If you’re anything like me, excitement begins to bubble up when I feel a
light chill in the air. The cool air seems to usher in the cozy crochet
season! It also reminds me that my favorite time of year is just around
the corner: Christmas!!!
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas almost seem magical.
These days lead me into a new kind of busy that I welcome deeply. This
different kind of busy redirects my mundane, every day to a type of busy that
has a Christmas purpose.
Yet, in the midst of it all, I feel myself slowing down. I begin to become more mindful.
I love coming home from a long day at work, slipping into my favorite
fleece jammies, putting my hair up in a messy bun (if it’s not already in
one!), putting on my fuzzy socks, and lighting my Hot Maple Toddy candle. As the aroma of the candle fills the house, I turn on the Christmas lights and head to the kitchen to prepare a cup of hot tea. I sink into the couch, cupping the almost too warm mug in my hands. As I become mesmerized by the twinkling lights, I pull my best-loved blanket that’s draped nearby across my lap. My hand slowly
glides across each double crochet and I watch the dusk filled sky fade to
Moments pass before I find myself picking up a hook and some yarn to work on the next project. The Christmas tree glitters in the background.
It’s during these moments of quiet, that I begin to ponder the reason for
During this time (with my hook in my hand) I think about how much I look forward to seeing my sister Kelsee, who I only see during the Holiday seasons because she lives so far away. I
think about Uncle Steve who makes me laugh hysterically at his stories.
“What am I going to make my coworkers this year?” I ask myself. I delight in the thought of planning each handmade gift for all my loved ones.
However, I didn’t always feel that delightful feeling when I first started
making gifts for my family members. I was a college kid, barely scraping
by! I couldn’t afford to buy a Starbucks coffee when I wanted one, let
alone the gifts I thought my family deserved! So, the weeks leading up to Christmas and in between exams, I would crochet. A scarf for Aunt Cheryl. A hat for my mom. An ear warmer for Kelsee.
I remember feeling so negative about the “lame” gifts I made for
everyone. Certainly, everyone would think that I couldn’t afford nicer
gifts for them. I was so hard on myself! I always felt so surprised and
incredibly humbled by the excitement and joy my gifts created. I didn’t
realize then that the projects I made with my own hands were far more
valuable than what money could buy.
After those college Christmas days, my confidence grew and I learned
that as a crochet maker, I am an artist. Not every one can or wants to
create with yarn! There is something special about sitting down,
imagining a gift to make, then using my hands to create that gift and
make it come to life.
While I crochet a gift, I’m thinking about the one whom the gift is
for. I think about the colors they may like, the designs they might
appreciate, the kind of yarn they would like best. I’m truly putting
my heart into the handmade gift!
A handmade gift can never be replaced. In all the years of gifting
handmade, I have learned a few tricks and have gained some
wisdom! Today on the blog, I want to share with you FIVE ideas to
make your crochet gift giving less stressful and a little more magical.
This one should be obvious, I know! But how many of us have waited
until the last minute only to work ourselves to death trying to finish our
sister’s crochet scarf? Yes, that dreaded scarf that sat in our WIP pile all
summer long! We thought we’d have time to finish it but we found
ourselves desperately working up those last rows and frantically weaving
in those ends! This was me. Almost every year when I first started gifting
One year, I wanted to make my mom a blanket. I didn’t know how
high of an expectation I set on myself by starting this blanket only a few
nights before I wanted to gift it to her! What was I thinking!!? I put so
much stress on myself to finish that beautiful blanket that I kept messing
up and had to frog row after row! I gave up. I was so frustrated with
myself! My mom ended up getting a different gift that year. However, I
worked on that crochet blanket the following year, adding a few rows
here and there until it was complete. The joy I felt when her face lit up
seeing her handmade gift was worth the wait!
So, how can you plan for all the gifts you want to make for your loved ones? Here’s a few things that can help:
- Make a list of everyone you want to crochet a gift for. Once you have your list, then figure out WHAT you want to make for each person. You’ll be able to prioritize what project you need to work on first by its size. Larger projects will obviously take more time while smaller items can take just a few minutes.
- Take your skill level into consideration. If you’re a beginner to the craft, you’re going to need a little more time than someone who has crocheted for several decades. A newbie will make more mistakes and won’t be as familiar with techniques and tricks of the craft as someone who is advanced.
- Start those bigger or more complex projects right after Christmas! Don’t wait until last minute like I did! Working on those bigger projects a few hours each week will guarantee they will be completed in time to gift them to your loved one. Planning your gifts ahead of time ensures to help cut out the stress during the Holiday seasons!
Buy All Your Yarn Ahead of Time
Okay, so you have your list of projects you want to make for your
friends and family but now you need yarn to complete those projects! If
you’re following a pattern for your crochet projects, the designer should
tell you how much yarn you’ll need to complete it and what kind of
yarn they used.
For bigger projects like blankets or clothing, it can take
quite a few skeins or hanks of yarn and that can get quite costly.
I’m a huge believer in buying yarn that’s on sale! That’s the best way to
save money, especially for those larger projects. Do you HAVE to buy all
the yarn at one time? No, you don’t. However, I’ve run into some big
problems by not buying all the yarn needed for a project upfront.
A dear coworker of mine was getting married, and I had heard her
talking about Daisy Farm Craft’s blankets. Overhearing her comment
on the style of blanket she really loved, I got to work! After work, I
headed to the craft store and went straight for the yarn section. The
pattern I was going to make called for Bernat Velvet yarn. I chose to
work with a cream color since it was a nice neutral that would go with
every color scheme. I bought the four skeins that were available in store
thinking they would restock the yarn and I could pick up the other
skeins I would need to complete the blanket. It didn’t happen. Bernat
discontinued that particular Velvet yarn and the unfinished blanket is
still sitting in my WIP pile!
Something else to pay attention to when buying yarn is the dye lot of
the yarn you use! This is especially true if you buy hand-dyed yarn. Yarn
dyed by an indie dyer can have major inconsistencies from one batch to
another. It can also happen in bog box store yarn, but not as often. I always play it safe when purchasing yarn in bulk for a project so the color is consistent through out the entire project!
Buying all your yarn for projects can be expensive up front but it’s
worth not having to stress about the yarn being discontinued or picking
from a different dye lot. Like I said, buy yarn when it’s on sale but be
careful about yarn that’s on clearance. Clearance sales usually mean
Pay attention to local ads from big box stores to stay on top of sales
events for yarn!
Add a Label To Your Finished Piece
Nothing adds to your finished crochet hat like a leather or wood label. Labels add such flair to any finished items, and they don’t have to cost much money. I’ve had people look at my hats and ask, “You really made that? It looks so professional!”
Here are a few fast and inexpensive options to choose from! These can be added to pretty much any project, from blankets to ear warmers.
I don’t know about you but wrapping your handmade gift in decorative packaging adds a little extra Christmas magic to any gift!
I love to use garment boxes with dramatic bows or jingle bells to have my
handmade gifts stand out or WOW the receiver! You can find decorated
garment boxes at many big box craft stores. You could order them
online and they show up right at your front door.
You could also add some extra Christmas cheer with wrapping your
handmade gifts using brown kraft paper! You can use a variety of
extravagant embellishments to really amaze your loved one. You could
use twine to secure a small pine branch or pinecone to the top of your
gift. If you prefer a brighter gift, you could use white kraft paper and add red ribbon and candy canes to decorate. The possibilities are endless when using kraft paper!
Maybe you’re not one who is super crafty when it comes to wrapping. Don’t worry! The following pro tips can help make your gift-wrapping look beautiful:
- Use a heavy-duty garment box. This makes your gift seem luxurious and important. I usually find these close to the holiday season at big box craft stores, but you can also find them in a multipack here!
- If you are wrapping your gift, use the same colors for your wrapping that you used in your handmade gift.
- Use a crochet ribbon instead of buying ribbon.
- Crochet a gift bag! This could be a bonus gift for the person receiving the gift.
No matter which wrapping you decide to use, you’ll definitely impress
your friends and loved ones.
Crochet Gift Tags
Nothing says handmade like a customized gift tag. Tags add the
finishing touch to the projects you’ve worked so hard on. These tags
don’t need to be expensive nor do they need to break your Christmas
I am one of those girls who says, “Why buy something, when I can just make it?” I keep a pack of card stock paper tucked away in my craft room, just for gift tags I need to print. I find that card stock, twine, and care instructions are just the cherry on top to the overall magic of my handmade gift. Today, I am sharing 6 designs that I am going to be using this year for my own handmade gifts. Get the free download here.
I hope as you are making and gifting, that these tips add a little magic to your handmade gift. I know the best part about gifts is giving them to our loved ones and seeing their eyes light up.
I wish you and yours a whimsical, wholesome holidays, lovelies!