Gifts to make for men
I can’t be alone in finding it REALLY difficult to handmake any gifts for the men in my life, am I right? So having decided this year to handmake as many gifts as I possibly can, I came a bit stuck when it came to presents for my men. August in our family is a bit like Christmas as we have about 15 close friend and family birthdays to provide for. And four of these are my husband, my dad and my two teenage nephews. Not easy.
I did a bit or internet trawling to come up with ideas and I created a Pinterest pinboard of Gifts to make for men, which you might like to have a look at. I also came across this rather lovely blog called ReFabulous which had ideas for turning men’s old t-shirts into eco-friendly shopping bags here, as well as how to make a wallet out of old paperpack books here.
This inspired me to expand on this idea a little. I didn’t think my hubby would use a wallet I made but I thought he might use a bag (for off duty, not for work!). I was pretty sure my dad would as well, as he’s actually a crafty type himself, being very into creating and collecting ceramics (see his book here!) and as their birthdays are on the same day, I figured I would make them both a messenger bag. I used an old Tintin book we had that we never read as it was in French. Anyway, heres the how-to:
Tear out pages from the book, and trimming the torn edges. Layout on sticky backed plastic, overlapping edges of the pages slightly. Cover the other side in sticky backed plastic.
The main body of the bag is made from one long strip of comic strip, mine was two pages wide and four pages long, but in cm that is 40 cm x 104 cm. Then cut two side edges 13.5 cm x 30 cm. The long piece will fold up as follows to become the bag: 30cm (bag front) 11 cm (bag base), 30 cm (bag bag), 11 cm (bag top), 22cm (bag flap).
Cut pieces of canvas the size of each of the comic book parts and tack the canvas onto the comic book part so that it is essentially lined completely with canvas. this will make it strong enough to use.
Mark where the folds should be and sew the two side flaps on to the sides of the main body where the bag base will be. Then sew up the front edges. This will be quite tricky where the corners are so I just sewed as close to the corners as I could get and handsewed the bits I couldn’t get to at the end. Sew everything with the seams on the outside.
Repeat for the seams up the back sides. Cover all the raw edges and seams in bias binding. Again, parts I couldn’t get to I finished sewing by hand. You could add velcro or a magnetic fastening at this point.
I added strap webbing with little rivets I bought very cheaply from eBay, but you could equally just sew the strap on.
Et voilà (as Tintin would have said had he not just been made into a messenger bag,) the finished bag! Not one to waste anything, I also made the book cover into a notebook, but I’ll save that for another day…