living | gift ideas
Simply Handmade How-To
STE N C IL AND STAM P
1. POLYMER CLAY GIFT TAGS
polymer clay in your hands (brands
such as FIMO from Staedtler and
Sculpey are available at crafts and
large-format stationery stores) until
soft; roll to
inch thickness on a
smooth surface. Turn over. Cut tag
shapes and sculpt and paint motifs on
it. Create a hole for hanging using a
thick needle and bake in kitchen oven
as per package instructions.
2. VINTAGE FABRIC MONOGRAM
Cut card paper to size and
fold. Print or write alphabets in their
‘mirror image’ to reverse the type on a
blank sheet of paper. Cut and trace the
alphabet on a fabric of your choice. Cut
out the letters using sharp scissors and
a sure hand. Place and paste each onto
a note card and stick using fabric glue.
3. TREE-STAMPED COCKTAIL
Gather your stamps (available
at kids craft stores), fabric paint, paper
plate, and paper towels for blotting.
Pour paint on a paper plate and dip
the stamp in the paint. Remove excess
with paper towels. Position the stamp
over clean washed and dried linens.
(Tip: do not use fabric softener.) Press
the stamp down lightly to transfer the
design. Allow it to dry before using.
4. HAND-CUT VENEER VOTIVE
Measure the height of a
cylindrical votive to determine the size
of decorative wrap you’ll need. Get a
thin wood veneer strip cut to that size.
With a pencil transfer your stencil
design onto the veneer sheet and get
the design cut cleanly. Turn the wood
veneer over and spread a thin coat
of adhesive on the backside. Attach a
piece of thick paper to this. Cut the
paper to the size of the veneer and
attach it to the votive with adhesive.
5. FELT COASTERS
Make a stencil of
the flower shape. Trace the design on
thick paper and cut out the shape. Then
place the stencil onto a sheet of 3 mm
felt, trace the pattern, and cut out the
shape with sharp scissors. Wool felt
won’t fray, so there’s no need to finish
the edges. (Note: since felt thicker
than 3 mm will be difficult to cut with
scissors, avoid using that thick a size).
A SSEM B LE
1. REUSABLE NO-SEW FELT WRAP
Cut a rectangle from felt and stick a
square of stiff fabric on it. Add a layer
of bamboo matting, or a thin bamboo
mat to help the cracker hold its shape.
Place small gift items on the mat and
roll the felt around it. Tie ends with
a ribbon and snip the ends into a fringe.
2. FLOWERY BATH SALTS
coarse bath salts (or epsom salts), and
any skin oil such as almond oil, with a
spoon in a bowl. Stir until the salts are
saturated (The mixture should neither
be runny nor dry). Add a few drops of
lavender or rose oil and a pinch of dry
lavender or rose petals. Mix and divide
into test tubes with cork/plastic lids.
3. TEA KIT
Fill tea-bags-size paper
bags with a blend of herbal teas. Cut a
length of decorative twine, and insert it
in the centre of the bag. To seal, staple
the ends together carefully (ensure the
twine gets fixed). Paste a tag and pair it
with a teacup.
4. SEWING KIT
Start with a glass jar,
then gather items for the kit—spools of
thread, mini scissors, a tape measure,
a piece of felt for holding the needles,
a sealed container to store pins, and
a thimble. Make a pincushion by
stitching two circles of fabric together
with wrong sides out. Leave an opening
about an inch wide. Turn right side out,
and stuff with filling; stitch the circle
closed and sandwich it between the
metal lid and screw band of the jar.
1. MONOGRAMMED TEA TOWEL
an alphabet style you like. Transfer the
design to the tea towel and embroider
it using a thick thread.
2. SCENTED EYE PILLOW
one eye pillow, you’ll need to make
two pillows—one from muslin to hold
the rice, lentils, and lavender (or any
other dry flower like
second decorative pillow to case the
muslin filling. To start, cut decorative
fabric into a strip 18-inches long and
5-inches wide; fold in half and iron. Cut
muslin fabric into a strip 17%-inches
long and 4%-inches wide; fold in half
and iron. For each pillow, stitch the
right sides together, using a %-inch
seam allowance and leaving a 1^4-inch
opening. Turn right side out and press.
Add a few drops of an essential oil
to the filling. Pour mixture into the
muslin pillow using a funnel until it
is just over half full. Sew the opening
closed. Insert the muslin bag inside the
decorative fabric; sew closed.
a design on fabric. Use an embroidery
thread and a needle to do a basic back
or stem stitch over the line drawing.
Wash fabric, iron, and arrange stitched
fabric in the pendant setting (pendant
settings vary so ask the shopkeeper
how to fit the fabric in the pendant).
eight fabric circles of the same size, and
two slightly smaller circles cut from
felt to make one fabric flower. Use a
bowl as a pattern and trace around it
on the fabric using a pencil. Take one
fabric circle and fold it in half and the
again into quarters. Add a dab of fabric
glue to it and fold again into eighths.
Repeat to create the other seven fabric
circles. Position all eight on a smaller
piece of felt as slices of pizzas and glue
each to the felt. Sew a button to the
centre of the flower. Glue the smaller
felt circle on the back to cover stitches.
5. CIRCLE-STITCHED NOTEBOOK
Sketch a design on a paper. Attach the
paper to the cover of the notebook (the
cover should be pliable and not very
thick) using a small strip of masking
tape, making sure to wrap tape around
the inside of the front cover to prevent
the design from shifting. Using a large
needle, pierce the pattern right through
the cover, taking care to evenly space
holes. (Tip: when approaching a curve,
bring the holes a little closer together.)
Remove the pattern and stitch on it
using a thick thread. ■