I bought a bunch of little stuff from the dollar store (and other places) like stickers, bubbles, little light ups, coloring/activity pads, notebooks, balloons, chapstick, small toys, noisemakers, and other goodies. That was the easy part. Now for the bags themselves and the home made items to put in them!
I’m including the “I-Spy something I’m Thankful For” craft we did for Children’s church that I wrote about here.
Here’s what else I’ve gotten done so far- and everything is done in triplicate since I’ve got 3 little girls to make this stuff for. My sister came over on the day after Thanksgiving and we did a “Craft Friday” instead of going out shopping for Black Friday. That day I got my neck pillows made (finished actually, I had one mostly done the night before, and pieces cut for the other 2). My inspiration came from here at U-Create with Infarrantly Creative, but I didn’t put the cool animal heads on mine. I made up my own pattern, but there is also a free one you can print at the U-Create/Infarrantly Creative link. Mine are a cute flannel print on one side and fleece on the other. If they drool on them, the fleece side wont feel wet, so I hopefully wont get as many whiny complaints that way.
I made marble mazes, as seen here at Serving Pink Lemonade. There’s a start and stop spot stitched on. It’s just 2 layers of fabric with paths sewn. A marble inside gets pushed between the layers of fabric to navigate it through the maze. Quick, easy, and contained entertainment.
I also got all the pieces cut and almost everything sewn for 3 composition book covers with crayon rolls. My inspiration on this one came from here at Moda Bake Shop, but I didn’t take the time to make strips of fabric to piece a cover or stitch on a nameplate. Mine also has 10 chunky crayons on the front, that just barely fit. I enlarged the crayon pocket to 11 inches long and gathered it to fit all that crayon. I finished the last one of the covers a few days later.
I tried to start the bags to put everything, and didn’t get far before I needed to hunker down on the last MOPS project (melt and pour soaps- you can see what we ended up doing at this post). No pics yet, but I’ve got some neat plans for this bag!
I got back to business once that was done on Wednesday. Thursday I made button snakes; inspiration from here at The Rigneys. I was going to stop at 12 shapes, but my kids (helping me) thought I should make more. (Yes, they’re seeing a lot of their gifts as I make them. They don’t nap and seem to require less sleep than I do, so I must craft when they’re awake. And they’re nosey, so not much escapes them! I gave up trying to hide stuff, so they’re selecting some things as I make them, like ribbon and button colors, fabric choices, and shape suggestions. They are not happy they don’t get the things I’ve made yet. They break into my stash of Christmas gifts at least once a week, including just a few minutes before I typed this. I need to get this done soon!)
So there’s 18. These are the shapes I made- the same for each girl except for the letter for their first name. Each shape is a different color except for two repeats- snowman and fish are both white, and moon and sun are both the same shade of yellow. There is a heart, flower, star, circle, square, triangle, half circle, hexagon, butterfly, diamond, fish, splat, moon, snowman, tree, sun, raindrop, and letter for their first name.
It was a productive day on Thursday and I also managed to finish (late before I went to bed) 30 felt finger puppets. I’ve seen a few different ones online. For a quick version, do something like these monsters at Ohdeedoh that use fabric paint to decorate. The nicest looking monsters I’ve seen since Monsters Inc.
Finger puppets are addicting! I wrote out a list of what animals I wanted and separated them into base colors so I knew how many to sew of each color. The bases are made so quickly and easily- just fold over the piece of felt (and pin so it stays straight) and start sewing! I made them big enough so that adult fingers will fit, too. We’ll probably be playing with them at some point in time. Mark the felt if you like, I just eyeballed it. And I didn’t do any thread changes. I did have to go back and make a couple smaller- I could fit almost 2 fingers in a few. Oops. The 30 bases were done and cut in under half an hour.
Cut them apart when you’re done and decorate with felt cut outs and google eyes. I used a glue gun for all my bits and pieces. This is the time consuming part. My final list of puppets include: a mini of each of us (5 total), and an ark load of critters: horse, bear, moose, monkey, rabbit, dog, pig, sheep, zebra, duck, chicken, penguin, cat, cow, bluebird, cardinal, giraffe, lion, hippo, elephant, rhino, tiger, fox, frog, and snake. And here’s the list of more I’d love to make! Panda, Polar bear, Raccoon, Deer, possum, skunk, snowman, gingerbread man, Butterfly, Bee, Dragonfly, Spider, prince, princess, baby, and more! I figured I should stop at 30 since thats all the more little kid fingers we have and I need to move on to another project.
That’s all for now, I’ll try to put up the rest as it gets done and I have time (I’m linking as I post. Click on what you’re interested in to see how mine turned out). The list to do includes the bag, busy books, play dough filled balloons, lacing cards, little lanterns, story dice, and if I get to it: a balloon cover, quick doll gowns and diapers, kid size fleece fold over sleep sacks and maybe some popsicle puzzles. I may have forgotten something. I’ll try to add it sometime if I did. And I’ll include the links for my inspirations as I do them. If you can’t wait, try checking my Pinterest page of crafts and sewing for the kids.