Personalized Twitter Tote Bags


Twitter Bag Gifts

In a variation of my Christmas gift bags, I realized that by layering stencils I could use multiple colors.  (I don’t know why this wasn’t obvious to me from the start, but it wasn’t.)  I was meeting up with a group of good friends I know from Twitter and had such an urge to make them something, but it had to be fairly inexpensive yet worth giving.  For each of these I used one canvas bag, two colors of fabric paint (turquoise and brown) and three pieces of cardstock.

I used three cardstock stencils on each of the bags.  I snagged the Twitter logo and printed it twice on card stock.  (It should be noted that selling someone’s logo without permission is a no-no, but making a small batch of gifts is OK.)  On one copy of the Twitter cardstock use an exacto knife to cut out the main part of the branch.  On the other, cut out the bird.  Careful with those tiny feet and legs!  You could stop there if you like and have a very cute bag, but I also printed out each person’s Twitter name and cut it out, too.  There’s just nothing like knowing a gift was made just for you!

194. Making a Stencil for a Future Craft Project

Warning: it is a huge timesuck to cut out stacks of names.  You’d better love these people if you start a project like this with lots of detailed, individual stencils!  (Thankfully, I do.)

Next, the painting.

211. Aside from Work, This is What I'm Doing

It’s best to paint the bird first, allow him to dry, then layer the branch stencil over the top of his little feet so that he’s properly on the branch.  It’s easier to do a quick outline of the branch before removing the stencil and filling in.  Freehand the smaller branches as they’re  just too tiny to bother with a stencil. I kept the cut out section of bird and used him as a stencil for the eye, but if you’re good with a brush you could freehand that as well.  Then line up your friend’s name stencil and carefully fill it in.  If your fabric paint calls for ironing to set the paint, please do.

And you’re done!  Enjoy the smiles as you pass out your gifts.  :)

Felt House in a Hoop


The Wilson's

My little sister in law and her husband recently bought a new house.  I was so excited for them and wanted to make them something special for their housewarming gift, something that really celebrated their new home.  I decided to try making a “house in a hoop” for them.

I printed a picture she emailed and used it as pattern pieces for the house.  Breaking it down to its most basic elements, I cut separate pieces of felt for the roof, main house sections, windows, shutters and so on.

Trying to Recreate Alison's House in Felt

I was reminded yet again that simpler is usually better.  Those windows would have looked a lot better if I’d fussed with them less.  Oh, well.

Mock up of Alison's House

I free handed a wobbly arc of sky and grass and stitched them to my plain cotton background fabric.  This is handmade, remember, and the imperfections only add to the charm.  (I repeat this to myself quite often away from crafting, too – life is a little easier to take when the flaws are just a part of the charm.)

Since the plants were dormant in the photo I had, I took liberties with the landscaping and added French knot flowers wherever I liked.  I simplified the landscaping as well, cutting down on the number of bushes.

The Wilson's Fictional Flowers

Ugh – wonky lines in the sidewalk!  All a part of the charm, right?

All that empty green at the bottom of the hoop felt like a challenge.  I considered trying to create a little felt replica of their doggie in the yard, then figured it would be hard enough just to stitch their name in the grass.  Thankfully I kept it reasonably centered and straight.

The Wilson's House

And with that done, I decided to quit while I was ahead.  If you make a house hoop of your own, I’d love to see it!