The fact that sites such as ArtFire and Etsy are doing so well proves that the handmade revolution is very much upon us, but just in case you are not convinced, here are my do’s and dont’s of giving the gift of handmade.
Do take pride in your work. Never give something you wouldn’t be pleased to receive yourself.
Don’t give anything but your best work as a gift – Practice runs & less than perfect examples are fine to give away to friends ‘just because’, but otherwise, keep them for yourself.
Do put some effort into your presentation. A pretty gift box or a chic frame can make all the difference to the overall feel of your piece. Imagine you bought it in a swanky boutique – dress it up & make it special!
Don’t put yourself down. Never hand over a handmade gift saying ‘sorry, it’s homemade…’ – if you don’t love what you’re making, why should anyone else?
Do promote yourself – put your web address discretely on the back of a card, or slip a business card inside a gift box. That said,
Don’t overdo it – it’s a present, not a promo-pack!
Do put some thought into each gift you create and make it somehow unique and personal to the recipient.
Don’t make a dozen pairs of earrings in the same design and give them to every girl you know at Christmas!
Do embellish – perhaps team your handmade gift with a small box of chocolates or a bottle of wine, but…
Don’t make the handmade part of the gift look like an afterthought!
And of course, if making your own gifts really isn’t an option, why not buy handmade instead?
All the goodness of giving someone something personal and unique – and you get a free warm fuzzy glow from knowing you’re helping to support an aspiring artist!
So next time a friend or relative’s birthday is looming – don’t head straight to the mall - consider giving the gift of handmade.