With Christmas just over a week away there’s not much time to pull together a complicated handmade gift. People often say that it’s difficult to give a gift to someone who’s creative. Personally, I love receiving gifts that involve a little work on my part. Even when I was a kid I liked the kits, sets and puzzles that lasted longer than the opening. When I’ve received a gift of yarn or fabric I think of the person who gave it to me with every stitch. You’d be surprised if you walk into a fabric or yarn store and ask someone to help you pick out a gift for your creative friend. There will be all kinds of ideas and the receiver will appreciate the effort. With that thought in mind, here are a few ideas that I think will help you satisfy your creative friends while tapping into your own creative side.
Food items can be made in an evening to give the next day. A loaf of wonderful banana bread baked in a new pan makes a useful and tasty gift. They’ll think of you every time they bake a loaf of bread. Here’s my favorite recipe (be sure to include it with your gift!).
Got a dog lover on you list? How about a basket or bowl of dog items? Pull together a new leash, chewy, biscuits, cute picture frame and maybe a good book for day hikes. Wrap it all up in a big dog bowl or basket. Don’t forget a movie they can enjoy together.
For that person on your list who has everything, consider gifts she or he will use up during the year. We don’t always buy wonderful soaps or lotions for ourselves, but receiving them is great fun. I found a beautiful selection at one of my favorite shops, Peggy Sunday’s. The soaps are wrapped in beautiful papers and smell delicious. They come with their own matching soap dish. Perfect! Peggy also has an awesome selection of candles, dishware, barware and loads of lovelies. Truly something for everyone.
For the cook in you life; who doesn’t need more olive oil? Remember The Oilerie for a wonderful selection. They have recipes and ideas on how to use each oil. A bottle or two in a basket lined with a new dish towel and you’re all set. For extras, consider artisan salts and herbs tucked in with the bottles. There are wonderfully handmade cruets and bowls. Need more? Maybe a beautiful apron or napkin set.
Cook baskets are great fun to do. How about cupcake tins with sprinkles and liner papers in fun colors. Add a brightly colored spatula and you’re set. For an extra pop, add a cookbook. Sweet!
For that guy who’s hard to buy for, consider a movie night basket. Depending on how much you want to spend you can do this in a couple of different ways. One fun idea is to get a couple of DVD’s, a fuzzy, warm throw and a jar of popcorn. A bit less expensive idea is to purchase a gift card from the local movie theater and wrap it with a couple of candy bars. Christmas and date night in one gift.
A stitcher in your group of friends? Most fabric stores have a wonderful selection of what are called ‘fat quarters’ (18” X 22”). It’s fun to pick out companion fabrics and they’re the perfect size for a pillow front (buy 2 matching for the whole pillow). Look for a pattern for pillows or a table runner and you have a simply perfect gift.
Most knitters love to get yarn. There are beautiful hand dyed yarns out there for socks and small projects. Of course the yarn shops have patterns and books to include with the yarn. A few of my favorite local shops are Twisted, Knit Purl and Close Knit. You can even go to Ravelry, an online knitting community for free patterns and ideas. With a free pattern and a beautiful skein of yarn you’ve got the perfect thoughtful gift for a knitter.
See, you can be creative even if you don’t think you’re creative. It’s all about looking at things in a different way. Think of how pleased your recipients will be when they see themselves reflected in the gifts you’ve chosen. Have fun with it!!