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Recycling & Upcycling the Kenyan Way

After Jess’ account earlier this week of thrifting the American way, here’s a brief update on the Kenyan way.

Living in Kenya provides a whole different perspective on the consumption society.  Recycling and reinvention of items are the matter of the day especially since new goods are generally very expensive.

Shopping in the piles of clothing
Shopping in the piles of clothing

The solution for the average person here is to shop for used goods.  From toys, to shoes, to furniture, clothing, etc., basically everything you can find in a thrift shop in the Western World.  It is that world where most of the items here come from.  Kenya is among the largest recipients of used goods, especially clothing and cars.  I am sure that we all have seen containers placed in certain parts of large cities in Europe and the USA inviting us to throw in our unwanted clothes, shoes and even other items.  Most of what we would throw into these containers finds its way to Africa – and most often to Kenya.   The charities, who collect clothes in the containers sell the goods (=funds raised for the charity) to an intermediary, who then sorts and sells the goods to vendors here in East Africa.  The goods are packed in large bundles, which then find their way to the Mitumba (which literally translates into Bundle) markets across Kenya.  At a Mitumba market, the average person can pick up a nice outfit for a decent price.  Depending on the quality of the item, you can get a shirt for 10 Kenyan Shillings (US$ 0,11), or spend as much as 1000 Kenyan Shillings (US$ 11).  The latter items would be rather upmarket and brands of high recognition.

Impressions of Toi Market - A Mitumba Market in Nairobi
Impressions of Toi Market – A Mitumba Market in Nairobi

As a crafter the Mitumba market is ideal place for me to find nice fabrics and materials to upcycle and use in my creations.  For those who know my Etsy shop, you can immediately find a combination of traditional East African materials with upcycled materials.  The yoga mat carriers as well as the pencil rolls are a perfect example. My personal love for jeans as well as colourful kikoy is reflected  in those items.

Yoga Mat Carrier
Yoga Mat Carrier
Kikoy & Jeans Pencil Rolls
Kikoy & Jeans Pencil Rolls

The ziezo Designs bunting baby dolls were born on the Mitumba Market by seeing a pile of wonderful wool jumpers, some felted, others not.  The felted wool was the perfect material to make lovely soft baby dolls children across the world would enjoy.

African Baby Bunting Dolls
African Baby Bunting Dolls

On my most recent trip to the market I picked up some lovely flower fabrics in the form of a skirt, some pillow cases and a dress.  I have plans to create a fabric bunting with these great fabrics, a different take on my traditional bandanna buntings like these:

Reusable Bandanna Party Bunting
Reusable Bandanna Party Bunting

Keep your eyes on the ziezo Etsy shop!  Soon there will be more upcycled products made with the donations that started in the Western world, which were then commercially passed on to those shopping at the Mitumba markets.  It might actually be made out of something that you donated!

Interested in learning a little more about living in Kenya?  Visit my personal blog “ziezo – Crafting and Living in Kenya

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Handmade Holidays: Tutorial for Sweater Pants

Pants made out of sweater sleeve is a classic in our house. They are comfortable, cheap and easy to make. I always get compliments on them when my little guy is wearing some. When I explained how easy it is, they all say : What a great idea!

This is a very easy and quick project that the even the I-barely-ever-touched-a-sewing-machine beginner can do.

You’ll need:

  • Sweaters
  • Thin or wide elastic for the waist.
  • The recipiant children’s pair of pants for a guide.

Cut out the sleeves of your sweater. The older the child, the bigger sweater you’d like to use.

Fold guide pants in half and place over sleeve. Cut.

Turn once sleeve inside out. Put the right side out sleeve into the inside out one.

Sew along.

For the waist, Method 1:

Serge the waist or double fold it. Sew along leaving a place to insert the elastic.

The elastic should be the circumference of the waist. Insert, sew both ends of the elastic and close the whole.

Method 2 : this one is less pretty, but it’s useful when you know there won’t be enough room for the butt if you fold at the waist. Some might want to use a coordonating color one. You can easily dye elastics. Ultimately it doesn’t show when there’s a shirt over it.

Take a wider elastic and sew ends together. Place wrong side facing elastic over right side facing pants and sew or serge around.

Now you know what to make of that pile of sweater people always give you ( I know I’m not alone! Someone even gave me only the sleeves…) I always make a pair of those for the Winter Solstice morning and they are always a hit.

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Tools of the Trade: Upcycled is Beautiful

Our family attends a Lutheran church where we live. Sadly it’s a church that is rapidly aging and not enough young folks are joining to replace the older generation. Maybe it’s because the trend in churchgoing in the US is more towards big evangelical churches with large screens and rockmusic being performed live. It’s not my cup of tea…

I am more of an oldfashioned kind of gal. I enjoy a good hymn, and I like to be soothed by old rituals. But Church is mainly a place to reflect, relax, and hang out with family.

One of my best friends at church is an elderly lady named Dorothea. Like me she is of German descent. Dorothea is in her late 80s and talking to her on Sundays feels like being home talking to any other granny in my village back home in Germany. She always asks me about my dolls and if I am still making them. In her younger days Dorothea used to sew and craft quite a bit.

So recently this friend bestowed a wonderful gift to me. I still can’t believe that she chose to give me this amazing box filled with goodies to make doll clothes with.

Want to read the rest of the story and see more photos? Please visit my blog over here.


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Felted Wool Cell Phone Case Tutorial

My cell phone is forever getting lost at the bottom of my purse.  I wanted to make a pretty cell phone case that would make it easier to keep track of.


First I knit a rectangle with easily felt-able wool yarn.  Knit it larger than you need because it will shrink when felted.  I simply guess-estimated making it about twice the size as I needed on size 8 needles.  I knit 30 stitches across which ended up being too wide. Make sure it’s a wool yarn that can be felted.  Stay away from yarn that says “machine washable” or “superwash” as it will not felt.  You can knit it or you can upcycle an old wool sweater by felting it in a hot wash cycle.


To do this, take your knitted wool rectangle or wool sweater and add it to the washer tied in a pillow case.  (this is to save your washer from wool fuzz.) Wash on hot with other sweaters or a few thick towels or pairs of jeans.  These will help agitate the wool.  Add a small amount of detergent.  Wash once or twice in hot water.  Check your sweater or knit piece to see if it’s tightly felted.  If it it’s felted well then dry it on high. Check often to make sure it doesn’t wrinkle while drying.  Once it wrinkles it’s wrinkled for good.  Now, when you cut your wool the stitches won’t pull apart or fray. If it does fray then repeat the felting process.

My felted rectangle ended up a little large so I cut it to size.  Use one long rectangular piece.  The bottom of the case will be the folded edge.


Now the decorating begins.  I used some scraps of wool yarn I had on hand.  I needle felted a single strand of green wool to make a leaf design.


Needle felt it well so that it does not pull off when rubbing against things in your purse.


Next I chose a brighter peach/pink wool for my flower.  I simply started in the center and wrapped it around and around to make a spiral or circle.


Then I needle felted the stem.


Blanket stitch the sides together.  Begin by hiding the knot inside at the bottom of the case.



Blanket stitch all the way up on both sides.  You can add a string so you can wear it by finger knitting the string and sewing it on.  Or you can finger knit a latch and button. Mine works well without a button and surprisingly doesn’t slip out in my purse.  I wanted to be able to easily pull it out in a hurry with out having to fumble with a button.  Though if you want to add a strap to wear it a button might be wise.

I think I’m going to have to make another with a strap for when we go on our walks.  How decadent of me!  Enjoy your lovely, new cell phone case!  And if you make this please link back to us here at Natural Kids so we can see.

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Recycled Calender Gift Box Craft

Why, oh why did I never think of this cool craft? All those years of putting beautiful calenders into the recycling bin when I could have turned them into something really beautiful and useful: Gift boxes. This is another really wonderful craft we found in Ecology Crafts for Kids by Bobbe Needham. Don’t throw away your old Calenders!

All you need is:

old calenders pages, the bigger the better or other beautiful square pieces of paper


a bit of tape

How it’s done:

  • Fold your rectangular calender page over from one corner to the other side to create a square. Cut off the access paper from your rectangular shaped calender page to create a square sheet. Basically this box is based on Origami techniques

  • Fold the other corner over and create a diagonal crease from corner to corner.

  • Open the square again and fold the corner towards the center of the diagonal line you made. You created another crease. Take the corner once more and fold towards the center of this crease. Now you will have three creases.

  • Repeat this process for each corner of your square. Make nice deep creases.

  • Once you open the paper you will see little square shaped creases all over it

  • Then take scissors and cut into the paper along the creased lines. Cut two squares deep.

  • Repeat this process for the opposite side of this corner!

  • Make the sides of the box by lifting up the long uncut sides and folding in the corners towards the center. Next lift up the cut corners and fold them over the sides of the box. Now you have one part of your box.

  • Take a second calender sheet and make a slightly smaller square out of it. The crafting book didn’t say that but we found that if you use squares of the same size your boxes will not go together easily. You have to squeeze the sides to make it fit together.

  • Repeat the folding process on that smaller square sheet. You will end up with two halves of a box that can be put together as one box. We taped down the corners in the center so they wouldn’t pop up.

I know this sounds very complicated, but once you get the hang of  it,  it’s really easy to do.

My daughter was so intrigued by this project that she turned page after page of calenders and magazines  into little boxes. Then she decided to peddle them for a few cents to the neighbors who surely needed boxes for their Christmas gifts…

Ulla Seckler  is a dollmaker who was born and raised in Germany. She lives in beautiful Colorado with her husband and two kids. You can find her Notes by a German Dollmaker on her blog where she shares some great German recipes, pictures of her sweet dolls, and life lessons learned.  Don’t forget to stop by her Etsyshop and take a peek at her wonderful doll creations.

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Today is America Recycles Day – Let’s Celebrate!

We all know how important recycling is for the health of our families and our planet, but did you know there is an official day to celebrate and promote it?

Newspaper Seedling Pots

All over the country, cities, schools, and groups of all sorts are hosting events that you may want to check out!   The official website for America Recycles Day has all the details and even an event finder.  In my community, I found computer and electronics recycling, the grand opening of a recycling education center and a community college that will be sifting through it’s trash from the day before to evaluate it’s recycling habits.   Click on over to and you can search for specific item recycling – like left-over paint or used batteries.

While at the America Recycles Day site, be sure to take the pledge and check out the video contest and cast a vote.  Here’s a fun one that might inspire you to make some music of your own using what you find in the recycling bins:


What activities will you do to celebrate recycling?  We’d love to know!

Tell us about it in the comments, or send us some pictures!

Looking for some inspiration?  Check out some of our great recycling fun in previous posts:

  • Compost recycling in Wild, Wonderful Worms!
  • Recycle a sweater and Make a Gnome Hat
  • Reuse those T.P. tubes and make Owls!
  • Fabric scraps and wool roving bits make awesome Felted Balls
  • Newspaper can be transformed into Seedling Pots with just a few folds.
  • This adorable bunny decoration uses up fabric scraps – how cute would some holiday elves be in the same style?!
  • Start gathering little wool bits from your holiday projects to use in the spring activity Blossoms for Birds
  • Friendship Dolls are another great project for tiny bits of fabric and wool and they make a great gift for a best friend!
  • This (quiet) Noisemaker makes use of a recycled cardboard tube
  • Use those branches that had to be cut off the Christmas Tree in order to get it to fit inside – make a Door Decoration!
  • A gorgeous transformation of children’s artwork into Bird Ornaments
  • This great Nature Collage project uses a recycled cereal box, but it could be modified to include more!  Instead of using natural items to make your collage, let’s see what you can do with recyclable bits and pieces.  Maybe things you find on a walk that could have been recycled, or a journal of your day illustrated with the actual recyclables used.
  • Make an I-Spy Jar using odds and ends that might otherwise be tossed in the trash.
Recycled Owls



Kelly of MudHollow (aka. MuddyFeet) can usually be found surrounded by stacks of wool felt and piles of wool roving, sewing or felting happily away or she may be out in the workshop carefully shaping a piece of wood and sanding it smooth.  When not absorbed in a project, she spends her time homeschooling one of her two boys, attending soccer games and caring for a small zoo that currently includes:  2 dogs, 3 cats, 9 frogs, 1 turtle and a variety of insects.  You can learn more about her by visiting her at MudHollow or on Etsy.

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From the Annals of a Crazy German Lady…

I am feeling a bit depressed today. Our baseball season has come to an end, and I will really miss watching this amazing American sport. Being German I did not know much about baseball until my son started playing. I instantly fell in love with it! There is nothing that gets your adrenalin pumping like a game of Little League kids going at it.

But there is one thing that really bothered me all summer. I had never seen such waste, mountains and mountains of trash, than at those little kids’ baseball games. Most of this trash came in the shape of water bottles.

I felt like a total outsider carrying around giant gallon sized refilled water-jugs from home. I could feel the stinging looks. (Lookey here: There comes the crazy German lady again with her water bottles.) My son was the only kid – I am pretty sure of it – who had a refillable water bottle in the dugout. I kept jogging over to refill his drink bottle about three to four times per game. Was that too much work? Not really. Not much different from grabbing a throw-away bottle from a cooler.

I know they all thought I was crazy. But what seems crazy to me is that people would pay up to $10 per gallon of bottled water (or even more if you buy at the concession stands) when you can bring it from home for about 1 cent per gallon. But that’s not the reason I am doing it. I am doing it because I like to avoid trash at all cost! I just don’t like it when a giant overflowing trashcan obstructs my view of the baseball field. Sigh!

Here are some facts I found on the Internet. Maybe I should print them up as handout for the next season? Will they still give me that look?

• Unlike soda and other carbonated beverages, there is no deposit on water bottles so fewer are recycled.

•Nationally, only 10% of plastic water bottles are recycled—90% end up as either garbage or litter.

•30 million single-serve non-returnable containers end up in landfills or as litter every day.

• We spend millions annually to clean up plastic bottles that litter our highways, parks and open spaces.

It’s a Waste of Energy

• 18 million barrels of crude oil equivalent were consumed in 2005 to replace the 2 million tons of plastic bottles that were wasted instead of recycled.

• Manufacturing that much plastic releases more than 800,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change.

• If we recycled the water bottles used in New York, we would save more than 67,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

• In New York, the oil used to make our bottles is equal to 66 million gallons of gasoline; enough to power 120,000 automobiles for a year.

Taking Action

• Since New York adopted the bottle bill in 1982, 90.6 billion beverage containers have been recycled. Roadside container litter has been reduced over 70%.

• San Francisco and Los Angeles have banned city departments from buying bottled water. Ann Arbor, Michigan is calling for city events to be bottled water free. Salt Lake City urges city workers not to buy bottled water.

Maine, Hawaii, California and Oregon have deposit laws that include bottled water.

What You Can Do

•Recycle or return all of your beverage containers.

•Pick up bottles along the road or sidewalk and recycle them.

• Drink tap water—it’s better for the environment, even using a fi lter is cheaper than buying bottles.

•Get involved—help start a recycling program at school, work and sporting events.

•Buy and refill reusable bottles.

•Learn more about your local recycling program.

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Wild, Wonderful Worms!

The last 5 years have seen a lot of change in our household. We do everything we can to reduce, reuse and recycle. As a result, we are avid composters. We have a lawn compost bin, two actually, for our leaves and grass clippings, and a compost bin for our kitchen. The compost bin for our kitchen gets the most interesting comments from friends and family. It sits right outside the kitchen door in the garage, and houses about 4,000 worms.

My 4 year old son holding a red wiggler.

No, the worms don’t get out and make a break for freedom, and no, it doesn’t smell, well not badly. If you open the bin and stick your head in it, it smells just like a walk in the woods after a rain. If you walk by it, you can’t smell a thing at all. No one knows that’s what the bin is even for until I tell them. The lack of smell is the biggest surprise to those not familiar with vermiculture. The next big surprise to those new to this kind of composting is how easy and well it works. We throw everything in there except protein (worms are vegetarian!) and our 4,000 worms handles all the scraps this family of 5 makes with ease.

So, if you want to turn all your kitchen scraps into the most perfect garden fertilizer you’ve ever used, fall in love with love wild, wonderful worms!

Our garden with rich, dark soil thanks to our worms.

The first thing you need is a big bin. I used a Rubbermaid plastic tote, because they are cheap, readily available and durable. Drill 1/4″ holes all around the top for air and 1/16″ holes all over the bottom for drainage. You will need 2 lids for the bin, one to use as an actual lid and one to use underneath to catch any liquid that drains from the bin. It’s important to have adequate drainage for two reasons: one, you don’t want your worms to drown, and two, the liquid that you catch is called worm tea and it’s gold for plants. Use it as a fertilizer for your indoor potted plants and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Once your bin is done, next fill it with bedding. You can use newspaper or cardboard. We use newspaper, it’s a great way to recycle it. Just tear it into strips before you put it in the bin and moisten it. White paper and coated cardboard is no good, so don’t start thinking you can recycle all your paper goods here, stick with good ole newspaper or plain cardboard. The worms need it for air circulation, so once you moisten it, fluff it up for them. Don’t let it get too wet, just damp like a wrung out sponge. Feel free to throw a handful of dirt or sand in there too, the worms need the grit in their diet too, although egg shells do a great job of giving them the grit they need.

The bin is all ready for worms!

Now your bin is ready for your worms! You want to get red wigglers. They are small, multiply easily and are fairly hardy. They are not the best for your actual garden since they do multiply fast and can take a garden over quickly, but they make the perfect vermiculture worm. They will multiply to meet the demand of the food you give them, but won’t multiply so much that they outgrow their bin, so it’s perfect. Try to get them locally as that’s the most earth friendly option, but if you can’t find a worm farmer close by, there are lots of worm farms online as well and they will ship them to you.

You need 1,000 worms for every 1 lb. of kitchen scraps generated daily. When you collect your scraps and are ready to feed your worms, just throw on some rubber gloves (I keep mine right on top of the worm bin with the extra newspaper and a spray bottle of water), clear a corner, throw in the scraps and cover the scraps with bedding. The worms will do the rest. Rotate which corner you add to each time. If you get any fruit flies or other bugs, stop feeding them for about a week, as that’s a sign there is too much food for them to handle. Either let them multiply a bit and catch up, or get more worms.

Worms and castings in their bin.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the bin itself, you’ll want to reap the rewards and harvest the amazing castings for use in your garden. Castings are worm droppings and are the best compost material around. Harvesting them is surprisingly easy. Just dump the whole bin out onto a tarp or large piece of cardboard and spread it out into a nice, thin layer, about 3 inches deep. Let it sit in the sun for a bit, and the worms will go straight to the bottom since they are not fans of the light. Scoop off the top layer of castings and add them to the garden. When you are left with little but worms, just start the bin again with fresh bedding, food and put the little guys back in their home.

Worm castings ready for harvest, notice there are still some eggshells and a bit of bedding in this bins castings. 
That’s ok, just add them right into your soil too.

Mix the castings in with vermiculite, peat moss and some manure and you have the perfect soil mix for growing just about anything. Add more castings each spring to your garden and you’ll never have to feed your plants and vegetables anything else.

It sounds a bit complicated, but in practice could not be easier. We keep a compost crock inside on the kitchen counter that we put our chopped scraps in. Once a week I dump them into the worm bin and about once a month I mix the whole bin up with a garden trowel. I harvest the castings twice a year, once in the spring before I plant the vegetable seeds and once in the fall when I am putting the garden to bed for the winter. So, for about 5 minutes a week and about 1 hour twice a year I have reduced our household waste considerably and I get free, incredible fertilizer. Like I said, these are wild, wonderful worms!

The perfect soil mixture–peat moss, vermiculite, manure and worm castings!
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Friday Feature with Eve’s Little Earthlings

Today’s interview is with Eve, of Eve’s Little Earthlings. Enjoy!

Tell us little about yourself!
I live in a small Ontario city with my husband, 2 teenage kids, dog, cat and 5 chickens.  We have an ‘urban farm’ in our backyard and are working to become self sufficient year round in vegetables and fruit.  I ran a waldorf inspired daycare for 10 years.  That is when I got interested in making toys from repurposed, natural materials.

What do you make, & how long have you been creating?

I make all kinds of small toy animals, toy animal habitats and playmats.  I’ve been building up my collection gradually over the last 10 years.  I started by making North American woodland animals, but now I also make some African and Australian animals too!

What inspires you?

I am inspired by nature, trees and the sweet intelligence of all creatures.

What got you started working with repurposed sweaters?

I am passionate about not wasting our precious resources.  Old sweaters are soft and warm, they have a beautiful stretch and sew nicely.  It is fun shopping for sweaters.  You never know what you might find and how it might inspire a new item.

How long have you been on Etsy, & how has it been for you so far?

I have been here at Etsy for just over a year.  Things have been gradually getting busier, although there are stretches when it seems that nothing is happening!

What advice would you have for other Etsians?

Learn to take great photos and relist or add new items often.   Don’t be afraid to try making new things and schedule some creative time every week. Keep plugging away and don’t be discouraged if things sell right away.   Read the forums and Etsy’s tips for good advice.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?

I was hoping to make friendships within the group and connect with some people who are doing the same things that I am. The team makes me feel like I’m not alone during the day.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?

Children will cherish their toys if they are beautifully and carefully made with love.  I chose to give  my children and the children I cared for with well made toys that nurtured quiet imaginative play.
They learned to care for their toys and not think of them as disposable junk.  I think this fosters a positive attitude towards the environment and helps them to question our consumer society as they grow up.

Your links:!/EvesLittleEarthlings  (currently, until the end of November)

Thank you Eve!
This interview was by Kat, of kats in the belfry.

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Tutorial: How to Make a Gnome Hat for a Young Child

This week’s How-To is How to Make a Gnome Hat for a Young Child by Beth. It was originally published on her site Acorn Pies. A lovely warm (and very cute!) project to make for your child made with a recycled sweater.

You need very basic sewing skills to make this hat. Without the options, it has only one seam and is an excellent beginner’s project.

Begin with a felted thrift-store wool pullover sweater. To felt a sweater, throw it in the washing machine on warm. Keep an eye on it. Some sweaters shrink a lot more than others. The fibers will grab one another and make a dense fabric which is lovely to work with and very warm, and which hides sewing imperfections very well.

If you are like me, you want to start RIGHT NOW. But it would be best if you read the instructions through first.
Start by making a pattern with some newsprint or other inexpensive paper. Adjust the face measurement to suit your child. The face measurement goes from below the jaw, straight over the top of the head, and down the other side to the matching spot below the jaw. The 9 and a quarter inch measurement shown above is half the total face measurement, because you are going to cut the fabric on the fold, and of course the neck measurement is also halved.

Place your pattern on the pullover. The pointy peak should be nestled under the arm. The top of the head runs down the side seam of the sweater. The face goes along the finished bottom edge of the sweater. Now boldly cut the sweater.

This sweater has a very deep ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, so I folded it back before placing my pattern.
This sweater feels a little scratchy, so I decided to make a cotton flannel lining which will go from the front edge to behind the ear. The lining is optional.
Now pin it onto the opened-up hat, wrong sides together. I have folded the ribbing out so that I won’t sew through it. You want to position the lining all the way to the front of the hat. Now machine sew it. Trim the edges of the lining fabric. You can leave them raw, because they will be covered by bias tape. Do not sew down the back seam of the lining. Keep it loose. I realize I didn’t give you a measurement for the lining. As you can see it goes from the front of the hat and ends before the back seam.
Now get out your bias tape to finish the raw edge at the bottom of the hat. This is also optional. (Supposedly, felted wool will not unravel.) I’m going to use the periwinkle. The bias tape is deeper on one side than on the other. That is so that when you sew it on the narrower side, you won’t miss sewing the tape on the inside of the hat.
Stop! Before you put on the bias tape, try the hat on your child and make sure you are happy with the fit. You can still trim the bottom edge, and shape it around the back of the neck the way you want. You can also put a pin or a little mark of chalk where you want the chin ties to go right now, so you don’t have to wrestle your child to the ground again later.

I put the narrow side of the bias tape on the outside of the hat and pinned it. Fold the ends under neatly.
I machine sewed the bias tape. I wish I had hand-sewn it, though of course that would have been very time-consuming. I think it would have looked nicer. In the picture below, you can see that I have pinned the back seam. Sew it with your machine, from the bottom edge up to the tip. Just leave the raw edge out. It is too bulky otherwise.
I got out some special trims and some bells to look at. I picked the rick-rack. Look how the tip of the hat developed a nice little swoop. Have you checked to see where you want to put the chin ties? Also make sure your ties are long enough to tie a bow.
I hand-sewed the rick-rack, catching a thread from the hat under the ribbing from time to time, to keep the ribbing from flopping forward. I like to do some hand-sewing on every project, so I enjoyed it. Here is a picture of the lining, bias trim, and rick-rack chin straps. If the rick-rack is hard to tie in a bow, I will add some ribbon backing
If you have a plainer fabric to work with, you can create some shapes out of wool felt for decorating your hat, and sew them on by hand. Mushrooms, acorns, flowers, squirrels…!
I can’t wait to try it on somebody! If you make a gnome hat for a child, please send me a picture for a special posting at the beginning of December. Try to take a picture of your gnome outside!
Copyright 2009 Beth Curtin. Reprinted with permission. I sewed two bells onto the tip.

The ends on the back seam of the hat are going to show. Make them as neat as you can.

Machine sew the hems on the long sides.

This tutorial was brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla.