Or when they’ve gone to bed you can make a big mug of cocoa and put the radio on for a crafting session.
There are now so many books on crafting, you’re sure to find something to get your juices flowing. For the price of one book you can often get all your Christmas presents sorted too, so it saves you money in the long run particularly if you pick a craft or activity that requires minimal extras, or better yet, uses up stuff you already have (like a rag doll). Nothing is quite as special as a present you made yourself especially if it comes with a few quirks that are unique to you and the recipient.
Here are some good books to get you started:
Happy Stitch: 30 Hand-Sewn Projects for Everyday by Jodie Rackley
Featuring 30 easy and fun handmade projects, from a wall organiser to a fabric and yarn lampshade, you’re sure to find something for everyone in this book. For the super crafty, there are also decorations to make your dinner table stand out from the crowd. Some of the projects are easy enough for little folk to have a go too, and the bright, quirky illustrations make it a book you can go back to again and again.
Animal Hats: 25 Fun Projects to Knit, Crochet and Make From Fleece by Rachel Henderson
Who can resist a sweet animal hat? These are bang on trend too, but rather than picking yours up from the shops, this book teaches you how to make them yourself. With hats you can knit, crochet and stitch from fleece, there’s something for every kind of crafter. We’re a bit weak at the knees for the knitted polar bear hat with ear flaps on the cover, but the children’s crocheted wolf hat with pointy ears comes in a close second. There are patterns for adult, baby and children’s hats so you can kit out the whole family!
Making Soft Toys by Karin Neuschutz and Susan Beard
This sweet book has templates and instructions for a range of children’s toys to treasure. There’s something for all ages, from hand-sewn farm animals to a classic teddy bear. We like the glove puppets that are sure to become a firm favourite for years to come. The dolls and animals are Waldorf-inspired so the designs are simple and beautiful. There are also patterns for dolls’ clothes so you can keep creating a unique wardrobe for years to come.
All Sewn Up by Chloe Owens
With everything you could need to make 35 unique and beautiful gifts, this book is an absolute treasure trove of ideas. Chloe Owens brings her wonderfully quirky style to all the projects and the book is colourful and full of fun and inspiring pictures. The Raindrops and Rainbows Mini Quilt is a gorgeous gift for a new baby, but for smaller projects you might like to have a go at the Fly Away Umbrella Tea Cosy or the One-of-a-Kind Book Cover. The hard bit will be giving these lovely gifts away!
Knitty Gritty: Knitting for the Absolute Beginner by Aneeta Patel
Even if you consider yourself a total novice when it comes to knitting, chances are by the end of this book you’ll think differently. Plus even the worst and slowest knitter in the world will be able to create a gift or two from these pages – and that is a seriously good feeling! Aneeta Patel breaks each pattern down into easy steps, explained and illustrated, and the patterns get slightly more difficult as the book progresses and your skills develop. She brings years of teaching knitting to beginners to the book and you feel as if you have someone gently and warmly guiding you throughout. Why not try the easy peasy baby booties to start or the basic hat pattern…you’ll be on the more challenging patterns in no time.