As part of the festive preparations this week I’ve been rummaging in the loft for this Christmas sack I made last year for Harry, which makes an appearance in the hearth miraculously on Christmas morning, dusted with snow straight from the Big Man’s sleigh. I wanted to make him something very personal, and something that also looked realistic enough to help to sustain belief in Father Christmas for as long as possible, as well (of course) as being a handy receptacle for the presents themselves.
I ran up the sack itself from lengths of hessian and fleece (for more details see the downloads below), and added authentic-looking labels which I’d designed and then printed onto fabric transfer paper before ironing onto scraps of linen from an old tablecloth which had become stained beyond rescue. Some of the labels I then glued onto leather, before stitching them all in place.
The marvellous thing about a sack full of presents of course is that it’s supposed to look a bit rough around the edges; after all, it bumps across the skies at incredible speeds and freezing temperatures, before being dropped down a chimney – so the more frayed and lopsided this looks, the better it is. Or so I tell myself… I used faded, well-worn materials like sacking and linen, and muted colours for the fonts. My stitching is straggly and irregular, though I can’t claim this is by design *ahem*
I added a length of fat, soft woollen rope to draw the sack closed, and threaded on sleigh bells which seem to jingle loudly if you so much as think about trying to move or adjust the sack into place; I’m hoping that this gently penetrates Harry’s dreams as a vaguely recalled memory the next day, and doesn’t jolt him into excited wakefulness at midnight, just as we’re wearily biting carrots, crumbling mince pies and draining the whisky we’ve laid out for Santa only hours before…
On Christmas Day night this will quietly disappear – everyone knows that the sacks are magically transported back to the North Pole in readiness for next year – and only the contents will be left; though these are by far the most important things of course. Hints of this year’s treasures poke tantalisingly out of the top; the rest will require some serious delving and unwrapping.
If you find yourself with time on your hands this week (I know, crazy notion..) and want to run one of these up, here are some of my graphics and labels to download and use with your sack (or other Christmas crafts). Once you’ve corralled the bits and pieces together, it really is a 2hr job. Promise.
One word of warning; think about how big you actually want your sack to be before you begin; I took the lazy approach of just going with the existing width of the fabric, and hence have a monster-sized sack; each year I will have to resort to buying at least one inflatable gift which I can blow up before wrapping in order to fill the vast depths of the sack… there’s a lesson in there somewhere for me, I’m sure.