Category: how to

house for a mouse : make mini chandeliers and a bed

mouse house diy projects

doll house diy

Making a cozy house for nice mice: part 2 – the bedroom

If you haven’t checked out Part 1 find it right here.

 

doll house furniture tutorials

mouse house tutorials

mouse house diy

The Admiral escorts Mrs. Croft off to bed.

 

doll or fairy bed diy

 

 

Of course they need a bedroom too, a cozy escape from the trials of the day.  The tutorial for their dear little wire bed is here.

 

 

 

dollhouse chandelier diy

*some links are affiliate links – meaning I get a tiny commission if you purchase through the links – they are marked with an asterisk

The fancy chandeliers are made from vintage beads and buttons and *24 gauge wire. Any wire small enough to fit through your beads will work. Improvise and work with what you’ve got – that is the spirit of the mouse house. I didn’t have a ton of beads – I gave most of them away a while ago – what was I thinking… So I took apart a couple vintage earrings, found a few glass buttons and beads and some tiny plastic seed beads.

I’ve got some tips below to get you started:

dollhouse chandelier diy

Make a circle of beads on your wire – whatever size you like. Twist 3 or four wires onto the ring – with a short end and a long end.

dollhouse chandelier diy

I used four wires – spaced out pretty evenly around the circle of beads.

dollhouse chandelier diy

Add a bead or button to the short ends and curl them up.

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9 creative project ideas for big folks and little folks

terrarium

terrarium

1.

A terrarium  is an awesome project for big people or little people. There are a bunch of tutorials available in varying degrees of complexity – this one is specifically geared towards little people.   My advice would be to not get too locked in by details like the right kind of container or soil, or plants, adding charcoal etc. etc.. Improvise, work with what you’ve got and try stuff. Make a magical mini landscape.

2.

This wax paper specimen collecting journal is another great idea for backyard or park adventures. If you can’t get outside it could be for collecting words and ideas.

3.

Fabric scraps –  I love this sweet scrap bunting and  there are tons of fabric scrap ideas here and here and more here.

cardboard playhouse

4.

Cardboard castles  and playhouses – I sure do love cardboard. Use whatever you’ve got to build a ship or castle or playhouse.

5.

Fun kitchen projects for kids – the playhouse above is one of my most favorite projects of all time. I made it for Clare Crespo’s Yummy Fun Show.  So many cool kitchen projects to do with your little people. And super duper talented Clare has shared all the episodes right here.

paper mache teacups

6.

Paper mache teacups –  Have you got a cereal box and  paper? Make a sweet paper mache teacup.  And you can make your own wheat paste!

paper ship and boat installation

7.

Make an installation  – a cozy space for daydreams.  In the best of times I am obsessed with making things cozy. In the current deep uncertainty this impulse has gone into overdrive. Easy to make paper boats, simple and festive paper lanterns and scrap garland (plus twinkle lights if you’ve got them) could turn a corner into a magical space for daydreams.

8.

Homemade journals – there is a great tutorial for making a journal from brown bags here and another from junk mail envelopes here.  Besides the fun of making the journal it’s a great time to get into the habit of a small daily creative practice- maybe a journal page a day – collage, drawing, collecting – whatever you like. Showing up everyday for a small daily practice is as close to a magic formula as there is for growing creatively.

guick figure expeiments created with paper and fabric

9.

Play – You know what my most frequently asked question is lately- “ Where do you get your ideas? “ Such an interesting question.  Making a painting everyday has made a big difference in the quantity and quality of my ideas. And play is a huge part of it too. Messing around without being too concerned with the outcome. Try this 30 minute figure play session.

Check the free pattern page for even more ideas! And if you have a project or idea to share please leave it in the comments section.

onward!

ann

wire doll bed diy

wire doll bed

wire doll bed tutorial

Maybe you’d like to start a home for tiny foundlings. Or your mouse house needs a bed.
I’ve made you a diy just in case. When I started messing around with this I found the twisting and wrapping wire construction method pretty difficult so I experimented with other ways of fastening wire. I ended up with something that I think is way easier  to do (tape) and I’m super happy with the result. So happy I made a bunch, I am currently even extra obsessed with making things cozy.  And I like their wonky vibe, it’s a big part of their charm,  perfection should not be a goal in this project.

I’ve sized this bed for very nice mice but there are notes for enlarging it a little for the tiny rag doll or mr. socks. It’s a good idea to have socks or the tiny doll nearby while you make it to double check your fit.

wire doll bed tutorial

*This tutorial contains affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link – they are marked with an asterisk.

Notes on wire: I used 19 gauge galvanized wire in the demo – it’s pretty stiff. The easiest wire to use is this soft annealed *19 gauge black wire. If you have something else on hand give it a try. As long as it bends easily and holds it’s shape it should work.

Notes on tape: Masking tape and *floral tape both work. I made the demo with masking tape since it’s likely you have some of that. The floral tape makes a more invisible join but after making a whole bunch I prefer the masking tape functionally and aesthetically.

wire doll bed tutorial

Before we start putting the bed together let’s talk about finishing. Because I use  tape as the fastener I painted the whole bed. Both the galvanized wire and the softer black wire took the paint (acrylic craft paint) well. I recommend using darker colors or black.

And of course you’ll need a mattress and pillow. It’s super easy and you can sew by hand or machine.

download the mattress and pillow patterns

You’ll also need scraps of fabric a basic sewing kit and something to stuff with. Anything is fine – even toilet paper…

*If you opt to make a larger bed for the tiny rag doll add 2 and 1/2 inches to the length of the mattress template.

Cut out the mattress and pillow fabric and pin with the right sides of the fabric together.

Sew the seams leaving a small section open for turning.

Clip of the corners, turn the mattress and pillow right side out, stuff lightly and then stitch the openings closed.

The template includes a pillow case and you can find instructions for that right here.

make a wire doll bed

materials and tools:

needle nose pliers and wire cutters

19 gauge wire – this soft annealed is easy to work with

masking  tape or *floral tape – see the notes above

craft paint and brushes

wire doll house furniture tutorial

1. Cut all your wire pieces:

  • 2- 18 inch
  • 1- 10 inch
  • 2- 6 inch
  • 1- 10 and 1/2 inch
  • 1-  8 and 1/2 inch

If you would like to make a larger bed for miss thistle make the long pieces 20 and 1/2 inches instead of 18. Also cut an extra 10 inch piece.

 

2. Bend the 10 and 1/2 inch and  8 and 1/2 inch pieces into U shapes.

3. Bend each of the 6 inch pieces as shown – 1 and 1/2 inch from each end.

4. Bend the 10 inch piece into a rectangle with the ends overlapping (for the larger tiny rag doll bed make 2 of these).

5. All your ready to assemble parts should look like this.

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make a house for a mouse

make a mouse dollhouse

mouse doll house

A fancy dress tea party for very nice mice!

They are so happy to see you! Come right in!

Step into their warm, welcoming ramshackle room. I could totally live there! They’ve made it extra festive and cozy for a fancy tea party with friends.

Find part 2 – a cozy bedroom right here.

mouse doll house tea party

The dear little scene is made from stuff I had around, a couple things from my childhood dollhouse, old french letters on the wall and some favorite tiny treasures. The mice and plates are free tutorials in case you are feeling the need for a mouse tea party. I’ve shared a few tips and ideas below for creating a very nice mouse house including miniature plate hangers for your tiny mismatched china, more on that in a minute.

make a mouse dollhouse

mouse tea party

Making a mouse tea party was not my plan for Saturday.  All of a sudden I felt the need to make something entirely for Joy. 100% JOY.  And it was, sorting through my treasures, making the wire chandelier, putting together the little scene and photographing it was 100 % joy.

mouse doll house door

mouse house diy

some details:

*some links are affiliate links – meaning I get a tiny commission if you purchase through the links – they are marked with an asterisk

A fancy bicorne hat for the host -The tiny bicorne hat was made using this pattern but I used the “bird bicorne accent” pattern piece for the hat and then cut another a little smaller for the decorative piece.

The mice – made from the very nice mice  free pattern – pro tip – lately I’ve been adding walnut shells or a coin or two for weight in the bottom to help them stand up.

Tiny plates and cups made from this free tutorial – so much fun.

pickling spice for mini mouse food

mouse food – Pickling spice makes great mouse food. I put some in a little glass button and sprinkled some by the door mat too – little mouse debris, you know how mice are…

miniature chandelier

Chandelier – Its made from this *super handy 24 gauge wire, a vintage earring I’ve had for ever and a few tiny beads. The easy plate hangers are made from this wire too.

make miniature plate hangers

make miniature plates and plate hangers for a dollhouse

Cut a few inches of  *24 gauge wire. You will also need needle nose pliers – small ones are great, wire cutters and pins for hanging. I used the sharpie to color the *little applique pins. The little pins come in handy for lots of dollhouse things.

Bend the wire in half and make a loop. Twist the ends under the loop,

Place your tiny plate on  and bend up the ends.

Remove the plate, trim the ends and curl them with the pliers.

Put your plate on and press the curled ends to hold the plate snuggly.

make miniature plates and plate hangers for a dollhouse

The wall is made from foam-core and I push the little pins (colored with a sharpie) in to hold the hangers. You can use tiny nails too.

If you’ve got kids home from school this would be a fun project and stay tuned for more ideas. If you do make a mouse tea party I’d love to see – you can email photos to info at ann wood handmade dot com or use #annwoodpattern and #mousehousediy to share on instagram.

Wishing you all health and  peace and happiness and I hope this all passes quickly.

Onward!
ann

the somewhat weekly newsletter

Do you get my free weekly-ish newsletter? There are tips and tricks, ideas, stuff to try, all the latest news and blogposts and extra stuff, just for subscribers, delivered mostly on Friday. Pretty much.


making a cardinal or other crested bird

cardinal sewing pattern

cardinal sewing pattern

It’s surprisingly quick and easy to create a fabric crest for a cardinal or bluejay or tufted titmouse etc. etc.. The tutorial that follows was created for my songbird sewing pattern – but you could adjust the size to fit pretty much any bird pattern.

cardinal sewing pattern

We made cardinals in a workshop in Vermont a couple weeks ago. You know, in the old days when we could still travel and gather and felt pretty secure about how much rice and toilet paper we owned… It was a great weekend and the cardinals are awesome. Check out more about the workshop at the end of the post.

The Cardinal Modifications

songbird sewing pattern

You can find the songbird pattern here

– or use any bird pattern you like and adjust the template size.

 

download the crest template

 

how to sew a cardinal

1. Download and cut out the templates.  Cut the face cover and 3 crest pieces from fabric.

2. Place the face cover on your bird –  around the  beak – trim and adjust the size however you like – for this demonstration I left it full size.

3. Pin it in place – overlap the top corners to make it fit snuggly and stitch in place.

4. Pin the head cover in place and stitch around the edge.

5. Pinch the pointed end of the crest 1 piece.

6. Pin in to the top of the head and stitch around the edge.

7. At the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base.

8. Pin the crest 2 piece the same way – on top of crest 1 and stitch around the edge.

9. Again stitching the edge together  – just at the base.

cardinal sewing pattern

10. Add the third crest piece. Optional – fray the edges or make a few stitches through the crest layers. Stitch simple eyes onto the face cover.

So easy! If you try making a crest I’d love to see! Use #annwoodpattern on instagram

A couple more workshop highlights – 2 students brought a pin girl for everybody!! I love them – find the free sewing pattern to make your own here.

pin girl sewing pattern

fabric cardinal workshop with ann wood

cardinal sewing pattern

cardinal sewing pattern

 

extreme mending and how to make a front bustle and scrap binding

binding mad from scraps

mending clothes with scraps

The Second Annual International Scrap Festival comes to a close today!  Thanks to everybody who participated – you can checkout some of the swaps and projects here. I’m already planning the 2021 festival…

You can’t have a scrap festival without talking about mending. I love my mended sleeves and knees, it has nothing to do with being practical or frugal, although I am both of those things. Pretty much. I get nostalgic and attached about clothes and the practice itself, the mending, the meandering stitches and serendipitous layers, is a daily meditation for me.

mended linen smock with front bustle

And I like an interesting hem, not sure why, but it might be at least in part because I’m pretty short (you may not have noticed this because I project quite tall). The hitched up skirt has a little lengthening effect. And it fits right in with my middle age art lady personal style ( #contemporaryhollyhobby). I stumbled onto the front bustle, or bustled hem idea idea while mending this dress.

The first bustle was a simple button and loop. I’ve just button bustled my ancient and  beloved  cal patch smock. The mending on this smock is so extreme it will eventually be nothing but mends.

mending a linen smock with scraps

I have a flannel shirt (purchased for 25 cents at the Herkimer NY Goodwill) that’s like that too – just can’t let it go. Plus it keeps getting more interesting. The edges near the buttons were shredded so I made edge binding from scraps.

binding mad from scraps

Check out this tutorial on how to make your own. It’s super easy.  And it begins with “iron your scraps” so you know it’s a winner. I’m making a bunch of this for frayed pillowcase edges too.

Back to the bustles. I tried a different method on an antique linen nightgown I got in France last year (it started out ivory – I dyed it blue with woad).

make a bustled hem

I’m using a strip of cotton fabric that’s about 3 inches wide. You can make it any length you like – depending on how bustled you want to be. I made the cord from very light weight fabric  – you could also use ribbon or twill tape, any sort of cord you like. I started with about 30 inches of cord and trimmed it .

bustled hem tutorial

Fold the side edges under and press, then folded the top and bottom edges over twice and pressed.  Pin the piece to the skirt.

Sew a U shaped channel in the center –  about one half inch wide. Sew the long sides down as well- I used a tiny whip stitch along the edge. Be sure to leave the top and bottom edges open.

Use a large needle  to thread the cord through from the top.

Come out at the bottom and go back in and come out at the top again. Once the cord is in you can stitch the bottom closed (being careful not to catch the cord) or just leave it open – I left it open.

bustled hem tutorial

bustled hem tutorial

Trim the cord and knot the ends. You are bustled! If you bustle a hem I’d love to see – use #contemporaryhollyhobby on instagram.

how to maker a bustled hem

elegant rag dolls

PS – There has been serious naked lady rag doll progress – The pattern is almost done – I’m in the tiny adjustment/improvement stage. This process involves making tons of dolls and some of those, in various states of dress, will be in the shop  soon.

bustled hem tutorial

pin girls : sweet pin cushions made from scraps – free pattern

pin cushion doll - free sewing pattern

pin cushion - pin girl- free pattern

*This post contains affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

Did you ever make something you liked so much you put it next to your bed so you would see it first thing in the morning?  This pin girl is like that for me. Something about it… And I’ve made a pattern for you. The pin girl is not only the official pincushion of the 2020 scrap festival but she is also the official pincushion of the miss thislte society.
Before we get started let’s talk about pincushion filling for a minute. I think walnut shells are ideal (unless you have a tree nut allergy). They add a nice weight and fill out the curvey shape beautifully. I got a huge bag here (I get a small commission if you purchase through this link).
Sand works too and you can most likely find fine sand at your hardware or gardening store. For this pincushion I don’t recommend using just fiber – the weight and shape won’t be nearly as nice. If you have other filling ideas please let us know in the comment section. Also – I’m thinking of putting together kits for the shop with sweet fabric, and everything else you need – what do you think?

Let’s make pin girls!

You will need:

download the pdf template

Affiliate links are marked with *

fabric scraps – cotton and a little wool or felt
A wooden bead- I used a ⅞ inch (about 22mm) bead – a little bigger or smaller is fine. You can get beads with faces! *right here.
wooden skewer – the larger size is best – what matters is that your bead fits on it. I *used these.
crushed walnut shells – I *used these
a little wool stuffing
trim and lace scraps
chopstick
funnel
glue stick
paint and brushes
white or wood glue
a basic sewing kit

1. Cut out one bottom and 3 doll pattern pieces. Mark a 1/4 inch seam line lightly in pencil on all your pieces.

2. Fold the top edge of the doll pieces over towards the wrong side at the seam line and press.

3. Pin two of the doll pieces – right sides together and stitch one side. Stitch over the folded edge and stop at the bottom seam line as shown. You can hand or machine stitch – in either case use a very small stitch.

4. Open the two pieces you just stitched together and match the edge of the third doll piece to one side.

free pincushion sewing pattern

5. Pin it in place and stitch the side.

6. Match the last two sides, pin and stitch.

7. The 3 pieces assembled should look like.

8. At the bottom edge press the 3 side seams open – you don’t have to press all the way up – just near the bottom.

9. Carefully matching the edges, pin the circle to the bottom opening.

10. Stitch the bottom circle to the opening –  make sure you follow the seam line and use small stitches. It is easier to do this by hand.

11. Use a chopstick to turn the doll right side out through the top opening and run the stick around the seam with firm pressure.

12. Painting the heads – paint simple features with acrylic craft paint or  *get heads that are already painted here.

13. I’m using *crushed walnut shells and a tiny bit of wool to stuff the body (probably not a great idea if you have a tree nut allergy).  Checkout the notes at the top of the post on stuffing materials. You can also use fine sand or sawdust.

14. Place a small funnel in the neck of the body and start adding the filling. As you add the filling use the funnel to crush and press it down and into the edges. Keep compressing and adding filling.

15. Use your chopstick to push filling into any soft areas and add more if necessary.  Tap the bottom of the body on your table to settle the fill and add more – stuffing as firmly as possible will make the best shape.

16. Paint a little glue on the blunt end of your skewer (white or wood glue works).

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The 2020 scrap festival : 11 ideas for your scraps and the swap signup

11 ideas for using scraps

Welcome to the second annual international scrap festival. An entire month devoted to the celebration of fabric scraps. I’ve gathered a bunch of projects for you and I’ll be sharing a couple new free sewing tutorials this month that are just right for scraps.

11 ideas for using fabric scraps

I’ve scoured the interwebs to find awesome scrap sewing projects and ideas for you plus there is a new tutorial from me that I’m excited to share.  You might notice that pincushions, an ideal scrap fabric project and essential tool, are missing from this list.  I’m planning a whole separate post later this month devoted to pincushions. 

PS – If you haven’t already check out the 2019 scrap festival project list. And there are 4 more project ideas here.

onward!

11  ideas  for your scraps

scrap fabric feather tutorial

1. Pieced Feathers – Easy to do and you could make all sorts of things with them – the tutorial is great.

2. Sashiko Sampler Potholders – They are lovely and a great opportunity to try sashiko stitching.

embroidered house sachets

3. Little House Sachets – So sweet! Every detail is just right. And I get almost as excited about a good smell as I do about scraps.

And two more for the kitchen:

4. Acorn pot holder – make a pot holder or just follow the clever piecing directions and make a little acorn bag. What’s cuter than a patchwork acorn?

5. And everybody needs this pot handle cover.

scrap quilt tutorial

6. Potluck Quilt – for the most ambitious among you. I want to make this and I definitely have enough scraps. I feel like it’s a good long term project, good early morning work.

7. Squircles…. I love the idea of appliquéing these hand cut imperfect shapes and playing with color etc. There are squircles in my future.

free bug doll sewing pattern

8. Picnic bugs – I made you a tutorial for these cheerful bugs – it’s perfect for little scraps.

patchwork ball diy

9. Hexie Ball – such an interesting way to sew a 3 dimensional shape. Abby Glassenberg has a great tutorial.

10. Scrap Table Runner – I love Amy’s easy technique – it pretty much quilts itself, so clever.

11. Bow garland – This garland is as simple as it gets and it’s great for really tiny scraps that you couldn’t possibly part with. It’s so simple and would be sweet  and magical in a little girl’s room.

Bonus scrap idea!

Make French Hens! the nesting box is made using this free tutorial. The chickenizing details are there too. And I’ve put the wobbler pattern (that’s what the body is made from) on sale for you for the whole scrap festival month.

bird sewing pattern

 

And check my free pattern page for more ways to use your awesome scraps.

If you’ve got a great scrap project idea share it in the comments or use  #scrapfestival2020 on instagram to share a scrap project you’ve made.

 

the somewhat weekly newsletter

Do you get my free weekly-ish newsletter? There are tips and tricks, ideas, stuff to try, all the latest news and blogposts and extra stuff, just for subscribers, delivered mostly on Friday. Pretty much.


picnic bugs : a free and easy sewing pattern for a silly bug doll

free bug doll sewing pattern

free bug doll sewing pattern

You have probably seen these guys, they show up frequently at picnics (hence the name). They don’t come to pester, just to say hi. They’re friendly like that. Aggressively and relentlessly friendly. They don’t even get mad if you put them in a jar. Just take them to a picnic once in a while.

Good things come out of play. These guys turned up a couple years ago in a silly bug experiment. They crack me up. And they’re a perfect scrap project – you only need a little bit and a mismatched variety is nice. And they make a silly and sweet surprise for somebody little’s lunchbox.

sew a silly bug

make a picnic bug:

download the pattern

You will also need:

  • fabric scraps – I used cotton and linen
  • twine or yarn for legs
  • stuffing
  • large embroidery needle
  • a chopstick
  • a bamboo skewer
  • basic sewing supplies

1. Cut out the body and eye pattern pieces – pin to doubled fabric with the right sides together and cut out. Pin the stomach pattern to a single piece of fabric and cut out.  Note – the wings are double sided so you’ll need 4 pieces – 2 for each wing. I used 2 different fabrics.  Pin the pattern to the 2 layers of fabric with the right sides together and cut out a wing, then flip the pattern and repeat for another wing.

2. Cut a slit in the stomach area of the body pattern for turning and stuffing – make sure it’s smaller than the stomach cover.

3.  Mark your quarter inch seam allowance on the fabric (really – it helps a lot). Pin the two body pieces with the right sides together and  sew all around the body.  Pin two pairs of wings with the right sides together and sew – leave open as shown.

4. Clip little notches all around the body and wings being careful not to cut the seam. Clip the points off the wings too and clip along the curve.

5. Turn the body and wings right side out. Run the chopstick over the seam inside with firm pressure on the body and wings. this helps open the seam for a smooth shape.  Press each piece.

6. Stuff the body – I’m using wool stuffing.

7. Stitch the stomach closed. this will not show. Don’t pull the stitches too tight – just enough to close. Stitch the wing openings closed too.

8. You can use you large needle to move the stuffing around and fine tune – this helps fill out the curves.

9. Pin the stomach and eyes in place and whip stitch around. Optional- whip stitch around the wings with a contrasting thread.

10. Stitch and elongated X for each eye and a little W between for a mouth.  I also added a few horizontal stitches on his neck.  For tips on hiding your knots see this post.

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bat applique part 2 – embroidering the details

bat applque and embroidery diy project

Find part one of the bat appliqué tutorial right here. You’ll find a template for the shape and tips on making really pointy appliqué points. Below I’ve got some super simple embroidered details and ideas for finishing your bat appliqué.

bat embroidery details tutorial

Download the template and cut out the shapes outlined in black – the body, wing line and optional heart. Don’t worry about the little finger and toe lines.

Place the templates on the appliqué and trace the guide lines. I used a light colored pencil that erases easily.  Because I appliquéd before I embroidered the shapes don’t fit precisely so I pivoted the little body shape and traced it one limb ay a time. You could embroider first if you prefer.

For the face poke through and make guide dots for placement. And the fingers and toes are  straight stitches radiating out from the ends of the  arms and legs.

download the bat embroidery template

I used back stitch for my first bat. It’s simple to do.

1. Begin by making one small straight stitch and bringing the needle back out one stitch length away.

2. Put the needle back in where the first stitch ends.

3. Bring the needle out a stitch length away.

4. And bring the needle back in where the las stitch ended – repeat one million times.

applique bat tutorial

I’m going to appliqué a little heart on this bat but otherwise call it a day. I like the simplicity and feel like it works with the vintage linen he is appliquéd on – simple and a little folk arty feeling.

bat applque and embroidery diy project

I’ve made another, also on a vintage linen.  I used a straight stitch for the details and I’m appliquéing a wreath of  flowers all around from some vintage curtain fabric I got last summer in France.  You can find some great tips for needle turn appliqué right here.This will take forever. But it’s the kind of slow stitching that can come with me on trains etc that I’m attracted to right now. Plus I’ll eventually end up with an awesome new throw pillow.

I hope you embroider a bat! And stay tuned for more tutorials – plus embroidery and appliqué kits will be coming soon.

little gifts to make and sweet wrapping ideas

5 easy gifts to make

Little gifts and sweet touches that don’t take very long to make or cost  much. Very much in the spirit of Christmas. Sweet things you can make from scraps mostly.

5 easy gifts to make

*This post contains affiliate links

stuffed pine tree sewing pattern

Woebegone pines – make a bunch. As an alternative to the wooden base you can use a cinnamon stick and add a hanging string at the top.

fabric christmas tree diy

Stitch a little mouse from scraps. The pattern is designed for felt but is works with other fabrics too – this guy is made from linen.

sewing needle book pages from scraps

Needle books make great gifts. And you can do a mini version, just a page or two, if you’re short on time.  I have a bunch of pages in progress that I’m going to assemble into a couple little books.

needle book ideas - colors

From the paper department – make paper sail boats or wax paper stars and snowflakes or swan treat boxes.

make a paper sail boat

wax paper star diy         make a paper swan treat box

Check out the free pattern page for lots more little gift ideas.

Or give a creative friend a gift certificate to the shop!

ann wood handmade gift certificate

and package ideas

One of the byproducts of making a little painting everyday (today is day 352) is the little section at the top of the paper where I off load paint and test my brush and colors.  They are entirely unintentional and I usually end up liking them. For me anyway, they often have that magic that the universe delivers up when we get out of the way. I like them enough to save them. And lately put them to use – they make sweet and cheerful gift tags.

making marks on paper

*The links below are affiliate links – meaning I get a small commission if you purchase through the link.

I like them even better cropped using a die punch. You can get one here. I have a few of these punches and love them. The stamp doesn’t have a hole for the string so I used this mini size hole punch and added bakers twine.

do it yourself painted gift tags

sew a tree and mouse from scraps

What if you don’t make a painting everyday? You can still make the tags. The key is to make some marks on card stock or watercolor paper before cutting the tags.  Cropping is magic. Experiment with making marks without thinking about the tags. That freestyle experimenting is fun and good exercise and the tags are a bonus.

diy painted gift wrap

The tags go perfectly with my signature paint splattered brown paper wrapping. To keep things interesting I also painted some stripes and dots this year. 

Happy Christmas to you! I hope your holidays are lovely,

ann

 

PS – Join me in Vermont this March! We’ve added seven en-suite rooms for our upcoming SugarHouse Retreat with French General.  Located less than two miles away in The Dairy Barn ( I stayed in the Dairy Barn last year – it’s glorious), these special rooms are a beautiful addition to our retreat!  Come stitch by the fire with me!  Find more details here.

how to sew fabric trees

wax paper crystal snowflake ornament diy

handmade paper ornaments

handmade paper ornaments

You can make these wax paper snowflake “crystal” ornaments in about 5 minutes with stuff you probably already have. You gotta love that.  And you don’t have to use wax paper. I happen to love it though. I wanted something simple and light for my norfolk pine this year and I’ve always found wax paper magical. These were quick and easy and I had fun making them, I hope you do too. If you do I’d love to see – use #annwoodpattern on instagram.

You will need:

  • wax paper
  • stapler
  • glue stick
  • pinking shears
  • scissors
  • thread for hanging
  • optional – hot glue

make snowflakes from wax paper

1. Cut a strip of wax paper. My strip is the width of the roll and about 5 inches wide.

2. Fold the length of paper into pleats – accordion style. The pleats should be 1/2 inch or a little bigger. You want them to be consistent in size and firmly creased.

paper snowflake ornament diy

3. If you end up with a little extra paper carefully trim it off. Staple the center of your pleated paper – the staple needs to go across the center.

4.  Apply glue stick to the top layer of paper.

5. Fold the pleated paper in half – glue inside. Trim the tip with pinking shears.

6. Cut a couple little notches along the folds.

7. Apply glue stick to one side.

wax paper crystal tutorial

8.  Un- fold into a circle – brining the glued side around to meet the unglued side and press together to attach.

9. Add a string if you like and you’re finished – or…  Add a whole other level of awesomeness…

10. For extra dimension and fancyness make a smaller snowflake. I used a strip of paper about half as long and half as wide. My pleats are about 1/2 inch still but there are less of them.

wax paper craft idea

11. Use a  dot of hot glue to attach the smaller snowflake to center of the larger.

wax paper craft idea

So sweet! I hope you make wax paper snowflakes!

wax paper craft idea/div>