The countdown to Christmas is on—are you using our DIY advent calendar to keep track?— and we’ve got the perfect round-up of quick and easy gifts you can make if you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer. Join Spoonflower designer Katie Kortman on a DIY-filled adventure that will still leave you with time to sew for yourself. That’s a win-win in our sewing book!
Katie: It’s December! Time for selfless-sewing and giving gifts, but with the countdown on, you might find yourself pressed for time. Don’t worry—I’ve got your back! I am here to give you 10 small gift/stocking stuffer ideas you can sew in under an hour (most can be done in half that)!
By filling consecutive squares on the 1 Yard Cheater Quilt template, I’m able to get just the right amount of fabric for each of the stocking stuffer projects. You can find all of the designs I used for all 10 projects in my curated collection.
First, let’s start with the kiddos. Here are a few things you can sew for the younger crowd!
Stocking Stuffer #1: School Bus Zipper Pouch
What is quicker than a cut-and-sew project? Order a fat quarter* of this school bus pencil pouch print and all you’ll have to do is follow the instructions on the fabric to make a quick zippered pouch and coin purse! Laura Wright has other cut-and-sew projects in her Spoonflower shop, so go check those out too. Fill the pouch with some new crayons, pencils, markers and a small pad of paper and you’ve got the perfect gift.
Stocking Stuffer #2: Pet Plushie
Many of these stocking stuffers can also be done by kids for their siblings and friends. I made the llama plushie on the left and my 10 year old daughter made the one on the right with Eco Canvas scraps from her fanny pack. We used the beginner and kid-friendly Bon Bon Pets pattern by Made Everyday which comes with different animal types and size options.
Stocking Stuffer #3: Cut-and-Sew Car Mat
Behold… the easiest stocking stuffer for the kid who likes cars and needs to be entertained on the go. This cut-and-sew car mat can be printed on just a fat quarter*! I printed it on Petal Signature Cotton because I was using Fill-A-Yard Cheater Quilt template, but if printing it alone or on the Horizontale Split Yard template, I would recommend Linen Cotton Canvas, Dogwood Denim or another heavier weight material. I backed mine with a scrap of canvas to make it sturdier.
When ordering just a fat quarter of this project, be sure to choose a fat quarter that is 27″ wide!
Stocking Stuffer #4: Sleep Mask
Have someone on your list who needs help getting a little shut-eye? A sleeping mask is a quick an easy thing to sew and personalize! I made two here—one with a cut-and-sew unicorn pattern, and the other using a tutorial. It would be fun to stick some lavender inside or a few drops of essential oils to give it a nice relaxing scent. Pair it with a matching pillowcase in Organic Cotton Sateen—you could use the scraps to make the eye mask—and you’re set!
Stocking Stuffer #5: Doll Plushie
What little girl or boy wouldn’t want a doll in their likeness? Stacy Iest Hsu has dolls in different genders, skin colors, and hair colors so you can find a quick and easy cut-and-sew doll that loosely resembles the recipient… or not, of course! I just purposefully picked a doll that matched my daughter with brown hair and glasses. They are ready to cut and sew with instructions right there on the fabric! All you need is a fat quarter of quilting weight cotton.
Stocking Stuffer #6: Drink Cozy
Whether the drinks are too hot or too cold, a drink cozy makes everything better for your hands. Why not make a few to give with a gift card and reusable cup? Perfect for teachers, coworkers, and friends!
Here is a quick tutorial on how to make one that fits all sizes of cups:
- Craft foam cut to 10.5” x 3.5”
- 2 pieces of fabric cut to 12”x 4” — I’m using Petal Signature Cotton
- 2” piece of ¼” elastic
- Large button
- Embroidery needle and thread
- Sandwich the elastic between the two fabric rectangles, right sides together, in the shape of a teardrop on the short side of one end of the rectangles. The two ends of the elastic will touch each other when pinned down.
- Pin around the edges and sew the two long sides and the short side with the elastic using a ¼” seam allowance. Make sure you leave the other short end of the rectangle open.
- Clip corners and turn rightside out.
- Insert your piece of foam into the rectangle. Fold the raw edges of the fabric under and topstitch closed, going around the entire perimeter.
- Hand-stitch your button to the end opposite of the elastic, about 1″-1.5″ from the edge. You’re finished!
Stocking Stuffer #7: Bow Ties
I love how the Satin looks sewn up into a bow. I made a classic bow-tie using this free pattern and a velcro version for a little boy’s bow-tie using this tutorial. For the third bow I just stuck a clip in (unlike what you see in this photo, I recommended stitching the clip onto the fabric). I got three gifts out of one fat quarter of this Koi Fishes in the Water print! Wouldn’t these be perfect for family photos?
Stocking Stuffer #8: Personalized Notebook
Have an aspiring artist or writer you need a gift for? You can personalize any blank book, or make your own book and add a fabric cover by following these steps:
- Open up your book, place it on your fabric and trace leaving a 1” border.
- Cut out the rectangle you traced and then cut a “V” on the top and bottom where the crease/bookbinding is. Cut an obtuse angle (more than 90ª) out of each corner of the rectangle as well. You want the edges of each flap to be just a tad angled rather than straight as seen in the photo below.
- Spread glue—I just used school glue and a cheap paintbrush—on the front and back covers and press the fabric onto the glued covers. Smooth out the fabric so there are no air bubbles.
- Using a paintbrush, spread the glue on the fabric flaps, and press them down. You can cover these raw edges with a piece of cardstock (cut it just smaller than the book cover and glue it down) or with another piece of fabric. It would be cute to scallop the edges.
Stocking Stuffer #9: Scrunchies
Scrunchies are baaaaack! They’ve transported themselves from my 1980’s wrist, right to my daughters’ 2019 wrists stacked two-three at a time. Luckily, these are the ultimate quick and satisfying project and my girls are THRILLED with a capital T every time I make more! I used this tutorial to make a cute scrunchie with a bow and for a scrunchie without a bow, try out this tutorial from Spoonflower.
Stocking Stuffer #10: Cord Taco
Who hates tangled headphones and chargers in their bag? Well, I’ve got a quick and easy solution for you and your loved ones. The cord taco! No, I didn’t invent this, but I have only seen tutorials for leather cord tacos, so I have a quick tutorial for making one with fabric.
- Cut two 5.5″ diameter circles out of your main fabric and one out of heavy interfacing.
- Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of one fabric circle following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Stay-stitch around each circle 1/8″ from the edges
- Pin the circles right sides together and sew at ¼” seam leaving a 2″ opening.
- Clip the curves and turn rightside out.
- Using the stay-stitching as a guide, carefully iron the open edges tucked inside.
- Topstitch the circumference of the circle 1/16″ from the edge, enclosing the open gap.
- Add a snap, velcro or button for closure! I love how quick and easy snaps are so that is what I used.
About the Guest Author
Katie Kortman is a sewist, artist, and self-proclaimed dancing queen. Over the years she has sold her artwork in galleries, worked as a display artist for Anthropologie, taught high school art, had a handmade accessories company called Blue-Eyed Freckle, and mothered her four children.