It’s officially 23 days before Christmas which to me is officially panic time for those who like to shop early (like me) and tick off at least two-thirds of those ‘to do’ items (like me, again) on a Type A personality’s impossibly long list (such as mine) for festive planning! No fear. The retail shops are always there to the rescue, all ye panicking and helpless people…unless you’re one of a dying breed of makers (who have every reason to panic now i.e. assuming you’re yet to complete most of your list) who insist everything be personally handmade—from the Christmas cards to every last dessert on the day.
I know I’m talking about myself and year after year I can’t help it—this thing I suffer from which has a life of its own. I think I contracted it starting from somewhere in 1998 when I planned my own wedding and somehow decided life itself or a wedding to plan in a few short months wasn’t challenging enough for me.
My satisfaction from ‘handmade’ is reward enough to keep my addiction to making, alive.
In the spirit of this, I shall continue to share my making with you from now throughout the festive season, in the hope that if you’re a self-professed ‘maker’, you would keep the spirit of handmade alive and well into the new year that’s nearly upon us. Yes, I’m always hoping to egg you on and inspire you to join the army of makers.
It’s always worth the trouble, if you ask me. Handmade for me is how I derive perhaps ‘the same high’ of mountaineers who train and discipline themselves to trek and scale each of their precarious conquests—where driving that stake into the summit and flying your final flag of victory is the reward that sustains you from one to the next peak.
I know this is no grand mountain, but nevertheless a worthy project that will bring a smile to the recipients of those lovely thoughtful gifts you’ve lovingly wrapped under the tree. Well if nothing, perhaps for that delighted exclamation, “Gasp, did you make this!”
Sometimes instead of the world view of taking ruthless efficiency too seriously, it’s nice to take pleasure in creating things with your hands slowly and painfully…in the hope that others too will take pleasure in enjoying what you’ve made. That’s the value of anything handmade…to appreciate its craftsmanship, to see the maker in the item you hold.
Hope you enjoy my made-with-utmost-love project of these handmade stamped fabric gift tags this Christmas, and that it might inspire you to make some yourself. May it make your loved ones smile with gratitude. After all, you cared enough to make it yourself. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Being a smile maker is…so addictive.
Project: Stamped Fabric Christmas Gift Tags
Time: 40 min (6 gift tags)
Natural cotton (plain) fabric
Black ink stamp pad (preferably for fabrics)
Clear Acrylic Stamps (Kaiser Craft) – Christmas design
Clear Stamp Block
Red sewing thread
Butcher’s twine (or substitute with any string/ribbon of choice)
Equipment & Tools:
Card stock (to adhere fabric)
Trim a piece of natural cotton fabric to A4 size. Ink the clear acrylic stamps (Christmas theme) as uniformly as you can by dabbing a mini stamp pad at an angle of about 45 degrees. Position stamp above the area you wish to stamp on and carefully press down firmly. Remove stamp and let the image dry on the fabric. Leaving sufficient wide spaces between images (at least an inch or more) for cropping later, continue inking and stamping until the fabric is fully stamped.
Adhere the reverse side of the fabric to a piece of A4 card stock by first spraying the top of the card stock with a can of adhesive spray. Working as quickly as you can, rub the fabric onto the card stock and smooth down with a clean brayer or a plastic ruler. (Ensure the room is well-ventilated and that you are working on a flat surface lined with a disposable tablecloth or newspapers). Don’t worry if the card stock looks damp with the spray—it will dry clear.
Once glue is dry, use an existing gift tag you have as a stencil to trace around each stamped image with a pencil.
Stitch around the perimeter of the traced gift tag using a sewing machine using red thread. Trim about half a cm away from the stitched tracing to form a border around the edges.
Punch a hole through the top and set the eyelet using an eyelet punch and hammer. Voila.
You may also want to check out the following easy DIY Christmas craft tutorials:
Handmade Christmas Ornaments