With Thanksgiving behind us, Bettijo and I are excited to share with you some simple handmade gifts we have been making. For me, I always think I have our gift giving planned well in advance, yet I always hit a few bumps and find myself scrambling for just a few more original ideas. We’ll dedicate our posts this week to some fun and practical handmade gifts to either smooth those gift-making bumps or to help get your gift-giving list started–whatever your case may be! First up: Flannel Letters.
Harrison’s favorite activity seems to be naming letters and numbers on every sign we see. Since he now has his letters and numbers solidified, I figured I ought to teach him to spell his name. So, for Christmas I made him his name with flannel fabric. I think this will be a fun active way he can put letters together to begin recognizing his name. In fact, I’m sure Liam (who is four) will love playing with the letters, too.
This project involves very BASIC sewing. This is the perfect project to dust off your machine and get back (or get into) sewing.
You will need
:: Letter templates (see below)
:: Sewing machine
:: Fabric scissors
:: Sewing chalk (or white crayon)
You have several options for the letter templates. You could free-hand the letters onto the flannel, but the designer in me would go crazy with an inconsistent look and size, so I made myself some templates. I simply selected a font that had heavy letters with a basic lower-case a. I sized the upper-case H as large as possible while still having it print on a standard 8.5”x11” piece of paper. (It was font size 978.) I then formatted the remaining letters of Harrison’s name in that same font size and printed them. Once all the letters were printed, I cut them out.
After you have your letter templates, you’re ready to begin.
1 :: Fold the flannel to have the right sides facing out. Using your letter templates and tailor’s chalk, trace each letter onto the flannel leaving at least 2” between each letter.
2 :: Pin the two layers of fabric together inside the tracing of each letter.
3 :: Roughly cut out each letter. The purpose of cutting here is to make it easier to sew. You will cut each letter out nicely in step 5, after the letters are sewn.
4 :: Using a straight stitch, sew along the chalk lines of each letter. Be sure to back stitch where you begin and end for added durability.
5 :: Carefully cut ¼” to 1” out from the sewn line. Snip the excess fabric perpendicular to your stitches, as shown. Repeat for all your letters.
6 :: Wash and dry your letters to create a rag look.
7 :: Package and gift.
I decided to wrap the letters in a sturdy kraft box. I’m planning to use the box as a storage container for all his letters. I’m excited for Harrison to open his gift Christmas morning. I’ll let you know how it goes!