There are three Christmas treats our kids ask for every year – Sugar cookies, Egg Nog and Wassail. For years, I wondered if they just liked saying “wassail”, which I have to admit is kind of fun, but it’s also pretty yummy stuff. If you’re not sure what wassail is, it’s the object of the Christmas classic “Here we come A-wassailing”. If that still doesn’t help, then it’s basically hot spiced apple cider. The biggest difference being that it’s much more fun to say wassail than hot spiced apple cider. This is the second in our little series of inexpensive DIY gifts – Gifts for Giving| Wassail Mix and Ornament Set.
One of our favorite gifts with a bit of character is a recipe of some sort in a fabric gift bag. These bags are so easy to make and they can make the difference between “Gee thanks!” and “Aww, I love that!” I shared a fabric gift bag two years ago that consisted of a 12″ square of fabric, two rows of stitches, pinking shears and twine. You can read about that with more specific directions here.
Today we’ll add just one extra step to the bag and a fun ornament to embellish your bag.
Materials needed for your Wassail Mix gift bag & Ornament Set
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Items for the gift bag include …
Items for the felted apple ornament include …
- red felted wool or wool felt – 4′ X 8″
- green felted wool or wool felt – 2″ x 2″ scrap
- 2 skeins of embroidery floss – 1 each to match the red and green wool
- flat leather cording
- embroidery needle
- stuffing for ornament
- Apple Ornament PDF
Items for each Wassail mix …
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tbsp whole allspice
- 1/2 Tbsp whole cloves
- Wassail recipe card printed on card stock
Assembling the fabric gift bag
Fold the long edges of the fabric with the right sides together, aka hot dog fold. Stitch the long edge and bottom of the bag with a 1/4″ – 1/2″ inch seam. Trim close the top edge with pinking shears. Fold 3″ under along the top edge and press. Stitch all the way around the bag close to the raw edge that you just turned under.
For the wassail mix, measure the sugar and spices into a ziplock sandwich bag and seal it shut. Print out the recipe card and trim to size. Slip the sandwich bag and recipe card into your fabric gift bag.
Assembling the felted apple ornament
The ornament pictured was made out of thrifted wool sweaters that I felted using the process described here. It took about 5-10 minutes of hands-on time and they were good to go. You can also use felt squares, wool felt squares or any other fabric that doesn’t ravel.
Cut two apple pieces out of the red wool or felt and beginning near the center, stitch together using a blanket stitch. If the blanket stitch is new to you, check out this quick step-by-step diagram, and the awesome leather moccasins while you’re there.
When you have about an 1 or 2 inches left to stitch then it’s time to add your stem. Create your stem by inserting the leather strip through the center of the apple at the top.
Using a thimble and a thin needle, run a few stitches through the leather and secure to the top of the apple. If your leather is too thick for a needle, you can also add a drop of strong glue, like E6000, between the leather and apple piece on each side to hold it in place.
Cut two leaves out of the green wool or felt. If you want to add beads or embroidery stitches, now is a good time to do that.
As you work closer to the bottom of each leaf, place it on top of the apple and stitch through both layers, the apple and the leaf. This allows you to secure the base of the leaf, while leaving the top free and adding a little more dimension to your ornament. Pull the green floss through to the inside of the apple and tie a knot.
You can add batting either before or after you add the leaves, whichever you prefer. And if, by chance, you don’t have batting then you can always cut up scraps from the felted sweater and they work just fine as batting.
Continue stitching until the apple is closed. Cut an 8″ length of embroidery floss or pearl cotton for the ornament hanger, stitch to the top of the apple and tie a knot.
Gifts for Giving | Wassail Mix and Ornament Set Ideas
Tie the ribbon or twine around the top of the fabric bag. Secure the apple ornament to your bag by either wrapping it in with the ribbon or by loosely tying it above the ribbon. You can also add a gallon of your favorite apple juice too if you desire.
We tend to make these in batches of about 10 bags because they make great gifts for teachers, neighbors or the hostess for your holiday parties. It’s also a great gift for the kids to help with because even the littlest of helpers can add 3 cinnamon sticks to a bag and catch the excitement of giving to others. Of course, you’ll want to have some wassail for them to enjoy too, because not only does it taste magical, it also makes the entire house smell like Christmas!
Who would you add to your wassail gift bag list?
You can find a felted wool hot pad tutorial here too, in case you’re in need of another quick gift to add to some home-baked Christmas treats.