Tag Archives: holiday crafting

#Crochet #TipsTuesday: How to Start (and Stock) a Handmade “Gift Closet”

How to Start (and Stock) a Handmade Gift Closet, with free pattern roundup | #Crochet #TipsTuesday on Underground CrafterIn January, the last thing on the mind of most crocheters (or knitters) is holiday gifts – unless, of course, they are still working on “I.O.U.” gifts from the previous year or are nursing repetitive stress injuries. But we all know that the holiday crafting season can creep up quickly, so why not start a handmade gift closet?

In this post, I share four tips for starting and stocking your own handmade gift closet, along with a free crochet pattern roundup to help get you started.

This post contains affiliate links.

But first, what’s a handmade gift closet?

Some of you may already have a “gift closet” hiding in your home. Unless you live in a big house, it’s unlikely to be the size of a closet, but you may have a drawer, a bag in the back of a cupboard, or some other spot where you stash potential last-minute gifts.

These may be gifts you’ve received and want to “re-gift,” inexpensive items you’ve bought on sale, or low-denomination gift cards. The gift closet is that place you dive into when you suddenly need a gift for someone outside of your inner circle of close family and friends and don’t have time to shop.

A handmade gift closet is similar – a stockpile of handmade gifts that are appropriate for a variety of recipients and occasions that you can dig into at the last minute and still come up with something special.


4 Tips for Starting and Stocking a Handmade Gift Closet (with a Free Crochet Pattern Roundup)

To start building your gift closet, think about the types of folks you are likely to need unexpected gifts for during the year.

Here are just a few examples…

  • As a young, single adult, you may be looking for unisex gifts for your peers and co-workers.
  • As a parent of a school age child, you may need occasional gifts for teachers or school staff, or for your child’s new friends.
  • If your friends and family all seem to be having babies, you’ll want to keep some newborn gifts around.
  • As a married couple, you might want to keep some host or hostess gifts on hand.

Think about your personal situation and decide what types of projects would be the best to keep in your gift closet.

Then, start making small projects that would be appropriate gifts.

Although I generally recommend customizing gifts for a particular recipient, gift closet items are best made more general so they can be used for a variety of occassions and people. Since gift closet projects are likely to go to people you don’t have a close relationship with, small projects and stashbusters are perfect because they are inexpensive and fast to make.

There are so many projects to choose from, so keep reading for a roundup of free crochet patterns to get you started!

Keep your projects visible.

It won’t help to have a gift closet stocked with gifts if you don’t know what’s available or can’t find things when you’re looking for a gift.

You can keep a list of projects that you cross off as you gift, or use a clear container to store your projects so you can see what’s inside easily.

Don’t make it a chore.

In my opinion, too many crocheters (and knitters) spend far too much time crocheting for others and not enough crocheting for themselves!

Give yourself permission to make projects for you (or projects that you love to make) most of the time, and perhaps one gift closet project a month. If you choose quick projects, it won’t cut too deeply into your crochet time and you’ll build a little inventory of homemade gifts in no time.

Here are some pattern ideas to get you started on your own handmade gift closet!

How to Start (and Stock) a Handmade Gift Closet, with free pattern roundup | #Crochet #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter

Looking for more great gift closet patterns? Try these popular posts.

The Faux Mistake Rib Watchman’s Cap is a free crochet pattern for an easy unisex project in 8 sizes from newborn through adult. It’s perfect as a baby shower, back to school, or winter holiday gift!

Faux Mistake Rib Watchman's Cap, free #crochet pattern in 8 sizes (newborn through adult large) by Marie Segares @ucrafterHugs for Mugs (and Cups…and Bottles), roundup of 15 free crochet patterns. These make great gifts for coffee lovers, tea drinkers, and athletes!Hugs for Mugs (and cups...and bottles): Roundup of 15 free #crochet patterns on Underground CrafterFingerless Mitts, roundup of 20+ free crochet patterns. Perfect gifts for the ladies (and texters) in your life!Fingerless Mitts crochet pattern roundup by Underground Crafter includes over 20 free crochet patternsFarm Animals, a roundup of 20 mostly free crochet amigurumi patterns that make great gifts for kids.

Farm Animals Crochet Pattern Roundup - 20 (mostly free) crochet patterns, curated by Underground Crafter

Holiday Stashdown CAL 2016 Pattern 1: Pretty Posies Hat by The Country Willow

Announcing the Holiday Stashdown crochet-a-long 2016! #HolidayStashdownCAL2016Welcome to the giveaway page for the first pattern of the 2016 Holiday Stashdown Crochet-A-Long. This pattern is the Pretty Posies Hat by Sheri Weber of The Country Willow. In this post, I’ll be introducing you to Sheri and sharing the link to the monthly and end-of-CAL giveaway for this pattern, so read on for details! (By the way, if you’re new to the Holiday Stashdown CAL, here’s a description and a full schedule, with regularly updated links to all patterns.)

This post contains affiliate links.

Meet Sheri Weber

Sheri Weber, crochet designer from the Country Willow, on Underground Crafer.Sheri is the crochet designer behind The Country Willow, which she founded in September, 2013. Sheri describes herself a “addicted to crafting.” (I know most of us can relate!) She is the mother to two adult daughters and the stepmother to another four children. She finds that crocheting brings her peace while allowing her to express her creativity.

Sheri’s pattern for the Holiday Stashdown CAL is the Pretty Posies Hat in Lion Brand Landscapes yarn.

Pretty Posies Hat, free #crochet pattern by Sheri Weber/The Country Willow #HolidayStashdownCAL2016You can find Sheri Weber on The Country Willow. Show your support by following Sheri on Facebook | G+ | Ravelry | Twitter.

ILC February 2016 Banners

#HolidayStashdownCAL2016 Giveaway!

This is the giveaway page for the first pattern in the CAL by The Country Willow.

  • Get the free Pretty Posies Hat pattern.
  • Find out more about the 2016 Holiday Stashdown CAL here.
  • To enter the monthly giveaway for this pattern, share share a picture of your completed Pretty Posies Hat using the link up below by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, February 7, 2016.
  • Your projects shared here by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Monday, January 9, 2017 will  be entered in the end-of-CAL giveaway.
  • You may share one picture of each project you complete using the Pretty Posies Hat pattern. Each completed project will count as one entry in the giveaway.
  • You are not required to use a link to enter the giveaway, but if you do, please link directly to the Ravelry project page, Instagram photo, or blog post, not to your main blog or profile. (If you’re new to InLinkz linkups, you can find a tutorial here.)
  • One giveaway winner will be chosen from these entries at random to win the monthly prize. Another will be chosen to win one of the end-of-CAL giveaway prizes.
  • Don’t forget to join the fun in our Facebook and Ravelry groups, too! You can share as many pictures as you like in the groups, but only pictures submitted here will be entered in the giveaways.

I just entered the #HolidayStashdownCAL2016 #giveaway with my Pretty Posies Hat by @countrywillow12Click To Tweet

Thanks for sharing!

#Crochet #TipsTuesday: 3 Tips for Enhancing Your Handmade Gift Giving

3 Tips for Enhancing Your Handmade Gift Giving on #Crochet #TipsTuesday with Underground CrafterIf you love crocheting gifts, any time of year can be wonderfully inspiring. In addition to seasonal holidays, there are always birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, and other opportunities for handmade gift giving. Here are three tips for making the most of your handmade gifts.

This post contains affiliate links.

Remember the recipient!

As a crocheter or knitter, you know about all the time, love, and money for supplies that go into a handmade gift. Though you may be tempted to choose the project you’d love to make (and wear!) in colors you enjoy and the yarn that is your favorite one to use, think of the recipient first. Your gift will be more loved – and will get more use – if it meets the needs of the recipient.

  • Color – If you’re making a wearable, consider the colors the recipient usually wears, and more specifically, the saturation of those colors. If your mom typically wears bright and bold colors, she may welcome a gift crocheted with a variegated jewel tone yarn. On the other hand, if she tends to wear muted pastels or neutrals, she may prefer a solid, undyed natural yarn. For graduates starting college, you may want to consider school colors, as well as darker colors that will hold up better between washings.
  • Care instructions – Almost more important than fiber content is the way in which the final object will need to be washed and stored. If your best friend typically hand washes her delicates, this may be your chance to use the stunning hand dyed llama yarn you found at the fiber festival. But, if your nephew is graduating high school and moving into a college dormitory, assume that a hardy, machine washable and dryable acrylic yarn may be best.

CraftsyThink seasonal!

To create a great gift that will be used immediately, think about the weather and temperatures near your recipient’s home as well as the season when you will give the gift. Lightweight accessories, like shawls, fingerless mitts, hats, bags, and jewelry are likely to be worn immediately by those living in warmer climates, while bulkier items may be prefered by those in colder areas. Choose an appropriate weight yarn for wearables. Home décor items like accent pillows and throws make great gifts year round and in any temperature. For children and teens, consider toys, amigurumi, and electronics cozies.

Be aware of your own time!

It can be tempting to start a large gift at the last minute for a major milestone like your child’s college graduation or for baby’s first Christmas. But be realistic about your available time when choosing a project so that you don’t end up abandoning it days before the event – or, worse – getting a repetitive stress injury. You want to crochet love into your gift, not your stress and crankiness!

Don’t be embarrassed to give an “I.O.U.” or share a picture of your work-in-progress if you don’t finish your gift in time. The recipient will appreciate knowing more about what you’ve been working on in secret.

What other tips can you share for creating wonderful handmade gifts?