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December 19, 2011

Ten Last Minute DIY Mid-Century Gifts To Whip Up By Christmas

By RetroRuth

This is it! It’s Christmas week. The big one. End of the line. And you still haven’t found the perfect gift for your sister. Or for your husband.  Or for your neighbor across the street who always manages to get you exactly what you need. What the heck are you going to do? Well, you could always buy something. But what if you can’t find the perfect color, or they are a difficult size?

Don’t worry. We got your back. Here are ten gifts from my huge mid-century DIY library that you could whip up by Christmas. But even if you can’t create it by the Christmas deadline, feel free to use these ideas for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, heck, you could even start now and be ready by next Christmas.

So let’s get to it!

1. A Classic Cable Scarf (From Jiffy Knits, Coats & Clark, 1965)

Perfect for men or women and always fashionable, this scarf would be a great gift!

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2. Danish-Modern Style Candleholders (From Women’s Day, Nov 1961)*

I love this simple candleholder! I am even thinking of trying my hand at making this for myself…

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3. Canvas Shopping Tote (From Woman’s Day, Nov 1961)

It calls for canvas, but I can’t help thinking that any heavier vintage fabric you have laying around will do the trick!

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4. Block Book Ends (From Woman’s Day, Nov. 1961)*

Don’t know what to do with those awesome vintage tiles that you recently scored? Why not make them into some fab mid-century bookends??

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5. Big Bulky Knitted Stole (From Jiffy Knits, Coats & Clark’s, 1965)

This looks so warm and wonderful! A perfect holiday gift.

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Knitting 002

6. The Little House Toy And Bookshelf (From Women’s Day, Nov 1961)*

I have to admit, I am a little crazy for this! I love the idea of a combined shelf that looks like a bunch of little houses. ADORABLE!

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7-10.  Four Easy Toddler Pinafores (From Woman’s Day, Nov 1961)

Okay, so using this simple pattern as four choices is kind of cheating, but they are all so cute!  It is hard to decide which one to make first, so I assume you will just be like me and want to make them all.

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Good luck, everyone, and I hope your Christmas shopping/crafting all gets done on time!

*General Directions for wood projects!

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10 Responses to Ten Last Minute DIY Mid-Century Gifts To Whip Up By Christmas

  1. Jitterbug65 Reply

    December 20, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I love the fact that mid-century craft instructions assume knowledge and a vast and varied tool collection on behalf of the reader. Everyone was a carpenter/tiler, could wood turn/bevel/grout and hold complicated half finished sewing images in their heads!

    I spent last night indexing my current batch of contemporary craft magazines into projects I like – we are hand held and spoon fed through instructions far more today.

    Yay for the 5 line guide for the Handsome Modern Mosaic Tile Bookends – now go make!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      December 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

      I know what you mean, JeanieB!!!! When I am crafting/building from vintage instructions, the most useful part is the measurements. Once I have those I usually just craft on the fly until I get something that resembles the illustration. And yes, those bookends are TOTALLY on my to-do list, too!

  2. Ingrid Reply

    December 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Love these! Thank you for the great ideas. I’ll bookmark them for making earlier next year.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      December 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Glad you like them, Ingrid!

  3. Andrea Reply

    December 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    OMG, I love the toddler pinafores, Ruth! Too adorable!

  4. Sara in AZ Reply

    December 21, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Those mosaic bookends are totally awesome! And I love that shelf too!!!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      December 21, 2011 at 10:54 am

      Sara! Sara! Sara!

      Glad you like them. 🙂

  5. Carole M. Reply

    December 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Thanks so much for these terrific ideas. I can see a lot of crafting in the future, especially the knitted and sewn ideas.

    • RetroRuth Reply

      December 21, 2011 at 10:55 am

      Glad you like them, Carole! Make sure to send us pics. Maybe it will inspire the rest of us. 🙂

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