It’s only the second day of official Christmas and birthday gift making, and already I am feeling such a thrill of knowing that I have presents that are completely done!

For the second day of A Gift a Day, I chose to repurpose some hand-me-down curtains to make a scarf. I cut a piece of sheer floral fabric, 60″ by 14″,  and narrowly hemmed the edges. (Ideally, I would cut it 14″ by 64″, so if you have more, go longer!)

Sheer fabric may drive you insane. It slips relentlessly, even while you’re trying to lay out and measure the fabric. Hemming the edges turned out to be a constant challenge. This project took longer than I had hoped because of the slip factor, but I love the results. If you have a serger you could serge the edges, which would cut the time down considerably.

After several tries, I found it easier to iron a narrow hem once, and then fold it over a second time (encasing the raw edges) by hand as I sewed, instead of trying to iron the fabric down twice and pinning it. I tried the latter method, even using spray starch, to no avail. In the end, it was faster and easier to do the former. Be careful not the stretch the fabric too tight while you are doing that.



sheer floral fabric (about 1/4 yard, 60″ wide)
matching thread


sewing needle, or a sewing machine
yard stick or meter stick
washable fabric marker


The total time for one scarf is one hour.

Today I made two scarves. For the second scarf, I used another curtain panel that I picked up from a friend at her garage sale this morning. This one was a very thin cotton. It didn’t slip, and it had straight edges already, so I used two of those straight edges that were already sewn as part of  the edges of the scarf.


$0.00 per scarf, as I used repurposed fabric and the thread was less than .01. The second scarf’s price is questionable, as the fabric was one of the things I had at the end of my garage sale totaling, and my friend’s husband rounded my final total down.

If I were buying this fabric on 50% off sale at the fabric store, my cost would vary depending on the fabric chosen. Another option for fabric is to look at garage sales and thrift stores for sheer floral curtains.

I will be sewing gifts tomorrow as well, but those are not likely to be completed in one day, as they are more time-consuming projects. Tomorrow I will be working on a dress for my oldest daughter.

What gifts did you make today?

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  1. I am in awe of your sewing skills! I am trying to do at least 75% homemade Christmas gifts this year (inspired by you!).Yesterday I tried the homemade gift bows on Pinterest that are made from magazine pages. They turned out really cute!Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for posting your great ideas. Thanks to your inspiration, at least 5 of the people in my house will be receiving handmade boxe3r shorts this christmas from repurposed t-shirts. I usually purchase at least 4 pairs per person at $5 a piece every year so that is a savings of at least$100. dollars.

  3. Oh, thank you!!! I was racking my brain for a homemade gift for my husband’s grandmother’s 85th birthday next weekend; she will be getting a scarf or two now. Yesterday I finished 8 bookmarks (3 for each son and 2 for my husband) which will be stocking stuffers, and started on a pair of knit mittens for my oldest son. Today I will work on the mittens and maybe cut out a pair of flannel pyjama bottoms for my youngest son. Neither will be finished today, but they’re gone until this evening camping with their dad at a surprise birthday party for a friend, so I need to move on as much as I can until they come home. (THAT was my favorite frugal birthday present to the boys’ friend: time. And lending a tent and roasting sticks.)All right, I’m burning secret gift making time. 🙂 Have a productive and lovely day, Brandy! I hope the illness has left your home and everyone is feeling much better.Blessings,Shani

  4. I think I’ll be adding some scarves to my gift list! I usually think of scarves as crochet or knitted items, but I have some silky prints that are taking up space in my stash that would be perfect!

  5. I made a checkbook cover for my sister. I used scrap fabric I had leftover from another project so the cost was minimal. I used this tutorial: . I couldn’t get my fabric to ruffle without the thread breaking so I ended up skipping the ruffle. Instead I appliqued a K on the front. It turned out even better than I thought it would! Hope everyone is enjoying Christmas crafting and sewing! 🙂

  6. The scarves are lovely! Thank you for sharing this idea – I have seen some beautiful sher panels at garage sales, thrift stores, etc., and I know I could do this! My mother handed me down her sewing machine several years ago – it’s a really good one, and it has a foot that does a rolled hem…do you think that would work for finishing the edges? I will have to give it a try. :)I am in the process of making a list of things I can make from items I have on hand. Thank you for the added inspiration!

  7. These are really lovey scarves. I went into my fabric stash and found 2 pieces I could make scarves out of for family or me ;). I love your series. Thank you.

  8. Lovely. I used to do a lot of sewing and if I remember correctly-there are special feet you can purchase that makes a tiny hem. It rolls the fabric twice as you sew it and u can press it afterward. It makes it lots easier!

  9. It’s called a rolled hem foot. I have one, but I couldn’t get it to roll twice–only once–which didn’t work for me. I think it’s going to take some practice and maybe someone helping me to get it to work!

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