We had too many wonderful themes to squeeze it all into one month, so here’s a little kick-off to a December full of bright and happy times. Thank you for a wonderful Handmade Holidays, and a special thanks to our many readers who curated exciting, interesting themes for us each day in November. They went above and beyond, finding the best, fresh tutorials for us all to enjoy!

Book giveaways remain open for a couple of days, so be sure to comment on every Handmade Holidays post for a chance to win!

Giveaway Day is almost here! Our biannual party of giving is on December 8th this year, so don’t miss out on hundreds of giveaways and a whole week of fun. Find all of the details here. What will you give away?!

Today’s Guest Curator: Sara from Made by Sara

I was a corporate woman who turned stay-at-home mom after giving birth to my third child, three years ago. I started to sew in my early childhood, during the endless summer holidays spent at my dressmaker granny’s. I loved to grab her fabric scraps and vintage buttons to make doll clothes. Nowadays I sew mostly for my kids and occasionally for myself, and I share it all over at Made by Sara. You can also find me on Instagram.

After a few years of giving it some thought I am finally starting a small home-based sewing business with baby items and digital sewing patterns. I am launching an Etsy shop in the next weeks, so stay tuned! I am also starting a sewing group in my city to teach other women to sew, for free. Sewing, teaching and empowering other moms are my passions in life!

Make It

Burlap Tag Embellished Star Ornaments
These easy Burlap Tag Embellished Star Ornaments from Saved by Love Creations are nice on a gift or the tree!

Star Hexies
Star Hexies by Julie Zaichuk-Ryan of Button Button for Sew Mama Sew are a great, portable project for a holiday season on the go!

Triangle Star Quilt Block
Diary of a Quilter’s Triangle Star Quilt Block looks pretty in just about every possible fabric and color variation!

Hikari (Light) Dress
This Hikari (Light) Dress from Sew Chibi is magical.

Wonky Star Block
Janice from Better Off Thread designed the Wonky Star Block for us here at Sew Mama Sew. We love the design, and the large finished block is perfect for a pillow. Four blocks with a border make a beautiful baby quilt or lap quilt…

Peppermint Candy Christmas Ornaments
Here’s a fun project for those days off from school! Try these Peppermint Candy Christmas Ornaments from Hello Homebody.

Napkin Rings
Straight Grain’s Napkin Rings look lovely on the table.

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Gifts to Deck the Halls, TONS of Deck the Halls round-ups from previous Handmade Holiday series, Christmas tutorials, 9 Sweet + Small Projects for the Holiday Season

Mix It

Starry Bite-Sized Party Bark
Let the star theme continue into your holiday baking! Try this Starry Bite-Sized Party Bark from Happy Hour Projects.

Easy Salted Caramel Turtles
We’ve shared turtles already but we think you should try each recipe and do your holiday duty to compare! We like the look of these Easy Salted Caramel Turtles from A Pumpkin and a Princess.

Print It

Stars Were Gleaming Printable
Incorporate a beach theme with this Stars Were Gleaming Printable from It Works for Bobbi.

Jumbo Christmas Lights Printable Garland
This Jumbo Christmas Lights Printable Garland from Paging Supermom is so bright and festive!

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.

Mend & Make Fabulous
(US-only shipping, no P.O. boxes.)

Author: Denise Wild
Publisher: Interweave/F+W

Showing how to take classic mending techniques one-step further to add personality and style to your clothes, Mend & Make Fabulous is a uniquely comprehensive resource that combines visual inspiration with practical advice for the fashion-conscious sewer. The ability to repair and restore clothes is priceless and Mend & Make Fabulous provides a comprehensive guide to all the classic mending techniques and then some: holes and tears; ripped or frayed seams; discoloration, stains, or fading; broken snaps and closures; uneven or dropped hems; stretched elastic; torn linings; broken straps; and the like. A simple problem-and-solution format makes it easy to find what you are looking for.

Not only will you learn to darn holes to perfection, this book also shows you how to add some creativity to your mending– fix holes with studs or applique; hide discolorations by dip-dying; mend frayed hems by adding cuffs or trim– that will make clothes even more fabulous than they were the first time around.

Present Perfect
(US-only shipping, no P.O. boxes.)

Author: Betz White
Publisher: Interweave/F+W

From beginning to end, the process of creating handmade gifts is an opportunity to sew with love and craft with intention something to be treasured. It’s a practice near and dear to Present Perfect author Betz White, where she shares a collection of beautifully sewn projects to celebrate all of life’s major milestones.

Whether you’re looking to make a cuddly toy for a new baby or toddler’s birthday, a clever bag for a graduate, special accessories for women or men, or beautiful home items “just because,” you’ll find just the project to inspire your stitching in Present Perfect. Each handmade gift begins with a thoughtful selection of materials just right for the project and the recipient. Throughout Betz also offers hints for using alternative materials and ideas for upcycling. Reusing a favorite fabric with a history, such as outgrown baby clothing, a grandfather’s necktie, or a vintage tablecloth, can add meaning to a truly memorable gift.

How to Knit
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Leslie Ann Bestor
Publisher: Storey Publishing

Learning to knit is fun and easy with Leslie Ann Bestor as your teacher. Her simple, fully illustrated instructions lead you step by step through the basics of knitting, from choosing the right needles and yarn to reading a knitting pattern, casting on, executing knit and purl stitches, binding off and blocking finished projects. You’ll also learn techniques for increasing, decreasing and repairing mistakes. Even if you’ve never held a pair of knitting needles before, this easy-to-follow guide will have you knitting in no time!

Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads: A Modern Knitter’s Guide to Discovering and Exploring Style
(US-only shipping.)

Author: Cirilia Rose
Publisher: STC Craft

Cirilia Rose is the epitome of the new knitwear designer—young, educated, curious, and excited to share her passion for all ideas knit and purl. Her attitude toward curating her own collection of designs is informed as much by travel, cultural history, and tried-and-true sourcebooks as it is by modern media and technology. In Magpies, Homebodies, and Nomads, Rose takes readers behind the scenes of her design process, showing them how she curates and organizes ideas and translates them into knitwear designs. Through 25 projects that fall into three categories—Magpies (accessories for the small amounts of precious yarns that knitters inevitably collect), Homebodies (garments for time spent close to home), and Nomads (garments to wear when venturing out into the world)—Rose shares her modern aesthetic and invites readers to develop their own.

Becoming a Confident Quilter: Lessons and Techniques Plus 14 Quilt Patterns
(US + Canada shipping, eBooks to international winners.)

Author: Elizabeth Dackson
Publisher: Martingale

In her easygoing style, entertaining blogger Elizabeth Dackson presents a step-by-step primer that makes quilting accessible to all quilters. Sparkling with visual appeal, the projects in this book are ideal for beginners as well as experts who want something fresh and new.

  • Breeze through quiltmaking basics including choosing fabrics and tools, rotary cutting, chain piecing, and pressing.
  • Choose from 14 eye-catching quilt patterns and try strip piecing, work with templates, use large-scale prints, create wonky blocks and more.
  • Get excellent guidance on finishing and caring for a quilt, plus tips for connecting with the quilting community.

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.