DIY Christmas gifts grow in popularity – Beloit Daily News

December 4, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Uncategorized

BELOIT — Do-it-yourself (DIY) Christmas presents are more popular this year, especially fleece tie blankets.

Martie Williams, store manager at Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts in Beloit, said the store was very busy on Black Friday and the days surrounding it. She said Chicago Cub’s fabric is especially popular for tie blankets this year after the team’s World Series win, and the store is practically out of Cub’s fabric all the time.

“It’s something special you can make for someone, and you don’t need to know how to sew,” Williams said.

Tie blankets require two pieces of fabric, that are cut into slits and are tied together. Overall, she said customers are buying more fabric than they were last year.

Another popular DIY project is crafting mason jars, such as making a hot chocolate mix and gluing fabric onto the jar. This is especially popular for teacher gifts, Williams said.

Williams suspects social media networks such as Pinterest, a content-sharing service where many users will post ideas such as Do-it-yourself projects, is the cause of people wanting to make more presents from the heart.

Though Jo-Ann Fabrics doesn’t offer in-house classes, Williams said the staff is willing to assist customers with DIY projects.

However, there are opportunities for classes in the Stateline Area. Local artist Susan Swedlund is offering gift certificates for classes that will begin in April at the Beloit Fine Arts Incubator, 520 E. Grand Ave., Beloit.

For those looking to do a class before the holidays, Swedlund said she could do a two session workshop for those interested in completing a smaller project, such as a mug, small platter or hors d’oeuvres tray.

She said more people have been wanting to do hand-crafted projects this year. Beginning in April, Swedlund will be teaching watercolor and pottery classes taught in eight two-hour sessions. The watercolor class is $125 and includes all of the necessary supplies, and the pottery class is $137 and includes 25 pounds of clay, glazes and firings of pieces made in class. For more information on Swedlund’s classes, call 608-313-9083.

Another local art studio is offering the chance to make holiday-inspired crafts that could be used as gifts.

Inspired Life Art Studio, 201 W. Main St., Rockton, opened Thursday and features classes on painting, art journaling and crafting.

Owner Tabatha Dougherty also will release January’s events on Dec. 10 for those looking to purchase gift certificates for classes. For more information, visit or call ​815-391-0392.