handmade gift

DIY All Natural Perfumes

I used to wear a lot of perfume, but since ditching so many toxic chemicals from our home, I have started making my own! It’s so simple to DIY your own natural perfumes and customize them. These make GREAT stocking stuffers too!

The options for these perfumes are endless. All you need are some pure, therapeutic grade essential oils, a carrier, and your favorite spray or roller bottles.

How to make your own perfume


This post contains affiliate links

  • Essential oils (I buy mine here at wholesale prices)
  • Carrier: in a roller bottle, you can use a fatty oil like fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil. If making a spray, use rose water or vodka.
  • Glass roller bottle or spray bottle. There are so many options you can use for these, so here are a few of my faves:

Refillable atomizer spray bottles in a variety of colors

Glass roller bottles

Vintage glass perfume bottles

-Some really fun and unique Glass roller bottles from this shop

  1. Choose your favorite essential oil combo. You can honestly choose anything you like together! Here are some of my favorite oils/combinations:
    Patchouli + Bergamot
    Lavender + Geranium
    Stress Away + Bergamot
    Find any scent you love and try it!!

2. Put 10-15 drops of essential oil into your glass spray/roller bottle (do not use plastic).

3. Fill the rest of your bottle with the carrier of your choice.

4. Spray and wear!

So simple and lovely… and much better for you than the perfumes you’ll find at the store! Add your DIY perfume to this boxy zipper pouch for a great gift set!

Do you have a favorite combination that you love to wear??


If you’d like to learn more about essential oils, join my free education group!


You can read more about my journey to wellness and essential oils here. Make sure you grab your oils at wholesale prices!


Flowery Tunic and Polka Dot Bows

Yes, I’m still continuing with my posts of my handmade Christmas gifts! I never want to ruin the surprise by blogging them ahead of time.


My sweet niece Hazel [how cute is she?!] is just two months older than my youngest. This works out well for outfit sewing, since I had a pretty good idea of her size.


I made her a tunic out of this super lovely crushed floral knit from Fabric.com [which they don’t seem to have currently, which is a bummer, because it is SO lovely]


I added a little placket in the front with some ivory knit and some sweet lace that has a vintage-y feel.


The bias tape and the adorable little flower button are both vintage. Which makes the top much more special in my eyes. Plus, I know her mama loves vintage, so I thought that would be fun for her. :)


The pants are simple flat-front cords, made specially for that cloth diaper booty.


I added simple polka dot bows to the bottom of the pants, to give them a girly flair. But they are just tacked on, since Hazel will have a baby brother in March, and I wanted her to be able to hand these pants down to him.


Sewing for girls is pretty fun. :)

Simple Tote Bag: a tutorial

One thing I feel like I can never have too many of is a simple tote bag. Use it for groceries, library trips, whatever. And the great thing about a tote bag is that it’s so super easy – and quick – to make your own! I’ve made a few of these over the last year, including as part of a Christmas gift.

simple tote tutorial


  • Sturdy fabric – outdoor decor or canvas work well [a less sturdy fabric will work fine, it will just make a bag that isn’t as structured and won’t hold as much weight]
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors or rotary cutting tool
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine/serger

DSCF72711. Cut one long rectangle of fabric for the body of the bag and fold in half. The size depends on how big you want your bag to be. When folded in half, this fabric measures 14in x 16in. If you don’t have fabric long enough, you could also use two fabric pieces instead of one long piece.


2. Cut four rectangles for the straps. I made mine 22in x 2.5in – you can make yours longer if you prefer a slightly longer strap.


3. Serge or zig-zag stitch along the two longer sides of the bag body. [if you used two different pieces of fabric instead of one long piece, make sure you also sew along the bottom edge]


4. Finish the top [open] edge of your bag to prevent fraying. You can serge along the edge, zig-zag stitch, or use pinking shears and cut along the top edge.


5. Pinch the bottom corners.


6. Sew across the pinched fabric and cut off the triangle of fabric you created. This will help give the tote a boxy bottom so that it can stand and have a little more structure.


7. Fold the top edge over twice and press. Pin to hold in place.


8. Sew a straight stitch along the top edge.


9. Put two pieces of the long strap fabric right sides together. Sew/serge along the two long sides.


10. Turn right side out. Fold both ends under and press the whole strap.


11.Straight stitch around the perimeter of the strap.


12. Pin the strap onto one side of the bag and sew on each end.


close up of how I sewed on the strap

The X in the center isn’t totally necessary, but I think it just adds some extra stability to the strap.


13. Repeat with the other strap, and you now have a tote bag to use for whatever your heart desires!


Black Apple Doll – a girlie gift!

I may not have little girls at my house, but I am blessed with some absolutely wonderful nieces. I had so much fun sewing a few girlie things for them this Christmas!


One of my nieces is newly one, and in my mind, that’s the perfect age for a cozy, snuggly baby doll. Using this free pattern, I sewed this lovely up, happy to use a little pink for a change.


While my first doll was not without its imperfections, I’m so pleased with how it turned out. And the smile on my sweet niece’s face when she opened it was so precious.

DSCF7238I think these will become a great go-to gift for the little girls in my life.

Quilted iPad Cozy

This year I decided to make my mom an iPad cozy for Christmas. Since I don’t actually own an iPad, I found a tutorial that had the dimensions, including the protective case that she has.

I loosely followed the tutorial, and I really love the way it turned out.


All the lines of quilting… phew! I don’t know if I’m cut out for making a quilt. All you quilters – you’re amazing. And have lots of patience.

DSCF7230Coordinating interior print love.


It fits perfectly – yay! [I made my mom try it right away, because I was super nervous it wouldn’t end up fitting]

I’ve got a few more handmade gifts to post – including a tutorial or two! Make sure to stop back tomorrow. I’ll be sharing my One Word for 2013 [which I’ve totally never done before, and I might need to hear from some of you who have!]

Rosette Clutch

Recently I participated in a super fun handmade gift swap.DSCF7198I whipped up a little clutch for my partner, because really, can you ever have too many?


The linen rosettes are my favorite part. [warning: baby hands like rosettes too!]


Cute little interior pocket, for cards and whatnot. I put some lace, fun pink elastic, and fabric inside and sent it along to its lovely new owner [who happens to be the mama of girls, so she’ll probably appreciate the lace and pink elastic a little bit more than me!]


I totally wanted to keep it. So maybe there will be more rosette clutch sewing in my future…

P.S. Who else is doing some major last minute gift making?? My machine has been buzzing non-stop all week, and I have at least one more present left. Or three.

Boys Will Be Boys: Name Bean Bags Tutorial and a GIVEAWAY! [giveaway is now closed]

My three-year-old is really into letters right now, so we’re working on recognizing his name. Yep, that’s the teacher in me… giving my kids educational toys for Christmas.


Click here to see all the posts in this series.

And I know that the nerdy, educational parent part of you wants to help your littles learn their letters too!

name bean bags tutorial


  • Three coordinating fabrics
  • Chalk or water soluble marker
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Coordinating thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Fray Check
  • Beans, rice, or poly-fil to stuff


1. Cut three squares of your fabric for each bean bag [only two squares are shown… obviously]. The size you cut will depend on how big you want the bean bags to be. Mine were cut about 5in x 5in.


2. On one of the three fabrics, draw out your letters, using either chalk or water soluble marker.


3. Carefully cut the letters out.


4. Put one of the coordinating fabrics behind the letter cut out and pin the fabrics together.


5. Straight stitch very carefully around the letter. Using a thread that doesn’t coordinate will make more of an impact and make the letter stand out a little more [in other words, it’s way more fun]. But if you are worried about your sewing mistakes showing, use a coordinating thread color that will blend in.


6. Put the three fabrics together, right sides together. Zig-zag stitch around all four sides, leaving an opening to turn the fabrics right side out.


7. Cut around all four sides with pinking shears to stop the fabric from fraying.


8. Turn right side out.


9. Stuff with beans, rice, or poly-fil [the poly-fil makes it more of a pillow than a bean bag… but pillows thrown across the room are much less dangerous in a house full of boys]. Hand-stitch closed.


10. If you’re using a fabric that will fray, apply Fray Check to the cut edges of the letters. [Fabrics like knit or fleece will not fray, however, and you wouldn’t need to use it]


Now you have a fun way for your boys to learn their letters and recognize their name!

IMG_6636I’m super excited about today’s giveaway. Elizabeth from Sew Chatty is giving away this aDORable elephant softie! [this giveaway is now closed]


Seriously, SO cute. To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment telling me who you would get this little lovey. That’s it!

If you want an additional entry, like Sew Chatty on Facebook and leave another comment to let me know. The giveaway will be open until Sunday.

Now don’t forget to head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to see the awesome tutorial Stacey has today. I know my boys will LOVE this one.


P.S. The Fabric Fairy giveaway closes tonight and the See Kate Sew pattern giveaway is open through tomorrow!

Boys Will Be Boys: Fabric Dominoes Matching Game and a Pattern Giveaway! [this giveaway is now closed]

Welcome back to Boys Will Be Boys, so Handmake Their Toys!


Click on the image to see all the posts for this series!

Today I have a tutorial for a  game that even the youngest boys can play. Bonus, it’s a game that doesn’t make any noise. [not that I can promise anything about your kiddos…]

fabric dominoes tutorialSupplies:

  • Two different materials – something sturdier than quilter’s cotton is preferable [or you will want to add interfacing]
  • Felt
  • Hot glue gun [or craft glue – but hot glue will hold better]
  • Sewing machine
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors


1. Cut the two different fabrics into approximately 4in x 7in pieces. Each domino will use two pieces, so you’ll need to cut double the number of rectangles as dominoes you want to make.


2. Cut felt shapes – you’ll want at least three of each shape. The more matches you have, though, the more fun the game will be. And the more time your little one can spend playing it. Then, using either hot glue or craft glue [hot glue would hold better], attach the shapes to your fabric.


3. Put the fabric pieces right sides together, then zig-zag stitch around three sides.


4. Clip the corners and turn the pieces right side out.


5. Fold the unfinished edges under and press. Use a pin to hold in place.


6. Top-stitch around the edge of the dominoes.


And now you have a game that your boys can play over and over, matching the shapes together. Or using their imaginations to create their own rules!


And today, we have another awesome giveaway. Kate from See Kate Sew is giving away a bundle of her three softie patterns — so you can make your kiddos an owl, a hedgehog, and a dinosaur! [this giveaway is now closed]



What little boy [or even girl!] wouldn’t love those adorable creatures added to their collection?

To enter, simply leave a comment telling me what animal softie you think the little one in your life would like the best.

For additional entries:

Leave a comment for any of these extra entries for them to count. The giveaway will be open through Saturday.

Now hop over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy and check out her awesome Pokemon card pouch.


Boys Will Be Boys: Monster Art Carrier [and a Fabric Fairy giveaway! – giveaway is now closed]

Welcome to the first day of Boys Will Be Boys so Handmake Their Toys!! A whole week devoted to handmade gifts for little boys.


Click on the photo to see all the posts for this series!

My boys love art. They like to color and paint and draw, and my five-year-old writes the best stories. Ever.

So I decided to make an art carrier, and they can create on the go!

monster art carrier tutorial

Today I’m sharing how you can make one for the little boy [or girl!] in your life too.


  • Heavier-weight material [like canvas or outdoor decor fabric] – you could use all one style or two different fabrics, like I did.
  • Felt
  • Accent fabric for pockets
  • Coordinating thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric glue/hot glue gun
  • Velcro
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Chalk or water soluble marker


1. Cut two pieces of heavier weight fabric 22.5in x 12.5in. They could be the same type of fabric or different – I used one piece of this stripe from IKEA and another piece of canvas.

2. Cut two pieces of your accent fabric. These will become your pockets. Cut one piece 11in x 10in [pocket one] and the other 15.5in x 10.5in [pocket two].


3. Use your iron to press in the edges of both pieces of pocket fabric.


4. Fold the pocket fabric in half and press.

pin the pockets

5. Pin the pockets onto the fabric that will be the inside of the carrier. [in the above photo, you can see pocket one on the left, pocket two on the right] The top edge of the pockets should be the folded edge.


6. On pocket one, use chalk or water soluble marker to mark one inch increments. These will be perfect for pencils or skinny markers. Mark larger increments if you’d like it to fit fat markers.


7. Sew a straight stitch around three sides of each of the smaller pocket. Do NOT stitch along the top [folded] edge of the pockets.


8. After you stitch along the three sides, stitch straight lines down the pocket, according to your one inch increments.


9. Cut monster face shapes out of felt. Using fabric glue, assemble the face. [note: the glue I used is not ideal for felt. hot glue would work if you want a stronger hold and don’t want to sew the pieces together later]

10. Pin the face onto the the fabric that will be the top of the art carrier. You’ll want to make sure you leave enough space to fold the fabric edge under [as seen in the above photo].

DSCF6948DSCF694911. Stitch the face onto the top fabric. You could use hot glue to attach the face, but sewing it on will ensure a stronger, permanent hold.


12. Cut a piece of fabric 2.5in x 3.5in for the velcro closure.


13. Fold the closure fabric in half and zig-zag stitch along one of the long sides.


14. Clip the corners, turn right side out, and press.


15. Top stitch along the edges of the closure.

16. Take your top and and bottom fabric pieces [the one with the monster face and the one with the pockets] and put them right sides together and zig-zag stitch along three sides – leave the end open where the monster’s mouth is. [sorry, no picture for this step!]


17. Clip the corners and turn the carrier right side out. Fold under the edges of the open end. Pin the closure in between the two fabric pieces.

DSCF697218. Top stitch along all four sides of the carrier. If you want, you can add teeth on the back side of the carrier [use the fabric glue to add them before you top stitch]. Just be sure to leave a gap in the teeth for the velcro closure.


19. Add velcro to the back side of the carrier and the bottom side of the closure. Use fabric glue to secure this [I added fabric glue even though mine was self-stick].


It should look like the above picture when closed.

DSCF6977Now add some markers and paper, and you have the perfect present for the art lovin’ boy in your life!

And now, it’s Giveaway time!! The Fabric Fairy has so generously offered to give away a gift certificate to their online store. So you can pick out the perfect fabric for this or another handmade gift for your little boy. [this giveaway is now closed]

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post! Visit The Fabric Fairy and tell me what fabric you’re loving right now.

For optional extra entries, you can:

Leave a comment for each of those likes for your entry to be counted. [If you already like any of our pages, just leave a comment telling me that too!] This giveaway closes on Friday.


Now be sure to visit Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy and check out her Police Softies Tutorial that she has today!

And come back tomorrow for more of Boys Will Be Boys so Handmake Their Toys… and more giveaways!