Organization & Gift Ideas to Make Handmade Holidays Less Stressful

Every year I set aside one or two Saturdays to sew something special for the women in my life that would treasure a handmade gift. I usually work production-style, cutting, basting, sewing, and finishing, until I have an array of small gifts ready to go.

easy handmade gifts coin purse
Cute and quick, you can whip up these easy handmade gifts
in no time. Flexframe coin purse by Mary Claire Goodwin.

This year I am getting a head start on some easy handmade gifts and making these darling change purses we featured the Spring 2013 issue of Modern Patchwork. They are quick to make and even better to receive! I love the holiday-themed fabrics in earthy colors, and chose them with "certain sisters" in mind.

As you approach holiday gift-making, here are some other ways you can organize your sewing area for holiday success and less stress, suggested by our online editor, Cate Prato:

1. Keep it simple. Like me, Cate limits her handmade projects to one or two patterns or themes, instead of making something different for each recipient. Personalize each one by the choice of fabric or embellishment.

2. Make a list, check it twice. Referring to your materials list, take an inventory of what you have in your studio and what supplies you need to shop for. Then do one big shopping trip (or shop online) so you don't have to stop in the middle of a project to rush out and buy something.

3. Use zones. If you don't already have a room with a sewing area, a cutting table, an ironing station, etc., now is a good time to set that up, even if it's just temporary for the season.

vivikas fabrics for easy handmade gifts
My fabric selections for the coin purses.
Shh…don't tell my sister!

4. Don't clean up. Though you'll want to rinse brushes or sweep up spilled beads, etc., for the most part, don't clean up until the project is complete. That way, you can dive right back in when you have the time. Close the door to your studio if you want to hide the mess. If you don't have a separate studio, fashion a temporary screen or just cover your work-in-progress with a colorful drop cloth.

5. Make it portable. If you can do part of the project by hand (fussy cutting, hand stitching, etc.) keep a workbasket or small tote nearby. Then take your project and necessary tools with you to work on while you watch a sporting event or favorite TV show.

Here's another way to make holiday gift-making easy: purchase a kit like the Pleated Purse Kit I've had created especially for our readers.

With kits and these tips for organizing your holiday gift-making, all you need is fabric. (You do have some fabric, don't you?)

P.S. How do you set yourself up for holiday gift-making success? Leave your tips below.

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3 thoughts on “Organization & Gift Ideas to Make Handmade Holidays Less Stressful

  1. I also got the email and mquilts comment is right on. It seems really dumb to not do a little proofing and make sure that which is described is actually available!