Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Feeling Festive (cuties for a swap)

WARNING:  I'm about to show off two things I made for a swap.  It's a holiday ornament/decoration exchange held through a blog (which for the life of me I can't remember the name of right now and I'm pressed for time so. . .I'll have to share it later).

Ok, so if you are Dani (my exchange partner) and don't want to be spoiled. . .STOP LOOKING NOW.

Now, everyone who wants to look, check out this cuteness!

Wait, first, props where props are due.  Links to the patterns/inspiration.

Christmas lights ornament HERE.

Gingerbread man trinket box HERE.

Now (at long last) pics of the goodies.

Ok, how cute are they!

I've already shown off the lights before (this is the second set I've made) so there's not much to say about them.  I changed up the pattern the same way I did before (stuffing my lightbulbs to get a bit more dimension then Molly at Wild Olive did) and using string for the cord not wire.  That string was recycled from a swap I got (it was tied around the packages I got, it's too cute to throw out).  I also didn't put a plug on one end, just a slip knot on each end so it can be tied to tree branches (or whatever) for display.

The gingerbread trinket box turned out quite nice, if I do say so myself.  The only "bad" thing about it is it still smells a bit of modge podge.  I know that will dissipate in a bit (this has only been finished for a few days so it hasn't had enough time to breathe yet).

I deviated from the original pattern a bit to suit my tastes.  The original pattern/tutoial has you use a buttonhole stitch to make the seams on the face/body more noticeable.  I didn't really like that so much.  I prefer a more subtle seam on the face in particular.  So I sewed on the reverse side then turned the pieces out.  So you still see the seam but it's very flat.  I used a basic whipstitch for all the other seams (not a buttonhole/blanket).  I've found on these small pieces if you keep the stitches very even you still get a very nice finish with a lot less work (blanket stitch on something this small would have made me batty).  I used six stands of floss for all seams.

I didn't put rick rack all the way around the body.  I liked that in the tutorial one but once I got this guy done, it was too much on him.  I used felt for the eyes (glued on) and three simple stitches (I can't remember if they were chain or stem) for the mouth (using 3 strands of floss).  For the buttons I used more of the string I used on the ornmanet.  The candy buttons are just knots pulled super tight so they won't come undone.  That string ties tighter than embroidery floss, which I find tends to want to slip apart.  A dab of glue would solve that problem but I'm not a huge fan of tons of glue on sewn pieces, especially felt, so I used glue sparingly. 

I used felt glue for the eyes, rick rack, and the icing on the box.  I found a brand that's really great and you only need to use the littlest bit to get a really nice hold.  I haven't had any issues with pieces coming apart when I've glued them with my felt glue.  I also used hot glue to hold the gingerbread figure to the top of the box.

The box is just a simple paper mache box I got at the craft store and painted then covered with a layer of modge podge.  I didn't paint the lid (since it was covered with felt) but did modge podge the inside so it would be shiny and match the rest of the piece.  I didn't paint the inside of the box, just sealed it with modge, too.

Both projects were SUPER easy to make and easy time wise.  You could easily make them fancier (with glitter--which I debated but I wanted the white felt to look more like icing than snow, so I opted for no glitter) if you wanted but they really don't need a ton of embellishment.  The gingerbread man pattern is also used to make a snowman, the body for a santa, and an elf.  All the variations are at Cotton Pickin' Fun.  That's a really fun blog (as is Wild Olive).  Such generous folks behind both blogs, sharing free patterns and tutorials all the time.

I really hope my exchange partner likes them.  I think they will.  I know if I got something like this I'd be happy, so I'm not worried.  (that's my lithmus test, if I feel the items are made well enough that I would find hem acceptable then they are ready to send out).

Now I just need to finish the stuff I want to make for my sister's christmas gift (though I bought something to give her just in case I don't get done in time), make a pair of dotee dolls for a swap bot swap, and get my regretsy swap done.  Busy, busy, busy!!


  1. I am so glad that I stole a few minutes from packing to check out the gingerbread man. You did an amazing job! He is so adorable!! I love the string buttons (that was clever and cute!). Yes the buttonhole stitches are tiny and I do think that after all of the stitching I do that I need some glasses :) I love all the modifications you made. I am sure that your partner will love him. The lights are very adorable too! I haven't had a chance to check out your blog yet, but I am after Thanksgiving. The photos of your adorables to the left and right are cute, cute, cute! Have a wonderful day! Holly
    ps, mod podge is stinky, whether old or new, I have found that it is like cheese, the older it is the stinker it is. I threw away my 5 yr old mod podge, that bottle was a stinker!

  2. So cute! I wish I had more people in my life I needed to make adorable things for. Can't wait to see what your swap partner makes you, though I don't know anybody can beat that!