December 16, 2015

Mini Stocking Advent Calendar

The Christmas season is such a lovely time of year.  I truly enjoy teaching my children about Christ's birth, and the joy of giving.  As my girls get older, it is great to involve them in gifting, service, and learning during Christmas.  

One of the ways I enjoy doing this, is through an advent calendar!  We do have an advent calendar with cubbies, but I wanted to do just a 12 days of Christmas advent calendar this year.  Plus, we had this perfect spot on the mantel, just begging for a cute strand of mini stockings!

These little stockings hold a small piece of chocolate candy for each of the girls, and a little card that gives an activity that we'll do that day.  We have things like make cookies and deliver them to neighbors, visit relatives, attend our church Christmas party, act out the nativity, watch a Christmas movie, make gifts for siblings, and things like that.  So far, it has been really fun.  

So here's a quick how-to:

For each stocking, I cut 2 pieces of lining fabric, and 2 pieces of outer fabric.  The shape of the stocking can be found here.

For the outer fabric, put right sides together and sew around the stocking with 1/4" seam allowance (leaving the top of the stocking unsewn, like a regular sock).
For the lining fabric put right sides together and sew around the stocking with 1/4" seam allowance, but leave a 1" gap at the bottom of the stocking for turning.  Leave the top of the stocking unsewn, like a regular sock.

Turn the outside of the stocking right side out.  Then stuff it inside the lining fabric (which you have left inside out).  See above.  Line up the top opening of the stocking.  Then, sew around that top edge with 1/4" seam allowance.  

Pull the whole thing right side out through that hole you left in the lining fabric.  It will look like the middle stocking above when you have pulled it out.
Below, you can see that I then sewed the hole in the lining closed.
Then, push the lining fabric inside the outer fabric, and fold the top down a bit.  It will look like the stocking on the right in the photo above.

Here are a bunch of them made and folded over.

To add the numbers I found numbers that I liked on the computer, made them the right size, and printed them out.
Next, I ironed heat n' bond on the back of a piece of dark fabric, and traced the numbers onto it.
If you are tracing numbers onto the back of heat n' bond, make sure you trace them upside down.  That way when, you cut out the number, and iron it down to the stocking, it will be the correct direction.  This is a good time to iron your whole stocking nice and flat.

Finally, I sewed a little loop of twine into the top side of each stocking for hanging.  Then, I strung them on a longer piece of twine.

I love the way they look and the girls are so excited to open them find their candy and activity each day.  

Do you do an advent calendar in your home?  What kinds of things do you put inside?

image signature
Follow me on Facebook

December 3, 2015

Uncommon Goods - Your new favorite gift giving site!

Hello friends!  Now that we are in the midst of the gift giving season, I have to ask you --
have you visited Uncommon Goods???

If not, you are going to love me.  This site is fabulous.  It is the best collection of quirky, fun, unique, useful gifts I've seen.  

If you’re looking for a gift that will spark your child’s imagination, and keep them occupied for hours – check out the kid’s section by clicking here.  I swear, I want every single item there!
This mechanical music box looks fun!  And the OgoBild below would keep my kids occupied for a long time, I have no doubt.   

There are tons of craft and art projects - which is right up my daughter's alley.  And maybe I'd say that the stop motion animation kit was for my girls, but I think it would really be for me - it looks so fun!

And how about that ever elusive gift idea for the teen in your life?  I’m telling you, if I was a teenager, I’d want my presents coming from here ;)  There are so many cool, unique things to choose from!!  

 Drumstick pens.  I think yes.  Or these iPhone charger stickers.  Funny!
 And here is one of those quirky and useful gifts.  A ball jar amplifier speaker.

Seriously, I am having so much fun browsing their stock.  As if you need one more website to get sucked into.  But I’m telling you, this one will get the creative juices flowing, and have you even more excited about gift giving.  
Some of my favorites are the really quirky stuff.  You can even search specifically in the geek section here :)

 Tube Wringer anyone?  Or these Shower Squids?  Seriously useful for the pool or vacation!
 I love clocks.  And this one is geekily awesome.  
 And believe it or not, I think I found my husband's Christmas gift.  He loves grilled cheese.  He usually uses a frying pan - but this utensil is actually MADE for cheese grilling!  I can't believe it.  
And you still have plenty of time to order for before the winter holidays.  Use their useful sorting tools to narrow down your search, and have fun!

The amazing thing about Uncommon Goods is that many items have a designer story with it.  You can see the talent behind these amazing items and celebrate the artists who work hard to create them.  And Uncommon Goods has a great story behind their brand.  This is the kind of company you can feel good about supporting – which means a lot these days!  They think about sustainability, being fair to artists, and giving back to the community.  Awesome!

And for me? I'm thinking about some jewelry from here ;)

Then again, this handcrafted hanging planter is gorgeous!

Oh boy, decisions, decisions!

image signature

Compensation received for this post, but all opinions are my own.  
Follow me on Instagram @ diaryofacraftylady
Follow me on Facebook