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  • Writer's pictureFay

Tuesday Morning Tidy: Getting Crafty for the Holidays

I know we just bombarded you with back-to-school posts, and now we're talking about the holidays! However, if you're planning to make this year's holiday gifts, or even components of them, now is the time to prepare.

I also know that I've said I was maxed out on hobbies with crochet and needlepoint (post here), but I recently started doing some machine embroidery as well. I started this in large part to be able to embroider something special on the back of needlepoint ornaments, but I'm having fun with gifts and wearable items now, too.

In fact, I anticipate making several holiday gifts this year with the embroidery machine. I have an idea for some personalized golf towels, wrapping adornments and children's gifts. Thankfully, machine embroidery is not quite as time-consuming as crochet or needlepoint. However, I'm still so new to this craft, I'm planning to begin early this fall.

In past years, I've also gifted needlepoint ornaments. Ornaments take a number of hours to complete, but they are not a year-long project like a belt or framed wall piece. If you do plan on bringing your needlepoint project to a finisher, you should do so ASAP! Holiday finishing deadlines began in summer and continue through the fall, but check with your local shop for details. As deadlines loom, you may want to consider alternatives to custom finishing, such as a leather insert or framing.

I typically gift crochet items for babies/first birthdays or housewarmings, so the holidays don't present a rush for me. However, I did once gift bottles of wine in crocheted bags, and I started those about two months in advance.

Based on my experience with handmade gifts, it's important to leave time for a number of potential hiccups:

  • You may run out of supplies. The last thing you need is to run out of a special metallic thread just a week before Christmas. So, plan ahead or order more than you need to ensure you can complete your project.

  • Something is damaged. Imagine spilled wine or coffee...enough said.

  • Mail delays. Even if you deliver your item to a finisher or framer well before deadlines, we are all at the mercy of mail delays. With COVID-19 cases rising again, this could be a problem.

  • Illness. Speaking of COVID, illnesses definitely increase around the holidays. It's cold and flu season, and you may find yourself under the weather for days or a week, followed by kids and spouses who need your care and attention.

  • Losing items. Last year, I misplaced a gift for weeks! I usually put surprises in the same place, and I was in a rush when something arrived in the mail. I could not remember where I put it, and it was several weeks before I stumbled upon it. This is even more likely to happen with crafts that get tucked into bags and baskets depending on where and when you complete your work.

In addition to inevitable hurdles, you want time to nicely wrap a gift that means this much to you and your recipient. A beautifully wrapped gift indicates care from the first moment, and your handmade item deserves this extra step. I love adding a custom leather tag from Etsy that indicates a crocheted gift was handmade by me!

So, pull out your Bullet Journal, and finalize that gift list, noting any handmade gifts for the holidays.

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