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Christmas on a Budget – One Hour Gifts to Sew

With just two months to go until Christmas Day, not only must we continue to carefully budget our dollars but if we are planning to complete handmade gifts for those on our list, we will also need to budget our time wisely.

Inspired by the one hour table runners I made during October’s Friday Night Sew In, I thought I’d share a few simple sewing projects that can be completed in approximately one hour.

One of my current favourite small gifts to give are these little sewing companions.

sewing companion

Each one takes me slightly less than an hour to complete including the time it takes to cut and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the main fabric and to install the snap closure.

By filling the inside pockets with different things, you can personalize the sewing companion to suit the recipient.

Add a small pair of scissors and they make great little gifts to give to friends who sew, quilt or embroider.

With the addition of the items pictured below they are transformed into travel sewing kits that can be popped into a purse or suitcase.

travel sewing kit items

An extra hour of sewing will yield this matching needle book and pin cushion.

matching pin cushion and needle book

Instructions for the sewing companion and needle book can be found here.

When making these, I try to choose colours and prints that I think the recipient will like.  And so far, each sewing companion, needle book and pin cushion that I’ve given has been well received.  This set is going into the Christmas Stocking I’m giving away at the end of November.  (click on the picture in my sidebar for more details)

This next project was one I made for our son last Christmas.  After living in the south for 4 years and Maui for 4 years before that, he had a bit of a hard time adjusting to the extended cold and damp of a Southern Ontario winter, so we bought him a hot water bottle (<-affiliate link) and I made a fleece cover for it.

College Logo Hot Water Bottle Cover

For the pattern, I simply traced around the hot water bottle and added a seam allowance.   Now a hot water bottle cover is a fairly generic gift, so to make it uniquely his, I cut his college logo out of felt and machine stitched it on.

The final project takes slightly more than an hour to complete but the result is a scarf so sweet and soft that I’m sure you won’t mind the extra minutes of sewing.

patchwork scarf

The patch work strip is sewn using 30 pieces of a Moda candy bar from the fabric line Lovely by Sandy Gervais.   The only cutting required is for the 13”X60” piece of fleece.    Change the colour of the fleece, use more masculine fabric for the patchwork and these would make great gifts for the men on your list.

Here are some more ideas from blogs I visit regularly:

Ric-Rac is one of my favourite bloggers.  I adore her stuffed toys and her quirky sense of humour.  And I especially love her Baxter and Ernst stories.  She shares this free 1-Hour Bag Tutorial and this One Hour Softie in the sidebar of her blog.

Just this morning, retro mama posted a tutorial for tiny house ornaments.  Once you get the basic pattern drawn, the ornament would be a quick sew project.   And if you did them in assembly line fashion, you could whip up a bunch of these in an afternoon to give as gifts.

A quick search on one hour sewing projects turned up lots more ideas.  I’ve listed a few of these fun and interesting projects below:

For a no-sew fabric project:  One Hour Fleece Blanket

If you’re just learning to sew, you might also like to check out one of my first tutorials How to Sew a Basic Throw Pillow.  The pillow itself, without any embellishments, would take less than an hour to sew.    I topstitched on a redwork embroidery but that could be replaced with something else; a vintage crocheted doily for example .  Or the pillow could be left plain; allowing the fabric to take center stage.

Tutorials for the one hour table runners and the patchwork scarf will be posted over the coming week.

I hope this has given you some fun ideas for quick and easy projects to add to your gift giving list.  And I hope too that you will join me next month for another Christmas on a Budget post and for the giveaway that goes with it.

Past Christmas on a Budget posts can be accessed by clicking on the following links:

Decorating the Tree

Building Traditions

Two No-Sew Christmas Ideas

Buy Christmas Fabric Only When On Sale

Christmas Fabrics Part 2

Gifts for Less Than $2

Homemade Gift Tags

Christmas on a Budget – Post #1


This post contains affiliate links. For more information please check my Disclosures and Disclaimers page. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but it does help support this site.



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  • The Prudent Homemaker
    October 29, 2011 9:26 am

    I am really loving the QUICK homemade gifts this year! I sew for all 6 of my children for birthdays and Christmas. I have a lot to make! The quick gifts and very satisfying.

  • Robin (rsIslandCrafts)
    October 26, 2011 8:13 am

    Wonderful post! I like the idea of making a scissor keep for my stocking.

  • Sandra :)
    October 26, 2011 12:26 am

    OOOoOOO thanks for the ideas and the links – my son asked for a cover for our icepack (he uses it on his back) – I need to get that done, and I really like the sewing companion – that would be a great stocking stuffer (or package decoration!) to make multiples of, assemblyline fashion! I commented to Nancy’s blog tonight that I thought we should get together once a week to work on Christmas crafts – it’s so much fun when you have someone else to play with!!

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