Holidays by Hand: Ribbons and Thread

by Kelly · 8 comments

in A Frugal Home,Series

I had originally planned to show you how to make wire people, but I’ve never managed to get an entire one finished. I had first learned about this in Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects by Salley Mavor and I’ve been trying to recreate these whimsical creatures for, oh let’s see, about four years now. Do yourself a favor and look at the pictures in the book. I promise you that you too will be enchanted by them and soon your living room can be full of embroidery thread, wooden beads and pipe cleaners. Which make excellent cat toys, by the way.

On to some bloggers who really know what they’re doing.

This is the post that got me started down the road to choosing ribbons and thread as a theme. I think this ribbon wreath is so beautiful, and it would be gorgeous in any choice of color. I’m planning on doing one in shades of gray for my front door. And, as just a series of knots, it is one of those crafts that would come together in little time.

Sylvia, of a tad bit prudish, contributed a how-to post on creating ribbon bookmarks to Creative Bliss. I love that these are so easy and simple, yet look delightfully fru-fru at the same time.

This next craft is also delightful, this time in its simplicity. Alice drew inspiration from Soule Mama, but embroidered a tracing of her child’s hand onto classic linen. It’s a new, classic, take on preserving your child’s hand print, and I imagine that it would be a quick enough project to do that you could gift one each to a whole slew of doting relatives.

Rachel from Small Notebook has a tutorial on making ribbon belts in five minutes. She says these are perfect for little girls, but I think they’re perfect for big girls too.

Robin’s Egg Blue posts on a technique for embroidering words. I like being able to play with fonts and colors, and her method lets you do just that.

It’s cold out, at least where I live. And it’s cold in Maine too, where our next crafter lives… Nicole from Breaking Even, Inc shows how to embroider mittens in one of her Too Cute Tuesdays posts. I like this craft because it takes a basic object, in this case store bought mittens, and customizes it easily and quickly.

Kate from Curiositys is embroidering scarves for some of her lucky friends and relatives. Like Nicole’s mittens, this project takes a mass produced object and gives it a handmade touch.

I love the idea of these beautiful fabric wrapped initials on GoodyGoody. OK, so they’re not made of ribbon or thread, but they could be! And it’s an endlessly adaptable craft, large or small, colors and buttons, different letters even, for goodness sake!

Here’s another craft that’s not quite ribbons or thread, but who cares! Nester, she of the beautiful blog the Nesting Place, has created a ragamuffin memo garland. Using old scraps of fabric, or even ribbons, you can create a beautiful fluffy garland. I like the idea of draping it on something; I imagine this would be beautiful on the handrail of a staircase for example.

These clothespin dolls from PlumPudding model fancy ribbon belts, but you could dress them in just about anything. This is a great way to use up fabric scraps. I imagine the hardest part of this project would be finding the wooden pegs!

If you have a lot of yarn left over from knitting (make sure to check out next week’s knitting theme on One by Three) than this is a handy craft for you. I love the idea of felting balls from scrap, and I think these would be a beautiful first toy for a baby or young toddler.

As a mom to a little girl and two big boys, I am just entering into the world of girly Stuff. And what’s more girly than a frilly tutu? Problem Solvin’ Mom shares an easy tutu tutorial that will make any twirling loving girly-girl swirl with glee.

Not the Jet Set shows how to repurpose doilies as produce bags. Such an ingenious idea, which adds a touch of beauty to the mundane-ness of grocery shopping!

And finally, Jodi from Back Porch Reflections shows how to embroidery without using a fancy machine. Her holiday projects are very cute!

Thanks to all those who participated and who have been reading along! You can find week one: sewing at Simple Mom and week two: papercrafts at Small Notebook. Next week’s edition will be knitting at One of Three. For the complete schedule, click here.


1 Rachel November 18, 2008

Thank you so much for hosting, Kelly! These ideas are great.

Rachel´s last blog post..Good Reads: the Touch-Up Paint Edition

2 Betsy November 18, 2008

OK, I’m absolutely borrowing some of these fantastic ideas.

A few things I’m doing this year:

– All of the men in my family love handkerchieves, so I’m embroidering a few mass-produced ‘chieves with quick words like “achoo!”, “bless,” “blow,” and “sniff.” My friend Liz (who’s a little funnier and funkier than I) originated the idea, and hers say things like “snot,” “boohoo” and “booger.”

– Clip-on hair ribbons are as easy as one needle, one piece of thread, a ribbon and a barrette; my niece (a 6-year-old bow fanatic) is coming in for a whole bunch of funky bows with cool buttons and sequins in the center of the bows.

– For my mom and sister (and friend Liz), I’m embroidering dish towels with text messages we’ve sent each other, or their personal catch phrases. (Mom’s: “Are you using your judgment?”; Liz’s: “I will set you on FIRE.”)

Betsy´s last blog post..Monday Tip Jar 1: Helping New Parents

3 Alana @ Gray Matters November 18, 2008

Too many great ideas, so little time! Thanks for all of the great inspiration.

Alana @ Gray Matters´s last blog post..Great Giveaway

4 Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom November 18, 2008

I love all these ideas, thanks so much for the inspiration! (and for hosting and including me 🙂 )

Steph @ Problem Solvin Mom´s last blog post..Marathoning Part 1 – The Decision

5 Kelly November 18, 2008

Betsy, can I be on your gift list? Those are FABULOUS ideas!

6 jenna November 18, 2008

Thanks for all the great ideas! I’ve been looking for small gifts to make for Christmas and these blogs ideas have helped alot~

7 Leah Ingram November 20, 2008

For what it’s worth, I just snagged three shoeboxes filled with brand-new, festive ribbon, after putting out a “wanted” call on my local Freecycle list. So if you’re looking to use a lot of ribbon on projects this year and want to stick to your frugal ways, this is an option you might want to consider.


Leah Ingram´s last blog post..Suddenly Frugal Seal of Approval: Meal Planning

8 NtJS November 22, 2008

Lots of great ideas here, Kelly. Thanks for including us!

NtJS´s last blog post..Made in the USA= Jobs in the USA: Cleaning Products

Previous post:

Next post: