i work in a craft store, and we had a handmade secret santa exchange. my coworkers tried to guess who was making what for whom, based off of our purchases. too bad for them i was on a self-imposed semi-craft-supply-diet at the time, and was making my secret santa project from stuff i had in my stash.
a few years ago, i took part in a handspun competition, and came away with a handspindling goodie bag, including ~3oz of merino in fall colors. now, the person i ended up drawing for the secret santa happened to say in a random conversation both that she wanted mittens, and that she loved fall colors. as i had already spun the wool into yarn to make her mittens, i thought this was a good sign.
when plying, i tried to match up the colors as best as possible, resulting in the semi-striping in the finished mittens.
the pattern is of my own devising. it's more guidelines, actually.
the fingers of these are pointier than i like - i've remedied this in my subsequent pair.
i wracked my brain to think of a good way to wrap the mittens. i finally decided that i would make the packaging part of the gift.
see, this is why it was only a semi-craft-supply-diet, and not a regular one. the box was $1.99 retail, and the two sheets of scrapbook paper were $.59 each retail, so, with my employee discount, i spent about $2.50 on the entire project.
the ribbon for the tab came from my stash, as did the paint, markers and mod podge.
of course hippos are festive! haven't you ever heard the christmas classic, 'i want a hippopotamus for christmas'?
i made the hippo stamp myself out of craft foam, and i used acrylic paint instead of ink. looking back, i probably should have put the improvised inkpad on something soft, like a piece of craft foam, instead of just putting it on my desk.
i went back after the hippos were dry and outlined them with a sparkly black marker, and also gave them facial features.
i covered the interior and exterior with scrapbook paper and mod podge hard coat, which dries with a non-tacky satin finish. i love love love it!
since i cannot draw (or cut) a straight line with a ruler, the exterior edges ended up a bit wonky. i cut out bits of grey origami paper, to tie the hippos in to the rest of the box, and decoupaged them over the corners.
my signature, with a scrapbook paper hippo, just to pull the whole thing together.
my coworker loved it. and only one of my 15 coworkers guessed who i had. yay for sneaky crafting.