Welcome to your one-stop holiday shop for sewing Christmas gift ideas! Are you ready? Grab your red and green fabric and let's sew!
With the change of seasons and holidays quickly approaching, most of us are running a bit low – low on time, low on energy, and maybe even a little bit low on joyous holiday spirit. Even though I can’t magically wrap all of your presents or find that elusive gift for your friend who seems to already have everything, I can give you a few tips on squeezing in some sewing, even if the spirit isn’t flowing. (The holiday elf in me needed to rhyme right there.)
Make Something, Just Make It Small.
While thinking about writing this post, I kept going back to that scene in Alice in Wonderland when Alice is desperately trying to fit through a teeny tiny door and the only solution is to drink a shrinking potion labeled “Drink Me.”
Do you remember this scene? Well it occurred to me that when I’m busy and have just a small window of time, or shall we say, a small door of time, there’s absolutely no point in trying to cram my normal-sized self through it! I’ve gotta drink first...the shrinking potion that is. haha! 😉
You still following? Reading this might feel a bit like you’re the one chasing a white rabbit. Let me say it more clearly – if energy or time or Christmas spirit is small, just make small things! Not only do small handmade items make the sweetest gifts, they can also serve as a wonderful catalyst to get you sitting at your sewing machine without a huge commitment.
And what kind of a holiday elf would I be if I didn’t leave you with some practical ideas? Below are five sewing Christmas gift ideas to make this year of giving your best one yet!
Pictured above is the Reflections Wall Hanging & Pillow Extension Pattern.
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#1. The Perfect Small Sewing Christmas Gift: A Quilted Pillow
Remember that friend who already has a bunch of candles, a monthly subscription to every magazine, and a standing weekly manicure appointment at her local salon? Well, you know what she absolutely does not have? A handmade pillow by you! (What was that? You made her one last year? Not making this easy on me, I see... OK OK, skip to the next idea…)
The SQ pattern shop is flush with fabulous pillow patterns, including:
- Maypole Pillow Extension Pattern
- Modern Fans Quilt Pattern (pillow size included)
- Reflections Wall Hanging & Pillow Extension Pattern
- Sugar POP Quilt Pattern (pillow size included) Pictured below!
These patterns work in tandem with this FREE zipper pillow tutorial. Below is a photo of my very pregnant belly from 2018. Oh gosh did I hate being pregnant...
Be sure to check out my hand quilting tutorial to add personally stitched touches like this!
#2. The Perfect Fast Sewing Gift: A Table Runner
The amazing thing about table runners is there really is no “standard size.” You can pretty much just sew until you run out of steam and then call it a table runner. They can be square-ish, rectangle-ish, long, short, wide, skinny – it’s up to you! You can scrap together some improv piecing, or make a handful of blocks from your favorite quilt pattern.
When making table runners, I actually like to take an added shortcut and avoid binding by sewing the three quilt layers facing each other and the flipping it right-side out like a pillow. If those instructions confused you, you can find a very clear step-by-step tutorial on how to make a table runner here. There are lots of pictures, so you don’t even have to read the instructions. Hooray!
#3. The Perfect Time-Saving Gift: Appliqué Placemats
This sewing DIY is so fast and easy I almost feel guilty whenever I give them away. Inevitably the recipient assumes that I must have labored for hours, when really I whipped this project up in a couple afternoons. The key to making these placemats lickety split is to (wait for it...) start with pre-made placemats.
Don't think of it as "cheating." It's more like buying a box of cake mix to make that really impressive spice cake everyone loves to eat on Christmas Eve. Nobody needs to know PLUS you don't look harried and worn out for holiday photos. Total win!
For the full tutorial on how to make these placemats, check out A Festive & FREE Christmas Placemats Tutorial.
#4. The Perfect Inexpensive DIY: A Rope Bowl
I have seen tutorials for these floating around social media for a couple years and it still remains on my To-Make list. Let this year be the year! From what I can rope together (yes, pun very much intended), it looks like you only need a basic cotton clothesline from your hardware store and cotton thread for your machine.
All you do is slowly zig-zag stitch the rope to itself while coiling it around in a bowl shape. I will need to watch a video on this since after writing that it seems to me you’d end up with a rug rather than a bowl. Maybe it’s a choose your own adventure kind of thing! Rug or bowl – we may not know until it’s finished!
If you feel the holiday spirit seeping back in, you can even add scraps of your favorite fabrics wrapped over parts of the rope. This gives the rope fun little pops of color. AND if you’re particularly invested in this gift, you could make a couple nesting bowls of different sizes. I’d say that would cover a holiday and a birthday, easy.
#5. The Perfect Scrap-Busting Christmas Gift: A Pouch
A universally loved and easily interchangeable pouch! Depending on who the gift is for, you can say that it’s a pencil pouch, a makeup bag, a going out clutch, a coin purse, a doggie treat case, a pills pocket, a toiletries bag, a lego container or even a scented sachet (just leave out the zipper and sew up all sides).
You could even make five of the same bag and call them different things on the labels! Just make sure the recipients don’t know each other, otherwise the personalized (or non personalized) effort will be lost.
There are tons of different pouch patterns on Etsy. A few that I really like include:
I could go on and on. There are LOTS of bag patterns out there! One thing to note, however, is if you’re opting for the doggie treat case, just know that zippers can be tricky when the recipient has no thumbs. (Scrappy made sure I added that reminder.)
What are your favorite holiday DIY gifts? Share your ideas in the comments! And even though the picture below has nothing to do with holiday sewing...after finding that Sugar POP pillow photo with my pregnant belly I searched my phone for other photos of what life was like during my holiday season last year (2018).
Oh yikes...let me tell you, it ain't pretty. I was SO sick all the time. In this photo I'm wearing my favorite sweatshirt and sipping ice cold ginger ale. Through it all my best friend, Scrap, never left my side.