Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Mittens, Tags, Bags, and Recipes.....

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."

~Burton Hillis~
Homemade treats from the kitchen are always a hit for holiday gift giving. Packaging them up pretty adds that extra special touch. A large easy to make burlap mitten is perfect for packaging up bite size treats or mixes for your gift giving needs.

Red or Green Yarn & Large Plastic Needle or Sewing Machine and Red or Green Thread
Clear Drying Craft Glue
Ribbon or Trim
Fray Check
Black Ink Pen
Fabric Scraps
Iron On Paper Backed Fusible Web like Wonder Under
Misc. Embellishments ~ Buttons, Jewels, Beads, etc.

*click on any photos to enlarge for detail viewing*

*Cut two pieces of burlap fabric to accommodate mitten pattern. Trace mitten pattern onto one side of burlap. Pin or baste fabric pieces together. An easy way to make a large mitten pattern is to trace an oven mitt from your kitchen onto paper then slightly taper the mitt opening in and round the finger edges to make it more of a mitten shape. I sketched mine on a 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper.
*Using yarn and large plastic needle or sewing machine and thread, sew around marking line, leaving the top of mitten open, making sure beginning and ending knots are on the back of the mitten if using yarn.*Trim around mitten edges using a scissor or pinking sheer leaving a 1/2" edge all the way around.
*Iron paper backed fusible web to the back side of fabric scraps of your choice, following the directions on the web package.
*On the paper back side, sketch out the design of your choice. I chose a Christmas tree and stars for the examples. If you feel uncomfortable sketching, trace around your Christmas cookie cutters for simple holiday shapes. Cut out shapes.

*Peel paper backing away from shape and position on front of mitten and press in place according the the web package directions. Slide a piece of waxed paper into the mitten then embellish as desired using a clear drying glue. The waxed paper will not allow any glue to leak through the burlap and glue it together. Allow to dry.

I used two stars on this machine sewn version, outlining the stars with a black ink pen to give them a stitched on appearance, also adding a few buttons.
I cut a Christmas tree from corduroy and a trunk from suede and fused them on, gluing red jewels to the tips of the trees on this hand sewn version.*With yarn and large plastic needle, stitch around mitten opening, leaving two long pieces for ties.

*Stitch or glue on a hanging loop to one corner of mitten. Stitch or glue on a large button over hanging loop.

*Treat all raw edges with Fray Check to prevent raveling and allow to dry.
Now your bag is read to fill! Some options are a cellophane bag filled with any one of the following recipes: Chex Party Mix, Spiced Roasted Almonds, Glazed Pecans, or bite sized cookies like my Aunt Katie's Christmas Cookies! These are yummy melt in your mouth old fashioned molasses cookies or sometimes called Ginger Snaps. I love these!


3/4 cup soft shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses together. Mix flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt together in a separate bowl. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Roll dough into small balls, for large cookies roll in 1" balls, for bite size cookies, roll in 1/2" balls, roll balls in granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Other ideas are to mix up the dry ingredients for muffins, cookies, or biscuits and package them in a zip closure bag along with the recipe written on a pretty card and place them inside the mitten or bag!

A CHOCOLATE BISCUIT MIX is a good choice:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips

In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles course cornmeal. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Place about 2 cups mix in each of 2 resealable plastic bags. Store in refrigerator. Give with serving instructions. Yields about 4 cups = 2 gifts. Place in burlap mitten and tie a biscuit cutter to the tie!

To serve: Store mix in refrigerator until ready to use. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place mix in medium bowl and 1/3 cup milk; stir until just a soft dough forms. On lightly floured surface, use a floured rolling pin to roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a 2 inch diameter biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Serve warm. Yields about 1 dozen biscuits.

Fill mitten with a bag of Spiced Cranberry Tea Mix, recipe, and tie a cute spoon the the mitten tie!


1 cup unsweetened powdered instant tea
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange-flavored powdered instant breakfast drink
2 packages (3 oz. each) cranberry gelatin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until well blended. Store in a resealable plastic bag. Give with serving instructions. Yields about 2 1/2 cups = 1 gift (you can divide this recipe in half for two smaller gifts if desired)

To serve: Pour 6 oz. hot water over 2 Tablespoons tea mix; stir until well blended.

You can easily use the same design ideas for the burlap mitten by making a simple brown paper gift bag and tag for your homemade goodies. Follow this link for instructions on forming the base of the bag design and embellish as described in the above steps. See my examples below, one uses a burlap look paper for a background and the other one a red star patterned paper with ties of jute string and raffia.
For simple matching tags, use plain shipping tags and follow the steps below:
*Cut a piece of paper to cover the center of the tag and glue in place.*Glue matching trim across the top and bottom of paper.
*With a black ink pen, draw stitch lines as shown below on the front and back of the tag.Using brown ink, stamp "TO: & FROM" on the back of the tag. You can also just write on it if desired. Tie tag string in a knot and trim of excess ends.*Embellish tag front if desired. I left the red star one plain but glued buttons to the front of the burlap one. Allow to dry before attaching to bag or mitten.
*If attaching to bag, thread one side of bag tie through one set of holes, string on tag, then thread through other set of holes, tie in bow on bag front, tag will hang on bag back.
Below are a few more of the mittens I made using Dawn's tutorial. This little pair looks like they just came in from playing in the snow! I used a green corduroy for the mittens, gluing on fake fur cuffs, and adding a red rick rack tie topped off with a red button in the center of the tie. I brushed on clear drying glue and sprinkled with a chunky glitter, patting it in place. For a finishing touch, I added a couple of old shell buttons on the wrists of the gloves. I may add a plastic iridescent snowflake to each mitten back too. This little pair of mittens will go into one of the snowman boxes I made earlier as part of the gift.
ItalicFor a cute country looking mitten I layered two pieces of gingham fabric with a layer of batting in between and stitched around the mitten shape using a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. I trimmed them out leaving a little raw edge. I gathered the cuffs as Dawn suggested, adding a button to each. I stitched on jute rope ties and finished them off with a small heart cut from fabric and glued in place. This little pair I hung on our tree.
I also made up a set of eight of these little cotton batting mittens. They are trimmed in aqua and pink velvet ribbon and embellished with a snowy lace flower and shell button. These were brushed with glue and then dipped in a very fine clear glitter to give them a little sparkle. I will show you what I plan to do with them in a post later this week!
I promise the next post will not be more of the same! I just got on a roll with all the fun stuff and wanted to share it with you.


Gingerbread Man Burlap Ornaments

I made these ornaments with my son and daughter when they were young and they have stood the test of time. Here is one my daughter made:
Burlap cut into 12" x 12" squares
Waxed Paper
Liquid Starch
Craft glue ~ Elmer's is fine
Glitter in various colors
Misc. Embellishments: wiggle eyes, buttons, pompoms, sequins, beads, rick rack, ribbon, etc.

Prepare burlap ahead of time by placing sheets of waxed paper on damped surface of table or counter. The damp surface will make the wax paper where it will not slide. Over lap a couple of sheets of waxed paper, taping the seam. Lay burlap sheets on waxed paper. Pour liquid starch in a puddle in the middle of burlap sheet. Use your hand to spread starch over entire burlap surface until it is coverd. Treat each sheet in this manner and allow to thoroughly dry.

Trace gingerbread man onto dry burlap and cut out (I used cookie cutters for my patterns).

Tape a piece of waxed paper to a paper plate and place a gingerbread man on the plate. Allow children to embellish in any way they wish. Allow to dry. Peel gingerbread man off of waxed paper and glue a ribbon loop for hanging or simply thread a wire ornament hook through the burlap to hang on tree. Names can be added using fabric paint if desired.

I hope you will join me on Thrusday for another installment of The Spirit of Giving Christmas celebration here at Quill Cottage as well as the Give Away sign up. I am a little off on my posting schedule so please bear with me while I get caught up.

Miss Sandy


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

More adorable ideas! The kids' project makes me wish that I were still teaching an craft class every week. :D

Hmmm, wonder if the grand is too small (nearly two) to do this with some help. Now I've got me wheels turning. Thanks!

Susie said...

All those things are so sweet! The recipes sound good. I have had the spiced tea before but not with cranberry gelatin added. That sounds really good. Those chocolate biscuits sound good too. Thanks Sandy.

KathyB. said...

Miss Sandy, I think you would be able to sell a book of these ideas, and here you're posting them for us ! You are so very creative!And you're right about the special touches that go into packaging. The packaging makes the gift so much more special, especially if the giver wrapped the gift and added the touches her / him self !Thank-you.
p.s. I received the package and put it under my Christmas tree to open on Christmas ! Can't wait, but will!

Barbara H. said...

Those are so cute, Sandy!

Becky K. said...

Wow! You are so generouse to share all of those step by steps...
I'll be back to see what I could possibly have time to do out of all these creative ideas.

In the meantime I do hope you will stop by Hospitality Lane and enter a little contest/giveaway today...


Anonymous said...

Miss Sandy thank you for all the ideas, I will have to make the gingerbread man with my grandkids.
Vicki Page

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Sweetest ideas for great home made gifts. I agree with you, dearest Sandy, less is more. Less focus on the "hoopla" and more on the true meaning of Christmas. Thanks for stopping by and always being such an encourager. :)
xo Lidy

Fete et Fleur said...

Love the mittens! The cookies look wonderful. I will have to try the recipe. I hope you're having wonderful Christmas season.

Big Hugs!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I love the mitten! Wherever did you find such a tightly woven burlap?

vikki said...

how sweet & generous of you for sharing the wonderful tutorial & images & recipes! your instructions are wonderful! i want to try some of the recipes. thank*you soo much! have a lovely thursday, m'dear. hugs & blessings, vikki ♥

the wild raspberry said...

Cute tags and mittens. Thanks for sharing!

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