Have you been wondering how you can make Christmas a little bit more sustainable this year? Well we've got tonnes of ideas to help you out; using your sewing super powers you can do your bit for the environment with these reusable projects. Great for gifts or something to get the kids involved with crafting.
What better way to start Christmas than with a reusable Advent calendar? Make one of these & you'll be sure to bring it out year after year, becoming a family heirloom. The best thing about them is that you can fill them with whatever you like, such as small handmade gifts or decent chocolate - not that cheap rubbish you usually get in advent calendars from the shop!
We've got 2 lovely Advent Panels from Dashwood Studio to choose from: The Partytime in fun bright colours, designed by Stephanie Thannhauser & the Woodland by Jane Farnham which has more muted colours with splashes of red. We've even put some kits together for you that include the wadding & backing fabric and even though the instructions are printed on each panel, we've even written a handy little blog post here showing you how to sew them all together. Because we're just too darn good!! 😂
One of the biggest waste products at Christmas is the wrapping paper, unless you're really thrifty like my Auntie Norah & peel off the Sellotape verrry carefully so you don't tear the paper! Usually, you can't re-use it so it's money down the drain and because of the coatings that are often on there, it's quite tricky to recycle as well. We've all got spare bits of fabric kicking around that could be used for wrapping gifts. You can get creative & try the Japanese folding technique of Furoshiki, (the beauty of this is that traditionally the recipient has to return the fabric - win win! 😉) or make bags out of it. Either way it's reusable! Here's a tutorial of how to make some yourself. If you don't have any appropriate fabric kicking about, check out these ace Ruby Star Society: Peppermint Please panels - you can make 6 different bags from one panel, if you use a plain backing for each, or 3 bags if you're feeling generous & use a design for the front and back!
Everyone needs a Christmas stocking regardless of age & they are so simple to make. This is a lovely way to spend the afternoon with the kids & can be as fancy or simple as like. You can personalise them with a name & make them whatever size too.
Dashwood Studio have released a great free project to make your own stocking from scraps of fabric you may have in your stash: Quilted Christmas Stocking If you don't have any Christmassy fabric in your stash, check out the Spice collection that Dashwood have used for their stocking, which is lovely as it's more "wintery" than garishly Christmas! As we sell all our fabrics by the 1/4 metre, you don't have to buy more than you need and finish with loads of waste.
Who doesn't love a stocking with antlers! If you don't fancy making one entirely from scratch, we have the Studio E: Huggable & Loveable panel, which includes 2 pre-printed stockings & 2 x ornaments. You'll just need extra fabric to line the stockings & some toy stuffing for the snowman's hat, antlers & the ornaments. (Fun fact: Our toy stuffing is made from recycled plastic bottles!)
Yep, you can really make your own Christmas crackers & fill them with whatever you like, instead of the tat you usually get which gets binned the minute you've finished your Christmas dinner. I like to put small bottles of gin in mine, (maybe not for the kids, but that's your call! 😂) You can even buy the snaps if you want it to 'Crack', or just shout 'BANG' instead - it'll certainly wake grandad up!
Laura at Sew Different has a lovely tutorial over on her blog to make some luxurious ones or there's lots of tutorials on YouTube, so start saving those toilet roll inners now! We have lots of fat quarters available plus ribbons & ric rac in all colours to embellish them, we've even got velcro to stop everything falling out.
Once you've made your Christmas crackers, you'll need a crown to put inside. Crowning Glory by Waves & Wild is a free pattern suitable for enthusiastic beginners. It's simple, reversible & goes from baby up to adult sizes, so you can make one for the whole family. There are options for a hook & loop (velcro) closure, ribbon tie or elastic back. Of course you can just wear the crown & declare yourself the queen of Christmas, it doesn't have to go inside a cracker, but either way you can use these year after year as they're adjustable & another great scrap buster.