I know why gifts from the country are always homemade; there are few stores around here that sell gifts. The local co-op has a small selection, but if you are not interested in the John Deere brand, you probably need to look elsewhere. That’s why I have what I like to call a “craft closet.” It is full of discarded material, old jeans, paint, glue and just about anything else one would need to create a homemade, ahem, I mean a hand-crafted gift. All you need to get started is a pair of blue jeans, some time, and a little inspiration.
Denim Quilt: Old jeans + material sale at Wal-mart = fabulous denim quilt. Mine won first place at the local county fair this year. My 7th grade class made another one for my friend Angela before her husband left to serve our country in Iraq. The students brought in their out-grown jeans to use which made it extra special.
Red, White & Brew: Well, that was the name of a party we had for Bryan when he joined the Army Reserves, but I stole it to name my wine bag made out of the leg of a pair of jeans. It had a red and white checked lining. This gift is useless if you can’t purchase wine to go in it because you live in a dry county. I guess you could name it Red, White, and Glue and include some Elmer’s. No. Don’t do that. Add a green ribbon and it magically turns into a Christmas-themed Dirty Santa gift.
aCROSS the room: I made cross pillows out of six squares of fabric, usually at least one square, or the back, is made from blue jeans. I’ve created them in three sizes. I put a pocket on the back and put a little note in some of them. They seem to be well-received by the recipients. I have several around my own house.
Recipe in my Pocket: These are pot holders made out of the pockets of, you guessed it, jeans. The pockets hold little notecards or recipe cards.
Denim Purse: I wish this had a cool name. It’s the top part of a pair of jeans. My husband, Greg, helped me put grommets in the waistband to hold a strap. I also figured out a way to install a snap so it stays closed. I line each one with whatever fabric I can find in the closet. I feel like every work day is “Casual Friday” when I carry it.
Tag Rag: Several factors went into the creation of the Tag Rag. I was working outside in the garden. Sweat dripped in my eye. My sewing machine had been sitting idle for awhile. I was into gardening and couldn’t get enough of the great gardening quotes out there, so I embroidered one of my favorite quotes on the corner of each one. Voila! The Tag Rag was born. If you have not cut up all of your jeans for crafts, this looks great worn with a pair of them and an old t-shirt.
Wow. That’s just the “givin’” list, and that’s not even all of it. My “gettin’” list is just as great: a gallon of fresh blueberries; my Mustang, Jet; a sackful of Daylillies and numerous other plant cuttings; and let’s not forget my dog Mae, giver unknown, who has truly been the best gift of all.
The next time you are in the giving mood, consider a hand-crafted creation. Just keep at least one pair of your jeans intact to wear on the weekend.