Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crafting for the Holidays or “You made that, didn’t you?”

I have a deep, dark secret. I used to make gifts and put fake craft show price tags on them for certain family members. Those gifts ALWAYS were appreciated more than when I owned up to my craftiness. There’s nothing worse than being asked, “You made that, didn’t you?”

As a crafter, I love to make stuff for other people. I’ve learned, however, that not everyone appreciates handmade. You are picturing your anti–handmade friends and family now, aren’t you.

These lovely friends and family look at handmade items as cheap or disappointing. Usually these folks are not crafters and have no concept of the time required to create. They don’t understand the time you’ve devoted to them. And to add insult to injury, they love to go to craft shows and plonk down money for someone else’s handmade to give to you. Hurt feelings all around. Have you been there?

The truth is, handmade just doesn’t fit everyone.

I’m not bitter, really. I’ve just learned who I can give handmade gifts to and who I shouldn’t. I concentrate my crafty energy on those folks. I’ll happily shop for the other camp.

So who are the people who appreciate handmade gifts?

1. Parents/Grandparents.

Remember that misshapen lumpy pinch pot you made in second grade and gave to your mom? I still have the one my daughter made. My son’s oddly painted ceramic heart is hanging on my kitchen wall. Even if you’re 40, your parents like to get things you’ve made them.

2. Crafty Friends.

Crafty friends KNOW what crafting is. They’ll admire your skill. They’ll know and appreciate the time and materials you put into gifts for them. If you don’t make something for them, give them crafting supplies.

3. Your Kids.

The older they are, the smaller the project you should make. You can’t surpass the Wow! factor of the latest gadget with a handknit. They won’t appreciate the handknit until you’re gone.

4. Babies/Toddlers

Tiny kids don’t covet gadgets yet. Take advantage of this age. They’ll be wanting an Ipod soon enough.


I’m putting together a list of ideas for crafty gift giving that just might convert non–crafters into enthusiastic handmade converts. If you have any ideas for popular handmade gifts, please leave them in the comments. Or, if you have any horror stories of handmade gift giving gone wrong, please share them in the comments too. We all have jerks stories.



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