Handmade capes & totes – frugal gift giving

Easter is big in our house. My husband and I still exchange small gifts and fill baskets with all kinds of treats for each other.  And now that we have kids, they get loads of gifts and treats too. It’s not quite Christmas morning, but it’s close! We also buy small gifts for our nieces and nephews (5 in total with 1 more on the way!). This year our budget was quite a bit tighter for gifts, so I decided to make gifts for the little ones. Our daughter, who is almost 7 months old now, did not get something homemade, she did however get new cloth diaper covers! I made super hero capes for the boys, and little tote bags for the girls. They all loved them, though the older kids appreciated them a little more. I think my two oldest nieces were a little sad with their gifts. They did love the tote bags (with a couple of lip glosses inside!), but they were the ones that spent the afternoon running around with the super hero capes on. Guess I’m going to have to make a couple more!

Each project was fairly simple, and didn’t take too long at all. I used leftover fabric that I had in my stash, so I only spent money on tags, felt, buttons, and some blue fabric for one cape to make it different.

The tote bags were super quick to make! The tutorial I followed said 20 minutes each, but I made a few errors when I first started, as I hadn’t sewn anything for several months. I probably spent about 1.5 hours total making 3 tote bags.

I love how they turned out! The pink and blue ones are cotton flannel, and the purple one is cotton broadcloth

I sorta followed this tutorial for the capes. I followed her directions for cutting it out, however I did have to hem the edges on my capes as I used cotton twill (she recommends fleece, as you don’t have to hem/finish the edges), so I busted out the rolled hem foot for my sewing machine! It took some practice, as I’ve only used it once before, but the edges turned out great, and I didn’t have to iron/pin the edges.

I ended up with 2 red capes, and a blue one, each with the child's initials on it. I used a large button and a loop of elastic for the closure around the neck

Not only did this save us some money, but I think the kids appreciate a homemade gift, well the older ones do, a 2-year-old and 3-year-old might not care that the cape was made with love . It’s also nice to be able to make things! I feel like I pin so many things with dreams of being able to make them. It’s so nice when I actually get to be creative. Even though I do spend half the time swearing at my sewing machine.

  1. What great gifts!!! How do you ever find the time with your two littles. Supermom I tell ya!
    • thank you for thinking so, but it took a lot of work to get that free time! I attempted to work on it during nap time, but that never worked out well. My husband watched them pretty all day for two Saturdays so i could work on it all!

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