#HealthyMe: Crafting Away Stress and Gift Lists with Michigan Mitten Ornaments

Julie Bitely

| 3 min read

When it comes to crafts, I’m a really good curator, but not necessarily someone who regularly executes her creative vision. Translation: I like to shop for homemade stuff, but I don’t often make it myself.
I recently wrote about the stress-busting effects of crafting, and since I really like the idea of making things , I decided to sign up for a recent holiday crafts workshop held at 6.25 Paper Studio in Grand Rapids.
If you live in or near Grand Rapids, the selection of unique cards, pretty office supplies, Michigan-themed merchandise, and gift wrapping supplies is well worth a stop at 6.25 Paper Studio. It’s seriously cuteness overload and I knew the store’s unique aesthetic would translate to a great crafting night.
I was not disappointed! I dragged along a couple of friends and the shop’s staff walked us, and other ladies in attendance, through three crafts. Over three hours later, I walked out with a gold leaf lined paper mache bowl, a ceramic watercolor mug (created with nail polish!), and an adorable felted Michigan mitten ornament (this link gives a good tutorial, the only thing we did differently was add batting to stuff the ornaments we made before sewing them up) .
The bowl and the mug turned out well, but I didn’t see myself making more to keep or give as gifts. (Definitely check out the links above if you want to, though.)
The ornament definitely stood out as a craft that turned out really cute and was something I wanted to make more of. Cutting out the felt Lower Peninsula shape is probably the hardest part of completing this craft, and pssst, it’s not that hard. I really did find the motion of sewing my little ornament’s border to be soothing and selecting just the right felt, sewing floss, and hanging ribbon was a fun artistic exercise.
ornaments 2
I liked the ornaments so much that I invited friends over the following weekend for a wine and crafts night. We all remarked about what a great, relaxing time we had just chatting, sewing, and stuffing ornaments to hang on our trees and give as gifts to family, friends, and co-workers. It was a nice way to get into the holiday spirit, while at the same time taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the season.
I hope to add holiday crafting as a yearly tradition that my young daughter might eventually enjoy. My husband and I are even taking our leftover crafting supplies to our family celebration this year and offering it up as an after-dinner activity for everyone to take part in if they wish. You could make a ton of different ornament shapes using the same basic steps. I think I need to work on locating an Upper Peninsula pattern for next year to make a complete Michigan ornament pair.
It felt good to make something with my own hands and I can’t wait to give some homemade gifts, which will hopefully be appreciated and loved by my recipients.
Are you crafty? Share your homemade holiday decorations with us!
Photo credit: Julie Bitely

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