When it comes to gift giving, nothing compares to the sentiment when a loved one receives (and gives) a handmade gift.
A handmade gift which is created by you can hold so much more meaning when received by a loved one. These gifts show that thought, time and devotion were put into creating them. Not to mention the blood, sweat and tears that comes with the process (Yes, I’m speaking from experience).
The possibilities and uniqueness for do-it-yourself gifts are endless and you can take inspiration from almost anywhere. You’ll find tutorials on-line for almost anything as well as free downloads. There is also a huge variety of DIY kits and Craft kits which include all materials and step by step instructions available for purchase. Etsy and Pinterest are great places to start.
Here are my tips on creating your own handmade gift for a loved one.
- Firstly, it is wise to keep in mind that the gift you are creating is for someone else – it’s not for you. Although you may know the person very well, you still need to be observant, look for hints, clues and interests; just to be sure you are making something which is relevant for them. Remember who you are gifting to, you may have excellent skills in a particular craft but that may not suit all. It can be disheartening when you’ve put hours into something that isn’t appreciated by the recipient.
- Choose a project that works within your time limits. If you think that you are pushing for time to complete it, it may be better to make something with less time constraints such as a weekend project.
- If you are really pressed for time, baked goodies are excellent for a quick and easy gift. Presented nicely, they can come up a treat. Again, consider the recipient’s tastes and be wary of any allergies to foods they may have.
- Start early! Even if you know you have plenty of time. Give yourself extra time to complete the project. The sooner you begin the better; we all know life sometimes gets in the way of our plans. You don’t want to be frazzled by putting in an all nighter on Christmas Eve to present a gift for Christmas Day.
- Work within your skill limits. It’s better to give someone something simple – but well made, than something more striking, but maybe not so well done.
- Have a budget and stick to it. Depending on what you’re making you need to ensure you include all the materials.
- Make sure you have all the tools you need to complete the project. I stitched a tapestry as a gift for a friend many years ago, the kit was inexpensive but I did put in many hours stitching it. I didn’t think to include the cost of the framing at the time I purchased the kit(I probably didn’t even think of how I was going to present it – let alone frame it). I don’t own any framing tools nor do I acquire any framing experience- so the cost of professional framing went well over budget.
- Put thought into the presentation. Stick to a theme which complements the gift. Wrap it nicely. Use ribbons and bows. It’s all part of the handmade process.
- Don’t stress – Relax when it’s time to give. Remember –don’t point out faults and don’t give excuses for quality, skill, time limitations, etc
- If you don’t get it right, remember, love and good intentions can make up for a few little flaws–and…of course, there is always next year.