Monday, November 16, 2009

Make-It Monday: Morning Out Kit

Welcome back to "Make-It Monday" -- the place to find ideas for homemade or semi-homemade Christmas gifts. The past two weeks I've talked about a Homemade Playdough Kit for kids as well as Family Calendars. If you have a great homemade gift idea, be sure to share it or a link to your website in the comments section!

And on to today's subject -- A Morning Out Kit!

In general, I'm not a big purchaser of gift cards. Yes, I believe that the gift card is a great invention, and personally I enjoy receiving a gift card just as much as the next person. However, I have a hard time giving just a gift card. Even if I know that my sister-in-law Aimee would LOVE a gift card to Starbucks, part of me still feels as if I didn't put enough personal touch to the gift. If I have the time and inspiration, I will create a "kit" around the purchase of a gift card. Once I know what kind of gift card I want to buy, I think about how I can expand the gift card into an experience by creating a "kit".

Last Christmas, I did just that for some of the women in my life. I bought several $5 gift cards to Starbucks and created a "Woman's Morning Out" kit. The kit consisted of:
  • Woman's Morning Out Explanation: When giving a kit, I always like to include a card that explains the purpose of the gift as well lists the items in the kit.
  • $5 Gift Card to Starbucks
  • A reusable fabric coffee sleeve
  • A hand-embellished journal
Although I tailored mine to women, you could make a similar gift for men as well. Or, throw a paperback book into the mix for the Book Lover in your life. I made things easy for myself by purchasing some small, pre-decorated gift boxes and wrapping the kit inside with tissue paper. Just by looking at those boxes, I knew what was inside. You could make several and keep some on hand for hostess gifts or those last-minute gifts that we sometimes need.

Reusable Fabric Coffee Sleeve

thick, fleece fabric (for the inside of the sleeve)
patterned fabric (for the outside)
scissors & sewing machine

  1. Using a paper coffee sleeve from your coffeeshop of choice, trace it on paper. Draw another line 1/4 inch out from that line for your seam allowance. Cut it out and this is your pattern. Note: You may want to make sure that your sleeve fits the cups at the store where you intend to buy your gift cards. Cups at Starbucks are tall and thin, whereas the cups at Peet's are shorter and thicker. A sleeve designed for Starbucks may not work at Peet's.
  2. Cut two pieces of fabric from your pattern -- one from your patterned fabric and one from fleece. Put the right sides together and sew along the top and the bottom -- leave the ends open so that you can turn it right side out.
  3. Turn it right side out and iron flat.
  4. Top stitch along the top and bottom edges.
  5. Fold the sleeve tube in half with the patterned sides together. Line up the unsewn edges and stitch together to form your sleeve. Trim excess fabric if needed and turn right side out. Double-check to make sure that it fits the cup before you give it as a gift!
Here's a tutorial with pictures that has a slightly different design.

If sewing is not your thing but you want a fabric coffee sleeve, check out Etsy for something to your liking! You can find them for about $5 - 8. Certainly not as cheap as homemade, but they are cute and eco-friendly.

Paper-Embellished Journal

basic composition book
scrapbooking paper (12 x 12 paper works well)
ribbon or other embellishments

  1. Trim paper to the right size to cover your composition book. A 12 x 12 piece of scrapbooking paper won't quite cover it completely. But, you use separate pieces and cover the overlap with embellishment. Or, use a piece of 8 x 11 for the front and back covers and leave the spine uncovered OR use a separate piece to cover the spine.
  2. Adhere paper with modge podge.
  3. Cut out embellishments and adhere them with modge podge.
  4. If you wish to seal the journal, cover with a thin layer of modge podge and allow to dry completely.
I made the green journal pictured above with scrapbooking paper and modge podge for my sister Jessica last year. However, recently I tried my hand at creating a FABRIC cover for a basic composition journal. If you have excess fabric and can stitch a straight seam, you might want to try this version. Added bonus - you can make the journal match your coffee sleeve AND can reuse the cover on another journal when the first one is filled.

Fabric Journal Cover

composition book

1) Measure the book that you want to cover.
  • Height: Add 0.25 inches to the height to make sure that the opening is wide enough PLUS another 0.25 inch for the seam allowance on each side. For a journal that is 9.75 inches high, my measurement would be 10.5 inches.
  • Width: Measure the journal from the edge of the front cover, over the spine, to the edge of the back cover. Add 3 inches (or more) for the wraparound on each side PLUS 0.5 inches to hem in the opening on each side. For a journal that is 15.25 inches wide, my measurement would be 22.25 inches.
2) Cut two rectangles with these measurements. (If you want to get fancy, stitch together different pieces of fabric to create your rectangles. For the one pictured above, I stitched a piece of floral fabric over my orange rectangle where the journal spine would go.)

3) Fold over the edge of the rectangles by 0.5 inches and hem.

4) Place the right sides of the rectangles together together and stitch along the top with 0.25 seam allowance.

5) Turn right side out and iron flat.

6) Wrap the cover around the book and insert the cover into the opening on the edges.

For other money saving ideas, check out Frugal Friday at Life As Mom every Friday for one of Jessica's tips as well as links to other bloggers' ideas!


Anonymous said...

This is such a nice idea -I too struggle with just giving a gift card. thanks for the idea
vickie @cooking with vickie

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I made a scripture bag here:

I have links for sewing ideas here:

and for non-sewing ideas here: