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A handmade Christmas

Christmas is a pretty busy time for crafters, and this year has been no exception for me – it’s definitely a handmade Christmas in our house!  I planned my Christmas gift makes for a few months, and now that the gifts have been given I can share them with you! I had to be quite clever with my planning this year – with all the kitchen work going on, I had to get anything that required making on my machine done first because I wasn’t sure if I’d have space for my machine once the living room had been re-jiggled. Thankfully, I did manage to work out a way of continuing my sewing whilst being surrounded by mess – it wasn’t pretty, but nothing will stop me haha! 🙂 I had two main projects to focus on, as well as my Christmas cards, and although I did intend to get ahead I was finishing off a little at the last minute as usual…


So the first thing I made were these record placemats for my lovely sister and brother in law. They got married last year too, and had a record-themed occasion (Ant is seriously into his records – what he doesn’t know about dance music isn’t worth knowing!). I originally found this project in issue 41 of Mollie Makes magazine, which came out way back in June, and had them in mind since then.


Quilted record placemats


I wanted to match the middles of mats to the colour scheme that Naomi and Ant had at their wedding, which was teal and purple, but I just couldn’t find the right thing that I had in my head! I found this selection of fabrics in John Lewis – most of them are from the Glow collection by Amy Butler, and they compliment each other really well. 30cm of each one was more than enough to make these and to have a bit left over for my ever-growing fabric stash!


Lovely fabric


The next project I made was a perpetual ‘paper’ chain for Helen – when I saw them I immediately knew that she would like them. I found it in a wonderful book called ‘Stitch the Halls‘ by What Delilah Did, and then they printed it in Mollie Makes too! But it’s such a lovely book that I’d highly recommend investing in it for next year, and I’m so pleased that I have the other projects to work on as well.


Stitch the Halls


These chains are definitely a labour of love, but are really lovely! I had never used waste canvas before (and actually bought the wrong thing at first – get the right stuff here). The ESTs (Estimated Stitch Times) given in the book are quite accurate, although it did take me ages to stitch the stags, and it took me about 20 minutes to remove the waste canvas.


[vc_gallery type=”image_grid” interval=”3″ images=”6488,6484,6485,6483″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” column_number=”2″ grayscale=”no” choose_frame=”default” img_size=”large”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1417803771710{padding-top: 30px !important;}”]Plasticard is a new material to me (I got mine on eBay) but it’s really great for strengthening felt and I’ll definitely be using it in future projects. I got a pack of seconds with a few scratches on and this made it cheaper – no-one will tell when it’s sewn in!


Christmas fabric envelope


I’m so pleased with how they turned out! I also made a fabric envelope to keep them in. In case you’re wondering how long the chain is, I made 12 links in 6 different colours and they fit nicely above a door frame with a small piece of ribbon at each end. It’s the kind of gift that you could add a couple of links to every year, which would be great!


Felt paper chains


My final make this year was our Christmas cards – I had the photos for this printed out for so long but it took me ages to get around to making them and we didn’t get them in the post until the 19th December. Oops! Tom took this photo in Keswick last year and we knew it would make a lovely card. I made them size A7 with mini envelopes to match (if you’d like to make some envelopes and cards this size, click here for my tutorial from last year).


Robin Christmas cards


What did you make for presents this year? Were you lucky enough to receive a handmade present? I received some wonderful craft books, so look out for more projects in 2015!


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  1. Helen Albans on December 30, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    I LOVE my ‘paper’ chains! Thanks again Clare! H x

    • Clare on January 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Yay! I’m so pleased that you like them, Helen! 🙂 xx

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