More Upcycled Reusable Christmas Cards

Yesterday I made a few more upcycled reusable Christmas cards to post to family members.

I used a pair of old jeans I got from the charity shop for $1 and fabric scraps I already had, plus cereal boxes I've been collecting for a few weeks!

I stuck to very simple designs this year, making use of Christmas fabric I had.

If you haven't seen my reusable Christmas cards before - they have this message sewn on the back so the recipient knows the idea behind the card!

They have a clear plastic pocket inside where you can slip in a piece of paper with a greeting on.

 I sent my first batch of these cards last Christmas, and I'm curious to see if this year anyone reuses them and perhaps returns one to me !?

To see the cards I made last year and a tutorial showing how to make these cards - go here.
And two more I made this year - you can see here.

Do you make your Christmas cards each year? 
What materials do you use to make yours from?

To see lots of other ideas for an eco-friendly and budget Christmas - you can visit my page:

Travel Advent Calendar Sew-along Day 5

Day 5
Today we're going to finish our Travel Advent Calendar!

You have all your pages ready.
Place them together as they will be for the finished book.
Make sure the cardboard is pushed firmly to the end of each page.

Make sure all the pages are evenly lined up and then pin down the spine, close to the cardboard pieces.

Now stitch along your pin line.
I recommend changing your sewing machine needle for this for something like a denim needle that can cope with all the thick layers of fabric.

Take the piece of fabric you cut in the beginning for the book  binding (19 x 7 cm (7 x 3 ").

Fold it in half, wrong sides of the fabric together, length-ways and stitch across the top edge with a 3/8" seam.

Now leave this inside out and slip it over the 'spine' of the book, Mark with a pin, where the 'spine' reaches up to.

Take your 'binding' off the spine again and stitch where you have pinned to form a pocket for the spine of the book.

Before adding the binding to the book, trim the top and bottom edges a little.  This will help the book to sit flat when it is opened out for use.

Now turn your binding piece right sides out and slip the spine of the book into it. Fold in the raw edges and pin.  This is quite a fiddly bit and does take a little patience!

Then finally, stitch the binding onto the spine of the book.
You may also want to use your zipper foot to be able to stitch nice and close to the cardboard pieces inside the book. Again patience is required here as your needle has to go through several layers of fabric. I found I turned the wheel on the side of my sewing machine manually at the start to get the needle going!

And that's it!  You've finished!!!

This year I decided to put some Christmas jokes in each pocket for my girls for the 24 Advent days - For a free printable copy of these 24 jokes, click here. You can then simply cut out the jokes and slip them into the pockets.

If you missed the earlier parts of this sew-along

Day 1 can be found here.
Day 2 can be found here.
Day 3 can be found here.
Day 4 can be found here.

I hope you've enjoyed this advent calendar sew-along.

I'd love to see your version of this if you make one!

Travel Advent Calendar Sew-along Day 4

Day 4
Today we're going to create the page pockets for our Travel Advent Calendar.

First of all match up 6 pairs of pocket pieces and 1 piece of cardboard each. 

Place each pair right sides facing together, lining up the edges. Pin then around 3 edges, leaving what will be the spine of the book open - this is where you will slip in the pieces of card.

Make sure that the numbered pockets are sitting closest to the edge you will stitch and not leave open!

Stitch the 3 edges with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Once you have stitched your pocket, trim the corners, 
then turn it right sides out and slip in a piece of card.  The card should fit snugly, but you may need to trim it a little, depending how accurate you've been with your cutting and stitching. (I had to trim mine!!)

Repeat this for all 6 page pockets.
When you come to the back inside cover, you will need to add the elastic piece. 

Place it on top of your inside back pocket piece and pin securely as you cover this with your back cover piece. 

Make sure when you stitch around the edges here, run your stitching backwards and forwards over the elastic to secure it in place as this will be pulled and tugged somewhat when in use!

Once you have your cardboard inside all 6 pockets, you've finished day 4 of the Travel Advent Calendar Sew-a-long.

Come back tomorrow to finish off your Advent Calendar Book!

Day 1 can be found here.
Day 2 can be found here.
Day 3 can be found here.
Day 5 can be found here.

Travel Advent Calendar Sew-along Day 3

Day 3

So now you have all your numbered pockets finished, it's time to add them to the pages..
First lay out your pages flat.

Then place and pin your numbered pockets on each page.
Start with your front and inside cover and any pretty fabric or applique you have to add to the front page. 

To find where your applique and pockets need to sit, use one of your pieces of card to show you where the page will be on the fabric.  Each fabric 'page' is wider than necessary to allow for fabric to bind for the 'spine' of the book.

So your front page will look something like this.  You also need to allow a little space on the right hand side where the elastic will sit to close the book. 

And your inside front cover will have the pockets slightly to the left but also allowing space for the elastic which will sit there when the book is standing open.

Then each set of pages should have the pockets centred one lot on the left and one on the right - like this.

Finally when you get to your back page, I have nothing on the back cover, but the inside back cover will have pockets, and once again you need to allow space for the elastic to sit just to the right of the pockets.

Once you have all your pockets pinned into place, stitch around the sides and bottom of the pockets with a tight zig-zag or applique stitch to secure the pockets in their places.

Once you have stitched on all of your pockets, you have completed Day 3 of the Travel Advent Calendar Sew-a-long.
Come back tomorrow to continue with the next step!

Day 1 can be found here.
Day 2 can be found here.
Day 4 can be found here.

Travel Advent Calendar Sew-along Day 2

Day 2
Today we start sewing our advent calendar book.
We're going to start with the pockets.
Take the 24 small squares of fabric you cut yesterday.

For each one in turn, double turn what will be the top edge of your pocket and stitch.

So each pocket should then look like this. From the front on the left, and the back on the right.

Now to add the numbers.
Cut your sheet of numbers into individual pieces.

Then lay each one on top of a pocket.

 Now to attach the numbers to each pocket, you will need to peel the backing paper from the fusible webbing and place the number on the pocket. 

Then cover with a damp cloth and press with a hot iron for a few seconds.

Now take each pocket with its number on and stitch around the edge of the number square using a tight zig-zag or applique stitch. I always do this with applique in case the glue ever becomes unstuck!

Once you've done this for all 24 pockets, you've completed day 2!

Day 1 can be found here!
Day 3 can be found here!