Handmade fabric gifts can be inexpensive and fun to make. They remain a popular item to receive or give. Heirloom decorations made by loved ones add another dimension to the holidays. It isn’t too late to craft a few of your own.
Here are four ideas to get you started on your own fabric art holiday creations. The most important ingredient – have fun. Sort through your stash, these projects call for minimal investment. Play and experiment and don’t just make the projects for others, invite them to join in the creative process.
Snip Snowflakes for Fun and Giggles
Christmas goes hand in hand with winter making snowflakes a delightful motif for gifts and decorations.
Get your children involved. Fold a circle of cotton fabric in half. Then fold in half again and again until you have a triangle (looks like a snowcone cup). Let the kids cut freeform snowflakes. Or use a pattern. A great book to use for paper cutting for any season is Grandma’s Magic Scissors by Linda S. Day.
Before stitching, fusing or gluing them onto a background, spray them with a light spritz of spray adhesive then sprinkle with glitter. Finish off the project using your favorite sewing techniques.
This process can be used for all manner of useable items – placemats, table runners, hand towels, bedsheets, clothing, totebags, whatever you can imagine. And feel free to embellish with beads, sequins, embroidery, buttons, etc. Of course anything made for a child should incorporate special consideration for child safety.
Easy Peasy Christmas Trees
Christmas trees are simple to construct. A large green triangle with a small brown rectangle as the trunk and you’ve got your tree. Either fuse or appliqué it to a background piece of fabric, add a few borders of your choice, maybe some smaller trees tilted at various angles, dancing around the borders. Then decorate the center tree.
It could easily be an advent calendar with a felt ornament made for each day. Just don’t skimp on the embellishments. Embroidery, buttons, lace, beads, glue and glitter, sequins…. Perhaps repurpose some old and cherished decorations from your own tree. Attach ornaments with hooks and thread loops.
Easy peasy you have a new family heirloom and reason to celebrate.
Textile Paints Add Holiday Pizzazz!
Fabric or textile crayons, markers and paints can be found at hobby and fabric stores. They are inexpensve and a breeze to use.
Make your own or purchase pre-made tote bags, table runners, or clothing and add your own design with these paints. Even a Sharpie pen once it is heat set can be permanent.
Patterns for these art projects can be anything from basic cookie cutters and stencils to coloring book pictures to well, however complicated you’d like to get. Reproduce a winter scene from the front of a favorite holiday card – whatever your skills allow.
These gifts can be made for daily use rather than just for holidays, such as the table runner pictured with this article. The flower is drawn with a black Sharpie pen and a little metallic textile paint was added before it was pieced together into the runner, and machine quilted.
Once the project is finished, heat set with an iron (be sure to use a pressing cloth to protect the iron) and then you can launder your new creation.
Go a Little Green and Use Up, Recycle
Use up that ever growing pile of little scraps and odd bits of fabric, trim, embroidery floss, etc.. Make an arpillara or cuadros – three-dimensional textile pictures. They originated in Chile and have an unexpectedly political history. You can learn more about them at this site.These folkartsy scenes can be as detailed as your skills allow and such fun.
You can concoct your own picture or recreate a photograph or illustration. Frame them in a shadow box for a lovely addition to any decor.
Take a scrap of fabric and roll a pinch of batting inside, stitch it to a background. Cut out shapes and mold the fabric and batting to create a cow, person, house, bridge, Christmas tree – whatever you can imagine and your hands can craft. They are stitched or glued to the background. This project is not washable.
Use various textures and colors, paint, embellishments, whatever you need or have on hand. A photo is included with this article.
All it takes is a little imagination, a few materials and a free moment to create something special that says “I love you.” And that’s perfect for any season or holiday.