Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Gifts for Teachers

Christmas Teachers Gift, DIY Handwarmers, DIY Christmas Bauble

Last year I left Abby's teachers' Christmas presents until quite late and couldn't get what I really want to get for them. This year, I was a bit more organised and decided to make our own Christmas presents. They might not be as interesting and well made as store bought ones, but at least it's the thought that counts. Right?!

While doing research for teachers' Christmas gifts, the word "apple" kept coming up. Apparently it's a traditional gift for teachers, but I have no idea why. Then I thought, I can crochet apple baubles for them, but that takes too long. So I made felt apple baubles instead, plus a couple of microwavable handwarmers for each teacher.

Christmas Teachers Gift, DIY Handwarmers, DIY Christmas Bauble

Thing is, I'm absolutely rubbish at sewing! Initially I planned to only use blanket stitches for both the apple baubles and handwarmers, but then I realised that it's impossible to do that for the handwarmers without having grains of rice leaking through the gaps! I really regretted it at that point but the 100% wool felt weren't cheap so I kept going anyway. The first few were kind of badly made (sorry to whoever is receiving them!), but I actually noticed improvements for the last several. I can finally sew a neat straight line! It was actually quite an enjoyable task once I got the hang of it, and very easy too! Just hope that the teachers will like them and can benefit from the hand warmers!

Christmas Teachers Gift, DIY Handwarmers, DIY Christmas Bauble

In case you are interested, I made the apple baubles with normal felt fabric, sewed a couple of bells on the leaves, stitched the golden thread and brown stem on one side of the apple before blanket stitched 2 pieces of apples (one plain and one with the stem and thread) together. Then I stitched the jingling leaves on top, and stuck a message on the thread at last.

As handwarmers need to go into the microwave, they have to be made with 100% wool or cotton fabric and thread. I chose wool felt, but a 100% cotton bedsheet or pillowcase will do too of course. I've cut the felt fabric into strips and folded each into half so I only had to stitch 3 sides. I stitched 2 and a half sides together, flipped the pouch over, and poured a mixture of uncooked rice grains and dried lavender in the pouches before stitching them back up. These handwarmers will heat up within 30 to 45 seconds and can keep hands or even feet warm. I heard that feeding corns (not popping corns) will remain hot for longer but I couldn't find them in smaller packets. Perhaps a market's pet shop?

Although the patterns are a bit boring, Abby wanted them as well! They will come in handy when it gets icier than now! And since they are so easy to make, I can easily pick my thread and needle up again and make extra! I'm just happy that I've finally conquered sewing!