Handmade Holidays Nov. 14: Gifts for Naturalists

on November 14 | in Handmade Holidays, Sewing Inspiration, Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 158 Comments

Do you have an explorer, a bird watcher, a nature lover on your holiday gift list? Today’s tutorials include some special ideas to encourage outdoor adventures, and to bring the outside in!


Today’s Guest Curator: Daisy Aschehoug from Ants to Sugar

From Daisy:
I’m Daisy, and I share my quilt and paper piecing projects at Ants to Sugar. Whether hiking through the woods or watching for wildlife in my backyard, I’m fascinated by the natural world around me. My new home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has some of the most magnificent bird watching, and I get to start every day seeing egrets, herons, and– this time of year– pelicans! Check out these tutorials for gifts the Naturalist, and stop by my Craftsy store to see my new Luna Moth paper piecing pattern!

Make It


Wildflower Embroidered Bookmark
Wendy’s Wildflower Embroidered Bookmark at Feeling Stitchy perfectly holds a spot for those pages you always turn to in your bird field guides.


Luna Moth Pillow
Laurie and Jessi Jung’s Luna Moth Pillow (direct PDF link) from the L + J Blog will surely bring a flutter of beauty to your Naturalist’s couch


Log Slice Pouf
This Log Slice Pouf from Stephanie of Swoodson Says and Fabricworm brings the woodland forest into your home.


Quick-Sew Tote
Christina McKinney’s tutorial shows you how to make a Quick-Sew Tote with Charley Harper’s organic canvas to carry anything from beach shells to pinecones.


Nature Explorer Bags
Every naturalist needs one of these Nature Explorer Bags by Holly of Chez Beeper Bebe.


Leather Journal Cover
This Leather Journal Cover from Jess at If Only They Would Nap fits perfectly around field notebooks or bird journals.


Bird Watcher Binocular Bag
Fiona Duggan of Celtic Thistle Stitches designed this handy Bird Watcher Binocular Bag at Sew Mama Sew for birders, sports fans or travelers.


Fabric Leaf Garland
Use a Fabric Leaf Garland as seasonal decoration or as an embellishment on that wrapped present for your naturalist.


Succulent Quilt
Wrap up your naturalist in a modern Succulent Quilt inspired by desert succulents and designed by Michelle Wilkie of Factotum of Arts for Sew Mama Sew.

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Discoverer’s Utility Belt for Kids, Passion for Nature tutorials, Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast, Winter Story Stones for/with Kids, Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers

Mix It


Bark Bites
If you’re looking for something sweet, try these Bark Bites from A Beautiful Mess… Extra points if you find and use edible flowers on your nature walk!

Print It


Flora + Fauna Gift Tags
This Flora + Fauna Gift Tag Set from Decorator’s Notebook has lovely natural elements that work with any holiday or special occasion.

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 shipping 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 that contribute prizes.

The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners

(US shipping only.)

Author: Linda Sparks
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Think of a corset as a blank canvas. Linda Sparks’ The Basics of Corset Building: A Handbook for Beginners is a comprehensive guide to building your first corset, including:

Section One: Tools and Materials for Corset Building – Discusses the tools you’ll need, plus types of steel, plastic, and textiles.

Section Two: Building a Corset – Everything you need to know about working with bones and busks, setting grommets and eyelets, and creating a beautifully finished corset.

Section Three: Construction Techniques – Covers all the steps, including making a modesty panel, making a mock-up, and building single layer, double layer, and fashion fabric corsets.

Section Four: Alterations and Fit – Discusses commercial corset patterns, as well as how to fit and style a corset for exactly the look you want.

Stylish Skirts: 23 Simple Designs to Flatter Every Figure

(US + Canada shipping only.)

Author: Sato Watanabe
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Sew chic and original skirts with this stylish sewing book.

Stylish Skirts is the English edition of a popular Japanese sew-it-yourself fashion book which allows you to create simple yet stylish skirts that look and feel great—at a fraction of the cost of store-bought fashion. With this Japanese Sewing book, there’s no end to the kinds of skirts you can create to match your body shape, your taste in fabrics and colors, and your mood (not to mention your favorite tops, shoes and accessories)! The instructions and diagrams are a snap to follow and provide a huge variety of styles—from ultra-feminine to artfully disheveled. All 23 skirt designs in this book look great in different fabrics, colors, prints and textures—so the options are truly endless. The enclosed DIY sewing instructions make cutting and sewing these skirts a breeze.

Author Sato Watanabe has written many of the most popular Japanese sewing books on the market. In this new book, she shows you how to make professional-quality skirts easily and inexpensively at home. She studied clothing and accessory design at Tokyo’s famous Bunka Fashion College before beginning a career as a magazine editor, eventually turning her writing skills to creating bestselling books!

Stamp Stencil Paint: Making Extraordinary Patterned Projects by Hand

(US shipping only.)

Author: Anna Joyce
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang

Textile artist Anna Joyce’s design process is intuitive, relaxed, and rooted in the belief that we should live with color and pattern every day. Inspired by vintage fabric, folk art, shapes in nature, and exciting new color combinations, Joyce’s distinctive projects showcase the beauty of the unexpected and the mark of the artist’s hand. In Stamp Stencil Paint, Joyce shares her signature hand-printing techniques and infectious enthusiasm for adding patterns to ready-made surfaces such as fabric, ceramics, paper, leather, furniture, walls, and more. Following beautiful step-by-step photography, crafters learn new, easy skills to stamp, stencil, and hand-paint wonderful projects for their homes, wardrobes, families, and friends.

One $25 Gift Certificate to Snapdragon Studios

(International winners OK.)

About Snapdragon Studios: Kim and Elizabeth are the designers behind Snapdragon Studios patterns. They are always expanding their selection of sewing patterns, and recently added the Lemon Squeeze Cardigan and On the Run Bag to the mix. Take a look at the full pattern line, and learn more via the Snapdragon Studios journal.

Check out our 2014 Handmade Holidays list for more fun, creative ideas.

Here are 2015 gift ideas:

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

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158 Responses to Handmade Holidays Nov. 14: Gifts for Naturalists

  1. Ari in NJ says:

    I love the explorer’s bags!

  2. Deidre in Canada! says:

    I’ll be making myself the luna moth pillow! Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Donna in Tx says:

    Those bark bites look amazing! Winter is the perfect time for those slow stitching ideas like bookmarks. Thanks so much for the ideas.

  4. Kristin in WA says:

    Cute stuff!

  5. Log slice pouf?! Adorable!!!!!

  6. Kristie in WA says:

    The moth pillows are great. I need some for my own bed.

  7. Judith Martinez says:

    The log slice pouf is perfect for our living room!! With 9 people plus guests someone always ends up on the floor.

  8. Aimee in IN says:

    I can’t like this enough. Our girls have tree slices for play outside at school It would be so neat to bring them indoors with those poufs…

  9. Katie in GA says:

    Aww, I love the log pouf!

  10. Stephanie in WA says:

    Love that pouf and all the bags! Great gift ideas!

  11. Christine in CA says:

    Oh that quilt is gorgeous! Definitely on my to-do list!

  12. Audrey says:

    That succulent quilt looks delicious!!

  13. I really like the pouf, I have some wonderful fabric that looks like trees and I can’t wait to make one of these.

  14. Amanda in TX says:

    Cool ideas! Love the log slice and the luna moth! 🙂

  15. Judi B in VA says:

    Love the printable gift tags. So many uses!

  16. Amy in IL says:

    My mom would love that succulent quilt. So pretty.

  17. Jennifer W in SC says:

    Bark bites are calling my name…

  18. bookboxer says:

    So many good choices in this post – as in ALL of your posts! Many thanks.

  19. Cindy Dahlgren says:

    I’m loving the little explorer bags! I think I will probably make 5 or so. CDahlgren at live dot com

  20. Morgan in NY says:

    What fun ideas! I have a few on my list who would enjoy one of these presents. Thank you!

  21. sarah o says:

    love the log slice poufs!

  22. Andrea S. in WV says:

    I love the log slice pouf! So cute!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    The succulent quilt is beautiful!

  24. Laurie in CO says:

    The succulent quilt is gorgeous!

  25. Cristine in tx says:

    That succulent quilt is gorgeous.

  26. Whitner In AL says:

    I love those poufs! How perfect for movie nights!

  27. amber in nyc says:

    Bags always make great gifts so thanks for the ideas! i also love the succulent quilt.

  28. Vicki says:

    Such a beautiful quilt!

  29. Whitney says:

    The bag pattern is awesome!

  30. Margo says:

    Cute projects!

  31. Jenna in MA says:

    Love these, especially the leaf garland!

  32. karen in CA USA says:

    I love those gift tags! This post if full of great ideas!

  33. Jeni in IN says:

    I love the leaf garland! I wish my kids were little enough for those poofs–so cute!!

  34. Danette says:

    I rarely sew clothes, but maybe the skirt book would help me get started. Thank you.

  35. Sonya says:

    Those wood slice poufs look comfy for the family room. And the chocolate bark looks delicious!

  36. Shannon in WA says:

    LUNA MOTH!

  37. Love the stamping and skirts books!

  38. Melissa meinhard says:

    That binocular bag! I love it

  39. Cassie in MO says:

    I love that succulent quilt, great colors!

  40. Ginger in NJ says:

    That naturalist bag with pockets is fantastic! Such a nice project!

  41. L in NJ says:

    I’d love to try the stamping book!

  42. Jodie in NJ says:

    Several bags that look fun here!

  43. Oh my gosh, the flora and fauna printables are gorgeous! I think I found a winner to adorn all of the handmade soap that I’m giving this year!

  44. Charlotte in Ga says:

    I love the little naturalist bag. So cute. Thanks!

  45. I love the leaf garland! 🙂

  46. Julie From Utah says:

    We’re nature lovers here at my house, so I see many of these gifts in our future. Thanks for the roundup!

  47. Miranda says:

    Love it!

  48. Garilyn in Ohio says:

    Love the log slice pouf and the succulent quilt!

  49. Robin in Maryland says:

    I love the leather journal cover.

  50. fenna says:

    the explorer bag is really cool! And, that quilt is lovely!

  51. kathyh in OR says:

    Might have to make that explorer’s bag

  52. Stephanie Daniel says:

    opps i am in Arkansas

  53. Stephanie Daniel says:

    eek I love this post. I am a wildlife biologist so this gifts are all wonderful! Thanks

  54. Anna (64ColorBox) in FL says:

    My 2 favourite giveaway books are listed in the same post. I better add them to my wish list just in case. Those poofs look fun.

  55. Elise in GA says:

    I love the log slice cushion.

  56. Marilyn says:

    Great ideas!

  57. Marian from Georgia says:

    Love the succulent quilt!

  58. Jim M in NC says:

    The quick sew tote looks like it would be a quick gift to put together.

  59. Rachel says:

    The log slice pouf is so, so cute! I can think of some fun kids that would love those!

  60. Ashlyn in Co says:

    Wow that leaf garland is the best!

  61. Mandi in MO says:

    The log slice pouf is adorable!

  62. Deanna says:

    The birder bag is so pretty.

  63. Rachel B says:

    What great finds. Love the quilt and the bookmark and the Luna Moth is magic. Awesome.

  64. Angie in LA says:

    These are all so great! Thank you!

  65. Lydia in WA says:

    Love love the binocular bag and reminded of Charley Harper fabric, a great combo.

  66. Love the log pillows and the leather journal cover. Just started working on my daughter’s wedding dress so would love to know more about corset making! Thanks!

  67. Pamela says:

    Love the Nature Explorer Bags and the little log poufs. I know some grandchildren that will be getting these and I love the binocular bag, may have to make me one of those.

  68. Julie says:

    The pouf would be great for my great-niece! But I love the bag too… and wait, I love the succulent quilt too……

  69. Paige says:

    Great ideas for those outdoorsy ones on your Christmas list!

  70. Cynthia in WA says:

    Love the Nature Explorer Bag!

  71. Beth in MI says:

    The Luna moth pillow is great!

  72. Jessie Hansen in NM says:

    Yup, some of these are being made this year!

  73. Barb B in BC says:

    Those gifts tags are lovely. Thanks for sharing the link.

  74. Tonia Jeffery in Oregon says:

    The log poufs are so cute!

  75. Barbara says:

    What a beautiful bookmark!

  76. Kristen Werth says:

    Wonderful books! Thanks for a chance (Oregon)

  77. Kate in MO says:

    The bark bites look beautiful, and tasty!

  78. Cathy in MA says:

    The log poufs look great.

  79. jayne TN says:

    That pouf cushion is adorably amazing!!

  80. KL in VA says:

    The explorer bag would be great for geocaching!

  81. So many great ideas! I especially love the nature explorer bag!!

  82. Pat Upton says:

    I love the log slice pouf and the leaf garland! I think even *I* could do them! But we shall see!

  83. angela in kentucky says:

    I’ve always loved the naturalist explorer bags!

  84. Anya says:

    The log slice poof is adorable!

  85. The fabric leaf garland is so beautiful. Pinning it now!

  86. Shawna from NJ says:

    I like to poufs!

  87. Brenda in NE says:

    The poufs are cute for kids, and the varied bags are all great. Those bark bites probably shouldn’t have been allowed in this post!

  88. Nikkee in wa says:

    Love the poufs!

  89. Laura Soriano says:

    Poufs! Now if I can just find a pattern for a giant mushroom, I could re-create a little fall inside the house!

  90. Kimberlee in IL says:

    Those bookmarks would be perfect for my library coworkers.

  91. Heather H. says:

    Love the different bags! A gift everyone can use!

  92. Katie K says:

    Binocular bag is gorgeous!

  93. Ramona from MI says:

    Love the succulent quilt.

  94. Delia in VA says:

    The log slice poufs look really comfy! I need to make a few!

  95. Linda Fleming says:

    Love all these ideas – it’s difficult to choose a favorite!

  96. Michelle says:

    I have always wanted to try my hand at Corset making! That book looks fabulous!
    Michelle (WA state)

  97. Gigi from WA says:

    The gift tags are just what I was looking for! This is the first year I plan on wrapping all the gifts the same with brown, green or red paper and plaid ribbons, then I will tie on the gift tags with a loop of twine 🙂 Gigi

  98. That log poufe is really cute — they would be super in our library storytime room! Hmmm, maybe a new project…..

  99. What a great modern quilt!

  100. Allison C says:

    Those bark bits sound tasty

  101. PegN says:

    Love the binocular bag

  102. sarah says:

    The tags!!!! charming.

  103. Veronica R K says:

    Oh! The Luna Moth pillow is perfect! We used to find them at our house in KY and since moving we miss the wild life from KY (not the weather, but the wild life for sure). Thank you!

  104. Beth in WA says:

    Thank you for all of the ideas! I definitely want to make the binocular bag for us. We inherited some old ones that are in these ancient, heavy cracked leather cases. They’re really gross! I’m going to be crossing my fingers that I win Stamp, Stencil, Paint! Exactly what I would like some guidance in getting started on! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  105. Amber in CA says:

    Wow! The tree hugger in me Loves these!! I want to make everything! Thanks for the creative ideas.

  106. Terri in NJ says:

    Love the tote bag–everyone can use a tote!!!

  107. Carrie says:

    Love the variety & unique details of the bags… And coveting the log slice pouf, too! Can always count on handmade holidays to deliver great inspiration!

    Carrie in MA

  108. Logan in PA says:

    So many great gifts. I’m not sure if I anticipate or fear what extras I will find when I send my 4 year old out with a bag. It will definitely be an adventure.

  109. Tina L says:

    I need to make some Explorer bags for some grand sons.

  110. stefanie in MN says:

    I’m really loving this theme and the items are all super. Thank you!!!

  111. Sarah J. in OH says:

    I love this group of ideas- so fun! Wish I had time to make them all 🙂

  112. Niechelle Wade says:

    I love the gift TAGS, thank you!

  113. DebbieKL in NY says:

    The pillow is great!

  114. Sandra Donofrio says:

    Thank you for the wonderful Luna Moth pattern. I am all over it …

  115. Alexis in UT says:

    That log slice pouf if just too cute! Also, I know the perfect little guy to gift one of those messenger bags.

  116. Mary Ann in SC says:

    My kids would love the explorer bags!

  117. Sue says:

    More great ideas….now if there was only more time before Christmas!

  118. jackie in IN/USA says:

    love all the great ideas love the quilt!!!!

  119. Dawn from Indiana says:

    I like the quick sew tote.

  120. Lee in MI says:

    I am going to try making the bark bites and the birders binocular case!

  121. I had to stop everything I was doing and check out the Nature Explorer Bag by Holly Chez.
    It is so hard to find masculine gifts to make.
    I have been following every day.
    Thanks for so many great gift ideas.
    Madge from WA.

  122. STH says:

    Love the modern look of that binocular bag!

    STH in Washington state

  123. christina in vt says:

    The moth pillow is a great visual.

  124. Eleanor in NC says:

    Love the pouf!

  125. SacheeninMN says:

    Fantastic ideas. Love the birdwatching bag.

  126. Sangeetha says:

    Love the poufs and the bag featured in the article is awesome

  127. JMJ says:

    Love Love Love the quilt!!!!!

  128. Ellenin MA says:

    So much inspiration!

  129. The log slice pouf is super cute!

  130. Susan_in_LA says:

    Thank you for a wonderful collection of gift ideas. I am definitely going to use the gift tags.

  131. Deanne says:

    The bark bites look delicious.

  132. Amanda at APO says:

    Some really great bags on this list!

  133. Susan Evans says:

    That pouf reminds me of a tuffet! So cute!

  134. Heidi in SD says:

    Log splice pouf for the win!

  135. Crystal Rose in MN says:

    That corset building book is going on to my “to read” list asap. I’ve been wanting to make my own for a long time now.

  136. Maria says:

    So cute. Those log seats would have been great last year for us. Lots of great ideas.

  137. Mandi says:

    The luna moth pillow – great!

  138. Jane Hill says:

    From New Zealand. Even though it is summer here at Christmas, the ideas in this post are so brilliant and still so apt.

  139. Ginger in MD says:

    I usually try to make a book-related gift for the ladies in my book club–maybe an embroidered bookmark this year? It’s lovely!

  140. Kati M says:

    I like the log slice puff. Cute idea!

  141. Laura in Oh says:

    I love the bags. I can thing of a half a dozen people that would love them as a gift.

  142. SS in NH says:

    Bark bits sound like a great gift idea

  143. Heather says:

    Keep the ideas coming! I’ve got some gifts to make!

  144. FRe2bfree says:

    The Binocular Bag is excellent. Most excellent!

  145. Marya in NJ says:

    Another round of great ideas!

  146. Jennifer in CA says:

    I have loved that nature bag from Chez Beeber Bebe for years. I should just make it. As always, thanks for the great ideas.

  147. Rena says:

    I LOVE Handmade holidays! I’m love it more than Christmas. Maybe I’ll actually win something this year 🙂

  148. Erin says:

    Those little logs are great!

  149. This list really resonates with my gift list! I love the idea of nature gift tags, and love the idea of simple patterns suggested in the stamp print book.

  150. Tammy in MI says:

    The bark looks to pretty to eat!

  151. Molly Martin OR says:

    That explorers bag! My little adventurer needs this, so cute!

  152. PG in US zip 09777 says:

    Love the little log chairs.

  153. Michelle Smith in Michigan says:

    I need to make my kids the nature explorer bag!
    Michelle in Michigan

  154. Nicole says:

    Nicole from a Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

  155. Nicole says:

    The bird watcher bag has been in my “to sew” list for a while, but I had forgotten about it. Thanks for this topic today, and for reminding me about this potential gift for my sister-in-law.

  156. Donel IA says:

    I love the idea for the log slice pouf!

  157. jessicac says:

    Smitten with the poufs. I want huge ones for my living room!

  158. Janelle Thietje-Dunn says:

    Oh my – that succulent quilt!

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