This past weekend, Chris and I exchanged our Christmas gifts. See, we work in retail, and we're both pretty much working straight through until Christmas Eve - I won't even see him until the Saturday after Christmas since we're spending the holiday with our own families. We're used to it, I guess...
Anyway, this year I decided to go the handmade route again and after going back and forth on gift ideas, I landed on the idea of making him a blanket. Since he sleeps on his couch all the time (in his defense, it is a pretty comfortable couch), I thought it would be something that he'd use a lot and appreciate. And of course he'd use it, I made it!
All packed and ready to go!
It was pretty simple to sew since the fabric is doing all the work. I bought two yards of Red Sox fleece, turned under the edges a half inch all around, mitered the corners, and used a zigzag stitch. The handwritten label in the photo at the top of the post is simply a piece of double-fold bias tape, written on with Sharpie, pressed open and stitched down.
I'm lucky to have a boyfriend who is supportive of my crafty endeavors and understands the hard work I put into what I make, I think due in part to his involvement with my blog. Take the scarf I made for him last year, which was such a nail-biter to undertake - you know, the "Boyfriend Sweater Curse" and all:
He wears that scarf all the time with his topcoat - he understands the thought and effort put into creating and making it. Plus he's awesome, but that's another subject entirely.
Which brings me to my whole point of this post: do you make gifts for others?
In my experience, I've been disappointed with giving handmade gifts to other people. They usually were non-crafters, and I find that non-crafters just don't get it when it comes to the amount of energy that goes into creating something from scratch. I don't "whip up" something willy-nilly, there's usually a good amount of time thinking up the right gift idea or designing it, sourcing the materials, and then the nitty gritty of making the gift with my own two hands. Anyone can go into a store and buy a mindless gift card - when I'm giving a handmade gift, there's a lot of thought and consideration behind it based on who I'm giving it to.
I know I'm not alone in this sentiment - my sister, mom, and I have shared similar gift-giving stories where we've made something special for a friend only to never see it again or even receive a simple "thank you." Are our expectations too high? To some, maybe. We've learned the hard way, and I know that they would agree with me on the following rules that I've made when it comes to handmade gift-giving:
1. Never give a handmade gift to a non-crafter - based on what I've explained above.
2. Rule #1 can be broken if interest has been expressed in an item that you've made - a friend in high school really liked some fuzzy scarves I made out of eyelash yarn (remember when that stuff was popular?). Needless to say, she wore the scarf I made her quite a bit.
3. Handmade gifts are ok to give to most of my family - because we're all a crafty bunch and just about all of us "make" in some capacity, so we get it.
And that's about it. It seems pretty strict, but it avoids disappointment from my end in the long run.
So I'm curious to know: do you give handmade gifts during the holidays or any other time of year? What has the response been? Have you ever been disappointed?
PS: wait until you see what I got from him this Christmas! Can't wait to share...