August is a month for picnics and fireworks, boating and barbecues. We certainly don’t think about Christmas during the summer. August, though, is the best time for crafters to look ahead to the holidays and get started making gifts for friends and family.
My favorite fabric store was open on the Fourth of July, so I browsed the shop with a current project in mind. What a surprise to find about 50 bolts of Christmas-themed fabric on display! They didn’t put it away in January! It was a pleasant reminder to me that it’s time to start making my holiday projects.
Why not in August, I reasoned. The materials are available—everything from Christmas prints to fleece fabric to yarn—and I’m looking for a relaxing project that I can make while I enjoy an iced lemonade in the shade on my back patio. I’m the kind of person who must always have a piece of handiwork to do; I cannot sit still at any time of year, so I might as well do my holiday crafting in August.
August is perfect: I’m not under pressure to finish quickly so items can be mailed and delivered by the end of the month, and I can take my time to do my best work. Sewing in August will save me suffering the stress of the time crunch in December.
Those on my gift list have always expressed appreciation for a handmade project, and I think they look forward every year to my gift that is planned and made uniquely for them. Sure, I could wait and buy them a gift when the sales start in November . . . but I do like to make gifts, and I like having time on my side.
If you can find fleece fabric—and I did—start making blankets and stuffed toys now. Fleecy pillows are a welcome gift any time of year. One of my most useful winter items was a bathrobe made of pink fleece. My little grandson will enjoy a stuffed, furry teddy bear, which I can get done if I start now. The older children on my list could use a cozy fleece throw in their favorite color for wrapping up in front of the TV, or for a pretty addition to their bedroom. I cannot—I must not—wait till December to begin!
The Christmas print cottons work well in table runners, potholders and other holiday crafts. If the print is right, the fabric could be used in making tree ornaments, wreaths, and Christmas stockings.
Remembering the Christmas rush of last year and the frenzy to buy the right gift (sometimes at the last minute) makes me eager to tackle my gift list now. I love to craft, especially with someone in mind, and I don’t like to work under pressure. Yes, August is a great time to think about the year-end holidays. And in December when my neighbors and family are worried about shopping and parties and the bank balance, I’ll just sigh and relax and be glad that I took care of those things earlier.
This Christmas will be the best one yet.
Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in diy and beauty. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book.