Saturday, 2 January 2010

Christmas Gifts and Minor Ethical Christmas Fail

Okay so I failed to have a completely ethical Christmas. I ended up buying a box of chocolates for our Christmas Day hosts, my step brother and his wife. I was going to make them gingerbread as well but I completely forgot about it right up until the day before Christmas Eve and with Mum's present still to finish I decided that I simply didn't have time. Next year.

I did well with everything else though. My e-mail when out (eventually) and I purchased chocolates for my Step Dad and Grand Mother and a Gruffalo puzzle book for my Step Niece (yep my family is super complicated. It gets harder when you factor in that my Mum and Step Dad aren't actually married) all from charity shops and made the rest.

For my friends' gifts I first bought two puzzles from a charity shop and completed one of them. You can't really see it from the picture but this puzzle is a picture of an old fashioned map and is finished with a metallic gold overlay.

Next I chose my favourite parts of the puzzle and separated the pieces from the main body before painting the backs with PVA glue. I then fashioned pendant carriers from beading wire by wrapping it around the end of my paint brush to form a loop and then fixed them to the puzzle pieces using a lot of glue and felt backing. I was inspired by this how to on Cut Out and Keep. The second puzzle formed a picture of a completed crossword when finished. Originally I was going to complete this one too and use pieces of the puzzle that originally all fitted together to make the necklaces but then I realised that it made alot more sense to give people pieces with the first letter of their name on. I used pieces of thin black ribbon to hang the necklaces figuring that my friends could put them on their own chains if they wished.

I have now made a tutorial for my version of the puzzle necklace which you can find here on Cut Out and Keep.

I made rather a lot of them for myself too using various different pieces. I have a lot of wire and puzzle pieces left and am considering trying to sell these necklaces on Etsy. What do you think? Would people buy these?

I also made these rose brooches for a few people. There are so many tutorials for making these all of which are pretty much the same, here is one of them. I used wide ribbons to make mine and cut the ends into a curve so that they wouldn't show. The purple one is a present. The tartan and silver one I made for myself. I also made a black and a silver one as presents but forgot to take picures of them before they were wrapped.

I finished the backs with a brooch back sewn onto a piece of black felt which I then stuck on using craft glue to cover the stitching. Went a bit over the top with the glue on the tartan one.

This was the first failed attempt before I found out how much better they looked when the ribbon is folded in half before ruffling. I kept it for myself though.

For my mum I made a box that doesn't close properly! Lol. She has since fixed this by drilling a hole in the front to pull the bottom ribbon through so that it ties further down. I used a cardboard packing box for the basic shape. I cut the lid off this and cut a new slightly bigger one that would overlap the box edges from some more cardboard. I then covered the outside with fabric and the inside with matching felt. After coming back from the pub on Christmas Eve I made and fixed the little bow to the top as a finishing touch.

Finally I wrapped the whole lot with left over wallpaper. All these are wrapped without the aid of tape as it turns out that it won't stick to wallpaper. It is only the gold ribbon that is holding the whole lot together.

For the more delicate gifts like the rose brooches I made these little gift bags. I have since found like a million proper tutorials online for making these (just google 'gift bag tutorial') but at the time I simply made these by wrapping the paper around a appropriately sized box and then doing up one end. I then removed the box, folded the other end flat and puched holes in it to thread the gold gift ribbon through. These were fixed with lots of glue and tape on the inside of the paper.

No comments: