Handmade Sibling Gifts 2007 — 3rd Installment

December 21, 2007

Olive is a first grader. I thought long and hard about what she could make for her siblings that would be useful and beautiful and that she could really truly contribute-to/participate-in. This is what we came up with.

Three Bean Bags for Oscar. One Heating Pad for Ralph.
Basically two versions of the same project. Olive picked the fabric from my fabric box. She helped cut it. She chose the orange thread. She controlled the sewing machine presser foot, while I guided the fabric. She turned the heating pad right side out. She filled the heating bag with beans. She filled the bean bags with wheat (they have exposed hems, so we didn’t need to turn them right side out). They turned out great. Olive was very proud of herself.

If you haven’t tried a heating bag like this, I highly recommend it. We were given one by a neighbor, in a great ticking stripe fabric, over 6 years ago and it’s barely showing any wear. You just microwave it for a couple of minutes and the heat lasts for ages. At our house, the heating pad functions almost like a band-aid or a mother’s kiss — it kind of cures everything. I scraped my knee, I need the heating pad. I didn’t win at Scrabble, I need the heating pad. I imagine Ralph will think it’s very grown-up to have one of his very own.

And bean bags are just one of those things you need around the house when you have kids. They’re an instant game. Who can throw the bean bags closest to the circle on the rug? Let’s play catch with the bean bags. The bean bag is hiding, let’s find it. Our current supply is mostly lost. Oscar will love these new ones.

A Bag of Chalk for Maude
Maude really loves rock climbing and gymnastics. Both of which require chalk to keep her hands dry. I have no idea where you buy the real stuff, but Olive made a container full by grating big sticks of sidewalk chalk with our box grater. The grater worked like a charm and the chalk dust turned out to be quite colorful and lovely.

An ipod Cover for Ralph
I also want to show you what Maude made for Ralph. Remember his ipod from his birthday last August? Well. Maude used this idea from Martha to make him an ipod cover from felt. The button isn’t functional as a button, but the cover was too plain and Maude thought a button would look good. She’s so right. And the button does help keep the cover sort-of weighted down. Bonus, it’s so big and so easy to work with that it was a great opportunity to teach Maude how to sew on a button.

There is still one more sibling gift to work on this weekend — Ralph’s gift for Maude. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Queen Scarlett December 22, 2007 at 12:21 am

Will you adopt me, my family? How lucky to be raised by you.


2 Amy December 22, 2007 at 1:11 am

Maybe you’ve explained but I’m still unclear….does each child make 4 gifts for the other sibs? If so are you helping them to make 20 handmade gifts?! How do you do that?!


3 Kyran December 22, 2007 at 9:03 am

i echo the first commenter. these moments you share are what set this site apart from the bazillion other shopping/design/review blogs on the internet. those other sites usually make me feel I’m not doing enough or buying enough. yours always inspires, fills me with possibility.

xo & merry christmas, dear blairs. god bless every one :-)


4 Nan December 22, 2007 at 10:29 am

LOL I feel all up with design now because I thought of something without having seen that Martha recommended it. LOL My son just made Dad a cell phone cover with felt and we’ve made a few little change purses too. Of course, our look less PERFECT (said in Martha’s voice) than Martha’s. :^D


5 BeachysCapeCodCupboard December 22, 2007 at 10:03 pm

How sweet are all these gifts? This post just warmed my heart! =)


6 lynne December 23, 2007 at 12:42 am

these are so amazing. i just love, love, love how your kids are really participating in making sweet and thoughtful things for each other! SO inspiring. merry christmas!


7 Bek December 23, 2007 at 2:31 pm

How fun are those? We do the heating pads too…we call them spice bags.. You can put one package of mulling spices, or cinnamon sticks or whole nutmeg in w/ the beans (we use rice). Then, when you heat them, they smell good too.

My kids won’t go to be w/out their spice bags…..

love the chalk bags…


8 pukkapam December 23, 2007 at 11:21 pm

that chalk project –you win -your a better mom than me – I was keeping up till and since my kids are older even had a few on you but this
No way — NFW mean anything – to anyone- mall here i come


9 Barb December 25, 2007 at 2:46 pm

I work hard to come up with something homemade my children can make each year, but I have never accomplished an entire handmade Christmas. The grated chalk was brilliant!


10 kira lee December 28, 2007 at 1:56 pm

so creative!!! love it!


11 Tiff December 28, 2007 at 2:22 pm

I love those ideas!! THat would make a great first sewing project for my daughter! THanks for sharing!


12 liz January 1, 2008 at 11:42 pm

brilliant ideas!! i hope to remember these when mine are bigger.

p.s. anywhere they sell pool tables/ supplies you can get a chalk thingy for her hands -they have a round tube-shaped chalker(or use baby powder?).


13 Anonymous February 5, 2008 at 8:48 am

I am interested in the different options for filling these beanbags. What would be a basic filler if you just want to use the bag in the bed as a hot water bottle? How about that combo with rice and fragrant cinnamon or other fragrant stuff? Could anyone give me some tips/suggestions??


14 GABRIELA DELWORTH August 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm


I really like your projects!

~ Gabriela ~


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