The stork has been a frequent visitor to our neck of the woods this summer, and there are still a few deliveries on his schedule for the fall.
This week’s Craft Corner column offers suggestions for gifts and baby shower favors that are all simple to make, but one will require a little more time than the others.
Our Blocks-in-a-Box are hand-stitched blocks — with plastic canvas as the base — presented in a lidded box that can also be used to store little socks, hair ornaments or other baby treasures. Fill the blocks with jingle bells or potpourri sachets for added interest.
For a baby shower, make up a few of our little favor boxes and attach them to a small stuffed animal. Place a gift card, money or treats in the lidded box, which can be used as a decoration for baby’s room later on.
And to use up odds and ends of yarn, why not try making a soft and fluffy pompom ball. Plain yarn works better than some of the novelty versions, as the latter can shed pieces of fluff and other stuff that might not be good for baby.
To make a solid block
1. Cut six equal-size squares from plastic canvas.
2. Cover each square with yarn using stitch of choice.
3. Join squares with whip stitch at edges to form block.
4. Leave one edge open and add bells or potpourri, then stitch closed.
To make a block with lid
1. Follow Steps 1 and 2 for solid block.
2. Join five squares with whip stitch at edges, leaving block without one side.
3. Use a whip stitch to finish off three raw edges of the open side.
4. Stitch the sixth square to the block along one edge to form hinge.
5. Finish three open lid edges with a whip stitch.
6. Add ribbon where desired to form closure.
Our sample consists of six 3-inch blocks, but size and number are up to you.
Complete your blocks, then add alphabet letters and numbers if desired. Use quick-dry tacky or hot glue, or sew them on with a needle and thread. If you sew, you might want to add them to the squares before making the blocks.
We placed the letters on the blocks by putting A, B, C, D, E and F on separate blocks — then G through L on separate blocks and so on — so that a child can learn the alphabet by lining the blocks up in groups of six. We also added numbers 1 through 9 to the blocks.
To make the box, cut plastic canvas so that the blocks will fit inside, then follow the steps for making the block with lid above.
If you add potpourri to the blocks, be sure to encase it in a sachet so that tiny bits won’t escape through the canvas.
Block shower favors
Our baby shower party favors consist of a small stuffed animal attached to a block with lid.
Follow the steps above to make the block, then use a long needle (7-inch) to run yarn through the block and animal. Knot the yarn at the end so it won’t pull through the block, then knot again 3 to 4 inches above the top of the block. Make this knot substantial so that it won’t pull through the animal. Run the yarn through the body of the animal from bottom to top and form a hanger by tying a loop in the end.
To make our pompom ball, use leftover yarn to make enough pompoms (one size) for a decent sphere.
Leave long ends on the threads you use to tie the pompoms and be sure to tie them very tight so that the yarn pieces won’t easily pull out.
Tie the pompoms together (using the long yarn ends) until the ball is the size and shape you wish. Use double knots so pompoms are securely attached to one another. Trim any excess yarn.
Contact Jonetta Coffin at firstname.lastname@example.org