Easy to sew gifts for -- or with -- children

These are gifts you can make for a child, or better yet (and you have more patience than I often do) you can give them the gift of time and have them make it with you!  Put all the supplies and instructions in an atttractive container and give it as a kit.

Free patterns for sewing (or not sewing)....

Felt Trees - From Oh So Happy Together

No Sew Felt Pasta - from Treasures for Tots

Fabric Tipi - from Sew Mama Sew

Cloth diapers for dolls - from Skip to my Lou

Fabric Barn or Doll house - from UK Lass in US

Winter Wonderland Dress - from Ruffles and Stuff

Hat and Sweater from a repurposed sweater - from Ruffles and Stuff and Skip to my Lou

Dandelion light - from Ruffles and Stuff

Ruffly Umbrella - from Ruffles and Stuff

Marshmallow Gun - from Cub Scout Pack 002

Monster Puke Bubble Bath - from Craft bits

Sorbet colored garden for summer -- Amazing perennials!

Just when I think I've explored all the "lower maintenance" flower options for my area....along comes PBS with more great ideas!

Bleary-eyed and about to fall asleep to Victory Garden, I scribbled down the name of the plant that seemed so amazing -- Agastache -- to look up later.

So now I see how truly wonderful this plant is. 

It is drought tolerant and has many colors and fragrances fom which to choose.

Depending on which colors you choose you select perennial flowers that can attract bees, hummingbirds, butterflies or bees.

I see why people say Agastache: Where have you been all my life?

Check out this lovely Agastache 'Ava' from High Country Gardens. It blooms with intensifying color from midsummer.

This is Agastache 'Desert Sunrise' from the same company. It has a delightful fragrance and the appeal of a sunrise with shades of orange, pink and lavender.

They also feature Agastache 'Orange Flare' that makes a big impact with the fragrance and deep orange color.

Be sure to check out more of their xeriscaping low-maintenance selections described here:

Our High Country Gardens Style of xeriscaping encourages you to use a wide variety of plants to create a low-maintenance landscape that is well matched to its region and is in harmony with the environment. Plant a beautiful landscape that attracts songbirds, hummmingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects, while enhancing the comfort and appearance of your property.

Vintage Children's Books -- Reliving Childhood Delights

Rather than visions of sugar plums, this Christmas has me dreaming of books from my childhood.

My *wonderful* mother saved all our treasured childhood books, some of which I highlighted here.

But some were lost along the way to water damage and who knows what else.

So I'm always on the look-out for some of the "missing" books of my youth. 

I'm also looking for duplicates to pass along to the next generation of kids who have fallen in love with our tattering books.

Do any of these covers bring back memories for you?

These are some of the I'm looking for to complete my collection.

Actually a few I never owned to begin with -- Doctor Dan, Little Majorette, I want to be a beauty operator, We help mommy or anything by Eloise Wilkins -- but know I would have loved as a child!  And I'm thinking my chef son would like Billy Brown Makes Something Grand as well.

If you have some special memories of treasured childhood books, chances are that they were made by one of these popular book companies:

Popular Book Companies
  • Golden Books
  • Junior Elf Books
  • Tell-A-Tale Books
  • Tiny Tot Tales (Whitman)
  • Tip-Tot Elf Books
  • Wonder Books

Where to view books online

Golden Gems - A treasure trove of Golden Books with covers and complete interior pages displayed online for pure bliss that costs nothing!

Vintage Kids Books My Kids Love - Blog with highlights of vintage children's books with covers and some interior pages displayed.

Where to purchase:

Of course you can google the books if you know the title, but here are some fun stores to browse and trigger memories you forgot you had!

Inner Child Books - etsy store with reasonably priced vintage children's books

Vintage Kids Books My Kids Love - etsy store with books priced in the $10-15 range

Vintage Children Books - large selection of vintage books that can be filtered by  subject, company, and other topics

Ebay - Search for book titles, set up "wish lists" for items not available, and research prices that specific books have sold for in past auctions

Ruby Lane - Search for books across an aggregation of online and bricks and mortar antique stores

Alibris - Vast selection of all kinds of books, including juvenile, across multiple sellers

The Reading Well - Large selection of books with different filters available.

AntiQ Book -Proclaims to be "Europe's Premier Antiquarian Booksite" though many books are offered by US merchants.

Crafting with cheap supplies and making clothes for dolls

I'm awed by the creativity of so many people.  I am anxious to try out some ideas from these great websites for making crafts inexpensively:

Dollar Store Crafts Blog -- Amazing things to do with cheap potholders, pots, colanders, glasses, and so much much more!  You can choose to look for crafts at price points for $1, $5 and $10.

Old days Old ways Blog -- A variety of thrifty crafty endeavors, with projects focused on dollar store items, some of which can be repurposed for 18" dolls like American Girl dolls.  She has patterns for making baby doll hats, messenger bag and shoes, and even doll clothes from underwear.

Obsessively Stitching Blog -- Also has tutorials on using dollar store items, thrift store clothes, or hand-me-downs to repurpose clothes for dolls, as well as a million other things for use around the house, or for wearing.

Doll Clothes Patterns web site -- Some free patterns for clothes for 18" dolls like American Girl dolls, including a hobo purse, headband, and making a rag scarf from old t-shirts.

And speaking of recycling t-shirts....did you know you can make knock-offs of expensive modern necklaces using old t-shirts at this Dollar Store Crafts blog post?

Make way for the little wooden people!!

Call 'em wood people, peggies, or peg dolls but they are scrumptiously cute! 

Here are some sources of inspiration that make these some enticing crafts to try:
I think they are nostalgic...I realized they looked a lot like these historical creatures (or these in winter garb see photo left).

I think they went extinct for being a choking hazard due to small size and small parts and morphed into these fanciful plastics.

If you want to try your hand at making some of these you might have to look around a bit.  Apparently some craft stores carry them in some parts of the world, but I haven't had much luck yet.

To look for them online you can find them called angel turnings, pegs, peggies, or even wooden people. Craftparts seems to be a well-liked and popular source from my reading of other blogs and posters.

Should I splurge on an American Girl Doll for Christmas?

Okay, well my answer is already "no."

But we're homeschooling and my daughter hasn't encountered the peer pressure of American Girl dolls. 

And thankfully neither has her cousin / best friend, whose family also chose to get an alternative to the American Girl dolls. 

(But of course my daughter wanted the same Our Generation "Hally" doll immediately once her cousin got hers!)

There is a great mom's guide to comparing American Girl doll to generic dolls. For $25-$35 you can get similar dollars to the more expensive American Girl doll.

As an update to that post, note that her highly recommended xander Madame Alexander dolls are now available at Target (and Toys R Us) in addition to the My Generation Dolls

I'm not sure the Madame Alexander Mia Bella dolls are quite living up to the full potential of the reviewer however. Perhaps styles and quality have changed. Check doll reviews as they seem to vary by style, e.g. Asian doll is rated as much more ugly than some others, such as the Hispanic or African-American Doll and the "ethnic" dolls seem to be lacking authentic characteristics)

TIP: Visit Dolls Like Me for a variety of dolls from different races as well as bi-racial dolls.

Corolle has also introduced their smaller (13") Les Chéries dolls that span a variety of ethnic backgrounds as well.  I always keep an eye out for Corolle dolls at discount online retailer http://www.kidsurplus.com/.

Whatever doll you choose, you  may wish to take note of my "Health Care Plan for Dolls" recommendations for dealing with doll skin and hair problems!

Hint...think twice about curly haired dolls, like Our Generation's Alexis or Abrianna.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...