Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Homemade Christmas

Since we are preparing for our upcoming arrival in the spring, my little family has been doing our best to stick to a budget this Christmas. But sticking to a budget doesn't necessarily mean skimping. To me, it means getting creative and crafty! 

I also subscribe to the Four Gift Rule for children (with a little rule stretching). Emma's gifts this year include:
  1. Something she wants. (A nice little tea set, which was a Black Friday bargain, and also a Mrs. Potato Head from a garage sale which I snagged for a dollar - more on Ms. Head later.)
  2. Something she needs. (New bath soap and lotion, along with a couple new tub toys.)
  3. Something to wear. (Emma's closet is more packed than mine, so she doesn't need a new outfit, but I made her a pair of Christmas pajamas - a tradition in my family.)
  4. Something to read. (This one we stretched a little, but she loves books and we got each of these for 50 cents each at our local library book sale.)
The other item in the picture below is a glass tree ornament that I got at a garage sale for ten cents. I filled it with some sand from our 2012 family vacation to California (Emma's first beach) and applied some vinyl stickers to commemorate the year and the place. 

As I mentioned above, I found a like-new Mrs. Potato Head at a garage sale this fall for only one dollar. While it was in great shape, all the parts came inside a plastic suitcase that, in my humble opinion, is about half the size it should be.

 I know that if the case is too small, the parts will never get put away, so I decided to make a little fabric bag, or POTATO SACK, if you will.

After using an iron-on adhesive on some brown scrap fabric, I cut the letters out on my Cricut Expression using my George and Basic Shapes cartridge. 

Then I simply cut out a potato shape, and arranged all of the letters along with the potato onto some scrap burlap that I also had on hand, and ironed everything down. I sewed a drawstring into the bag, and everything fits perfectly!

For Emma's Christmas pajamas, I found a fantastic pattern and tutorial over at Noodles and Milk. Her directions are very clear and easy to follow! The only difference I made for Emma's was to reduce the size to about 60% of the original pattern, since Emma is still wearing a 12-18 month onesie. The white onesie was from Goodwill, and the felt for the reindeer was "stolen" from my mom's stash.

The pajama pants were very easy as well. I actually used an existing pair of Emma's "lounge pants" as a pattern to cut out and sew. I had the giraffe print fabric left over from a baby blanket, so this whole outfit was basically free. One note on the pajamas - Emma will be wearing this outfit for Christmas morning, and hopefully for everyday use for a few months but these are not true infant pajamas being they are not flame retardant.

I have to confess that I was a little over-eager to finish everything and get it wrapped this week before Christmas, and I realize that I don't have good final pictures of the potato sack and Emma's ornament, and not a single picture of the tea set, so I will have to update this post after Christmas when they've been unwrapped!

Happy Holidays, everyone!


  1. I've always wondered about that whole "flame retardant pajamas" thing... What exactly do they think you baby is going to be doing? Smoking in bed?

    1. Agreed! Actually, I think nowadays, sleepwear doesn't necessarily have to be flame resistant because there was so much controversy about the chemicals used to treat the fabrics. Now they just say that it has to be snug-fitting, so it won't easily catch fire, to be safe. But since the pants are neither flame resistant nor snug-fitting, she won't be wearing them at night. Hopefully she won't be smoking in bed either!!

    2. It reminds me of that scene in The Incredibles:
      Edna: I cut it a little roomy for the free movement, the fabric is comfortable for sensitive skin... And it can also withstand a temperature of over 1000 degrees. Completely bulletproof... And machine washable, darling. That's a new feature. 
      Helen: What on earth do you think the baby will be doing?!?!