Monday, December 5, 2011

{write on: an easy handmade gift for men}

I'm rubbish at thinking of presents for men. And men who don't use electronics are even more of a challenge. What can you make them a cover for?

Inspired by my friend Terri's crayon rolls for kids, this grown-up version gets its modern style from all the grey felt accessories I keep seeing this year, like this glasses case. With a little personalisation, it makes a lovely gift for the writer (or crossword-puzzler) in your life.

Want to make one yourself? Here's how.

Grey felt
Small strip of twill tape (to stamp on)
Rubber stamps and ink

From the grey felt, cut two rectangles 8" by 12", and one rectangle 4" by 12".

Onto a 3 1/2" strip of twill tape, stamp the lucky person's name using permanent ink (I use StazOn). I couldn't bear to pass up the rhyme for my granddad, Kenneth, and I hope that if you've got a Ben, Glen or Sven in your family, you'll make them a pen roll, too.

Sew the twill tape along one short edge of the small felt rectangle, using a zig-zag stitch around the edge.

Pin the small felt rectangle to the bottom side of one of the large felt rectangles, lining up the edges. Make sure your twill tape label is visible. Sew straight lines, using running stitch, across the width of the small felt rectangle, about an inch apart. These will hold the pens in place. Sew a couple of backstitches at the start and end of every row, to prevent the stitches unravelling.

Tip: Between rows, lift up the needle and foot, but don't snip the thread -- just begin the next row. You can go back and do all the snipping later, and save time and thread.

Place the two felt rectangles that you've just sewn together on top on the third rectangle. Place a large elastic band (hair ties work well) in between the two large rectangle layers, half way down one of the shorter sides. Pin in place, so that a good 1/2" of elastic band is hidden inside.

Sew all the way around the outside edge of the roll, making sure to go through all the layers and the elastic band.

Now fill it with pens (or a single, special pen), and roll it up, starting with the end without the elastic band. Slip the elastic over the top of the roll, and you're ready to go!

P.S. In need of other gifts? Check out CMP's and WV's Holiday Gift Guides, and see if you can spot some familiar (Polaroid-framed) faces...


Anonymous said...

What a great gift, Astrid. Ken's going to treasure this! And your clear instructions should inspire your followers to have a go. Jenni
PS Love the new masthead at the top of your page. It's fab!

Sam said...

Very nice! I've been racking my brain all day on what to get hubby!


Ingrid said...

Totally brilliant. Didn't spot your dot of red tho!
I x