Quick Sewing Projects: Last Minute Gifts

Quick Sewing Projects: Last Minute Gifts

Having a list of favorite quick sewing projects can be a big help when you need to give gifts.  As I write this, Christmas is only a week away. So any fabric gifts added to the list now must be quick sewing projects. Here are some last minute gifts to sew that are easy and fun to make when there isn’t a lot of time.

Last minute gifts to sew for kids

Felt “Paper” Doll Set

I made this set in a big hurry today. This doll is for a toddler, that’s why I made such a simplistic shape. I would like to make another set when I am not in such a real rush because of having to write a blog post, too. I bet this first doll has a much prettier sister born as soon as I’m done writing this post!

Felt sticks to felt and works perfectly for making "paper" dolls.

Felt sticks to felt and works perfectly for making “paper” dolls.

Felt Crown

You can whip up a felt crown in minutes. I made a traditional looking King’s crown for my boys’ dress up bin last year and that thing has seen a lot of play. Here is another easy way to make one that includes appliqué and looks more like a Queen’s crown.

Car Carrier

This car caddy saved my sanity many times, particularly in restaurants. I saved a lot of time when I made ours by just using the serger around the edges, rather than sewing and turning this project. I used rainbow variegated thread, and this finish held up fine even though it was used by two boys for several years. They both loved this toy. Here’s a tutorial for a car caddy that is similar to ours.

Car roll.

Car roll.

Last minute gifts to sew for ladies and girls


There are lots of ways to make headbands, and most of them are easy. I love these which are reversible, and have an elasticized back. Making them this way is even quicker, and a good way to use scraps of special trim or embroidered ribbon. Or you could cover a plastic headband with fabric. Here is a tutorial for an easy, five-minute fabric flower you could use to embellish a plain headband.

Infinity Scarf

Infinity Scarves are extremely easy to make. Here’s a tutorial.

Easy Purses

For something simple and straightforward to sew in a hurry, try this adorable and reversible mini messenger bag from Crazy Little Projects. This small cross-body bag works for both ladies and little girls.  Another option for a pretty purse that won’t take you long to make is this darling fold over clutch at Flamingo Toes.


Here is my tutorial for my favorite pincushion, which is generously sized and features a felt flower, it’s both easy and quick to make up.

Rice Pack Heat Pads

These make a nice gift for everyone, but ladies in particular will really appreciate them, since they are great for soothing monthly pains. They are also awesome for pains in the neck and shoulders. I like to make them from a pretty tea towel folded lengthwise. I stir a dropper full of lavender oil into the dried rice first, this releases a relaxing scent every time it is heated. You can also freeze these, in which case they are wonderful for easing headaches.

Last minute kitchen gifts to sew


These are fun because they are so easy. Make one like a tiny quilt by following this precious patchwork pattern from Moda Bakeshop. If there’s no time for patchwork, here’s a different kind of potholder design that’s really quick and cute, too.


There are not many quick sewing projects that are faster than making a simple trivet. It doesn’t have to look simple, though; here is a quick pattern for a pretty patchwork trivet that can use your tiniest scraps. This can also be made from single fabrics instead of patchwork to save time.

Bowl Cover

I wish I had seen this bowl cover project before now and made some of these for me. I will, for sure. One of these would be a beautiful gift for a party hostess. You could bring an appetizer in a pretty or plain bowl covered with one of these, and let the hostess keep the bowl and the cover. These would be really nice to have for picnics or backyard barbecues.


Paper towels are wasteful, and cloth napkins save trees. That is why napkin sets are one of my favorite gifts to make. These are super fast to sew if you have a serger. If you don’t, it will take a little longer, since you will have to hem all four sides. This looks nicest if you miter the corners. You could choose linen, flannel, even novelty cottons; if you are using a serger, narrow ribbed knit is a great choice for everyday napkins. I made this festive set as a hostess gift for a New Year’s Eve party.


Last minute gifts to sew for anyone

Flannel Scarf

Make two cozy soft scarves from two yards of flannel shirting. Fold the flannel lengthwise, press, and cut down the fold. For each scarf, double turn and sew a narrow hem down each long side. Then sew across the short ends an inch or so from the edge of the fabric. This line of stitching will allow the fabric to fray a bit at the ends, but stop it from fraying when it frays to this line. You’ll have to wash it a couple of times to start the fraying, but once it starts, you can pull at it a bit to move it along.

Earbuds Pouch

This is the one quick sewing project gift that I still have left on my list. I see my son untangling his earbuds from his pocket every day, so I think he will appreciate one of these pouches. I know this will be a fast project, so there is plenty of time left to get this crossed off my list.

Pocket Tissue Holder and Sanitizer Cozy

A pocket tissue holder is a perfect small gift that fits with the quick sewing projects theme. You could add another pocket to stash a small hand sanitizer with the Kleenex, or try this tutorial for a sanitizer cozy to give along with the tissue holder.

Last minute gifts for pets

Don’t forget Fido or Fluffy! It’s easy to whip up something for furry friends in a hurry, thankfully. I like sewing fleece stuffed bones for easy dog gifts. Here is a link to some other fast, easy ways of making dog toys, and here are ideas for quick sewing projects for kitties.

Fleece bones.

Fleece bones.

I hope you find plenty of time to get everything on your list done without any stress! Happy Holidays.

Homemade Gift Tips

Homemade Gift Tips

It’s the month of Christmas, guys! Are you anywhere near ready? I have some presents still to buy, but to be honest, I might start planning one Christmas before the current one is over. Love of holidays? Crazy organization? Awareness of a budget? Maybe one, two, or all three things—maybe even a few more!—but the bottom line is that a good chunk of my Christmas shopping is finished. Yay, me!

I’m not so naïve as to think that’s the case across the board though! In fact, someone might be thinking, “Yeah, I need to work on that shopping list…” while reading this post. If that’s the case, stick around! I have some tips coming up that you might find useful!

Make it personal

I bought a used record online for about $10 & I don’t if I’d ever seen my mom so happy opening a present.

I bought a used record online for about $10 & I don’t if I’d ever seen my mom so happy opening a present.

In my experience, gift-giving can go best when you really think about the person instead of how much you want to spend or how impressive other people might find the gift. Example: My mom had been saying for years that she wanted a certain record—yes, record!—and one year it occurred to me that buying her said record could be a good idea. Why hadn’t I thought of it before? Maybe I was caught up on the it-has-to-be-new concept for a Christmas present? I’m not sure. Long story short though, I bought a used record online for about $10, give or take, and I don’t know that I’d ever seen my mom so happy opening a present.

If you think outside of the box instead of putting a series of labels on what you’re supposed to buy, it opens a door to a category of gift that will be the focus of this post: homemade. Who says you can’t give someone something you made yourself? Sure, you might not have bought it in a store, but you took the time to craft it with your own hands! Not only can it be a beautiful gift, but there’s a sentimentality to it that might be harder to achieve from something store-bought.

Decisions, decisions…

Still, as with store-bought gifts, it pays to think about what you’ll craft instead of flippantly deciding on something. With that in mind, here are a few tips for any of you who want to change up some of your I-need-to-buy-a-present items to I-think-I’ll-make-something choices, specifically gifts that need a needle and thread to create:

  1. Know your recipient! This could be key no matter if it’s store-bought or homemade. If you have an idea of the recipient’s personality, you could find it easier to plan your gift. Your friend who loves rockabilly, for instance, might love a purse made from material with a 50’s theme! Is another friend’s kitchen decorated in sunflowers? Then maybe a table runner made with sunflower-based fabric could be an option! If you can tailor your gift for the person you plan to give it to, the level of appreciation that person has might seriously increase!
  2. Manage your time. This one might be something to keep in mind for next year since Christmas is so near! But if you decide that homemade gifts are the way to go, don’t underestimate the idea of pacing yourself! Working on a dozen gifts in three weeks might be hectic. Deciding in January that you want to do homemade gifts for that year’s Christmas though would let you space your work out over months—and trust me when I say that pacing yourself can be a WONDERFUL idea!
  3. Consider your budget. Just because it’s homemade doesn’t mean it won’t cost some money! Sure, there are cheaper homemade options than making curtains, quilts, or clothing, but I’m talking about sewing here! Once upon a time, I decided I was going to make my mom a homemade quilt, and I might have ended up spending more on the supplies than I would’ve spent on a store-bought item. But I had a certain fabric I wanted to use, and it required more panels than I thought it would… The bottom line is you shouldn’t assume homemade automatically equals cheap, so if you need to work within a budget, still consider that budget! Should you realize the supplies you need for your projects are going to run too high, tinker with your ideas. Is there a different fabric you can use that’s cheaper, but still a good option? Can you scale it back—maybe make a throw instead of a full-sized quilt? A beauty of crafting your own gifts is that you can make those kinds of calls because it’s your creation!
  4. Browse. You might not be window shopping, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look for ideas online! Pinterest is a clear example of a place to find those ideas. In fact, I was inspired while writing this post, and you can now find my “Homemade Gift Ideas” board here! Even running a Google search can help you get the creative ball rolling by giving concepts that you can alter and tailor to your gift-giving wants. Though the overall idea might have come from someone else, the details—what fabric, what color, what size—can still come from you! You can find a series of sewn gift ideas here ! FYI, I love the cross-stitching lyrics one!

How about you, readers? Are you pro-homemade gift?