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5 zero-waste gift ideas to sew this Christmas

Every Christmas season it all happens again. We throw ourselves into compulsive gift-hunting for family and friends. And quite often, anxious to get it all done at the very last minute, we end buying things we don’t really believe in and we’re not happy about just increasing waste. What if this year we’d go for a slow Christmas, where we sew up gifts ourselves?

DIY gifts are always special ’cause there’s a story behind that little package: everythings we’ve done from choosing our supplies to making them. Plus you can feel the love and patience we put into them. A DIY gift is definitely a gift both for those who make it as well as for those who receive it, don’t you think?

So this year I’m sharing my 5 Christmas gift ideas you can sew with your own hands and that are perfectly in line with the zero-waste philosophy. I picked 5 projects which are truly special because:

  • they come from me and some collegues of mine who dedicated time and care to share them with their community totally for free.
  • they are easy to make for everyone, also for beginners
  • they are zero-waste projects ’cause you can make them with fabric scraps and bring them to a new (and long!) life.

Plus, for every gift idea I share with you some packaging tips that are both green and cute. Ready to discover my5 zero-waste gift ideas to sew for Christmas? Here we go!

5 zero-waste gift ideas to sew this Christmas

1 – The beauty kit

Beauty kit: makeup remover pads, sleep mask and ribbon scrunchie

A wonderful gift set for the beauty kit proposed by Selene from Un punto alla volta. Selene, made a great video-tutorial on her YouTube channel where she explain step-by-step how to make a beauty kit including: useful and sustainable re-usable cleansing pads, a sleeping mask for happy naps and a timeless scrunchie with its nice ribbon detail.
The video shows every step to cut and sew each of these accessories. You can choose to make them all or do a mix and match for friends, mom, aunts, cousins and so on and so forth!
You can watch Selene’s tutorial here and you can find all details about supplies and the free sleep mask sewing pattern in the video description.

FOR A GREEN PACKAGING: use Selene’s tips to sew a bigger version of the drawstring pouch and put everything in there. Then you’re going to just need a small cardboard tag and a little pine branch for the right mood.

2 – The cloudy place mat

Place mat for happy breakfasts

The perfect gift for those who always start the day with their head in the clouds! (yes, that can be a nice idea for a funny greeting card too). The girls from Republique Fabrique made a video tutorial where they explain how to make a fun cloud-shaped place mat.
On the Club Fabrique blog you can also find the post with all the project details and the pattern of this cute little breakfast place mat including also a cloth napkin. Definitely a very enjoyable gift!
Plus who doesn’t like to kick off the day on a smile?

FOR A GREEN PACKAGING: roll the place mat and tie it with a little stripe of fabric. Put everything on a paper bag and, for an extra touch, add a bag of your favourite tea or some home-made cookies.

3 – The minimal-chic pot holder

Ginkgo leaft-shaped pot holder set.

The perfect gift for your foody friends! The Ginkgo leaf-shaped pot holder combines the use of fabric scraps with a minimal taste and a great functionality. You find it Grazia from rocchettiepois’s blog who explains how to make one with her free sewing pattern.
I’ve got a beautiful set of two (her gift!) displayed on a rack in my kitchen and I love it! They’re beautiful and convenient to use thanks to the two pouches on the back allowing you for a perfect hold.
A chic gift that’s fun to make too!

FOR A GREEN PACKAGING: use a paperbag, a ginkgo-yellow tissue paper or, even better, a piece of an old plaid or Christmassy dining cloth to wrap your gift. Close everything with a little twine string and add a tag with a fun greeting.

4 – The Envelope clutch

Envelope-shaped minimal clutch bag.

Here’s the tutorial from the girls at Raglan: the Envelope clutch is a minimal clutch with a retro taste. Easy to make with the free sewing pattern and the instructions you find in this tutorial. Based of your fabric of choice it can be an all-purpose pattern: from the elegant clutch for a ceremony to a toiletry bag for those who travel. Compact but roomy, the Envelope is the perfect gift for fashionable friends who love handmade gifts. And to be on-theme with the Season, why not trying the holiday version of the clutch made upcycling an old flannel shirt and enriched with a bow and a secret message? All info and the sew-along here.

FOR A GREEN PACKAGING: use scraps from the same fabric you used to sew the Envelope to create your gift wrap. You don’t have to worry about it fraying: it’ll give the gift an even better look! Close everything up with some twine string.

5 – Retro accessories

Women’s tie, cloche hat and mittens for a warm cuddle.

When I think about Christmas I always think about cuddling gifts. And what’s more cuddly than a cosy wool? That’s why my last gift suggestion is some warm and stylish accessories.
Let’s get started with the women’s retro tie, to use on a shirt with band collar to turn all your outfits into something with a vintage taste. This is my gift for you! You can freely download the pattern here together with the step-by-step photo instructions to make it. For a holiday version use some medium-weight wool scraps and play with patterns and solids to create unique women’s ties. Cherry on the cake? A nice little vintage button (you can find beautiful ones in the vintage markets around).

And if you want opt for a more engaged gift, why not trying my Petit Fours accessories? The cloche hat inspired to the ’20s also includes babies’ and kids’ sizes and the mittens might be the perfect gift for dads, brothers, husbands or partners. You can find the PDF version of the pattern in my shop (includin instructions in English and imperial measurements).

FOR A GREEN PACKAGING: wrap the accessories in a fabric scrap and close it with some twine string or make a DIY cloch pouch and put everything inside: it will be a special gift starting from the wrap!

SOME MORE INSPIRATION: do you really want to wow people with your hand-sewn gifts? What if you combined my gift ideas into special sets? For instance, combining the pot holders and the breakfast place mat with some home-made baked good or some great breakfast treats will make the perfect gift for food lovers. For a fashion-addicted friend you could combine the retro woman’s tie and the Envelope clutch making them in the same fabric or opt for an hair accessory set with the cloche hat + a coordinated scrunchie. Or why not to make a travel toiletry bag putting inside the Envelope clutch some makeup cleansing pads and a sleep mask? Well, sky is the limit here! Have you got any additional gift set idea you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

In this post I shared with you 5 zero-waste gift ideas to sew for Christmas. I hope I gave you some inspiration for turning this into a slow Christmas that’s all about sustainability. Sewing is a relaxing activity so the first special gift is yours enjoying the making!

Ciao ciao!
Simona

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