supplies.

Sewing Deal of the Day

One for you and one for a friend! Pre-cut bundles are a perfect gift idea, all color coordinated and wrapped up pretty. The Deal of the Day from Bear Creek Quilting Company is 20% ALL in-stock pre-cuts: Fat Quarters, Jelly Rolls/Strips, Charm Packs, Layer Cakes and more!

NO code is required for today’s Handmade Holiday Daily Deal!

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.