My Year of Gifting Embroidery – January

This year I am inviting you all to make the most of your embroidery machine, by making gifts for the people you love. I come from a large family, I have 11 nephew and nieces, and my husband has 4 siblings. Add to that friends, mothers and fathers day, and school parties, and the year can really get away from you financially.

I have a couple of goals for my gift giving:-

  1. The gift needs to be made well, with love
  2. The gift should be relevant and useful to the person it is made for
  3. Ideally I will be “using up” fabrics/accessories that I already have in my stash

I will post each month a project, with instructions, suggestions for making the gift relevant to the person you love.

This month I have two birthdays happening.  My Niece Bethany turns 14 on the 12th of January, and my neighbours son Oscar will be 6 on the 15th.

For Oscar we are making a craft bucket.  I love this gift idea for kids, because you can fill it up with items from the $2 store, and kids love getting lots of “stuff”

Buckets of Love

bucket 1

Looking for a quick and simple gift that can be customised to people of all ages, and has multiple purposes?  This gift bucket will be your saviour.  Take a cheap bucket (mine was $3.99 at the discount shop), add embroidery that is age appropriate (I used the Monster Mash design set for a 6 year old boy), or the perfumery set for my 19 year old niece going into share accommodation.  Use up some scraps of your fabric, and you are set.  Fill your bucket with treats for the recipient (I love the $2 store for crafty stuff).  You can make this bucket cover for any size bucket, just follow the directions below.


  • ¾m fabric – I have used denim remanets that I had leftover, alternatively use different remanent for each part for a patchy look.
  • 1 bucket, of any size, but if you go quite large, you may need extra fabric
  • Sewing thread to match your fabric
  • 4 machine embroidery designs (I have used monster mash designs, or the perfumery designs)
  • Machine embroidery threads – I used bright green, pale blue, red, yellow, orange, purple, black and white.
  • Butchers paper or old newspaper for pattern making

Dimensions of my bucket

Inches centimetres
Top of bucket circumference 33.5 85
Bottom of bucket circumference 24 3/8 62
Height of bucket 9 3/8 24


  1. Using the butchers paper, or old newspaper, trace the bottom of the bucket onto paper.
  2. Add a 1.5cm, or 5/8” seam allowance to the outline of the base, and cut the paper pattern out.
  3. For the sides of the bucket, draw a pattern piece (as per below)
  4. From your fabric, cut out a single base piece, and two side pieces.
  5. With right sides together, join the bucket sides together.  Once attached, join to the base to form the inner bucket.
    bucket 4
  6. To make the outside pockets of the bucket, make a pattern piece as follows
  7. Cut out the outside pockets, and embroider as per below, in the top 3rd of the fabric.
  8. Press your embroidered pieces, and working first with the top, and then with the sides of each embroidered piece of fabric, press a double seam allowance, to hide all raw edges, and stitch.
    bucket6bucket 7
  9. Create your pockets by folding your embroidered pieces up until you have a height you are happy with, I like to leave approximately 1.5” between the top of the fabrics, and the beginning of the pockets.  Press and pin in place, and then stitch along the previously stitched lines.  Create additional pockets by stitching rows into the one big pocket.
  10. With both pockets completed, stitch the pockets to the bucket inner.
  11. Press the pockets out, and place over the bucket to complete.

bucket 1 bucket11

I love to make this bucket cover for my nieces as they move off to college, or into a share house – all of the bathroom essentials can fit into one bucket, and you just pick it up each morning on your way to the shower.

I hope you enjoy this project – let me know who you would make this for.

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