(Goblin is 24 months)Goblin and his two little friends Bubble and Squeak all have their birthday's in October. Bubble and Squeak's mums are both excellent at choosing presents that match Goblin's personality and interests. I on the other hand am not so great so this year I decided to make the boys' presents.
Bubble's birthday was first and I made him a play mat. As you can see I took a square of green felt and stitched grey felt roads and felt houses, trees and a pond on it. I stitched white embroidery thread lines on the road to make them look more roady. Bubble is obsessed with buses so I bought him a red double decker to drive on the mat.
I thought it would be a good activity to bung in a go bag for trips. Something that Bubble can play with while his mum and I gossip in Costa coffee. To make it extra transportable I put a button on it so it can be folded up. I personalised it with his name embroidered on the back using chain stitch.
Squeak's birthday was today (Happy birthday). I have been patiently sitting on this post until I could be sure he'd have received his gift. He doesn't seem to share Goblin and Bubble's vehicle obsession so I made him a personalised colouring book and a crayon wallet. When rolled up the wallet is quite small and neat and buttons shut so it can be carried in a go bag.
It holds a full pack of 24 Crayola crayons. I had fun arranging them by colour, and then rearranging them because I couldn't decide where the black, white and grey should go (I hadn't realised I was this anal). I am sure Squeak will notice and care!
Like Bubble's wallet I personalised Squeak's by embroidering his name on the back, although when it is rolled up you can only see two of the letters.
First off, because the wallet is made of one piece of cloth you need to fold it right to cover the inside stitching. If you look at the photo above you will see that there is an 'S' fold in the middle of the cloth. There is enough length at the top for the fold to be able to give an inch above the crayon pocket, and then fold back on itself and sew up at the bottom of the 'S' fold. If that didn't make any sense here is a diagram - the red lines are the stitching making the individual pockets for the crayons.
To make the pockets the right width, I used pins and tested the width with a crayon.
Once you have sewn the lines you can pull the threads through to the other side because the fold of cloth will cover it.
The only bit of hand sewing required is sewing the fold round to the bottom of the 'S' fold. Here is a tip, if you intend to personalise it with embroidery, do it before you hand stitch the fold over.
To make the personalised colouring book I pulled down some photos of Squeak's mum and dad from their facebook account, and mixed them with some I already had of him and the boys. I put all the photos through Picnik which is free online photo editing software. I chose the pencil sketch effect. And look how awesome the results are.
Here is a before picture of the boys when they were about 6 months old
And this is what it looks like after you put it through the editing thing - which just involves pressing a button or two (unless Squeak's mum is reading this, in which case it was really difficult and took ages!).
I made about 9 pictures and also printed Squeak's name in alphabet printables on A4 paper. I stapled them together and used electrical insulation tape to bind the book - ie tape over the staples so Squeak doesn't get hurt. I'm hoping he'll enjoy scribbling all over his mum and dad's faces!
I'm quite proud of my creations so I'm sharing these on NurtureStore's Play Academy.