Stuff I’d Like to See General Gift ideas

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by ricky November 1, 2012 at 7:25 am.

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  • #238709

    Hi everyone,

    I’m not going to quote anyone because several asked for ideas.
    Since there are people from many cultures on the list, I’m going
    to speak to everyone without mentioning specific holidays. If
    you can use these ideas, super. I hope you’ll find them as
    special as the people for whom I created these gifts:

    1) Make wall hangings. These are super for kids with a good
    sense of humor or a favorite theme in their lives, but as well,
    they can be made for any number of people in your lives.
    When you have a really tight budget, you can make a number
    of these as gifts for around US$2-3 a person.

    Decide what size the hanging will be, and buy a dowel that’s at
    least 2 inch longer than the width you’d like the hanging to be.
    If you’re really strapped, get small rings that can be used to
    suspend these hangings from two nails instead of one.

    These work well in burlap, and burlap comes in a variety of colors,
    so you can measure the length plus two inches for the hanging.

    Next, decide what colors of felt you’d like, and buy a batch of the
    colors in squares.

    Consider the age and the likes, and go from there, creating your
    own designs and lettering out of the felt. Fringe the base of the
    burlap simply by removing the threads at the bottom. Stitch the
    top of the hanging with enough loop to slip the dowel through or
    stitch the rings at each end on the top.

    To give you an idea of how creative these can be, one year, I
    made a friend one of these hangings. She had been stressed,
    and I did hers in natural burlap with orange, yellow and white as
    the colors. In the center, I stitched *and* glued at one end, a
    braid I’d made from yarn of the same colors. I tied the braid at
    the other end, leaving fringe on it, and the lettering I made (just
    a simple block lettering) read, “When you reach the end of your
    rope, tie a knot and hang on.” For the most part, I’ve stuck to
    clich?ed sayings, and these hangings have always been hits
    when I’ve done them. Use your imagination, or go with the tried
    and true, but they’re super gifts and can keep you very much in
    your budget.

    You can theme these as well for holidays or even for birthdays.

    2) Family gifts are often a challenge because you want to give
    more and can’t afford it. This past year, the kids and I bought
    my daughter-in-law a pretty tin we’d picked up from the dollar
    store for 50 cents. We filled it with a small amount of Oreos
    and four packages of two flavors of cappuccino. The kids
    enjoyed the rest of the Oreos, and I got the other four packs
    of cappuccino, which I had bought at the dollar store for $2.
    My daughter-in-law was dieting, so she didn’t want a large
    amount of temptation, but just enough to feel special. The
    Oreos cost $1.60. The entire gift was a stocking stuffer that
    cost–excluding what the kids took and the packages I took–

    I’ve often bought pretty baskets that can be used for
    decoration later and filled these with themes. One year, I
    created a Chinese cooking basket for one of my brothers.
    In the basket, I placed soy sauce from the Chinese market
    ($1.25 for a 24-ounce bottle), a package of chopsticks
    (these vary in price, depending on the kind of chopsticks
    you buy…from $1 for 50 pair to $5 a pair), the canned and
    dry ingredients toward a special dinner (for instance, water
    chestnuts, rice sticks or rice, chili sauce…all varying prices
    according to your budget) and a recipe that uses these
    ingredients with the addition of the meat and fresh veggies
    you would use. I also added a bottle of oyster sauce and
    a package of cornstarch. My total cost of this gift was

    For my other brother, I did an Italian gift basket with Roma
    tomatoes, tomato paste, imported spaghetti and imported
    parmesan and romano cheeses, a new grater, and some
    colorful cloth napkins.

    I’ve done other baskets with a pretty bathroom in mind–
    gift soaps and bath oils, pretty guest towels or washcloths,
    a scented candle in a votive, and body lotion.

    You can also do baskets with spices and kitchen towels.

    3) Baby tee shirts are super for gifts! Just those plain
    white or pastel ones with the overlapped shoulders. If
    you enjoy embroidery–or if you’ve never tried and have
    always thought about it, this is the perfect way to do it!
    If you know the gender of the baby, you can coordinate
    the colors, of course, and style the tees for either sex.
    If you don’t know, of course, you’ll want to keep it more
    simple. These normally come in packages of threes,
    and each tee can be decorated with a simple chain
    stitch along the edges of the overlaps and the neckline.
    For little girls, you might want to make simple daisies,
    using one color for the petals and a different color for
    the centers. You can also embroider the name of the
    baby across the front.

    4) I bought some beautiful closeout angora and acrylic
    yarn at the dollar store for $2 for 2 skeins, and I knitted
    a tube scarf, using circular needles and just knitting a
    simple knit stitch throughout. I finished it off with fringe
    on both ends. I like long fringe and used about 10-inch
    lengths so the fringe was 5 inches long)

    5) Two afghans I made that were big hits were made out
    of the cheap huge skeins of yarn and felt. You need to
    plan this out, but again, it’s simple straight knitting that
    works well on size 8 or 10 needles. I knitted a flag one
    year, using the red and white for the stripes and the blue
    for where the stars would go. Using a piece of cardboard,
    I made a star to use as a pattern and then traced the
    pattern on to white felt. I did the flag as a Betsy Ross,
    requiring only 13 stars so I didn’t drive myself nuts! lol

    The other afghan was for my oldest brother, and that too
    was a flag, of the US Marines. The entire flag was done
    in red, and I found the emblem for the Marine Corps and
    enlarged it by tracing the one I found and then slightly
    extending it repeatedly so it looked like several emblems,
    each larger than the last. It was time-consuming, but by
    doing it this way, I was able to re-create the emblem by
    hand without losing anything, and then when I got it to the
    right size, I traced it to cardboard, cut it out, and then did
    the final trace on the felt, this time using gold.

    I fringed both flags on three sides, and both my brother and
    the other person for whom I’d created these flags were
    beside themselves with delight. Each of these cost me under
    $15 to make, and the person for whom I’d made the Betsy
    Ross flag was offered $150 for hers. She refused the money.

    6) Consider making salt dough gifts if you live in a dry area.
    They can be successful in humid areas if you take extra
    precautions, including sealing them (which you should do as
    a general principle anyway) completely, and these are great
    for one of a kind gifts that can be used for wall hangings or
    ornaments. I’ve often given these as gifts to very special
    teachers for some of my sons. If anyone is interested in my
    expanding on this idea, I’ll be happy to, but I think I’ve kind
    of taken enough space for now.


  • #434322

    I was looking for Christopher Allan designed gifts. Does anybody know whether any corporate gift offers are available online ?

  • #434327


    @ricky 253861 wrote:

    I was looking for Christopher Allan designed gifts. Does anybody know whether any corporate gift offers are available online ?

    Never heard of C. Allan; corporate gifts are rather expensive, you could make your own gift baskets for a fraction of the cost though!
    Or if you really want to buy multiple gifts, we recommend Amazon.

  • #434379

    Thanks for the recommendation. I found the online store.

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Stuff I’d Like to See General Gift ideas