How to Rock Your Handmade Holiday | 2021
Whether you’re a professional maker or a hobbyist that loves making handmade gifts, the holidays can be both the most exciting and the most stressful time of year.
I think we’ve all heard a friend or family member say, “Hey you since you crochet, can you make me (blank)?
And because we love making and giving, it’s incredibly easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to things we either really don’t want to do or don’t have time to do.
Let’s be different this year. This article will give you the tools you need to plan, execute, and rock your handmade holiday!
Plan for Success | Rock this Handmade Holiday!
What is already on your plate?
Grab a blank sheet of paper or your copy of the Handmade Gift Workbook and a pencil/pen. (This awesome resource is FREE and all you need to do is fill out the subscribe form above to receive it.)
I want you to write down all the obligations and plans you have coming up. If you’ve got the Workbook, write this in the calendar section.
This could include:
- deadlines for other projects
- work schedules
- school schedules
It’s important to take note of this stuff because it gives you a clearer view of the time you ACTUALLY have to complete projects.
If your daily schedule is already jam packed, reverse this and write in certain hours in a day when you have a little bit of free time. For example: ‘kid’s nap time: 2pm-3pm.’
Make your list
Next, on a piece of scratch paper, write down all the people you’d like to give handmade gifts to this year.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- You can’t always make ALL the things for everyone.
- If you have a small group, then it might be possible, but if you’ve got family, friends, co-workers, teachers, the babysitter, etc… there’s simply not enough time.
- Some people don’t appreciate handmade gifts in the same way we do.
- Everyone is different. Some people just don’t want to take care of a handmade item or it’s just not their style.
- If you’re on a budget, very often it’s NOT cheaper to hand make things.
- This is purely situational and if you already have a massive stash to work from, the only ‘loss’ on your part is time, however, if you need to buy supplies, bags, tags, pay for shipping, etc… It adds up fast.
This isn’t meant to be discouraging. It’s about setting boundaries for yourself, so you and those you love enjoy the season.
With these few things in mind, separate your list into groups like: Handmade gifts and Store Bought gits.
Here’s what I recommend:
Prioritize your Handmade gifts list of people down to 5. I know that seems small, but hear me out.
Once you have your core 5 people, then check your schedule. If you feel like you’ll have time to make more gifts, write in a 2-3 more people. Work outward like this, but stay reasonable.
If anything, I feel like it’s better to err on the side of fewer gifts so anything extra you manage to make is a bonus. This also eliminates the pressure of trying to cram in a bunch of projects.
This is the fun part!
Now that you have your core list of people, write down their name, what you’re making, your materials, and an estimated time frame. (This is page 7 in the Workbook.)
What You’re Making | Things to Consider:
- Keep you’re projects as SIMPLE as possible.
- Now if you have a very small list, you can spend more time on each project, but if you have several, keep things easy. Stick to projects that may take a few hours (or less) – max a few days.
- Keep the recipient in mind.
- Are they sensitive to certain fibers? Does their gift need to be easily washed and dried? Does it need to be baby-safe?
Your Materials | Things to Consider:
- Know your budget.
- Do you need to buy materials or can you work from your stash?
- Keep costs of shipping in mind. I know it’s not a material, but when you’re budgeting for gifts, you might need to keep your projects small and light to keep costs low.
- Don’t forget about packaging.
- Wrapping paper, boxes, bags, bows, ribbons, cards, tags, etc… these are all materials you’ll need to purchase if you don’t already have a stash.
Estimated Time Frame | Things to Consider:
- Stay simple or easy for YOU.
- Match your project timeline with the amount of people on your list. Small List = more time per project. Big List = less time per project.
- Try to stick with projects you’ve done before.
- By this I mean, if you’ve ever made a beanie, you have a pretty good idea of generally how long it’ll take you to make a beanie.
- This is not meant to be limiting, just realistic. I designed a wall hanging for my mom and thought it would take me a few weeks, but I got my math wrong and it took me 8 MONTHS.
I know it’s hard, but try to save your experimental project ideas for another time.
Once you’ve got your projects written out with a general idea of materials and a time frame, it’s time to move to the next section!
Prioritize Your List
We already kind of did this when we narrowed our list down to a core group, but we’re going to do it one more time.
Now I want you to think about the dreaded word…DEADLINE. As a creative, I sometimes hate this word, but I swear without deadlines I would never really get anything done.
What Do I Mean by Deadline?
Here’s an example:
My family is spread out, but we all come together for Thanksgiving rather than Christmas. Instead of paying for shipping, I usually have all my gifts for them done by November, so I can give them the wrapped gifts to take home.
In this instance, next to my family members’ gifts, I would set my deadlines for no later than November 10th.
Here’s some other deadlines:
- Shipping cut-offs (date to ship in order to reach the destination in time – check your local post office)
- Secret Santa/White Elephant gift exchanges
- Family traditions (some families celebrate earlier or later)
Even if you don’t have an exact day, try to assign each project a general deadline with at least 3-5 days of wiggle room because let’s be honest, stuff happens and plans change.
Then list your projects in order by deadline.
Now that you’ve got a plan, let’s get to the fun!
It’s up to you now! Grab your hook, yarn and your list and have fun!
I really hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you haven’t already, subscribe to my newsletter to receive your Handmade Gift Workbook. There’s some fun additional freebies you get as well and you can stay up to date on everything from new posts to pattern releases, sales, and much more.
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