Giving Gifts, ‘a little something’

Heart Gift

Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, Weddings, Baby showers and anniversaries are all moments when gifts are so significant. They do not always take the form of a box of chocolates or an x-box game. I have often found myself needing to be creative about gifts with wanting to give something individual, thoughtful and desired.

Sometimes I have turned to an act of service lifting a load with the skills that I have. That is however quite rare an opportunity and I always like to give something more than just a help, as whatever it is, my hearts true desire is to give them the feeling that they are cherished. This means it has to be out of the ordinary, there must be a specialness or an element of surprise. 

My brother is a practical gift giver and his wife loves receiving gifts. He keeps a list of things he sees that she would like or that she has somewhat unsubtly included into a conversation. Because it is so important to her feeling of welfare my brother regularly dips into this list and orders mostly online so that there is a ‘little something’ to encourage her. It works so well for him because being tech-savy it is easy for him to buy through the internet, receive in the post and hey presto all sorted.

I myself am not a massive gift receiver, or at least I don’t think so.. it is not essential to my welfare. On the other hand I get a massive buzz from planning a gift and giving it! At Christmas I get so excited about being able to give the present that I have planned and crafted with creative thought and beautiful wrapping. I would say it is never opulent and I can rarely afford the queens diamonds, but that just makes it more exciting. I have had to think things through, what I can do with what I’ve got to give something truly delightful.

At Christmas our family does a kind of round robin or secret Santa without it being secret. We give one big more valuable present to one person meaning that everyone receives something but gets a present of consequence rather than lots of little sweet nothings, or worse unwanted nothings.  It is a fabulous way that works so well for us! I got my Parents this Christmas and really needed to plan as I had just returned having been a volunteer aid/charity worker in Thailand for a year and was now working within a tight budget.

I decided to make a hamper using some recipes I found on a picture pin board sharing website called Pinterest. Some healthy fruity snacks and nutty nuggets that would provide mum with the healthy treats she loves over Christmas and some varieties of cheese and some port for my dad. Amongst other things I also made a heart decoration as we had newly put in a fire place to pull us through the cold winter in our old draughty house.

I made it out of fabric scraps from the living room cushion coverings material. I cut out 2 heart shape pieces and a third rectangle piece to make a long loop. I then sewed 2 of the curved sides together and left the heart top open stuffing it with a little teddy bear stuffing or quilting padding.
As I sewed the final seam together I included the fabric for the loop. Finally I bought some Christmas essence oil and dropped a few rich drops into the fabric. It was perfect for finishing the fire place, hanging off the centre of the mantelpiece allowing the heat of the fire to defuse the spicy smelling oils into the air… Ahhh Christmas had arrived!

Here is how I made it

It is super simple and could be used for various occasions such as valentines ect and if you don’t have a fire place my sister has done something similar to make her kitchen smell fresh by sitting it above a radiator.

Heart craft

  1. pin a paper template to your fabric that is folded in two (It can be a different shape but keep it simple)
  2. Cut through the two pieces of fabric following your paper shape.
  3. Un-pin (if your fabric choice is much thicker then you can do one piece at a time)
  4. Add any embellishment at this point.
  5. Sew your embellishment down. I chose a 2-tone silk so I could fray the edges on purpose to give it some pretty texture.
  6. Cut a rectangle of fabric for the loop used to hang the decoration. Fold it in half and pin down.
  7. Sew carefully and equally down, not to close to the raw edges
  8. Using a crochet needle pull one end down through the tube tuning it inside out.
  9. Pin and sew the sides together leaving a section open at the top ready for putting the padding in. This is the easiest edge you can sew but if you want to make a proper seam you can simply sew right sides together and turn it inside out (if you do this you will need to hand sew the opening at the end)
  10. Find some stuffing from an old pillow or using new quilting padding.
  11. Put the stuffing, it is essential that you don’t over stuff as it will be difficult to sew the last bit.
  12. Pinning you tube you made earlier for the loop sew the opening together starting from where you left off with the previous stitching.
  13. Add your sent of choice. You can find oils for candle lit oil burners in places like poundland or Dunelm Mill. Or you can choose a less chemical fragrance using the aromatherapy oils which you can find in Boots and Holland and Barrats. (you only need 2-4 drops they can be very strong)

Finally, your gift is ready or if it is for you, hang and enjoy!

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