Sweet Mixed-media Holiday Gift Couture



finished gift tag ornament  

Every year for the holidays I like to put together a super cute, or really cool gift for the neighbors and special friends in our lives. In the past I’ve made Shirley Temple kits, Snowman making kits, and stack of Chinese take-out boxes filled with family favorites.

This year is the Year of the Mason Jar. Well, not really, but I don’t want to give away what I’m making this year. Suffice it to say, it will be something inside a Mason jar from the Mason family.

You see, ever since I went from Jennifer Lynn Talbot to Jennifer Talbot Mason, I have been a lover of all things Mason jar. This year I’ll celebrate that obsession with my holiday gift. You should know however, that I consider the packaging to be worth 50% of the gift-giving and receiving experience. That means NO under-embellished jars will be given out!

Beryl Taylors Mixed-media art quilt  
a sneak peek at Beryl’s project  

Thank goodness I had the good fortune to watch Beryl Taylor’s lovely new Quilting Arts Workshop DVD Mixed-Media Art Quilts. I’d like to say that Beryl’s final project looks just like this lovely gift tag/ornament in the upper left corner—but they don’t. Beryl takes this fairly simple process and blows it out of the water. Just look at the sneak peek of her project on the left—Yummy!

Would you believe me if I said she used gesso, stamps, molding paste, stencils, and acrylic paint after this stage?



  fabric squares sewn together
and cut out

I thought I’d share just the beginning stages of this very cool mixed-media stitch project, which can easily be used as either gift tags or ornaments. I already have a handful of other ideas to try with this technique just swimming around in my head!

Mixed-Media Gift Couture Project


  • Fabric (5 pieces cut to 4 inch squares)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors (embroidery or fine pointed)
  • Pinking Shears
  • Crop-a-dile® or fabric hole punch
  • Grommet with setter
  • Hammer and scrap of wood


  1. Stack your squares with the right sides facing up.
  2. Sew a wonky spiral with your sewing machine. See the image on the top right for reference. You want to create at least 4 segments. If you can lower your feed dogs on your machine, you can do free-motion stitching. If you cannot lower your feed dogs, just lower the speed and slowly turn your fabric stack.
      detail of the cut outs
  3. Use the embroidery scissors to cut out the different sections of the circle. Cut down to a different layer in each section.
  4. Cut out around the circle with the pinking shears, making sure to leave room for a grommet.
  5. Punch a hole with the Crop-a-dile where you’d like to place your grommet. If necessary, make the hole larger with the scissors.
  6. Insert the grommet pieces and hammer together on the block of wood following the manufacturer’s directions.

You can tie your lovely couture gift tag to your gift with ribbon or simply tear a piece from any leftover fabric.

I can’t wait to see all of my filled Mason jars sitting on dining room table, tied with ribbon and fabric strips. To me, that’s the best part, seeing all of your hard work at once, knowing the joy the recipient will experience when we share something special from our family to theirs.

If you want to see Beryl take these to the next level, which involves cutting these squares into pieces and putting them back together and so much more, take a look at her DVD.

Happy Merry Making!








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