GIFTS MADE TO TREASUREby Blog Editor, Selvedge
A handmade gift is, more often than not, valued higher by the recipient than a present bought from a shop or online. The love and care that goes into the craftsmanship cannot be purchased. So, with that in mind, we've rounded up some ideas of things to make this festive period, using the free craft tutorials on the Selvedge website, and our top pick of festive craft kits.
Pająki (pah-yonk-ee) are traditional Polish chandeliers made from rye straw and paper. This free project is an excerpt from Making Mobiles: Create beautiful Polish pająki pajaki from natural materials, by Karolina Merska and published by Pavilion.
A symbol of harvest and happiness, the making of pająki dates back to the mid-18th century when they were made by country women as decorations for Christmas, New Year and Easter, as well as for weddings and christenings. Suspended from a ceiling in a main room, amongst colourful paper cut-outs, paintings and paper flowers they became a popular decoration in polish village houses.
This lovely free crochet pattern is an early Christmas gift for you from Loop London, designed by Erika Huesler. These mistletoe and berries can be made up into a garland, added to a wreath, or turned into pins which can decorate gifts, as well as sweaters.
“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there”, said Clement Moore in his 1822 poem. For generations, women of Hungary have been using the reverse-cut felt applique technique to embellish traditional clothing and more recently it has been adapted for stockings and decorations. Learn how to make a felt stocking for a special little one in your life and it could become a family heirloom to be passed on for future generations.
Bind your own spine stitched notebook, the perfect gift for an avid writer, drawer or list maker. Alternatively, fill the pages with photographs and keepsakes for the special person in your life.
The Holly and Ivy designs are the latest additions to the artist and designer Dee Hardwicke's Watercolour Sampler Cloths collection.The designs are based on Dee's original botanical watercolours and they're available exclusively from online haberdashery Beyond Measure.
The cloths are beautiful enough to display just as they are but they really come to life – and become something totally unique – when they're embroidered, whether you decide to highlight a selection of berries and stems or to stitch the entire design. The cloths would be a lovely pre-Christmas project, or the perfect gift for a budding crafter, and they're ideal for turning into beautifully festive place settings or artworks to enjoy at Christmas for years to come.
Try your hand at knitting these gorgeous Afghan Hounds, a perfect handmade gift for dog lovers.
View all of the Selvedge free craft projects here: