Well today I thought I would share with you one of our handmade Christmas presents from last year that was made before this blog was! I had a bunch of posts ready to go for the day I made my blog public (nearly 6 months ago, yey!) but I thought I would save up all of our handmade Christmas gifts for other times, and this one seems pretty appropriate for this time of year seeing as they were the presents made and given to our Dads! ... Yes we did similar, but not exact same gifts for both Jonathan's and my, Dad... does anyone else do this? Doubling up on gifts? It worked for us seeing as we will never share Christmas Day with both families (being 3000 miles away from one another!)
For Christmas last year we (I) did some sewing, some crafting with paint and then this gift, which Jonathan was able to be creatively involved in as well!!
First step: find what you want to give! We chose handkerchiefs and bought a big pack from Sears. We struggled a bit to find perfectly plain white cotton ones, so many had fancy designs on - and often were in weird, impossible to find, places in the shop but eventually we got exactly what we wanted!
We prewashed the handkerchiefs (some of them frayed a little in the dryer - I guess we shouldn't have put them in) but there were enough left still intact for us to use. They definitely needed a LOT of ironing to get the creases out, so we did all this before stamping.
We had already bought the fabric stamp pad from Michael's (much easier to find). We thought about using paint, but then on seeing the stamp pad it was clearly what we wanted. Easy to use and less mess! They had a few different colours, but we chose black :-)
Next up were the actual stamp designs. I had read a few posts about making your own stamps, using exacto knives, or using foam shapes on polystyrene balls but none of these seemed right for us. I did, however like the idea of the foam shape mounted on something and after trying a few things, bottle caps were what worked for us. All that diet coke that gets drunk in this house pays off in the crafting department yey!
No pre-cut foam shapes for us though... Checked out some craft supplies and stores but all the packs were kid oriented shapes... Why no 'Dad' pack!? So we bought a few sheets of plain foam and got to work on some finicky drawing and cutting!
For Jonathan's Dad we used a car and a hammer, and for mine, the same car but a beer bottle instead of the hammer! The foam was sticky back which meant it was super easy (after the teeny tiny snips I had to do to cut it out...I think I ended up using nail scissors!) to attach to the bottle cap.
Following the instructions on the fabric stamp pad, we then left the project to dry for at least 3 hours. Then to set the ink, we ironed the hankies! Covering the designs with a thin cloth, applying the heat of the iron (dry iron, on the cotton setting) for 2 minutes... But of course, your fabric stamp pad might be slightly different - do check the instructions!
Before we could package the gifts up, we had to machine wash them again on a gentle cycle and this time did a gentle tumble dry (because of the earlier fraying) and they were fine this time, phew!
We gave them one last iron before packaging them up ready for Christmas... And now you're probably wondering why I'm writing this post today - either very late, or very early in the year but well it is FATHER'S DAY next Sunday and seeing as we made this handkerchiefs for our Dads I thought it would be a great time to slot this post in here and hopefully give some inspiration and ideas for some DIY gifts for next weekend!
I wouldn't be able to share a Father's Day gift on my blog if it truly was for this year because then he would know what it was! So instead, a reference to a previous gift - so no ruined surprises!