Monday, 12 December 2011

Handmade Holidays - brothers making for brothers

I am joining Tonya at Plain And Joyful Living for Handmade Holidays again this week.

The boys have been working hard making gifts for each other.

N has been making book covers for S, an avid reader.
He made three book covers in different sizes, one to fit each of the three current favourite series that S is reading.  The hardest part was sneaking the books from S's room so we could be sure they would fit.

He cut rectangles out of fabric (he is 9 and chose striped fabric from the stash so that he could cut with scissors rather than a rotary cutter).
He serged all of the edges, even the ones that were going to be folded over.
He sewed pockets on each end for the book cover, and even sewed down the side in between so it would be neat and tidy (if you have met N, insert GASP here!).  He did need help with starting the very first one, and he asked me to put the pins in...but with instructions.  "Tuck the pins back under after, Maman.  I don't want them poking up." 

Interesting what your kids teach you...after years of sewing, and more than a few pin pricks, it never occured to me to tuck the pin ends back under.  And I also learned to just let him do it...he is perfectly capable.
 He folded the covers in thirds and added a handprinted label telling him which book would fit which cover.
And packaged them up...
in this gift bag...note the gift will see something interesting later in the post...
And made a tag, cut from the side of a "facial tissue" box.

S has been making bath items for N.  N loves to have a bath, but usually only has one when he is ill (he gets the croup a lot! and spends a long time in the bath each time he gets it). 

S made N a jar full of bath fizzies:
and a jar full of bath teas,

For the bath fizzies:
He sifted together citric acid, cornstarch, and baking soda (you can find all kinds of recipes for this on the internet...but for each batch, we used 1/4 cup citric acid, 1/2 cup cornstarch, and 1/2 cup minus one tablespoon of baking soda if I remember correctly...we had to modify for smaller batches).  In hindsight, you can make one large batch, and then divide it up to add the colours.
He added food colouring to a spray bottle of water,
and sprayed slowly while stirring until the mixture could hold a shape when squeezed.
He added a few drops of essential oil,
and pressed the mixture into a mini muffin tin.  Let it dry at least two hours at this point.
Then he flipped them out and put them in a jar, which he labelled with the name of the oils he used.

For the bath teas, he cut squares of cheese cloth, using two layers per bag.
He placed three tablespoons of herbs in the center (he used lemon balm, lavender, and mint),
tied each one up with a colour-coded piece of yarn, cut off the extra fabric,
and packaged them up in a jar.

He put both jars in a gift bag...
and made a tag from an old Christmas card.

Here is the funny part...I have maybe 30 gift bags in different colours, shapes, and sizes that we consider our Christmas or Solstice gift bags.  Most of them were made with "holiday print" fabric, although some are just solid colours.  There are exactly 2 bags made of the above fabric in the box where we store gift bags.  They both chose the exact same bag.  We also have a variety of ribbons and ties that we re-use from year to year...they both chose white ribbon.  When they are together, they will often both choose the same thing but I always thought it was "to be fair".  I find it interesting that even when they are doing things secretly, they still happen to choose the exact same thing.

What have you been making for handmade holidays?

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