Fabric chain

Sadly, most people I know (not all, but the overwhelming majority) just don’t appreciate handmade, or thrifted presents. 

Why is that? Why do I know so many of them?

And why is my own son like that?

Anyway, I have long since given up wasting my time making them anything. It’s mass produced, shop bought all the way for them. 

But, happily, my friend Sarah isn’t like that. So, I made this for her daughter Isabella’s first birthday.

To state the blindingly obvious: it’s a paper chain (made from fabric) for above her bed.


Great fun, unique and ridiculously easy to make. It also cost next to nothing.

But, the evening I spent making it and every piece of fabric and every single stitch was only for Isabella and Sarah.

What’s not to get?






13 Responses to “Fabric chain”

  1. Ali Says:
    May 13th, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Amen to that! Although lucky for me, my boys adore anything I make them (AND the shop bought plastic too, of course).

  2. Jenna Says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 1:37 am

    I’m always worried about giving handmade gifts. You just never know how they will be received. The paper chain is adorable. What a great idea.

  3. Lucy Locket-Pocket Says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Bother – just left you a really long comment and wordpress ate it!

    What I said was – it’s incredible that people don’t “get” handmade. Fortunately most people I know have learnt to understand it (!) which is lucky at the moment because all of my children’s friends are getting handmade birthday presents at the moment (partly because finances are tight) – what is really lovely is that my children are very proud of the things I make for their friends and like to be involved if possible in the process.

    And I agree with you – when you make something special for a particular friend every stitch has thoughts and love of them in it.

    Keep going – handmade is definitely best!

  4. Rachael Rabbit Says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    I love it – I also love giving bunting to people for their birthdays. I think people that don’t appreciate handmade gifts probably don’t appreciate the love, time and effort … I’m sure your boy will grow to appreciate the hand made things … but perhaps the physical tractor toy and spiderman are more important at the moment 😉

  5. Nanette Says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Its lovely. Janet you always come up with great ideas. Simple is always best.

  6. Claire Says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    I had a whole year of giving handmade presents a few years ago….then I had another baby and that idea got all too hard. Now it is only the special people that get a handmade gift. Little boy are just hard to find gifts for in general I find. I tend to find sporty presents for them now (store bought) as my son and his friends are 6 and not into presents that are too young, but not old enough (in my opinion) for a lot of the stuff marketed at boys (violent).
    Strange frisbee like objects, or rocket shaped balls that have long tails are good buys.
    I love the chain, especially for a one year old – they have not had their minds bent by tv advertising yet, telling them what they want.

  7. Lynne in Hawaii Says:
    May 15th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Handmade is the best! I so love the ‘paper’ cloth chain. What a great way to use up some wonderful scraps!

  8. Miss Dot Says:
    May 15th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    oh you poor thing! that is horrible, my Sister’s MIL is like that, she doesn’t like anything that isn’t mass produced. I am lucky that my Mum ONLY likes things that I make. I had such joy on Mothers Day when I announced to her that I hadn’t hardly spent ANY money on her present! she was happy. I made her a sleeve for her Street Directory, with pockets on the outside with baby wipes, bottle opener, pad and pen, and tissues. My Dad has a habit of removing the street directory from the car and it does my Mum’s head in! so I thought this might stop him. BTW, she loved it! I didn’t get a chance to get a snap of her opening her gift because I was busy making breakfast while the nephew and niece were happy showering her with gifts. Sorry that is such a long comment 🙂

  9. Miss Dot Says:
    May 15th, 2008 at 11:31 am

    oh I meant to say that that chain is wonderful! I have never seen that done before, so clever.

  10. French Knots Says:
    May 18th, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Do people think we are cheapskates perhaps? I think if someone doesn’t make things themself they don’t appreciate that the time and love put into making it are part of the gift too. My son has been taking appliqued tshirts to parties as gifts for his freinds rather than blummin Power Rangers but he’s only 4 – I think my days of ‘getting away’ with this are numbered though.

  11. lucy Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    I would much rather have a handmade gift than something mass produced. My mother-in-law has a terrible need to critique everything I’ve ever given her, so she will no longer be getting anything handmade from me. Even the shepherd’s pie I made a few weeks ago while she went in for eye surgery didn’t escape criticism. It’s meat and potatoes, for heaven’s sake, what’s not to like?

    I love that there is a whole community of creative people around the world blogging about the joy of the handmade :o)

  12. lily boot Says:
    May 21st, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Hey – this is so sweet! I’m so glad you have someone lovely to give it to. I think I will have to make some for our place. At the risk of sounding pompous – perhaps with your little fellow, you could take him along to the fabric store and ask him what he likes and get him to draw some of the pictures for the quilt – maybe if he contributes, he will value the finished product more! I found this worked for me when I made my little girl’s Bears Paw – we chose that block because she was reading the Little House books and she chose the colours and fabrics – it was a great success. 🙂

  13. katie Says:
    May 28th, 2008 at 7:30 am

    now that is just lovely! I have a wedding coming up (a friends daughter) that i am supposed to make bunting for – I think i may have to include some of this – thanks for the inspiration!

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