Handmade Birthday Gifts: First Birthday!

This year we started having enough friends with kids to be invited to a fair number of birthday parties.  Our own philosophy with toys is that less is more.  I don’t want my house to look like a child care center, and it seems that the more toys there are the less the kids actually play with them.  They just all get dumped on the floor and where is the imagination in that?  So I think really hard about what would be a good gift to give a friend’s child, because honestly, once that toddler opens up the package and sees what’s inside- it’s theirs.  Even if you absolutely hate it.  So here are my picks for handmade birthday gifts!

One years old: Finger paints, paper, and a handmade smock or apron.

Your one year old is finally sitting up at the table and interested in trying new things.  They already paint with their squash so why not let them make some art you want to keep around?  Plus, this totally satisfies the proud grandparents and their need for refrigerator love.

I have posted before some smock ideas, and some easy ways to draft your own pattern for a reversible smock.  I will post up a tutorial once I can find the time and sunshine to photograph it!  For this gift I used a pattern from Homespun Threads.  It is the Little Chef Pattern and it sews up like a charm in no time at all.  It really is the simplest of patterns, but when you choose a special fabric, or some embellishments like embroidery or trim it really becomes something so much nicer that you could ever pick up at Target.  The apron itself uses very little fabric so it’s great for using up those less than 1 yard pieces of fabric you have left over after you finally cut into one of those special fabrics in your stash.  I think that it would also be darling in patchwork- a great scrap buster for sure.  In fact, if I make another one, this will likely be the route I take.  Unless I complete it the morning of the birthday party.  Ahem.

Here is some apron link love for inspiration, tutorials, or patterns!  Enjoy!

Free Reversible Smock Pattern

Free Little Chef Pattern

Art Smock Tutorial

Newborn dress to toddler apron refashion

Child’s size chef apron

Ruffled child’s apron

Child’s Ruffled Art Smock

Oilcloth Art Smock

Vintage “Smocket”

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