13 December, 2011

Super quick and easy last minute gift for boys

Do you find it hard to find gifts for males?  I have a hard enough time with husband/fathers/brothers/uncles etc, but throw in the fact that they are teenagers and it makes it really difficult.  Yes, there's socks and music and smelly shower gel, but I really like to give a special gift.  My boys all have many hats made by me, and they aren't really into scarves, and how many felted phone holders do you need (particularly when they don't use any of them).

So I was thinking really hard the other day about what I could make them, last minute, that wouldn't take too long and wouldn't be costly.  I was thinking about their rooms- the state of their desks, when I came up with this little gem.  Covered pencil/pen/marker etc holders.

Initially I thought I would crochet around some tin cans (and I still may have a go at that as I do like that look- you could used jute or string maybe) and then I remembered I had a few scraps of felted knitwear lying around (this example was a hat that I knitted that went through the wash and felted).

Firstly I wrote some words onto white felt (store bought) and embroidered those words with embroidery floss. You could even do this by printing words onto fabric or even card.
 I then cut a strip of felted knitwear to size (length and width) and simply blanket stitched it close using a scrap of wool. [I have two pieces cut out here for each of the two tins]. I also blanket stitched the bottom "raw" edge just to make sure it wouldn't fray.  The top edge was the ribbing from the hat so that didn't need to be stitched, but if it was a "raw" edge, I'd blanket stitch it just to be sure.  You could even use a thick woollen sock, or a felted jumper (sweater) sleeve.
 Finally, I cut out my embroidered word and attached it with split pins (brads), although you could just as easily stitch it on.  Ta da!  Simple.
The beauty of doing this is that the woollen cover adds more weight to the tin can, so it is less likely to tip over.  And I have to say that what I love about this idea is that a) it is recycling/repurposing, b) it encourages organisation, and c) it's kind of a yarn bomb!

Of course you could just as easily turn this into a gift for the females in your life (or for yourself).    You could use a big tall tin and make a lovely knitting needle container.  You could put your children's names on your labels instead of words.  You could put phrases like "these are mine and if you take them I will track you down"- no?  Just my lot who get very protective over their black sharpies then.  Right, I think I might need to have soup from a can for lunch as I am one can short....


  1. For this boy a variation, a beer can and a bottle opener to take the top off when finished, would do the trick, possibly with a stubby holder to make it look a tad arty. The bottle opener could be on loan until another pencil can was required.

  2. I get cross when my sharpies get used by a particular 3 yr old!!!


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