A lot of people feel silly about giving handmade gifts because they seem less valuable or less polished compared to store-bought gifts. On the contrary, handmade gifts are a thoughtful and personal way to show someone that you care about them. It’s quite possible that you’re underestimating how much the recipient will love what you make! Today, we’ll discuss five tips to embrace giving handmade gifts without fear.
1. Gift to People Who You Know Will Appreciate the Gesture
When you consider giving a handmade gift, think about the recipient and their personality. Oftentimes, handmade gifts are best reserved for beloved friends, family, or someone with whom you have a strong connection. Part of the appeal of a handmade gift is the time and energy that went into it. Generally, if your recipient knows and loves you, they’ll appreciate a handmade gift 10x more because looking at it makes them think of you.
Don’t give a gift to someone whose appreciation will have to be forced. For example, I know better than to give a handmade gift to my four-year-old! He’d much rather receive an action figure. And that’s fine; that’s just where he’s at in life. If you have to give a second thought to whether someone will appreciate a handmade gift or not, consider going the store-bought route. It’s best to spend your energy creating something you know will be cherished.
2. Consider Your Skill Level When Giving Handmade Gifts
The higher your skill level, the more confident you can feel giving handmade gifts to people who aren’t in your inner circle. For example, I gave the calligraphy below to my mom in 2012, back when I first discovered calligraphy. She loved it, but I’m sure it was mostly because I made it. I wouldn’t have given the calligraphy to a stranger.
As your skill level grows, you can give handmade gifts more confidently. For example, I made the anniversary artwork below as a gift for a couple I’ve never met (as a favor to the bride’s mother). I wouldn’t have felt good about gifting art to a stranger back in 2012, but my skill level has grown enough that I can do that now.
3. Choose the Right Project
Choosing the right project is a vital part of giving handmade gifts with confidence. As an example, the lily illustration below would make a great gift for most of the females in my life. My brothers, however, wouldn’t especially love it, even though they tend to appreciate my handmade gifts. It’s important to consider your recipient’s tastes and their personal style.
4. Add an Explanation
When something is presented in a certain light, we tend to appreciate it more. Don’t be afraid to really “sell” your creation! When you explain the inspiration and the process behind your handmade gift, the recipient will appreciate it even more. Tell them why you chose to make a particular project or a specific color scheme. Mention how long it took to make or how much thought you put into it. People love owning items with a story!
5. Don’t Skip a Pretty Presentation
No matter what kind of gift you’re giving — handmade or store-bought — it’s important to focus on the presentation. A thoughtful presentation builds anticipation and emphasizes how much consideration was put into the gift. Try wrapping your gift in pretty paper, incorporating a wax seal or washi tape, and adding a cool gift tag.
For flat handmade gifts (like an illuminated letter), try writing the recipient’s name in pretty calligraphy on the presentation envelope.
If my advice for giving handmade gifts can be boiled down to one line, it’s this: know your audience. Spend your energy making special projects for special people! You can click the button below to brainstorm what those special projects might be:
I hope that you found this article helpful, and that it encourages you to make a handmade gift. If you’ve never given art as a gift before, start small. Everyone loves an illuminated letter! Then, work up to bigger things … perhaps a flourished country or a house portrait. You’ll enjoy not only the creation process, but the knowledge that you’ve enriched someone’s life with your creation. Something to consider as the weekend — and, with it, hopefully a bit of free time — approaches!