This is the second part of my holiday gift giving series. A little late, but better than never. Part 2 is about fabric crafts. Sewing, stitching, crochet, knitting, whatever it is as long is it has to do with some type of textile.
Much like my previous post, this is not for everyone and should be approached with caution. I understand that you want to give a hand made gift. These types of gifts aren’t necessarily cheap or easy to make.
Let’s start with my trifecta. Time, cost, item. If it’s December 19th and you were bored at work and Pintresting I am going to tell you to put the breaks on this plan right now.
Time. How many home made textile gifts do you want to make and how much time do you actually have? I decided one year to crochet my family hats, scarves, and gloves for Christmas. It was September, I had never crocheted a day in my life, and I had 30 people I wanted to make something for. I was also working full-time and trying to maintain my apartment. Lucky for me I had time! Almost four months of it to dedicate to learning how to crochet and actually making the items. I had also picked some pretty basic items to make. This was to my benefit. I planned what I thought was an adequate amount of time. By the way, I cut it very close.
Cost. Every buy a nice ball of yarn, or a yard of fabric? It’s not cheap. Each of my homemade gifts used about 4 balls or yarn to complete the set. Four balls costing $6 each equals $24 on each person. That seems to be reasonable, right? Some balls cost more than others, some a little less. I would normally spend this much on a person. But, considering the time I put into my gifts, and my job and a nurse pays a decent wage per hour, the cost of each item was roughly $40-$60.
Why does that matter at all? Because of the ITEM I made. While everyone was appreciative at the time, really, another scarf? Hat? Fingerless gloves in Ohio? My items were a dime a dozen. Considering time and cost I put into each gift, I could have spent a similar initial amount on similar items at sale prices, which were also much better produced since I was so green at crocheting, and been done in September without much hassle. Ah, hindsight being 20/20.
So, for some finishing thoughts. If you have an active hobby in textiles and currently have a stock of handmade gifts that you can give out, by all means, use them. If you have a hobby that you enjoy and its early in the year, by all means make gifts for everyone, but pick an item that is not so generic and will be used much more frequently. Not only that, but customize it to the person you are making it for. Otherwise, what’s the point? Finally, plan, plan, plan appropriately. Gifts are supposed to be fun both to give and to get. If what you are doing is stressing you out, either because you did not plan enough time, money, or the right item, then stop! Buy a gift that they will enjoy and try again next year with your handmade craft. It will be better.
Let me know what kind of handmade gifts you like to give, the stories of successes and failures, and any helpful ideas for those who really want to be unique next holiday season.