Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Some Quick, Have on Hand Gifts, for this Christmas......

I always like to have a small gift handy for a last minute present or just to randomly hand out and make someones day, around Christmas time. 
Last year I made a stack of Cup Cozies (click here for tutorial), and randomly handed them out to "friends" that I ran into while out shopping! It was so fun to watch their faces light up as they were given a gift for no reason, other than to wish them well!!

I also made a stack of bowl cozies to stuff stockings...another great quick gift idea.....(tutorial here)

And I had fun making Flannel scarves! In both infinity and a fringed edge wrap around style...(yup, tutorial is here..)

This year my gift of choice is a quick and easy tutorial
 I found at Emmaline Bags for a Lip Balm Key Fob 

The tutorial shows how to make the key fobs from one piece of fabric....but of course, being a quilter, I had to try piecing mine.....
(oops, do you see my mistake? I put the key fob on backwards, lol)

And it worked...it is a bit bulky at the seams (which I pressed to the side) and a tight fit, but the lip balm won't be falling out, lol!!
So the next batch I pressed the seams open and that worked out a lot better.

I also had a Nivea Lip Balm, Carmex and  EOS tube style, which are larger than the standard lip balm size....
So I went to work tweaking the tutorial to get to the right size holder!!

Key Fob Lip Balm Holder 

For Pieced Regular Sized Lip Balm: 
Cut : 
(4) 2" x 5" strips of different fabrics and sew together along the 5" edge to form a 6.5" x 5" rectangle. Press seams open
(1) 2.5" x 6" piece of interfacing (shape flex)

Up Sized Lip Balm:
 (1) 7" x 5.75" rectangle of fabric 
 (1) 6.5" x 2.75" piece of interfacing (shape flex)

For Pieced, Cut: (2) 2.25" x 5.75
                             (2) 2" x 5.75" 
                             Sew your pieces together along the 5.75" side to form 7" x 5.75" rectangle                                                
                             Press seams open
                             (1) 6.5" x 2.75" piece of interfacing (shape flex) 

In all fairness this is not my tutorial, I just did some tweaking so click on this link to Emmaline Bags to view the sewing tutorial!! 

But here are a few tips you might want to read before you head off to complete your project....

1. When making the larger Lip Balm holder the fabric will now be wider than the fob clamp....so I made a little pleat in the top of the fabric before attaching the fob clamp...I also have a serger, so after tacking the pleat with my sewing machine, I surged the top edge.

2. I had an issue with the metal prongs inside the fob not bending down, which cause them to dent the front of metal bar of the fob....

To fix this issue I used a pair of needle nosed pliers to bend the prong forward slightly before adding the fabric piece and squeezing the fob closed.

See how straight the prongs are?

and now they are bent slightly forward...

3. You know what else fits into the lip balm holder?   

A Flash drive!! So if you were thinking the guy or gal in your life doesn't really use lip balm....well here's another reason to make the Key Fob!! 
And if you are worried this isn't secure enough....try adding a flap....

I just made the flap the same width as the holder. I Cut a piece 5" w x 3.25" h, but
I didn't interface this piece. Just fold the one edge under the 1/2" and then fold like the tutorial says and topstitch around the 3 sides without folding up the end. Then both (flap and pocket) raw edges go into the key fob. If you were going to sew on velcro for a closure I would add some interfacing to the flap and sew it on to the flap before topstitching, and sew the velcro to the pocket before folding and topstitching the sides in the tutorial instructions.
( I will update with more pictures and instructions once I make a flash drive version with the velcro! So check the tutorials tab on my home page in a few days!!)

Updated: a two fabric version, with a tweak.

You know I like things finished, but decided it was easier to add a 1/2" to the length and just fold it under, then it was to go to all the work of serging and dealing with the threads. Here's a new version...

For One Lip Balm Fob with 2 fabrics (reg. size) (I'll update again with the larger size when I make one)
(2) 3.75" x 5" pieces from two different fabrics (Your piece when sewn should measure 7" x 5")
(1) 2.5" x 6"  piece of interfacing 

You will sew the two pieces together along the 5"  edge. Press seam open. Press the top and bottom edge, as shown in the picture 3/8-1/2" under. Centre your interfacing and press in place.

Then press your piece in half along the 5" width. Unfold and press each raw edge into the centre, and then press in half again.

Now chose which end of the fabric you want to fold up, and topstitch the short end at about 1/8".

Then measure about 1.25" down from the top of your fob and pin the topstitched end in place.

Topstitch down both sides of your fob, again at about 1/8"

You're ready to add your hardware!!
One other tip I forgot to mention the last time...I put a little dab of glue inside the fob end too...no hard in a little extra strength.

That's it! Hope this helps you avoid some of the issues I had and maybe inspires you to try one or 10 of your own, lol!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Oh, and don't forget if you are joining in the BigQuilt Bee to link up your blocks this month and get in on the $25.00 Gift Certificate from

Find all the details here.

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