51 In Recipes/ Sewing

A Few Ideas from the Archives

Are you in the mood to create a few Christmas presents? If you’ve been around for a few years, this may very well be “old material” but if you’re new, or forgetful, hopefully this will be helpful for you in your last minute attempt to pull together some gift ideas for Christmas! Click on the recipe/tutorial names to be linked to posts about each! {Some of these tutorials are my own, others are ones that I tried & loved… all sources noted or linked to!}

First a few ideas from the kitchen…


Was a big hit last year…


And, if you really love the person you’re giving it to, you may want to include a loaf of…


So they can toast it and lather it up with Cinnamon Honey Butter!

finished loaves

This isn’t necessarily something you may want to do for Christmas, but consider it a reminder to buy little candy canes now {in December} to put away {in a place your kids can’t find} until February because you can’t find them in February!

choc cup7

::Icebox Cake::

This one is from WAY back but a super simple and DELICIOUS cake that you can make for a gathering or to give away. It’s a brainless, no-bake, really delicious cake that will make your guests/recipients ask you for the recipe!! The Nabisco Famous Chocolate wafers can be hard to find {Publix sells them with the ice cream toppings/cones} but worth the search. The cookies become soft and spongy when they absorb the whipped cream and the combination is dangerous!

Icebox Cake

Now, if you’d rather sit behind a sewing machine… here are few ideas for you!!

::Coffee Cozy by Erin Harris::

Last year I tucked gift cards in to-go coffee cups wrapped in a cozy! I also wrapped cookbooks in dishmats…



This little gem is a permanent fixture on the counter above my dishwasher. It is basically a little quilt for dishes that are drying {because my dishes rarely come out of the dishwasher completely dry}. The top side is pieced & top stitched with fun fabrics and the back is terrycloth for absorption. There may just be a dozen of these headed to the t-shirt shop so stay tuned!


::Pleated Apron::

For a while this link was down {my apologies} but now it’s up and running and an easy sewing project!



This little rice bag is my best friend. I use it every night in the winter! Three minutes in the microwave and then I tuck it in the bed before I crawl in. It’s  also wonderful to use for aches and pains! And… easy & inexpensive to make using rice & fabric scraps!!



This is an easy, no-sew project, for the little ones in your life. Using stamps {from the $1 rack at Michael’s} and a little fabric paint you can create cute & easy little onesies for the rovers in your life!



Super easy, super fun…



Last year I gave Sloane the sock rabbit above and did a little hand stitching on a soft gown… another easy way to transform something basic! I don’t have a tutorial for this one, I used a washable fabric marker to draw my design then stitched it out by hand using basic stitches and a back stitch for the grass! This is a great site for the wide variety of hand stitches!


This is another oldie…


This is my Community Bible Study bag and I love it; super sturdy with gusseted bottom, cute, and easy to make!



This is the tutorial I did last month for Edie. It’s recent and you probably remember it but I thought it would be helpful to include it in this post!



Ok rovers, hope that was helpful! Happy making! See you real soon with one more idea!

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  • michelle
    December 16, 2010 at 8:52 am

    You’re so crafty! I think I’m going to have to try the apron and tote bag patterns!!

  • Melissa
    December 16, 2010 at 8:54 am

    I finished my batch of cinnamon honey butter last night! My daughter, Adelaide, and I will make our deliveries today.

  • kat
    December 16, 2010 at 8:58 am

    I love all of these fun ideas!!! Homemade gifts are the best!!! I would LOVE one of those dishmats, hopefully I can be quick enough on the draw if/when you post them in the shop.

  • Amy
    December 16, 2010 at 9:16 am

    This is the BEST! I’m so excited you posted a “Sock Monkey” tutorial! I have been wanting to make a couple of sock monkeys for my girls this Christmas. We still have my mom’s sock monkey which has a great patina to him and my oiginal sock monkey too. They both have places of honor in my daughters’ rooms. I’ve seen the sock monkeys in the stores, but I wanted to make them since our family “heirloom” sock monkeys were hand made by someone we love. I also love the tutorial on the coffee mug cozy and dish mat. All are great ideas! Now off to crafting!

  • Kristen
    December 16, 2010 at 9:27 am

    All these ideas are so sweet and inspiring! I am getting completely OBSESSED with making gifts for Christmas this year! Darby– when you give homemade gifts, whether it’s and edible gift or a hand sewn one, do you just put it in a gift bag by itself, or do you have little tags you attach to each thing that indicates it was made by you? I have seen tags that say something like “Made by Me just for You”…

    I hand-felted beads and strung them on a chain to make an adorable necklace for my sister-in-law for Christmas this year and it feels strange to just dump it into a bag without a tag. Any suggestions?? LOVE your blog! Thank you!

  • Sherry
    December 16, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Made the butter for the 2nd year in a row (we even had requests this year)…am attempting the dishmat, but I’m failing bit time. I’m still a beginner with the sewing machine. It’s so intimidating for me:(
    You are a genius with the crafts.

  • Whitney
    December 16, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I just bought a canning kit and I’m nervous. That cinn butter you posted reminds me of the Cinnamon raisin walnut cream cheese at Big Blue Bagel! I get that on my Fruit on a Bagel. I bet you’ve tried that!

  • Randa
    December 16, 2010 at 9:36 am

    These are all great ideas!! I will be using more than one of them. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Erica
    December 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Thank you! I was trying to remember where I saw some of these recipes! I think I am going to surprise my kids with a Candy Cane Heart ice cream cupcake! They look delicious! Thanks, Darby!

  • Amy
    December 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Can’t wait to see the dish mats! I want one. I’ll be checking the site frequently.

  • Natalie
    December 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

    You have the greatest little homemade gifts! I have been reading your blog for a while now and have been so inspired to sew. I’m getting a sewing machine for Christmas and hopefully soon I’l be savvy enough to attempt and finish a few of your projects! I’m going to be on the lookout in the meantime for the dish mats in your shop. I have wanted one of those for a long time (since reading that post). 🙂 I’m also ready to try your cinnamon honey butter! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

  • anna rose
    December 16, 2010 at 10:40 am

    i have to tell you – i gave the “cinnamon honey butter” as gifts again this year. what a hit 🙂 i love reading your blog – thanks for the morning entertainment!

  • lesley
    December 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

    can you report the ice box cake recipe? I want to try that one and it looked like the old link is gone. Thanks girl!

  • lesley
    December 16, 2010 at 10:47 am

    report? I meant replace…i think.

  • Michelle
    December 16, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I love the Cinnamon Honey Butter!! I made it a few months ago and I use it all the time! My finace and I are actually thinking about filling little mason jars full for our wedding favors coming up in May. Don’t worry though — I always give you credit 🙂

  • Tiffany from HOLIDAY
    December 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

    When I first read about your cinnamon butter a long time ago, I had made up my mind that I’d make some this Christmas to hand out. So when I saw tiny jars months ago, I bought them. Thanks for posting this link again for quick & easy reference. I’m excited all over agian to make these! MERRY CHRISTMAS to one of my all-time favorite blogs! xoxo

  • Tiffany from HOLIDAY
    December 16, 2010 at 11:03 am

    oh, p.s. also thanks to you I made the candy cane hearts to put on my little one’s tree in her room. they wound up looking too Valentine’s Dayish so i took them down but we had fun making them and will do so again. xoxo

  • Snekcip
    December 16, 2010 at 11:29 am

    That Candy Cane cupcake was too cute! You can pick up bags up them for maybe 25cents apiece after the holidays! That is usually the ONLY thing that’s left….oh and plenty of crushed and flattened bows! ha!

  • Kim
    December 16, 2010 at 11:57 am

    I am SO stinking excited about the dish-mats being available soon! Made my day! Lots of great ideas- thanks so much!

  • Laura
    December 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Cinnamon Honey Butter and Apple Butter are on my to do list for this weekend. Made them both last year and everyone loved it!

  • Kate from Party Resources
    December 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I love these ideas! I am baking Christmas breads right now…A homemade gift these days is to rare and so nice! Merry! Merry!

  • JWK
    December 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I can’t wait to try these! Thanks for the refresher. Merry Merry Christmas to you and your rovers!!

  • Lindsey
    December 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Wish I had thought of a cookbook to go with your dishmats!! Great suggestions.

  • HannahJ
    December 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    You are AWESOME!!!! Such fabulous ideas! I did the cinnamon honey butter last year after seeing it here- it was indeed a HUGE hit! I gave it to all of my Dads relatives that we see a few times a year- and every time I see them they still talk about it!:) I thought it would be good with a little cornbread mix too!

  • Katie @ Katie Beth Interiors
    December 16, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    I LOVE that no bake cake! I used to request it when I was younger for my birthday instead of actual cake. I love it so much I even asked my mom if we can have it next week when we go to their house for Christmas since my b-day is Saturday 🙂 Too bad I am 28 and still obsessed with such a simple dessert haha

  • Heidi
    December 16, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for all of your uniques ideas! You are just the best!

  • Kathy
    December 16, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I wanted to tell you I made dishmats for myself, a friend and my sister. We all use them daily. I think I should make them again! I love your ideas. Merry Christmas!

  • Courtney Fuller
    December 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    What great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Love your blog 😉

  • Megan C
    December 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Great gift ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • annek
    December 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    It’ll be like the Cabbage Patch Kids all over again when those dishmats go up for sale…we’ll all be trying to snatch one up…and since I’m not too good at that…I’ll just have to wait..haha
    Everything looks great!

  • Courtney
    December 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks so much for posting the recipes. I made the cinnamon honey butter last year and some friends asked for it again but I completely forgot where I had found the recipe. Have a wonderful Christmas!!!!

  • Cacy
    December 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    i want a tote bag!! i love the fabric you used and i really am not the sewing type…wish i was!?! maybe you’ll be adding that to your t-shirt store???

  • Michele
    December 17, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Love your blog and beautiful ideas. Unfortunately, the dish mat and pleated apron are 2 tutorials I have tried to download in the past and am still unable to get.
    Are they up yet? The Marla and Shane site for the apron are not working. Thank you!!

  • Perfecting Pru
    December 17, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Morning Darby,
    Last year I made the heated bag, and your instructions were spot on. I added some Morrocan tea leaves to it and it smells wonderful. Thank you so much for the tutorial.


  • Katie
    December 17, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Yummmy!!! I love you honey butter! It’s been almost a year since I made it but will be whipping some up this weekend- which I may consume more than I give away!!! 🙂

  • Sara
    December 17, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I went to walmart last night to grab a gift for my brother and couldn’t resist picking up some mini mason jars for that YUMMY looking honey butter. I can’t wait to try it out!

  • Margaret
    December 17, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I’ve been making coffee sleeves for all my co workers. And I’m doing mason jars of hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows. Thanks for the great tips!

  • Rebecca
    December 17, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Darby, could you BE any more creative??!! Love you!!! Is that weird? You don’t know me 🙂 Thanks for all of the fabulous ideas…I am off to find a fabric store in this huge city that I live in so I can make dish mats for all the people that I love (and know) haha. Thanks for being such an inspiration! I know you think you’re ordinary, but I have to disagree…God bless and merry Christmas!!!

  • Rebecca
    December 17, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Darby, could you BE any more creative??!! Love you!!! Is that weird? You don’t know me 🙂 Thanks for all of the fabulous ideas…I am off to find a fabric store in this huge city that I live in so I can make dish mats for all the people that I love (and know) haha. Thanks for being such an inspiration! I know you think you’re ordinary, but I have to disagree…God bless and merry Christmas!!!

  • Katie
    December 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    The cinnamon honey butter is SO addictive! It’s delish on everything. I find reasons to fix toast just to have some! Thanks so much for sharing! I made it for Christmas happies this year.

  • abby
    December 18, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    omg…i NEED those adorable dish matts. please let us know when they are in your store! love ’em.

  • Michele
    December 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I’m dying for one of those dishmats. But I have to buy it from you, not make it.

  • lindsey
    December 19, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I love that Pioneer Woman cookbook! I just gifted it to someone in England so she can have some of her homeland nostalgia food.

  • katy
    December 19, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I am making 15 of the heated bags for friends, co-workers and some family members. Thank you, Darby!! You are awesome and I can’t wait to try some of the other things. BTW, my sewing machine was under the tree and I was supposed to wait to open it. When I saw your tutorial, I opened it last night (shh!!!) and learned how to work the thing. Now, I’ve completed one heat bag. And I’ve created the “bag part” for 11 others. I can’t tell you how proud I am of myself and it’s really just because of your great tutorial. Keep all the wonderful things coming!

    BTW, did you say how much rice you use? The one I finished tonight is actually mine, and it’s under my back RIGHT NOW. It feels a little hard. I’m pretty sure I used too much rice. I think I will use less for the others…

  • katy
    December 19, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I found the answer to my question. It was right there in your tutorial (of course): 1.5 cups in each section. That would be why mine is a little hard. At least I realized that before the others. Thanks, Darby!

  • Dina
    December 20, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Oh I can’t wait to make sock monkey, thank you for re-posting, I could’t find it!

  • Beth
    December 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    OMGosh!! The cinnamon honey butter is out of this world as is the honey oatmeal bread. Thank you so much. We love it and so do my dear neighbors. You are wonderful and so talented. Merry Christmas!

  • andi
    December 20, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Hey Friend!!! 🙂 Just love this post!

  • debra
    December 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Darby…off topic…didn’t know if you knew that Edie’s house burned down this morning at 3 a.m. Thankfully, everyone is safe but I think they lost everything. Prayers are definitely needed.


  • Whitney
    December 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    These are so great! Glad you posted them all together, so inspirational. I made the whole wheat honey oatmeal bread this past weekend and it was delish!!! My husband ate almost a whole loaf in one day 🙂 Thanks Darby! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.

  • Mobypicture.Com
    April 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know
    a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure
    why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.