My primary job as a hostess for Brooke's baby shower was to create the favors. Something small and inexpensive to serve as a reminder of Brooke's day, but also something that her friends would actually enjoy. Maybe it's because dripping noses are a constant in my life (fortunately, Big Brother has conquered the habit of yelling "SNOT!" when he needs a nose blow), but these felt tissue pouches, inspired by a Martha Stewart project, seemed to fit the bill perfectly. They are easy (like ten minutes easy), require only basic materials, and add a happy and stylish touch to the exploding diaper bag and power purse alike. And they would make wonderful stocking stuffers, mini-hostess gifts, and teacher goodies. In fact, if I have enough felt left over, I'm going to send a few to preschool for Valentines Day.
Although Martha's method was a wonderful starting point, I found the result (in gray, anyway) to be a bit bland. Seeking more color and a little pizazz, I got a bit crazy with the stitch patterns on my sewing machine, and found the results to be decidedly more exciting. Just think what you could do with one of those fancy new sewing machines that have a million different stitch options (relative to my circa 1970 machine, anyway)! Although it might take away from the simplicity of the project, you could also embellish the pouches with trim--like ric-rac or thin strips of grosgrain ribbon. Or even felt appliques in a contrasting color. I had never used the fancy stitches, so rocking them was a blast for me and a fun way to bring in the colors we had selected for the shower.
The pouches I ended up with were really fun. We stuffed them with tissues, wrapped them in cellophane and homemade confetti (did you know that you can make pretty confetti with a Pottery Barn Kids catalog and a paper shredder?), and finished them off with a girly pink bow.
I hope a few of them will actually find their way into a diaper bag. Mine will...and we will empty it three times daily and probably rot parts of it with the inconquerable goldfish crummage that lives inside my bag (if not something worse). But I'm sure it will be well loved. And as the months tick by, it will remind us of Aunt Brooke's precious baby girl.
Who, I hope, will never, ever, yell about her snot.:)
- Blended wool felt (this holds up better than the craft store, acrylic variety, but still has a small price tag. I found mine at Joanns.) Each pouch requires a 6 3/4 by 5 7/8 rectangle.
- Thread in contrasting colors
- Travel-sized tissue packs (I bought mine from Rite-Aid)
- Pinking shears
- Basic sewing supplies
2. Use the decorative stitches on your sewing machine to embellish the short sides of your rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
3. Fold the short sides of your rectangle inward, so that they meet at the center line of your rectangle and create the shape of a pouch. Pin.
4. Use a straight stitch to close the two ends of the pouch, leaving a 1/2 seam allowance. (Don't be confused--this picture doesn't show the decorative stitching because it was my first pouch. Not very interesting, huh?)
5. Use pinking shears to cut off the open edges of your pouch. And there you have it!
I hope you find these as easy and fun as I did.