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Christmas Gift Crafting: Ideas for Embroiderers


It’s that time of year, and if you’re planning on making any of your presents, it’s time to get working… like, last month.  Procrastinators unite tomorrow!  But what’s the delay?  Maybe you need some ideas?

Embroidery, with enough patience and thought, can be used to customize just about ANYTHING.  And, with the glut of fantastic patterns out there (including, of course, my own), you can find something for just about any taste.  But once you’ve found the perfect pattern, what do you do with it? How many of your friends and loved ones really need, say, a tea towel?

Gifts to Embroider


Let’s start with blanks: empty canvases for your embroidery, which can be customized however you’d like to make a fantastically personal gift.  Classic embroidery blanks include the aforementioned tea towels, as well as pillow cases and other such household basics.  Nothing against tea towels, but I’m one of those sorts for which tea towels aren’t real functional.



I quite like the Sublimely Stitch-able Tote from Sublime Stitching (perfect gift for someone going green- a way to replace plastic grocery bags!), which even comes with various designs pre-printed on it. The messenger bag sold by Sew Lovely Embroidery is perfect for someone who could use a bit more structured of a bag.


If you’re ready for the challenge that is hand embroidery on knit fabric, your options for blanks skyrocket.  Dharma Trading has all sorts of white blanks, from t-shirts to dresses to hats, for dying and/or embroidering.  Should white not be your thing, you can get blank t-shirts and hoodies just about anywhere and in any color; there’s always Alternative Apparel, which has all the sweatshop-free kudos of American Apperal without the, well, massive sexism… but is still pretty damn expensive.  Me, when I really need something to embroider, I tend to head for the thrift store. Environmentally sound AND cheap!


But what about more specific projects?  Things you craft yourself, then embellish?  Here’s a few gift ideas in that catagory as well:



In the modern age, everyone has a gadget or three they carry about with them.  Make sure your loved ones can tell which iPhone is theirs with a custom case (and, if the main gift IS the gadget, a handmade case is a fantastic way to add a more personal touch to a mass-produced gift).


You also might consider turning your embroidery into a wall hanging.  It could be stretched into a hoop, or framed, or even turned into a banner. I think this one would be particularly good for someone who’s recently obtained a new space- a new apartment or house, someone who has some blank walls in need of customization.



Or you could just make your intended target a patch, and let them figure out where they want to put it.


Gifts for Embroider-ers

Maybe you don’t embroider, but your intended giftee does?  Have no fear!


Patterns and basic supplies are an obvious first choice. I give mine away for free (though I’m still dreaming about starting a real embroidery pattern business!).  Also be sure to check out Sublime Stitching, Sew Lovely Embroidery, and other such fantastic companies and artisans.


Those previously mentioned blanks which can be customized to your giftee’s tastes? Might just give your embroidering giftee a fresh bout of inspiration, particularly if paired with some choice patterns.  You could even add some unique and beautiful tools; Sublime Stitching has a whole collection of embroidery scissors, from girly to classy to a little bit dark.



And of course, there’s the obscure bits and bobs by which they can try something new with their craft.  What about putting together a punchneedle kit?  Or the whole set-up required for electronic embroidery?


If You Just Don’t Have the Time


And, should you want something embroidered, but have more cash than time, there’s a world of artists out there on etsy.



You can find jewelry, like this piece from spinthread’s shop.



Perhaps a pillow?  From the whimsical, like this piece from sukanart’s shop



…to the beautifully traditional, like this piece.



Perhaps a brooch?



Or a bracelet?



Or maybe your giftee would prefer something for their hair.  No matter what, etsy is the place to go.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. witcharachne permalink
    11/13/2010 10:27 PM

    Awesome. I had just decided last night that making this years’ presents was the way to go. Now I have a few ideas :)

  2. 11/19/2010 2:15 PM

    That Zipper jewelry is SO COOL!!!

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