Homespun Christmas Merit Badge, Expert Level, Part I

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 6,102 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,722 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ 

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life   

For this week’s Stitching and Crafting/Homespun Christmas Expert Level Merit Badge, I had really exercised some patience. I had to wait a whole year after earning my Beginning and Intermediate Level badges!

Luckily, Christmas comes each year, on the dot, lickety-split, ready or not, and I was prepared. (Not like a few holidays past, when I kinda forgot to be prepared and had to do my shopping at the Quick-E Mart on Christmas Eve. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a can of soda and an air freshener, am I right?)


Having made a whole tree-full of ornaments already, I only needed to add to my collection. Because, let’s be honest, when it comes to Christmas and merry making, more is more, right, girls? You know it’s true.

In addition to strictly decorating my Blue Spruce with handmade adorableness, I was also making all my gifts. Yep. These two hands of mine were going to be busy this season—and happy, too. You know the old expression, Idle hands are the devil’s handiwork Busy hands are jolly hands. That’s a saying, right? Hello?

To focus and share a few favorites of my handmade goodies this year, I concentrated first on the little rugrats of my life: Midge’s triplets. Three different homemade presents for three different kiddos. Here’s what I came up with:


A Fort Kit

  • A queen- or king-sized sheet (Okay, okay, you got me. I didn’t exactly make the sheet, but I was fresh out of silkworms, all right?)
  • A headlamp (These are inexpensive at around $5. I thought of going more old-school and using a candle, but I was fairly certain Midge would have my head. Right after the firemen left.)
  • A stack of art supplies or books
  • A pillow
  • Clothespins and thumbtacks (for anchoring the sheet)
  • Snacks (homemade, naturally)

The fun part of these Fort Kits is customizing them. You can use a gingham or calico sheet, a lace pillow, and a stack of Little House books for the little girl in your life, or you could use a Star Wars sheet and a glow-in-the-dark LightSabor instead of a lamp for your little men. A striped blanket, some Circus coloring books, and a box of Animal Crackers would be totally adorable … how cute are these?


Spy Kit

In a homemade bag similar to one you would use for keeping knitting needles (you know the kind—folds flat, has seams for sliding in needles), put:

  • A makeup brush
  • A stamp pad
  • Scotch tape
  • String
  • A magnifying glass
  • A small penlight
  • A collection of disguises (cut-out mustaches, masks, a pair of old glasses, etc.)


Homemade Christmas Playdough

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 t cream of tartar
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 cup water

In a medium saucepan, whisk together dry ingredients. Next, mix in the water and oil and stir until a thick batter is formed. Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until a thick dough forms. Turn out onto parchment paper and knead until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of dough.

Christmas customizations:

  • Gingerbread Playdough: Add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg to your ingredients.
  • Peppermint Playdough: Add peppermint extract and red food coloring (optional, they do make an organic version) to your ingredients.
  • Pumpkin Pie Playdough: Add pumpkin pie spice and orange food coloring (optional, they do make an organic version) to your ingredients (the more, the better when it comes to your spices)
  • Glitter Playdough: Add one bottle of glitter to each batch and knead in.
  • Snickerdoodle Playdough: Add lots of cinnamon to your ingredients.
  • Chocolate Playdough: Use half cocoa powder and half flour.

Now that the littlest minions were taken care of, it was time to make some more grown-up gifts … stay tuned!


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    How cute is this idea! I wish I had some little ones again because this would be such a hit. I love the various scented play dough ideas too. What fun!

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