Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gifts for the homemaker...

It's a shock to think Christmas is only 6 weeks or so away. I'm still occasionally thinking it's mid year because ten whole months could not have passed so swiftly since New Year could they?

We've been chatting about gifts, my girls and I. 
Blossom told me the other day that she didn't want any more ornaments, plaques or gifts that required a space to be hung or stood, but that she'd like to receive things which serve a purpose and can be used regularly, not hidden away in a closet because she has nowhere to put it, or no use for it. 
Her thoughts ran parallel to mine, and also to conversations Rosie and I have had over the years. 

She decided that as Cully May is getting her first bed for Christmas some linen or handmade pillowcases would be a nice touch, and Aisha's children enjoy drawing and painting so Aisha has asked for things like craft aprons and pencil rolls.
Fortunately I can make all of these gifts and knowing they will be used regularly makes the effort more worthwhile.

But what about gifts for our adult friends, for homemakers?

Over the years I've been blessed to receive presents from my friends that are both useful, beautiful and from the heart, so the other day when I was pondering the making of homemaker gifts to serve a purpose I gathered some of them together to show you, just in case you're in need of handmade gift inspiration too. 


In all shapes and sizes, they can be used for a multitude of storage requirements.
I have large ones that fit all my personal care products when we go on road trips, small ones for medications or phone chargers and cords, and in between sizes for sewing supplies or odds and ends that need to be kept together.

The pretty pouches below were from Rosie and Janice...

Kitchen Tea Towels

Having moved a little while ago into a house with a much larger kitchen, my baking time has increased considerably and this is evidenced by the five or six tea towels I hang on the clothesline every morning, soiled from my kitchen time the day before.

I make a lot of edged towels myself but I love receiving them as gifts from friends because they are always pretty and very useful. It's lovely to hang a fresh tea towel over the oven handle before bed each evening, ready to greet me next morning.

These were made by Rosie and Dianne...

Kitchen Crochet

Many years ago my friend Allie's mum crocheted me two sweet lid covers for Christmas. I cannot tell you how useful they have been. No more burnt or steamy hands lifting lids off bubbling soup or potatoes...

...and recently Ondrea crocheted these pot holders as a housewarming gift.
They are double layered, pretty and oh so soft, in fact the most useful pot holders I have ever owned. 


I know not everybody wears aprons, but I do. 
I love wearing an apron in the kitchen, especially full aprons which catch all my splashes and spills of flour and dishwashing suds.
Over the years I've made some, bought some, and received a few of the prettiest aprons ever made by friends.

These were made by Barbra, Margaret and Fee...

Each of these homemaker gifts were received with a grateful heart because I knew my friends had put love and care into each one, but also because I could use them.
It's my desire to make use of what I own and not store it away, if at all possible.

What about you?
Are there particular gifts you like to receive which serve a purpose in your home, garden, or perhaps in your work?
Share some ideas in the comments below because I'm sure there are many more of us who'd like inspiration. 

Over the next week or so I'll gather some of my past tutorials for simple gifts and pop them in one blog post for easy reference in case there's a few you can use this Christmas.

That Apple & Berry Slice I baked on Tuesday was delicious! 
Mr E enjoyed a thick slice for dessert that night and when Blossom visited yesterday we had some with a cup of tea after lunch...

I sent some home with her too, but made sure Mr E and I still had enough for afternoon tea today. 
The recipe called for a long, wide tin (swiss roll I think) but mine was smaller so the slice was much higher than it was meant to be, more like a cake...but we didn't care. Delicious is delicious no matter what size it was meant to be baked.

May your day (or evening) be a quiet one, and may your fingers find pleasant thing to create.



  1. That cake looks delicious! The holidays are always busy days (and nights) in my kitchen. Lots of foodie gifts to family and friends. :)

  2. Bella e sicuramente Buona la torta ai mirtilli.

  3. Scrummy looking cake. I too when time permits like to make practical gifts. Last year I made each of my four adult children a fabric/quilted covered clearfile recipe book that they can slip in new recipes along with some of their childhood favourites I also added.

  4. That cake sure looks yummy. Thanks for all those beautiful ideas. I have been wondering what to do with all my, camera ,tablet.. and think pouches would be a wonderful way of storing them so they don't get tangled up all together in a drawer. I am sure they would be useful gifts for others too. So many lovely handmade things you have received. Thankyou for sharing with us. I am constantly scratching my head trying to work out what I can make for people so your post has been very inspiring.

  5. I think I will just pop over for a slice of cake and a cuppa!

  6. I prefer practical gifts too. Last night I was online looking for eyeglass case patterns. I need some for myself, but was thinking they would make cute gifts too. I also want to make a portable sewing kit from an eyeglass case for myself. Your cake looks so yummy. I'll bet your house smells heavenly on baking days!

  7. A really great website for free sewing tutorials is . Click on project index.

    Loved your post!

  8. Oh, the cake looks delicious and so do the gifts and ideas, Jenny. I do hope you are able to share the recipe at some point. I hope I didn't miss it :(

  9. Some beautiful gifts there Jenny - lots of ideas to ponder on. Fortunately most of my Christmas stitching is behind me as I had to deliver quite a few gifts on a recent UK trip but ideas are always useful for next year too! Thank you. xx

  10. They are really good ideas Jenny. As Blossom says there is a limit to the ornaments you can display and I'm not of the throwaway variety so they are now filling cupboards.

    I like scented candles but I forget to blow them out at night! Last Christmas my daughter bought me one of those thingies that look like a vase but they plugin and have a tub of wax. Absolutely brilliant except I forget to switch it off so I now have it attached to a timer! I've just bought one for my sister for Christmas and they now have built in timers so it's much safer.

    Grandchildren are a bigger problem as they are all into technology. However the girls are getting sewing baskets and bits & bobs to go into them. Grandson? No idea yet!

  11. Thank you for all the wonderful gift ideas. I need to make a few things....For my sisters. mother and friends. Your cake looks delicious....

  12. Great gift ideas. I would add crocheted dish cloth's made with cotton yarn. Love mine.

  13. That cake looks so gooood! I prefer practical gifts too. I like to make and give food items and things like hot pads, mug rugs, placemats, etc.

  14. Oh, thank you for the ideas! I look forward to the patterns. Your photos always make me want to create. I hope you will share the recipe for the berry cake. It looks so delicious! Kathy

  15. Jenny, that cake looks delicious. Thank you for the gift ideas. My sister and I usually make our Christmas gifts. I enjoy wearing aprons and have several that I’ve made or received as gifts. You are so right. There is something extra special about getting a home made gift.

  16. Great post for those of us having gift giving anxiety. How did the holidays get here so quickly?!! I grew up in a family who always preferred handmade gifts over store bought-mass merchandised presents. Time and love put into gifts means so very much. I like each of your shares here. One of the gifts I like to receive is cards...plain, decorated, handmade, store bought...because I mail so many out every week in Random Acts of Mail Kindness. I also give card sets with postage books. I have been making and giving bookmarks with a nice reading book or magazine. Thank you for sharing your ideas and for gathering more ideas. <3

  17. Everything looks so beautiful Jenny. I think these gift ideas are perfect. I wish I could just reach into my screen & try a piece of your delicious looking berry cake. It would go perfectly with my cuppa. Happy Friday to you my friend Xxxx

  18. Your slice/cake looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for the gift ideas - i am currently making christmas cushion covers to send to my family in the UK & France but i think a few tea towels for my mum will be a great gift for her wedding anniversary which is also at Christmas time :)

  19. Easy Peasy towel aprons are very practical and can be cute.
    Take a hand towel and sew a pocket on one side and a band on one long side with straps to tie around body.
    I wish I could post a picture. I received one as a gift and then had to make a few more so I always have a towel on hand to wipe my hands on. Love them.

  20. Last Christmas, I crocheted several scrubby cloths with the scrubby yarn on one side and crochet flower on the other side. These were very cute and useful for the shower or also dishes. Had a lot fun making them and giving them out.

  21. beautiful gifts & ideas there & yes! i love recieving handmade gifts, i always feel special when it's handmade & i love gifting handmade too.
    thanx for sharing

  22. These are great ideas! I have a friend who uses placemats and cloth napkins. There are no paper napkins at her house! She loves sets of four, because there are four of them, and she loves lively fabrics and holiday things, so she's easy! I look forward to your gathering the tutorials in one place. You've probably done it before, but there's always something I've missed! Thank you for all this, and for the close-up of that slice. It looks delicious, even if I would sub blackberries. =)

  23. I love handmade gifts. Every Christmas I choose a gift and make several, all in different fabrics, for friends. This year I making fold over pouches (from the book Abbeygale sews) and filling them with stationary. Other gifts I have mad e a lot of include tissue holders, teabag wallets, crochet hook wallets, lavender bags, and tote bags. I am also making some Christmas stocking advent bunting for a friend. Thank you for all of your ideas. x

  24. Great gift ideas! And about that cake... Yum!

  25. LOL I'd forgotten about those lid handles mum made for you - I have several too! Pouches are a great idea, I have some that friends have made for me and I use them all the time. And who doesn't love aprons!!!! Great post, hon!

  26. My favorite useful items are....Toss Pillows or Throw Pillows. Especially those that have back openings so you can change out the cover to have a quick d├ęcor change. I also like to make different size fabric boxes for storing sewing nick knacks or whatever.

  27. Que belleza de labores Jeny ,el pastel espectacular !!!!!


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