Lil’ stitchin’ cute



What about some cross-stitching for little personalised gifts?

This year most of my family and friends got these personalised lavender bags for Christmas. Even though smelling up your wardrobe is not the first thing on anybody’s letter to Santa, it seems everybody liked it! Here’s how I made them, inspiration and technical details.

I wanted to customise each bag by the colour and the pattern, to something I thought fitted the person. So I listed stuff that reminded me of each person, then searched the wide web for patterns to inspire me and eventually came up with what you see here.


  • My mom got a sweet birdie on her favourite shade of blue,
  • my sis got a wise cute owl on her favourites orange and pink,
  • my dad got a whimsical ingenious hot air balloon in greens and blues


  • my bro and his girl got lil’ hearts from the flags of their favourite travel destinations together,



  • and, finally, my grandma and grand-auntie got these classy monograms.



In the end, I liked the monograms so much that the image bags got their little initial on the back as well.

I mostly adapted from charts found on pinterest: bird, owl, balloon, big letters, small letters. (note: I seem to have lost the link for the bird, if anybody recognises it, please let me know). The heart flags I designed myself on my lil notebook!


(there you go, another use for excel – cross stitch charts!)

The bags were very straightforward to make, after the motives were stitched.

I used:

  • aida white cloth 14-count, 2 rectangles for each bag of 12 x 20 cm
  • lavender, about 10 tsp each bag, or about 25gr each (from amazon)
  • or, optional, I used red cedar wood for my dad’s thinking it would be more manly, and I am thinking of doing a rose petal one for myself (from ebay)
  • 25 mm satin ribbon for piping, 50 cm
  • 10 mm satin ribbon for tying the bag, 50 to 100 cm, whether you prefer a big or dainty bow

I also used a sewing machine, though it can be done by hand, embroidery needles, a tiny safety pin and a handy unpicker.

The piping is made of the ribbon folded in half, sandwiched between the two rectangles facing each other. The seam allowance is about 7mm. I used a straight stitch all around, pivoting in the corners – important to make a tiny notch on the satin ribbon in the corners, in order to turn it on a right angle. The edges were finished with a zigzag stitch and the top edge is folded once and stitched by about 15mm.


For the tying ribbon, I used the unpicker to take out 3 rows of thread from the aida cloth and threaded the ribbon with the safety pin.Hopefully, it will hold, and the owners can change the stuffing whenever they choose.

What do you think? Would you like to do something like that? Or would you feel offended that the giver thought you had moth problems?  What other motives would you stitch?

Hopefully your holidays smell nice and look cute, too. Merry Christmas!


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