Today, the season of giving can so easily become the season of consuming, which is why we're providing some suggestions of a more considered approach to 'giving' this year.
We all know that the love and care that goes into making a handmade present cannot be replicated by something purchased. 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.
Of course, many of you in our textiles community are already avid makers and we appreciate that the time and effort involved can be a lot a pressure at an already busy and stressful time - so we've also included some ideas of things to make that won't be the straw that breaks the camel's back... (wise men pun anyone?).
Give the gift of beautiful smelling, laundered sheets this Christmas. Easy to make and simply luxurious (especially if presented in a beautiful glass bottle) why not make a batch of softly scented linen water with this tutorial from Mark and Sally Bailey from their book Simple Home: Calm Spaces for Comfortable Living. Why not also add a favourite essential oil to sweeten the dreams of your nearest and dearest.
For those yearning for the summer sun to return, why not whip up this easy-to-make beach bandeau that's great for holidays. It can be made as wide or as thin as you like, and if you use scraps of jersey fabric, it doesn't even require hemming.
Surprise the dapper gentleperson in your life with a handmade bow tie. Made pre-tied, the construction is easier than tying the bow from scratch!
Just watch Prue Leith on The Great British Bake Off and you'll see that statement necklaces are all the rage! Try this project as an easy way to make a stand-out gift with those scraps of fabric you can't seem to find a use for.
"I’m a hoarder of antique silk fabric. If I’ve used silk in a quilt or another project I keep all the scraps as they’re usually too beautiful to throw away; but also because it feels inherently wrong to throw out something that somebody else has spent so much time and skill making. I wanted to use these scraps to make something precious. A quilt would take far too long with so many small pieces, so I thought a wheat bag would be perfect."
The gift of warmth is nothing to be sniffed at. Try adding two tablespoons of dried lavender (per 900g wheat) for a soothing, therapeutic gift.
Have you got some time on your hands for a bit of a passion present? Why not try this project from Socks of Iceland by Hélène Magnússon that features in the latest issue of Selvedge, Issue 104 Keeping Warm.
After the Mosi Mittens and the matching Mosi hat and sweater, Hélène designed these matching socks using her Katla yarn–the only Icelandic DK sock yarn made of pure Icelandic lambswool with a dash of silk. The little motifs on a green background are reminiscent of the thick and spongy moss (mosi in Icelandic) that covers the nation's lava fields.
And finally, depending on the paper you choose, some wrapping papers containing plastics and glitters are not actually recyclable. As an alternative, why not wrap your handmade gifts in fabric rather than paper? When wrapping with fabric you can pass some of your precious scraps onto friends and family who might be able to find a use for them, or you can always gather them up after the present-unwrapping frenzy for reuse another time!
Use our handy guide to wrapping with fabric here:
Alternatively, why not put your batch sew some of these lovely fabric gift bags and present your handmade gifts in their own reversible, recyclable wrappings.
Find more Selvedge free craft tutorials here: