Another one crossed off the list

Remember this?

Fleece pieces for monster soft toy

Unfinished: Monster soft toy ready to be sewn.

Well. I FINALLY got around to finishing it. Nothing to do with the fact that we will be seeing the little boy that we need to give this to tomorrow. No, not at all. But the point is, it’s done. And he’s pretty awesome I think.

Green Monster SoftieDoesn’t he just make you wanna pick him up and give him a big squeeze? Squish sure thinks so. As soon as she saw him she was giving him huge cuddles and carting him around the house. Not sure how she is going to go tomorrow when she has to give him to her friend. I think I’m going to have to make her one of her own, might be a tutorial involved if you’re lucky.

He is made from leftover pieces of microfleece from Squish’s nappies and stuffed with polyfill. The teeth are only sewn on by the stitching around the edge of the mouth. I know they will eventually get pretty ragetty and probably rip off but small, thin pieces of microfleece are hard to sew with and I couldn’t be bothered I think that will just add to his charm over time. He has nice long arms and legs which will be excellent for giving the biggest hugs ever.

Green Monster Softie closeupAw, doesn’t he look all cute there with with his legs crossed…

Anyway since he is a gift, I need to wrap him up along with the pencil case for some lovely little boys we know (who’s birthdays were in January… hey, we haven’t seen them since late last year!)

So, to continue on with the vow, I didn’t buy any wrapping paper or anything, just used what I had lying around. Luckily for me I had some kid-friendly wrapping paper leftover from last year anyway. Not cheating, isn’t it better that I use it up instead of throwing it in the rubbish? Yes, yes it is.

Not sure what I’m on about?

But anyway, here’s them both wrapped up in some wrapping paper I bought for my husband’s birthday about 3yrs ago and have been reusing it for little kids ever since:

Along with some gift tags cut from a colourful cardboard box and tied on with some random ribbon. Done.

Nicola x

A little something

The first no wrapping paper gift to head out the door is this:

Gift bag

First one out the door.

Featuring a brown paper bag which was given to us at Christmas time with some lovely handmade goodies inside, pink tissue paper from a present someone gave me, pink ribbons that were tied around an easter egg last year, a little blue with pink polka dots card which was cut from a larger card I received for my birthday, and an embellished blue felt flower I was given in a little kit a while ago. FREE. All stuff I had stashed away thinking it would be useful some day. I feel better already.

Sorry I can’t tell you what’s inside. I’m not sure whether the person receiving this reads my blog or not. But it’s pretty cute so I can see another version being made sometime in the near future :)

Apologies for the shocking lighting. It was 9:30pm when I took that.

Nicola

Tutorial: Gift Bags using a Book

When I was younger I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide. I remember learning all kinds of great things there, but only a few have stuck in my head: how to cook pikelets with a tin can and a candle, and how to make gift bags using a book.

I haven’t made these for years. But since the vow to never buy wrapping paper again, I’ve found myself trying to come up with alternative ways to wrap gifts (even though I don’t have any gifts to wrap just yet, the mind just wanders!). This handy little piece of info was filed away in the back of my mind and decided to come floating back. Very considerate of it!

Gift bags using a book

I’ve used my some of my daughter’s drawings for these, she’s 18mths old and LOVES drawing. We have piles and piles of her drawings already, I can only imagine how many we are going to end up with over the years. But I can see that in my quest to replace wrapping paper with recycled and reusable alternatives her drawings are going to come in very handy.

Ready to learn how to turn your kid’s drawings/magazines/newspaper etc. into reusable and recyclable gift bags? You can click any of the pictures for a larger image.

Stuff you will need:

  • Paper or similar, whatever you are wanting to make your bag out of
  • Tape
  • A book (or two or more depending on your desired bag size)
  • Holepunch (optional – for adding ribbon)

Lay out your paperStep 1:

Check your paper size. Tape 2 pieces together if neccessary. I have used 2 A4 pieces to make my bags (approx 20cm tall).

 

 

 

Fold top of paper downStep 2:

Make a fold of about 3 – 4cm on one of the long sides. This step is optional depending on what look you want. It will provide a sturdy top to thread ribbon through like the one with the red ribbon. If you want a bag like the one with the pink ribbon, skip this step.

 

 

Wrap bookStep 3:

Wrap paper around book and tape all the way along. If you joined 2 pieces of paper together, you may like to make sure that the join is on the side.

 

 

 

Push book to desired positionStep 4:

Slide book up or down until there is just enough to fold the bottom of the bag nicely. Too little and you will have a hole, too much and it will be too bulky.

 

 

 

Fold bottom of bagStep 5:

Fold the bottom of the bag as if wrapping a present. Top first, then sides, then the bottom. Tape in place.

 

 

 

Slide the book outStep 6:

Slide the book out. It looks like a bag, you are nearly done!

 

 

 

 

Step 7:

Using your finger and thumbnail pinched together, crease the four sides of the bag. Don’t worry about the bottom, we will get to that.

 

 

 

Step 8:

Bring the two edges on one side of the bag together, forming in inverted fold in the side of the bag. Repeat for the other side.

 

 

 

Step 9:

Flatten bag, folding the base towards the back of the bag. Crease all edges.

 

 

 

 

Using your hole punch, punch holes in the top and embellish as desired. You could make little ribbon handles, tie a big bow, add a tag, get creative!

And you are done! One gift bag made from recycled materials, which can either be reused or recycled.

Let me know by commenting here if these steps don’t make sense. I’ll be happy to help.

No more wrapping paper!

Nicola xx

I vow to never buy wrapping paper again

Christmas has been and gone, and we had a wonderful time. But what I hate to see is the huge pile of wrapping paper and other non-reusable (well not after little fingers have ripped through it all) gift wrapping things that are left over.

I’ve decided that I will no longer purchase wrapping paper, cards, tags or labels to wrap gifts. I will blog my efforts and I encourage you to join me. Help me cut down on all the crap heading into our landfills.

Luckily for me, I’m not the only one who thinks this way and there is loads of inspiration around the place. Cue Pinterest:

DIY Fabric ribbon

DIY Fabric ribbon

Woven paper gift topper and newspaper

Woven Paper gift topper with newspaper

Salt Dough gift tags

Salt Dough gift tags

Alternative gift wrapping ideas

Ideas using things from the hardware store

I  can’t wait to give some of these a go. I have a few birthdays coming up so I’ll get a chance pretty soon.

Has anyone got any alternative gift wrapping ideas? I think I’m good for embellishments but there is probably only so many gifts I can wrap in newspaper so I could do with some more ideas there.

Nicola xx