By Annabelle Short on
16 Simple Sewing Projects for the Holidays
The holidays are the perfect time to put your sewing skills to good use! Whether you're getting crafty with the kids while they're on Christmas break, making something special to gift your friends and family, or just adding some festive decorations to your home, there are lots of quick and easy projects to help you get in the holiday spirit. Check out these 16 ideas to get you started!
1. Christmas Stockings
Made from simple felt or lined with satin and trimmed in faux fur, there's a stocking for every sewist! Use them to bust your fabric stash by creating pieced fabric sheets to trace your stocking shape on, and quilt them for an added heirloom touch. You can even upcycle old sweaters into elegant stockings designed to suit your holiday decor. Embellish to suit each recipient, and be sure to add a large and sturdy hanging loop—for hanging by the chimney with care, of course!
2. Holiday Table Runner
Another great stash-busting project, this is the perfect finishing touch for those holiday tablescapes. Use simple strip-piecing techniques with festive holiday colors to use up those little bits, or make it even easier by buying a holiday print (or two, and make it reversible!) and quilt away. For an added touch of elegance, make your runner long enough to hang over the ends of your table, and add hanging loops for miniature ornaments or tassels on the end. Just remember to remove them before washing!
3. Quick & Easy Fabric Coasters
Houseguests aren't always easy on the furniture. Spare yourself marks from cups and glasses with these easy coasters. Use solid squares of fabric, or create pieced blocks if you prefer. For a homespun look, cut thin batting slightly smaller than your finished coaster and center it between your fabric squares. Stitch around the batting, leaving the raw edges exposed, then trim with pinking shears. Alternatively, use double fold bias tape to finish your edges. Sets of these coasters also make great gifts!
4. Reusable Gift Bags
Going green this holiday? Rather than wrapping up your gifts in paper that will only be thrown away, create beautiful fabric gift bags that can be reused over and over again. You can whip up simple drawstring bags in almost any size and any color scheme, perfect for gifting to all your friends and family. Use festive satin or grosgrain ribbon to tie them, and consider embellishments like monograms or tassels for an extra special touch.
5. Felt Ornaments
A perfect craft for all ages! Little ones just learning how to sew can easily embellish felt with beads and buttons while they practice their stitching, and more experienced sewists can create elegant ornaments from layers of embroidered felt. Experiment with different weights and types of felt for this project—natural wool felt has a beautiful finish, and is slightly stiffer than synthetic felt, making it great for embroidery, but more difficult to manipulate for beginners, or for ornamanets that are meant to be stuffed.
6. Festive Garlands and Bunting
Another great project for the kids! Use holiday cookie cutters to trace shapes onto felt and cut them out. Embellish with stitched or glued on decorations (depending on the experience of your young assistants), and stitch to a length of ribbon. Use your garland on the Christmas tree, over doors or windows, or anywhere else that could use a bit of holiday cheer.
7. Reversible Throw Blanket
Ready to cuddle up on the couch with a cup of cocoa and just enjoy the holidays? You'll definitely want one of these blankets! Festive holiday print flannel backed with plush minky fabric is as cozy as you could wish, and with just four seams, they're so easy to make! For an extra luxe look, opt for real wool flannel. Just remember to wash carefully on a delicate cycle and allow it to air dry rather than throwing it in the dryer. This will also help your minky fabric stay fluffy and warm.
8. Quiet Books
Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go! Well, actually, holiday traveling isn't quite so idyllic. If you're hitting the road for the holidays with young kids, these quiet books can be a lifesaver. Pages made of felt include fine motor activities that can keep kids occupied for hours as they practice pulling up zippers, working buttons through buttonholes, and other easy tasks. Add characters with patches of hook-and-loop fasteners that kids can move through the book, or faces with changeable expressions. Make sure all removable pieces are oversized to avoid choking hazards. These books are also great for church services, or anywhere else keeping little minds and hands busy can spare your sanity!
9. Holiday Apron
Whether you prefer perfectly pretty or purely practical, a holiday apron is never a bad idea. A simple version made with light canvas can be whipped up in just a few hours, and makes a great gift for the chef or grillmaster in your life. If you prefer something a little more festive, embellish to your heart's content with ruffles, ribbons, and more. Just remember that it's likely to get stained at some point, so choose fabrics that are a blend of natural and synthetic fibers for the best of both worlds—they won't melt in high heat, and wash up like a dream. And, as any chef will tell you, don't forget the pockets!
10. Casserole Wrap
Heading to a potluck party? Keep your offering toasty warm with a quilted casserole carrier! This simple design can be adjusted to suit dishes of different sizes, and the lengthy straps make it easy to carry as well. A great gift for friends and family who love to entertain.
11. Wine Bag
A bottle of wine makes a lovely hostess gift, but it's a little plain on its own. Before you gift it, dress up that bottle with a quick and easy wine bag! Go for classic and chic with a velvet bag tied with satin ribbons, or get festive with a holiday print. Whatever you choose, you're sure to be the toast of the evening.
12. Flannel Pajama Pants
Start a holiday tradition with special Christmas Eve pajama pants. Made with soft flannel in your family's favorite colors, you can make a matching set for everyone, or choose something special for each family member. Use wide, soft elastic for comfortable waistbands, or opt for grosgrain ribbon drawstrings for more adjustability. Be sure to pre-wash your fabrics to account for any shrinkage, and choose flannels that are non-flammable and rated for children's sleepwear.
13. Holiday Throw Pillows
So many options! Throw pillows are the perfect way to add holiday cheer to any space, whether it's the bench in the breakfast nook, the bed in the guestroom, or just piled on the sofa. Choose colors and designs to match your decor, and don't be afraid to get creative. Use fabric paint to write holiday words and phrases on jewel-tone fabrics before stitching them into covers for your existing pillows, or add a subtle nod to Santa himself with a red and white pillow with a belt at its "waist." If you're feeling more adventurous (or really want to cut down on your fabric stash), use festive quilt blocks, or go really over the top with "ugly Christmas sweater" pillows, complete with battery operated LED mini lights.
14. Santa Hat
What Christmas photo op is complete without a Santa hat or two? They're so easy to make you can make them for the whole family! Purely decorative versions can be made with felt, while cozier outdoor versions are perfect made with polar fleece or minky. Those versions are so warm, you won't want to take yours off even after Christmas! Stick with the traditional red and white, or get creative and use your own favorite color combos.
15. Festive Placemats
If you're not up to quilting a whole table runner, but still want something handmade and festive for your holiday table, why not opt for placemats? Simple pieced blocks are perfect for an heirloom look, or you can opt for something even easier, with stripes of red and white or other holiday colors.
16. Fun and Fancy Tree Skirts
A skirt is the perfect finishing touch for every Christmas tree, whether you opt for artificial or the real deal. Continue your decor scheme all the way to the floor by coordinating colors, textures, or styles with the ornaments in your tree. For something shabby chic and vintage, stitch mix and match lace trims and ruffles in concentric circles around your tree skirt. Prefer something more modern? Try blocks of bold color, or an unusual texture, like sleek, bright metallics. Just remember that delicate fabrics won't hold up well directly on the floor, so be sure to use sturdy backing fabrics and interfacing for extra support.
So many fun ideas! Ready to head to your sewing room and whip up something festive? Before you go, share your favorite holiday sewing projects (or your favorite tips and tricks) in the comments below!