sewing for boys

33+ Handmade Gifts for Boys – Tutorials, free patterns, and more!

If you have boys on your gift list this year, you’ll want to check out this amazing list of handmade gifts! You’ll find tutorials and free patterns, sewing and non-sewing DIY gifts. Plus, you’ll find links to patterns you can purchase and even some shops that make gifts you can buy!

33+ Handmade Gifts for Boys - Patterns, Tutorials, and More!

Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and I just wrapped up our third annual Handmade Gifts for Boys series, and we always have so much fun!! (And of course, all of these ideas could be great for girls too! Stacey and I both have all boys, so we like to spend a little time before the holidays gathering up a slew of tutorials and DIYs that boy mamas would like, but girl mamas are sure to find something here too!)

Here are all the tutorials from year three:

Handmade Gifts For Boys 2014

  1. Lego Minifig Carrier
  2. Dragon Dress-up Poncho
  3. Fabric Shield and Sword Set
  4. Instant Snowman Kit
  5. Pajama Eaters and Superhero Pajama Eaters
  6. Free Teddy Bear Jacket Pattern
  7. Wipeable Chalkboard Speech Bubble Shirt
  8. DIY Superhero Wall Art
  9. Free Fleece Warrior Hat Pattern

Click here to see more tutorials and ideas from year two:

handmadegiftscollage 2

And click here to see even more from year one:



Thanks so, so much to this year’s sponsors:

handmadegiftsgiveaway.Mabel Madison
Sew Fearless
Patterns for Pirates
Beatnik Kids
If Only Designs

For even more boy ideas, check out this Boy Gift Ideas Pinterest board or this Boy Sewing board!

Handmade Gifts for Boys Day 2: DIY Shield and Sword Set

Welcome back to day two of Handmade Gifts for Boys! Stacey and I both have tutorials to share with you for your boy-gifting needs! Today I’ve got a super easy tutorial for boys who love to act out David and Goliath or pretend to be a Knight of the Round Table.




  • Felt (you could also use fleece)
  • Polyfill

1. Cut two sword shapes out of felt – 4.5 x 12.5in.


2. Put the two pieces together and sew along the outside and then sew a straight line down the center, not quite sewing to the end of the sword. Stuff with polyfill, leaving at least 1/2 inch unstuffed.


3. Cut two handles out of felt – see the picture for dimensions that I used.



4. Sew the two handle pieces separately to the end of the sword. By sewing them only to the sword pieces and not to each other, it helps the sword to not be quite as floppy.


5. Sew the two handle pieces together, sewing 1/4in. over the stitching you just did onto the sword and leaving the end of the sword open.


6. Stuff the handle with polyfill and stitch the end closed.DSC_0688

7. Cut two shield shapes out of felt – 13.5 x 10.5in.


8. Cut a small rectangle for the handle – 2 x 6.5in.


9. Sew the handle to the back of the shield with two small rectangles of stitching.


10. Sew whatever design you want to the front of the shield.DSC_0720

11. Put the two shield pieces wrong sides together and stitch around the shield, leaving the bottom open.DSC_0723

12. Stuff with polyfill and stitch closed.


If you have older kids, this is a super easy project that they could tackle themselves. It would be a great gift for them to make their younger siblings, cousins, or friends!

Then watch your favorite little boy win the battle of a lifetime! And bonus: when he whacks his baby brother, it probably won’t hurt, because it’s basically a big giant pillow!


And when he gets wounded in battle, you get to rescue him :)


Adding these to our dress-up bin will be perfect for all the good vs. evil action that happens around here. They’re so quick and easy to make that you can make them for all the little boys on your Christmas list!

While your little ones are out battling dragons or saving the world, make sure you enter our giveaway, there’s still plenty of time to enter!


 Click here to enter the giveaway!

Now head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy and see this aDORable Instant Snowman Kit that Stacey has today!


Handmade Gifts for Boys Day 1: Lego Minifig Carrier Tutorial

Welcome to day one of the third annual Handmade Gifts for Boys series! Stacey and I have a week full of tutorials and giveaways to help with your boy gift giving! (Or for girls too ;) So make sure you come back every day this week to see all the fun we have in store!

My boys spend about 95% percent of their time playing with Legos, and they have a particular fondness for the Lego Minifigures (affiliate link). I decided to make them a carrier so that they can cart them around the house – or even take them in the car – easily!

Lego Minifig Carrier Tutorial

Supplies needed:

  • less than 1/4 yard of non-stretchy fabric (I used quilting cotton)
  • fusible interfacing
  • fold over elastic (affiliate link)
  • KAM snaps (affiliate link) or buttons
  • basic sewing supplies

1. Cut two rectangles of fabric and one of interfacing. Mine were 8×11, but you can adjust your size to fit your needs. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the inside fabric.


2. Cut two pieces of fold over elastic the length of the fabric (in my case that was 11 inches. Pin them across the fabric.


3. Sew the ends of the elastic down first, then a vertical line one inch from the edge. This will leave a space for the mini figures to slide in. You will want to either use a straight stitch or a very narrow zig-zag stitch and then stitch back and forth a couple times.


4. Continue in one inch intervals all the way across the elastic. Repeat with the second elastic and trim all your loose threads.


5. Cut a 3.5 x 6inch rectangle for the carrier’s handle.


6. Fold it in half with right sides together and sew along two sides with a 1/4 seam allowance (or trim the seam allowance when you’re finished if you use a larger seam allowance). Clip the corner.


7. Turn this inside out and fold the raw edge under 1/4 inch. Press and topstitch the open end closed.


8. Pin it in the middle of the outside fabric.


9. Sew the ends of the handle with a small rectangle. You can also sew an X in the middle.


10. Put the two fabrics right sides together with 1/4 inch seam allowance and sew around the edges, leaving a two inch opening.


11. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press the raw edge of the opening under (and press the rest of the fabric). Topstitch around all four sides.


12. Attach snaps or buttons/buttonholes to both ends.


Now slide the minifigs in, and your littles can carry their toys wherever they go!


When snapped closed, the handle is perfect for little hands.


The elastic keeps everything securely in place, and there’s room for plenty of them! You could make your carrier a little larger if your boys have lots of “Lego guys” (as we call them in our house) and you need to make room for more.


For us, though, this size is perfect. It will also hopefully prevent all the frustration that comes from trying to carry too many minifigs around the house, but your hands are too small. A familiar scenario in our home…


But wait, there’s more! We have a fabulous giveaway! We’ve put together an amazing bundle of fabric and patterns for a lucky winner!


$30 gift certificate to Mabel Madison
Winner’s choice 1 Patterns for Pirates Pattern

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Now make sure you head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and check out her awesome DIY Dragon Poncho tutorial!


And don’t forget, my Bottoms Up Pants Pattern is on sale for 22% off, but only through today! So grab your copy! (If you purchase it and then win the giveaway, I will happily refund you)

Match With Me: coordinating mother-son looks!

I’ve always been one of those moms who coordinates her kids’ outfits. I love putting my boys all in plaid button downs or blazers. But I’ve never done any coordinating with them myself. Well this officially ends that! Enter Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and her super fun Match With Me series – all about making coordinating outfits for mamas and their sons!
DSC_0509I decided pretty early on that I wanted to sew outfits with a coordinating color palette. And I am in loooove with how it turned out!


My three-year-old and I each got a cardigan, plus a shirt for him and a knit dress for me.


I’m obsessed with this mustard color, and I adore how it looks with my little guy’s hair. He loved that we got to match with our “new clothes.” He insisted on wearing this outfit two days in a row and was pretty put off that I didn’t want to join him the second day. ;)


Here are some outfit details for me: Cambridge Cardigan from Peek-a-boo Patterns (affiliate link) in a lacey stripe knit from JoAnn’s. I let the ends of the knit curl, rather than adding the cuffs to the sleeves and the body. With this dress, though, I wish I had made the cardigan longer. But it will be a good length for wearing with jeans.


This dress… Sigh. Oh, THIS DRESS. I love it so, so much. It’s made out of this absolutely amazing Anna Maria Horner knit that I bought from a local shop, Bungalow Quilting and Yarn. I used the Union St. Tee pattern from Hey June and lengthened it to make a dress. I want to live in this dress.


The details on my little guy’s look: a simple mustard knit Vintage V-Neck from Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), which is always a good choice.


This cardigan… well, I wish I had made it for me. This Robert Kauffman Laguna knit is so fantastic (also from Bungalow Quilting). The pattern is the Cool Cardigan from Blank Slate Patterns (affiliate link), which I’ve made before and adore. The pants are these hand-me-downs that I’m so glad have lasted long enough to hand down (these knees have withstood lots of rough play!)


Matching with mama is so fun!


Head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and see the rest of the mama-son outfits!

Happy sewing, friends :)

Wool Berkshire Blazer

I’ve already shared about the pants I made for my dear sister-in-law’s wedding last weekend. But I spent most of my time sewing up this amazing wool Berkshire Blazer for my oldest, who was one of two ring bearers in the wedding.
Berkshire BlazerI’ve sewn the Berkshire Blazer (affiliate link) from Blank Slate Patterns once before, in sweatshirt fleece, so I knew that it was the perfect choice.

DSC_0093The wool came from a rummage sale in the neighborhood two years ago, and everything else was in my stash as well.

DSC_0113If you’re going to make a wool blazer, leather elbow patches are a must.

DSC_0110And when you’re sewing for a seven-year-old boy, you need to throw in a little surprise lining. Wedding appropriate on the outside, party on the inside.

DSC_0105There’s so much to love about this pattern. Pretty much the only thing I don’t like is that we’ve reached the highest size! I’ll have to size it up, because the design is exceptional and I’m in love with the final product.

DSC_0081And what boy doesn’t look adorable in a wool blazer? I’ll tell you.. none.

DSC_0072Case in point.

DSC_0119I’m not going to lie, this is one of my favorite things I’ve ever sewn. Bonus: he loves it too!

Happy sewing, friends!


Wedding pants for the baby (and my first TESTER call!)

We are headed to my lovely sister-in-law’s wedding this weekend. As I was gathering clothing for the boys and putting together outfits, I quickly realized that the baby had NO pants that didn’t have holes in the knees (hello, fourth child) or that were wedding appropriate. Bonus: it’s Kids Clothes Week and I actually sewed something!

So I whipped up a quick pair of pants out of some grey twill I had in my stash. These pants are (eeek!) my first pattern that I’m in the process of working on releasing!


They are flat front, elastic back and designed to fit over the fluffy cloth diaper booty. If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you’ve seen me sew them many, many times for my boys. (You can see my most recent ones here)

DSC_0441I had originally added pockets, but as cute as I thought they were when I sewed them up, they were a little low. Plus, the blazer I had planned for him to wear with the pants was a bit too short, making the pockets look even lower. Then I decided the pockets didn’t match the sweater as nicely. So I ripped them off… they’re a work in progress, these pockets. ;)

DSC_0546If you’d like to be picked (heh… see what I did there) for testing this unisex pattern, apply to be a tester by entering your information here. The pattern won’t be ready for testing for a couple more weeks, and since it’s my first pattern, I expect my timeline to go a little slower than designers who’ve done this before. But the pattern is coming!!

Happy sewing, friends!

P.S. This pattern has no name yet… any ideas??

Charlie Shirt: a pattern review

Not too long ago, I came across the European pattern designer Zonen09. When I saw her patterns, I seriously could not peel myself away from her site. Not only are her patterns unique and stylish, but she designs for BOYS!

So when I contacted the oh-so-sweet Sharon who is the designer behind Zonen09, she was so gracious and sent me two of her patterns to review!
Charlie Shirt // If Only They Would Nap

The first one I sewed was Charlie. This was the first of her patterns that caught my eye, actually. The style reminds me of the vintage clothing that I tend to gravitate toward at the thrift store, that late 70s/early 80s style that my brothers used to wear.

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This collar!

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The cuffs and waistband, well, I always love a shirt with those features. When you sew for boys, you aren’t going to be adding ruffles or lace, so contrasting fabrics give your garments interest.

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The main body of the shirt is lined, so it’s nice and sturdy. All of the pattern instructions and pictures were really clear and easy to follow, so I really think that if you’ve sewn a couple of things with knits [or like to challenge yourself a bit!], you could easily graduate to this pattern.

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Also, argyle. I mean, seriously. [I don’t know where the fabric is from, sorry to say. I got it from my lovely friend Alida, who has amazing style and taste in fabrics] photo DSC_0482_zps1594bdda.jpg

The only thing challenging about this pattern that a beginner might balk at is that seam allowance is not included. So keep that in mind if you don’t want to go through that extra step. This pattern and Jacob [which I’ll be blogging about soon!] are both on my list of 15 must-have patterns for boys. These are also the only two patterns she currently has in English – so know that before you buy! Two of her patterns are currently only in Dutch.

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I’ll add a bit of length to mine next time, as my two-year-old seems to have gone through a recent growth spurt. If your kiddo has a longer torso, I’d recommend that. But other than that, the fit was spot-on and was a really quick sew… you know, other than my forty zillion interruptions.

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You can find Zonen09 here or on Facebook.

hangout hoodie robe

Today is the day! The day to vote for your favorite flip! It has been so much fun to participate in this series – the other competitors did such an amazing job. I’d really love your vote, so make sure you click over to Frances Suzanne to cast your vote for your fave [ahem, me]. Voting only lasts through the weekend!

I love a good think-outside-the-box challenge, and I had so much fun with this one! As soon as I saw the Hangout Hoodie pattern [affiliate link], I knew that it would be perfect to flip into a ….

hangout hoodie robe…hangout hoodie robe!

hangout robe 2I kept with the basic shape of the Hangout Hoodie [which can be sewn as either a dress or a shirt], but made some modifications to use woven materials instead of knits.

robe collageSince my fabrics have no stretch, I went up two sizes from what my son would normally wear. I used the dress pattern, but then shortened it back down to the size six. The front piece is normally cut on the fold. I instead extended those pieces a couple inches and cut them separately, creating those fabulous lapels in the front.
robe details

I also added long flannel cuffs, a belt, and belt loops on each robe

The robe is fully lined (with this super amazing fabric from A Walk in the Woods for Moda by Aneela Hooey – purchased from HB Fabrics). With the exception of the belt loops, which I didn’t put on the inside, the robe is fully reversible. No exposed seams! (Shirt can be found here)

robe profileThe flannel on the outside makes it super warm and cozy – perfect for our loooooong Wisconsin winters.

jump and relaxI love that it’s comfortable for jumping and playing, and yet so cozy for relaxing. What more could a little boy want? (pants from this costume)

I had so much fun flipping this patter, and I seriously adore how the robe came out. My other boys have each requested their own now too. :)

Now make sure you pop over to Frances Suzanne to vote for me!

Boy Style: plaids and hats [Pattern Anthology]

Today I’m joining up with the Pattern Anthology tour to share a little Boy Style with you. Because who says girls need to have all the fashion fun?

Boy Style  If Only They Would Nap

The patterns from the Pattern Anthology collection [a limited time collection of 8 patterns by four designers that I know and love] have what every boy [or girl] needs to have an amazing winter wardrobe.

Here’s our style guide:


Start with the Berkshire Blazer. Designed to tailor fit your child, it can dress up any outfit, but still be playful and fun. I sewed this one in a sweatshirt fleece. It still looks polished and put-together, but it’s comfy and great for play.


Add a driver cap, skinny jeans, and suspenders, and you’ve got a six-year-old who’s suddenly going on sixteen…


I love that this jacket offers so many ways to mix it up. A little color blocking changes a look really easily.

There aren’t a lot of boy-friendly accessories out there, so hats are a must.


So obviously the Winter Wonderland collection has a hat. Two hats, actually. This one is the Trapper Hat, which I made out of a felted wool sweater and a flannel sheet [because when you’re the oldest of four kids, the best styles are upcycled].DSC_0777

The whole feel of the jacket changes with the simple swap of the hat. Plus, we’re totally ready for Wisconsin winter now.


Stripes are my go-to for my boys. And I have a serious love for plaids. The Johnny B Good top can be dressy or casual. And upcycled from a men’s shirt, like this one was. There are some great instructions for upcycling in the pattern, and I’ve given some tips for that here too.


And with the back yoke and front patches built into the design, you can mix your prints.


The faux-suede gives it a western vibe, but paired with the Trapper Hat, it doesn’t read “cowboy costume.”


Toss that blazer back on, and you’ve “fancied” up your look, as my boys like to say.DSC_0824

Fancy clothes that are fit for relaxing. That’s how we roll here.


We may be bundling up in the frozen tundra, but that’s not going to stop us from looking good while we do it.

A few Pattern Anthology details….

  • 8 patterns sold as a bundle for 40% off their retail price until November 18th – then they are all sold individually from the respective designers for full-price.
  • You can also purchase mini-collections [just for boys or just for girls]
  • These pattern designers are the real deal. I’ve raved about them all before [Go To Patterns, Shwin Designs, See Kate Sew, and Blank Slate Patterns], and none of these patterns will disappoint.

Style details….

  • Driver hat and suspenders: H&M
  • Skinny jeans: Target [Shaun White]
  • All other outfit elements: handmade

Fabric and pattern details….

  • Berkshire Blazer: grey and navy sweatshirt fleece from Jo Ann Fabrics. This blazer was a surprisingly quick sew for me, but it’s definitely not a beginner pattern. I strayed slightly from the pattern, since I didn’t line the jacket, but this blazer kills, you guys. It’s so well-done and gives you an incredibly professional looking garment. I sewed a size six with seven arm length, but next time I’ll do a seven length all around, so he can wear it longer. But it’s perfect for now.
  • Trapper Hat: upcycled felted wool sweater and flannel sheet. This pattern is SO fast. Like, get it done in less than one seven-month-old naptime fast. I really love how it fits, and my son finds it really comfortable. It would also be really easy to size up or down if your child falls a bit out of the size range.
  • Johnny B Good Hoodie: upcycled men’s plaid shirt, faux-suede from Jo Ann Fabrics [a really, really long time ago]. This pattern takes a bit more time, but the finished product is definitely worth it. Upcycling cuts down a bit – and you can avoid button holes, if they’re not your thing. The shirt has a collar or hoodie option, as well as short sleeves. It’s truly a year-round wardrobe staple.

Be sure to check out all the other Pattern Anthology bloggers on the tour. Ah-may-zing stuff – style, holiday photo shoot tips, tutorials, and pattern remixes that are so super awesome.


Disclosure: I was given these patterns in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, as always.

Purple and Pink – Calling All Kids

Today I’m bringing home a post that was a part of Alida Makes‘ Calling All Kids series. If you didn’t see it the first time around, be sure you pop over to check out all the posts – Alida challenged us all to rethink our kids’ wardrobes and not let gender define how they dress. It was a really cool series to be a part of!

When you ask my five-year-old what his favorite colors are, he will tell you “blue, red, purple, and pink.” I love that he doesn’t think that purple and pink are colors just for girls.

DSC_0886And since blue and red are pretty prevalent in his wardrobe already, I added a bit of purple and pink in a not-so-girly way.DSC_0914When I gave him the clothes, he said, “Did you make these because you know purple and pink are some of my favorite colors?!” Mom win right there, my friends.DSC_0932There are some little hedgehogs that peek out from the pocket of the purple cords, which is just a fun detail that I love.DSC_0920As the mom of a bunch of boy boys who love cars and trains and superheroes and being loud and getting dirty, we don’t have a lot of pink or purple in our house. But we also play with baby dolls and cook together… so who says boys can’t wear pink?DSC_0929A little blue steel…DSC_0908Kids are so much more confident when they wear what they love.DSC_0888

And while he’s already outgrown the shirt since I originally posted this [and the pants aren’t far behind!], the pants are still a particular favorite.

Do your kids wear anything that’s a little out of the box? I’d love to hear about it!