Thanks to Marie for allowing me to spread my crafty wings and share one of my attempts at ‘making things’ – as my children generously call it! – with the Craft Owl readers. We would love to see your take on this craft, so please tag us ( Polly & Craft Owl Makes ) on Instagram using #MittenMake so we can have a look at the results.
A number of days ago I alluded to an exciting gift-wrapping experiment I was going to try out in my post, that was about – funnily enough – gift-wrapping over on my blog: Polly’s Pad. This year I have attempted to wrap my own children’s presents in fabric and tissue without tape to make the whole recycling aftermath of gift opening a bit easier, and more environmentally sound. Unfortunately, I have not been as considerate of my poor friend Rin, who will be the recipient of this Frankenstein work I have created!
I originally got the idea from Pinterest, and it seemed simple enough. I would use brown paper – that I already had – and I would cut and then sew around some Christmas shapes; fifteen minute job at most, right? Sigh! I cut the required shapes slightly larger than – I believed – they needed to be. What I had failed to take into account was that the brown paper came from a roll and, as such, had no intention of lying flat and letting me sew it. With such unco-operative paper I had no choice but to have the shapes weighted down with place mats on my table and I leave them for a few days.
On my return the shapes – mittens – were now flat, so I proceeded to place the presents in the middle. The poor bear was hog-tied with hairbands to keep his hands and feet inside the parcel. In the end I sat him inside the reindeer hat, to further condense him. I also added the book and chocolate coins (all will become clear regarding the seemingly random gifts!) It looked like it would be easier to initially stick down the shapes before sewing over the tape. Previous attempts to see which stitch would work best had proved inconclusive, in the sense that both running stitch and blanket stitch resulted in very ripped paper. I thought the sewing through sticky tape would mitigate this; much like the trick where you can put a pin in a balloon without popping it if you have a secret piece of tape stuck to the point where you stick the pin, I thought the sticky tape would stop the paper ripping… and then I realised just how big I had made the mitten!
In terms of sustainability this is not a good craft to choose if you are going down the tape route rather than sewing it! I am pretty sure I used a metric ton of tape, as I went around the entire mitten twice to cover potential gaps and tears. At this stage, sewing was completely off the cards – I kept up with the tape use, finally taping on a felt ‘H’ for Harmony, some green holly leaves, a few berries and some white rick-rack to connect the mitten to its pair…did I mention Rin had twins? I had to repeat the entire process again, taping a felt ‘S’ for Summer onto the second one. I thought the whole think looked quite cute, albeit very homemade. I then wrote each of the girls a card out, explaining the four gifts.
In our house, there are four major present groups. While I changed one out to accommodate the fact that Rin’s girls are only three, (I swapped ‘want’ for ‘cuddle’) the rhyme was still fairly similar to the one I have been using for my own children for a number of years:
- Something to wear
- Something to eat
- Something to cuddle and
- Something to read
I will be dropping it around to the girl’s just before Christmas, and I will be interested in both their reaction and how they will go about opening them; Personally, I would probably tear along the cuff. Remember if you have a go at this and upload to Instagram, to let us know using #MittenMakes – but don’t limit yourself to Christmas presents, any occasion is suitable for monstrously oversized mittens! In fact, don’t limit yourself to mittens either! You could try other shapes. Let your crafty mind run wild!
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