Brittany Campbell
art director + designer


DIY Christmas 2013. Part 1.

This year I decided to do a DIY Christmas, which means I've been extremely busy turning my apartment into Santa's workshop. Now, there are many reasons to do a DIY Christmas. One of the reasons being that it's relatively inexpensive. While I'm sure some people can make that happen, I've realized that this year's line up of homemade gifts has actually cost the same, if not more than gifts I have purchased in previous years. But I'm not doing a DIY Christmas to save some money. I'm doing a DIY Christmas because making something means more than buying a meaningless gift.

Here's how I look at it. In previous years, I hadn't really made a lot of money. I was in college or trying to land my first full time job. Cash was something I had very little of. So when I would save my money to buy people in my life presents, that was actually a sacrifice. Now, I'm not saying I'm made of money, but this is the first year I've had a full time salary job. My financial situation has made it easier for me to spend money. Therefore, buying gifs for loved ones isn't much of a sacrifice. Although my paychecks have gotten larger, the amount of free time I have has gotten smaller. Making gifts is time consuming and requires me to sacrifice my free time. I think that the ultimate way to show someone you care about them is to give them something you don't have a lot of.

I wanted to start blogging about all my projects weeks ago but seeing that these projects are Christmas gifts, I had to wait until the recipients unwrapped them before I could share. This week I was able to give the children of families I babysit their gifts, so,  here is part one of DIY Christmas 2013!

Fort in a Bag:

This year my roommate's cousin and her 3 kids moved to Chicago. They invite us over every Sunday for dinner. I babysit their kids every once and while. They've become almost like my Chicago family. So last week, we invited their family over for a Christmas party. We made Graham Cracker houses, drank eggnog and sparkling cider. Someone turned on the record player and we danced to ABBA for about an hour. They have three kids. Deputy (7), Lincoln (5), and Odin (3). I wanted to make them something that they could do as a family. Something that they could all share. These kids are little geniuses so I wanted to give them something that could spark their creativity.

So, I purchased a few full size flat sheets, clothes pins, suction-cup hooks, and glow sticks. I threw them all in a bag and sewed a label on it saying "Fort in a Bag." In order to make the sheets the ultimate fort building sheets, I sewed ribbons along the edges so the kids could tie the sheets together or tie them to furniture or hooks in their home. I also took a couple colored sharpies and drew patterns on the clothes pins in order to make the boring wood a bit more fun.

Lincoln and Odin making their first fort!


So I met Sarah and Natalie 5 years ago when I taught them swim lessons. I started babysitting for them and their family soon became my family. I've seen these girls change from toddlers to preteens. But one thing they've always loved doing, is baking. When ever I come over they have some baking project that they want to do with me. So this year I decided to give them their own baking kit. I made them each aprons and gave them their own kid sized spatula and wisk and a cake pop kit.

I basically made the pattern myself. I took some butcher paper and cut out the shape I needed. 

Sewed a pocket on the front and the ties around the neck and the waist.

Here are the girls modeling for me!

Well, those are the first 2 projects! Stay tuned for more...
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