10 DIY Present Ideas

It’s coming up to that time of Christmas and end-of-year gift giving. The truly organised will have started present-planning back in June or July, but that isn’t most people!

If you’re planning to make gifts, here are 10 ideas:

1. Water bottle holder (free pattern)

The pattern and instructions are here. Make one from a cut-off jeans leg (or make 2, and you’re left with a pair of pedal pushers). It’s a quick and easy pattern if you need to make lots of Thank You presents. It’s also easy enough for children to sew as a holiday activity.

2. Hat (free pattern)

The pattern and instructions are here. This hat pattern, from early blogging days, comes in 5 sizes and is popular with people with big heads/big hair who have trouble buying hats in their size.

Free Pattern Make a Hat

(Haha! You can tell I’m Australian when the first two items are a water bottle holder and sunhat!)

3. Zero waste doll + clothes

The pattern is available here. This pattern is a blank canvas for your creativity. You could make a doll to look like the recipient, or a doll with a matching outfit. The doll pattern comes with 10 clothes patterns to sew a basic wardrobe. A separate collection of doll clothes with a costume/storybook theme is here.

Zero waste cloth dolls

4. Zero waste bags

These are excellent for using up small pieces of denim that you may have lying around from other projects.

The bumbag is great for dog walkers, and earlier this year I made a cool bigger version.

Left to Right: Compact backpack; bumbag + velo bag set; tiny satchel

5. Books

The Dressmaker’s Companion and Zero Waste Sewing can be ordered from your favourite local or online bookshop. Aussies can order signed copies direct from me – I can even wrap them and post them direct to the recipient with a note from you.

(Should I have included these in the list? They’re not something you can make, but you can make the things in them.)

6. Low-waste oven mitts (free pattern)

The pattern and instructions are here. Are you into giving practical presents? This is the gift they’ll thank you for every time they remove hot dishes from the oven! Give with matching 100% linen tea towels for a full kitchen-themed present, and these quality items should last for years.

7. Make a voucher

Make a voucher to teach someone to mend or sew, or to get started with their sewing machine. Here’s an example I quickly made using Canva:

8. Hand-made fastenings

The free January zine contains ideas for making compostable or found-object fastenings. Make a couple of sets for someone who knits or sews.

9. Zero waste pajama pants (free pattern)

There are two patterns on this website: wide legged and the one from the scrubs set. Add a Christmas t-shirt for the top part and you have a pajama set.

10. Zero waste zines

Available here. Quick reads on an eclectic mix of zero waste patterncutting, ideas for garment longevity, sewing patterns, FAQs and stories from zero waste designers. This is a new book I’m writing and experimentally publishing in instalments. January is complimentary. November and December will be ready very soon, along with front and back matter to make it possible to hand bind all zines into a book (the whole thing will be available as an actual book, that you would buy from a bookshop, in the New Year).



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