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Your Crafty Comments

Yesterday, a very interesting conversation was sparked by this post about Sew, Mama, Sew!’s awesome Handmade Holidays series. Ivoryh1632 left the following comment on the post:

I love giving handmade gifts, I have more fun making them than I would have had shopping and I can make sure that the person gets something that fits their taste and needs. But I’ve been so discouraged about doing a handmade Christmas ever since I did one a couple years ago. All of my family members called me cheap!

This lead to an interesting series of comment on the blog post and on Twitter where I posed the question: Are your handmade gifts appreciated by those who receive them? The conversation ranged from who usually appreciates handmade gifts to suggestions for helping recipients understand the thought, time and energy invested in a handmade gift. Here’s some of what folks had to say:
rlynnbaker on the blog said:

I love making gifts for people. It’s a fun challenge trying to figure out what someone would love. BUT there are certain people I do not make gifts for. These are people I know won’t appreciate or won’t use the item. These people get a card and gift card or some other generic but still useful gift (candles, food, etc) from me.

@juneatnoon on Twitter said:

I only make gifts for people who will appreciate them, but I’m happy to know a lot of people who fall in that category. Also, those who appreciate my gifts often see me making things in person, can see the time & thought put in. That probably helps!

Indeed, the great thing about having crafty friends and family members is that they will often truly appreciate any handmade gifts you can offer. But what happens when you gift-giving circle includes folks who aren’t so keen on DIY?
@silviachenault on Twitter offers:

What if the gift is personal to them and WOWs them? Also, no one has ever complained about food gifts.

Food gifts are a great option for something everyone seems to enjoy and appreciate. They are also easier when you can prepare them in batches. Check out our Gift Guide from last year with Gifts for Foodies for more ideas.
@thepaperfairy offers this nice perspective:

If the (handmade) gift is relevant and unique to the person receiving it and not a ‘to the masses’ gift, they’ll appreciate the thought behind it.

Sometimes a note or gift tag is all that’s needed to help bring the gift into perspective for the recipient.
@SHNHandmade on Twitter writes:

It’s the thought that counts. I like to enclose a little note saying such with, “This (widget) was made with you in thought.”

@alderac on Twitter added:

I think it’s key to let people know it was handmade. “I made this because the yarn made me think of you”

I like the idea of including a note like this that explains how something like the yarn or fabric or threads made you think of a person or an experience with that person. What a special gift that would be. And sometimes, you just need a little humor in your gift tag to lighten the mood and help make the gift more well-received. These tongue-in-cheek gift tags from Amy of Angry Chicken include one that says, “I made this, just so you know. So don’t say anything mean about it.”
Many folks chimed in, saying that handmade gifts are a family tradition many years in the making and is looked forward to with great anticipation.
@Grrrl1der shares on Twitter:

My cousin and I make a quilt together each year for one family member- it’s fun to make together and everyone looks forward to it.

@MaryJaneM on Twitter added:

Always, the most treasured gifts in our family are handmade.

Sometimes it is a handwritten response to a gift that reiterates the value of a handmade gift.
@lordmonstleroy on Twitter writes:

After my brother gave me a thoughtful note on how much he loved that I take the time to make his gifts, I only give handmade.

This is just a sampling of the great conversation that went on here on the blog and over on Twitter. Thanks so much to everyone who chimed in with your thoughts!
Make the gifts pictured above!
CRAFT Pattern: Reversible Cable-Knit Scarf
Homemade Vanilla from Craft, Volume 7

30 thoughts on “Your Crafty Comments: How Are Your Handmade Gifts Received?

  1. on this point: no one has ever complained about food gifts
    I was surprised last year to hear a bunch of people say they wouldn’t eat home canned food gifts – and this was a bunch of women food bloggers! WIth the exception of one (who demonstrates and teaches canning), they all thought it was too risky.

  2. I thought about it a lot this year and I have decided to go completely handmade this holiday. So I will be either making or buying handmade items for my friends and family. I am nervous about a couple of people’s reactions but at the same time I wonder if they don’t appreciate the time and thought I put into this and don’t realize how much supporting the handmade movement means to me are they really that good of a friend? I guess I will find out!

  3. I attempt to craft handmade for everyone I give gifts to except my mom and brother. My mom as also called me cheap a time or two so I just buy her a book (she loves books) and boys always get store bought because they are just too hard to craft for.

  4. Ivory: I certainly hope you have not been spending holidays with or giving gifts to your family members over the age of 18 since the incident you described. My goodness! If any family needs a “no-gifts” policy it’s yours. That’s just ungratefulness at a whole new level.

  5. I definately agree that my family could benefit from a “no girfts” policy. But if they want to judge me by brand names and price tags, there’s nothing I can do to change that. I’ve just decided to focus my time and love on my “adoptive family,” aka my friends, who are more of a family to me than any of my blood relatives.

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