For Mark's parents, a birthday calendar with all the children, spouses, and grandchildren. There are so many to remember now, especially in October, that it seemed a good idea to put them all in one place on the wall for everyone to see. Now there's no excuse for a missed birthday! :) It also looks really nice in her room, which is painted her favorite color: cheery yellow.
Project plans here. This is where I found the basic plans, and what I really needed - the thing that connected all the circles together. I had no idea, but she used jump rings, which are found in the jewelry making department of any craft store, and small eyelets from a hardware store.
For William, who loves hanging out on the floor of his room and drawing, or working through coloring books and workbooks. This gives him a way to store his supplies, as well as help his back posture by not having to hunch over quite so far. You can place it on the floor, or it would be great for a teen lap desk to do homework.
Project plans here. I had most of the wood, and only had to get a 2x2x8 and a pair of hinges. I also grabbed Valspar sample can at the hardware store that was premixed and less than $3 because William liked the color.
The boys love to drape blankets over their beds to make forts, and Oren is forever making tents outside. So why not build them one for the inside? It disassembles, although not too easily, and there are dowels attaching the top crossboard with one of the 1x2's it's leaning on so that it doesn't accidentally fold up on someone or fall all the way open. It seems pretty sturdy so far!
Project plans here.
Also, the floor cushion inside so they have a place to rest their seats. I had a giant bag of batting and a LOT of fabric to choose from, and the stripes won.
Project plan here. Minus the handle, since it was around 11 pm on Christmas Eve...
The only thing Daniel asked Santa for was a superhero cape. Luckily I had already found a tutorial earlier this year for just such a thing! He loved to put his coat hood on his head and run around with the coat trailing after him, so this way he can still have a cape and wear a coat. :)
Project plans here and here (for the eye mask).
Danny-boy also got a chair that I had picked up from DI over a year ago. It was covered originally in old, dirty Space Jam fabric. Complete with some sort of pet hair in the original padding! I stripped it down to the foam, which I soaked to clean it. Then I used fabric glue to attach batting to help soften the shape of the chair. Each side of the chair was placed individually on fabric, the outline drawn with seam allowance added, marked with which piece it was and which side. Then all the pieces were sewn together. It was really tough, there were some odd angles to work around. But it turned out really cute, and a perfect fit!
Since I ended up somehow 2 stockings short, and none of us had matching stockings anyway, I pulled out some more fleece and some felt and whipped up a half dozen. I didn't use a tutorial, but took pictures while putting together the last one and will post one on here later. I may add everyone's initial on their stocking, but since each person picked their felt colors, it helped us tell them apart. :)
Every year, we get pajamas for Christmas. This was a tradition growing up, and I can still remember the excitement of going up to get ready for bed and finding a wrapped package with my name on it. The best year I can remember was the one my mother made us all matching long red flannel nightgowns, with white at the collar, and red ruffles on the bottom and the sleeves. I loved those pajamas and wore them until the nightgown was finally too short.
This was the first year I managed to make both the tops and the bottoms, instead of using a package of plain white t-shirts and adding some decoration to match the pants.
The last 2 things were projects for Mark. Since he isn't home and I really don't want to pull the card out of the computer, put it in the camera, set up the shots, transfer stuff back to the computer and then find it to post the picture, I'll just use the ones from the tutorial...
First one is a firewood carrier. His is a yellow striped canvas on both sides, since the flannel would attract and hold wood splinters. Instead of branches, I used a hardwood broom handle. Very hard. So hard I could barely cut it with the saw that came with our mitre box! But on the plus side, that means that it won't break easily...
Mark didn't want the handles sliding out of the slots, which I had sewn an additional seam right next to the wood with a zipper foot so they'd stay a little better. So he drilled some holes and put some screws right through the fabric and into the handles. Which is how we know just how hard the wood really was, he could barely get the drill bit through!
And lastly, I made him a foot warmer! Fleece on the inside and a flannel outside, in his favorite color: blue. He is forever asking the boys for a blanket to wrap around his feet when he's doing his homework on the couch. So he get's cold feet? Not anymore!
Minky is around $20 a yard, and while I do happen to have a yard here at the house, it was originally bought for a baby quilt for my nephew and I wasn't willing to cut into it for a foot warmer, not have enough for the blanket, and end up buying more yardage later at an outrageous price. So fleece it was!
I plan on making one for myself, but making the top into it's own rice bag sewn onto the bottom larger rice bag. Because I stole Mark's the other day and it was warm, but big enough to fold over my feet and with the warm rice on top and bottom it was even better!
So that's the list of the different projects I had going on this year. Will we do homemade next year? Definitely! Will it be such an extensive list? Very likely. Will I wait until December to start? I hope not, because this was insane!
I also had 2 blankets that were done Thanksgiving weekend: one for Mark's sister and her husband, green flannel on top and gray fleece on the bottom, with random quilted squares, big enough for my 6'4" brother-in-law to snuggle under comfortably. Which is good because then he got sick after Christmas. The other was green camo fleece on top and tan marble-y on bottom to match desert camo. Those were stiched 4 inches from the edge all the way around, and then the outsides were cut into inch-wide fringe. He loved it!