Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Sewing Stockings With Leather & Chambray

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This Christmas threw me for a loop. It fell so close to Thanksgiving (apparently it’s the last time in a million something years it will happen that way). I felt rushed.

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I also got sick. The state of Utah has all been passing around some miserable intestinal bug. And I caught it. I was in bed for two days. Leaving Christmas to the last minute. Literally.

I had the fabric laid out and the patterns all cut, but it wasn’t until 1am Christmas morning that I was able to sew these babies up.

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Instead of embroidering the names on the stockings, I just made quick calligraphed tags and tied them on with baker’s twine. It was simple, but created a really fun, simple Christmas feel.

I was channeling a more traditional style after watching The Polar Express. Has anyone else noticed the calligraphy in the note from Santa at the end? Maybe that’s just a me thing to do? I decided that Santa likes traditional Copperplate stylings.

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I drafted the stocking pattern by hand. I wanted to get as many stockings out of the 3/4 yard of chambray I got from Michael Levine as possible. I used this mocha chambray, courtesy of Michael Levine.

So this was the size I settled on. It’s something like 7 inches by 20 inches. Plenty big for candy bars and art supplies (my ideal stocking stuffers).

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The top of the stocking is made out of an interlock knit, kind of a-typical, but softer and fluffier than cotton but not felt. I didn’t want to do fleece or felt. I feel like sometimes felt doesn’t age well (unless you get the nice stuff, and I didn’t have any around at 1am). If I were to do it again, I might go for a minky or faux fur. But the interlock is soft and simple.

The interior is a simple white cotton poplin.

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I also used a bright red leather for the tabs at the top. It’s a fun little detail that screams “Melissa made this”. Maybe next year I’ll have a mantle to hang these stockings from! We already have the fireplace, I just want some kind of shelf or mantle above!

I hope your Christmas was fun and family-filled! Also, anyone else leave Holiday decor or gifts to the last minute like me? I’d love some solidarity here.

Sponsored: Have I Done Any Good?

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Inspired by this month’s give-back theme for the Fiesta Movement, what do you plan on giving this year? I love this idea of paying it backward! I’ve been a lucky recipient of in years past (way before blogs were ever a thing). It’s great how such a small gesture can brighten someone’s day.

 

 

Growing up we did sub-for-santa almost every year. There were some years when we gave to strangers and others to families in our immediate neighborhood. I have such fond memories of door bell ditching presents. I remember the panic I felt when my brother’s pants got caught on a chain link fence. Not panic for my brother’s behalf (or behind), but panic that the unsuspecting family may find out our plans. Good times.

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The most memorable was my first Christmas at college for one of the girls in our complex:

For nearly two years, Hanni’s only contact with her Germany-based family had been email and Instant Messenger. Two guys in our building knew how much she missed her family and saw the most beautiful opportunity. For about a week they canvased the complex for any donations, each of us giving as much as we could.

I remember sitting in my apartment, hearing audible shrieks and sobs coming from the hallway the night those guys ditched the plane ticket on her front door step. I can’t express the joy that filled my heart, knowing that she would be able to have her family near during Christmas break.

After the break she told us about her surprise trip. She didn’t inform her parents about her upcoming arrival. It was Hanni’s sister who picked her up from the airport, wrapped her in a large box and delivered her to her parents on Christmas Eve. For a while, Hanni’s parents insisted they wait until Christmas Day to open the large gift. It didn’t wait.

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I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall at the moment Hanni’s parents realized their whole family would be together at Christmas. For a moment, our complex wasn’t about selfish desires and school finals. Through serving, we were in sync with the real Christmas spirit.

Perhaps one of the most important ways I can “give back” this year is to teach my children that Christmas is not about gifts. It’s about something more. For our family it’s about remembering Christ and about being just a little more patient, kind, loving and giving. All things I’ve been terrible at lately. Holidays stress me out. It’s my goal this week to get out of our house and do something kind for someone else.

What are your favorite ways to give back during the Christmas season? 

This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Sponsored: 2013 Christmas Candy Box Freebie

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Inspired by this month’s give-back theme for the Fiesta Movement, what do you plan on giving this year? I love this idea of paying it backward! I’ve been a lucky recipient of in years past (way before blogs were ever a thing). It’s great how such a small gesture can brighten someone’s day.
 
Ford Fiesta is teaming up with What’s Trending for a Tube-A-Thon benefit for Covenant house. Click here to participate and find out more.

 

It’s that time of year when my family comes in town and we make caramels! My mom will be in town in about a week so I thought I would get the ball rolling a little earlier on this year’s candy/gift box. Introducing the 7th Annual Christmas Candy Box!

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Last year we were in such a rush I ended up doorbell ditching most of my candy boxes on our way out of town. This year I look forward to getting these babies done in plenty of time to spare. And this year’s design is so easy, I’ll have a load of these boxes made up in no time.

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Each year, I’m limited to the constrains of the print margins of an 8×10 piece of paper. It’s really not much room when it comes to making boxes. I’ve found that pillow boxes are great, but they can be a pain in the rear to score and fold.

Regular boxes can be easier, but there are too many sides to cut and glue. However, a three-sided box is just the trick! I can make it nice and roomy, it’s easy to cut and fold, and the triangles are fun. I was able to cut the whole template with regular scissors and fold with just a bone folder (a credit card would do just fine).

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The box is 5.75 x 2.5 x 2.5. It’s the right size for a small assortment of candies, jewelry, baby clothes (a onesie would fit perfectly in here) and gift cards. I designed the box very much like this year’s thank you printable. They match! Looking for more shapes and designs? Check out previous years:

2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012

I’ve got two versions of the little gift box, one with a label and one without. Download the free* printable below.

 

 This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

*This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Handmade Christmas 2012

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Like most years, I like to make as many Christmas gifts as possible. This year was much better than last. It’s been quite a bit less stressful this year than last (we were still settling into our last digs), but I tried to keep things as simple as possible.

For the kiddos, I adopted Gabrielle’s philosophy on gift giving. I didn’t make anything for them this year.

On my side of the family, we were in charge of giving to my younger sister and her husband. They’ll be heading up here from Tuscan to celebrate Christmas and pick up their new puppy. So I thought I would make something appropriate for that. I lettered their names in frames (they can easily swap those out for photos), cut out an ampersand and made a leather collar for the new dog, Reese. I made a little tag with her name on it, but couldn’t get it to attach to the buckle (hands too raw). Hopefully they can do that.

The ampersand is really hard to photograph, it’s clear 1/4 inch acrylic, but I love it. I actually made two so I can keep one and give the other away. (selfish much?)

On Chris’s side, I’m in charge of giving to my brother-in-law Steven and Chris was in charge of giving to my sister-in-law Rebecca. Steven just got his wallet stolen and absolutely loves bow ties so I made him a leather wallet (it’s really thin!) and a leather bow tie out of the same leather I used for the wallet. I tried to tie the bow tie and didn’t have much luck making it look good, but I’m terrible at tying fabric ones, I’m hoping he can get this one to look good. That was a bit of a gamble. He has also played a lot of guitar lately, so I got him Chris’s favorite guitar tuner.

Rebecca is a great sewer. She’s made some really beautiful quilts and clothes. Chris is a bit clueless in this arena so I took care of the present for him. This was fun. I made her an acrylic ruler and got her an etsy gift card.

What would I have done for the holidays without access to a laser cutter?! I want one all my own so badly.

How are your holidays wrapping up? What things have you made? Are you surprising anyone this year with something big? I hope all of you have a fantastic Christmas!

Printable: Painted Gift Tag

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I designed these printable gift tags for Emma Mag last month (see page 59!). I’ve been meaning to share these with you, but I haven’t wrapped a single Christmas gift until today!!

The design is really basic, I hand lettered to and from on the front with a bunch of holly leaves on the back. Print it on any color paper and paint or keep it plain if you want! They’re a really easy craft (and fantastic for wee ones looking to get crafty, too).

The lovely ladies from The Girls With Glasses featured my tag on their most recent video. You can see how they styled their tags here.

Download the printable below.

This tutorial or freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without the express consent of Melissa Esplin. I love getting shout outs from around the web, but please, link with love. You may publish 1 photo along with credit back to the original post. Never link directly to the download. If you would like to use this tutorial or freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

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