If 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.
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I’ve been making handmade gifts for my family and friends for decades so I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. In today’s post, I’m sharing my three top tips for making great handmade gifts every time.
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.
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 preferred 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?