Making something special for a guy in your life is easier than you think. These three projects take at most 30 minutes each and are great to give individually or as a set. I’m always looking for something special to make for my husband, and I quickly realized that handmade items make his day. The time and care that went into the item really shines through. Plus, a handmade gift is one-of-a-kind and will make him feel unique and loved.Learn how to make a key fob in just five minutes, a handkerchief in 15 minutes, and a simple wallet in 30 minutes.
Five-Minute Key FobKey fobs are decorative additions to key rings. They’re also highly functional as they provide a handle for your keys. This key fob is incredibly simple and can be made in just five minutes.
• 14” of 1” ribbon, twill tape, or cotton webbing • One 1” swivel lever hook (see “Findings” below for details) • Matching all-purpose thread • Matches or a lighter (optional)
FindingsStep 1: Key fob hardware sets come in many different forms. Personally, I prefer the swivel lever hook option. These come in several metallic finishes and sizes. The size indicator in the name refers to the ribbon opening’s width. It will also inform as to the widest possible ribbon that can be inserted into the loop.
ConstructionStep 3a: Insert one end of ribbon through the ring on the hardware. Pull the ribbon so that 2” are through the ring.
15-Minute HandkerchiefsHandkerchiefs are by far the classiest way to blow your nose. They’re also handy to have around for all sorts of other reasons. Besides, they’re a great way to give a personalized gift to someone you care about.
• 14” x 14” square of soft cotton • Matching all-purpose thread • Removable fabric marker • Acrylic ruler • Iron
MarkingStep 1: On the fabric’s right side, mark 1/8” along all edges. These marks will be used to press the edges in. The marks will be folded up inside edge, so don’t worry if they become permanent when pressed. TIP: If you have a rolled edge foot, this project is much easier. No need to mark or press the edges up. Simply run the fabric through the rolled edge foot after cutting.
PressingStep 2a: Fold right side to wrong side along the marked lines, pressing as you go. Be careful not to burn fingertips. Allow each edge to cool. For corners, simply fold over as you go; folding the next edge will create a slightly thicker lump at the corner, but will be fine for this quick gift.
SewingStep 3: Carefully sew along the folded edges, stitching close to the fold. Sew all four edges, pivoting at the corners. For best results, begin stitching along one side instead of at a corner. Make more than one handkerchief out of matching fabrics to create a set. Consider monogramming the handkerchiefs before pressing and sewing.
30-Minute Simple WalletThis little wallet is highly personalized and incredibly classy. Whether it’s used to hold business cards or credit cards and an ID, it’s sure to come in handy. The monogram is an especially nice touch. This wallet can be made out of scraps of pleather or leather.
• 2-7/8” x 11¼” scrap of flannel-backed heavy-to-medium-weight vinyl • 2½” x 3½” rectangle of medium-weight interfacing • Temporary spray adhesive • Contrasting 30 wt. thread • Large hand embroidery needle • Leather machine needle • Fabric or paper clips • Removable fabric marker • Acrylic ruler
PreppingStep 1a: On the fabric’s wrong side trace a half circle using the spool of thread. Center the half circle on one 2-7/8” end. Cut out the half circle.
EmbroideryStep 2a: Using a removable fabric marker, draw the monogram in the center of the vinyl’s right side. To ensure the monogram is centered properly, fold along the crease and measure in from each side. TIP: Always make sure the chosen removable fabric marker will remove quickly and easily. When working with vinyl I tend to use heat-removable fabric markers as they dry quickly, show up nicely, and wipe away with a wet cloth.
Step 2b: Thread the needle with the contrasting thread. Plan how you will embroider the monogram. In general it’s best to work bottom to top so as to avoid accidentally wiping away markings while working.
ConstructionStep 3a: Fold along the crease lines. Trace a small spool of thread on each corner, including the corners on the half circle cutout edge.
Step 3b: Cut along the curved lines to round all the corners. Note that the uppermost edge in the image has angled corners; this edge will be hidden inside and does not require curved corners. Be sure to also trim the interfacing to keep it from showing on the final product.