Wednesday, September 9, 2009

fabric buckets in quantity

I've been dutifully working on more fabric buckets as time allows. My idea is to use these as a containers for Christmas gifts. In them will be homemade and consumable gifts--jams and other treats, postcards of my photos, seeds that Ken has harvested from our garden--that sort of thing. More and more I think that this kind of gift--simple, heartfelt, handmade, and consumable is just the thing. Of course I love to get something from my list as well, or books, but for extended family this is a nice solution. Progressive Pioneer was saying the exact same thing yesterday--it's what's been on my mind the last couple years.
I've been working on these buckets on and off since this version (which I have to say, I still use every day) and went through another version here and here. But I kept struggling to get the proportions right--I couldn't get the round bottom to match up with the rectangle of the body as well as I wished so I decided to buy this pattern from Maya Made. It has made all the difference and now I whip these up easily. Her instructions really are so clear and friendly. I highly recommend the pattern.
So now I have seven all together. This weekend I ordered a quantity of postcards of my photos and we already have a bunch of jam we made all summer long, so we are well on our way! We have the idea for the little boys to decorate envelopes for seed packets with their artwork. My goal is to have all of this done--everything up to but not including a baked treat--early early early in the season. When the actual holiday is upon us I want to be able to enjoy our Christmas and solstice without rushing around packaging gifts, finding tags and labels, buying wrapping paper (these sort of eliminate the need for that) or finding cardboard boxes for shipping. How about you? Are you simplifying the gift giving this year or planning ahead?

22 comments:

Hannah said...

I love your idea. Not just that it's home made and heartfelt but that it's consumable and useful rather than the stuff people buy in the shops, exchange and then put in the back of a cupboard forever!
I am working on a special photography project for my Dad this year. He's been amazing and home baked treats just aren't going to say what I want to say you know? I'm thinking of spending the extra money to have the final thing printed on a big canvass for his house.
For other gifts, I have found a Christmas marmalade recipe that I'm thinking of making and storing in pretty Le Parfait preserving jars.
Whatever I make it'll be ready in advance so we can embrace the season calmly - or as calmly as you can with a small child!

Andrea said...

These are so great! And such a good idea to simplify and get things done early...I see little hope of that happening in my life this year, but some day...

Meg said...

I love the buckets! Last year, I sewed muslin bags for most of my gifts, but a fabric bucket can have so many more uses than a bag (I often picture those fabric bags shoved in a closet somewhere not being used). I'll have to check out that pattern.

I love your thoughts on gifts. I am trying to move our family in that direction, but I find it hard to get my husband on board. It is hard to go against a lifetime habit of getting/buying "stuff" for the holidays. Thanks for the inspiration!

AndieF said...

I love your gift idea. I think I may have to sew up a couple fabric buckets too. They won't be as cute as yours though!

emma said...

Wow, these look gorgeous, what a fantastic idea. I'm totally going to make some of these.

Thankyou for sharing. Of course I shall have to make some for myself as a 'trial run' first ;). Hope mine look half as good as yours!

Colleen said...

These look great. I love giving and receiving homemade gifts as well.

Quick question on the baskets...did you have to use a home dec weight fabric?

Thanks!
Colleen

Kaylovesvintage said...

oh , I love them

Evenspor said...

I am like you - I am already working hard on homemade Christmas gifts so that I will have them done before December. The families we have on both sides this year have kids close to the ages of our own, so I am excited to make them some of the games we have enjoyed (one of which includes the beanbag frogs I first saw on your blog.

Julie said...

What a beautiful gift... your extended family will love them!

Denise C. said...

I love the striped ones! I could use that next to my bed, storing my magazines!

Too bad I am all thumbs when it comes to sewing!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THE BUCKETS! I may have to order the pattern for myself. Thanks for sharing!

Karen

briar said...

Thanks for sharing MaryBeth....I am totally planning on being a copycat!! Another idea to add, could be sweet lavender satchets, than have een made into shapes ie. rocking horses or sweet birds....
Am totally getting onto organising these this week....just where to store it all!??

lil songbird mama said...

your buckets are lovely!
we're the same over here, haven't started making, but lots of thinking!
(does that count?)

mayaluna said...

I'm so glad the pattern helped, but ALL of your bucket are beautiful. It is fun to be able to whip them out, though. I love your thoughts for a simple and handmade holiday. Yes!

J.M.S. Robertson said...

Oooooo! I love that natural colored bucket with the green leaf on it. Are you selling these...? ;)

Holly C. said...

The buckets are a fabulous idea! Pretty and useful. I think you can't go wrong with the jam-who doesn't love homemade jam!

Thanks for the ideas!☺

Mary Beth said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and for your nice comments on the buckets and thoughts on simple holiday giving. And how fun to have Maya herself stop in--thank you!

Colleen--home dec weight does help. Those stripes and the navy blue bird print are Ikea fabrics that are pretty heavy.

Briar--I like that idea of the sachets . . .

Evenspor said...

You probably get this a lot, but I really love your blog, and I have given you an award:

http://desertspor.blogspot.com/2009/09/award-time.html

J.M.S. Robertson said...

Mary Beth,

O.k. - well if you ever grow tired of that one with the leaf, feel free to send it my way! ;)

Love your blog and am bookmarking ideas for when I have children of my own one day!

Jennifer

Caroline said...

I love your idea to give away postcards made from photographs you took throughout the year. I have been at loss about Christmas gifts. I always give handmade gifts, but this year it's going to be difficult because I'm teaching more classes than usual. After reading this post for the first time a couple of days ago, I decided to give away postcards inside a version of Soulemama's Gratitude Wrap. Thank you for the inspiration!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Those are adorable! Wonderful job.

Val

Jac said...

This is such a great idea, handmade goodies are always so much more personal. I'm impressed at how organised you are already but I know what you mean about wanting to have a stress free lead up to the holidays. This year I'm trying to be a little more organised! :)