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Last Updated on December 22, 2021 by Yvette’s Treasures
How To Make Sure Your Handcrafted Gifts Are Well Received
Handcrafted gifts have always been a symbol of love and care, but sometimes they don’t come off that way. If you’re looking for ways to ensure your handmade gifts are well received, then here are our top 4 go-to tips for handcrafted gift giving!
#1 Know Before You Bow Handcrafted Gifts
Yeah, it rhymes, but it’s true. As well-intentioned as our gift(s) may be, it pays (in emotions and cash) to know a little about the recipient before presenting your gift.
For example, you may be on the verge of wrapping up a handmade ornament for your neighbor and overheard that her daughter is in town. You’ve always enjoyed the few moments spent chatting with her across the lawn and have decided to make one for her too. How much harm can it do? It’s just an ornament, right? Wrong and loads of harm, unfortunately.
Although it may seem simple to you, the daughter may have different (and quite possibly strongly held) opinions about Christmas, and the ornament could set off a ticking time bomb- ouch!
Or, maybe you’ve prepared your favorite Banana Bread loaf and want to gift one to your favorite work colleague. A lovely gesture and a beautiful gift to give, but have you checked to ensure that your favorite colleague doesn’t have a food allergy to any of the ingredients? Do you know if they even like Bananas, much less Banana Bread?
As we all know, people are persnickety, and what you assumed to be thoughtful, loving, and harmless could turn into a meltdown of epic proportions- quite literally.
Know Before You Bow. This means asking your neighbor how her daughter feels about Christmas or your favorite co-worker if they like bananas (or are allergic to anything).
Any of these types of Q & A questions can be snuck into regular conversation with ease and save you a whole lot of trouble in the future- trust me.
#2 Make A Point of ‘No Pressure’
Have you ever been the recipient of a fancy gift? Did you feel a bit odd about receiving it- particularly around how to respond? It is custom that when sent a gift, you should send one back in equal value. And when it comes to handcrafted gifts, especially high-quality ones, it’s easy to overwhelm your recipient.
First, there’s the shock factor: 1- that you were even able to make such a fine gift by hand, and 2- that it was unexpected, and therefore threw them off guard.
As well-intentioned as it may be, your signature line of orange-scented Turtle Soaps or nicely crafted Heart Vase may overwhelm your person into feeling awkward and uneasy. And yes, gift ghosting (not seeing someone again after giving them a lovely gift) is a real thing.
To ensure that you don’t startle your recipient into dodging you out of sheer embarrassment, make a point of leaving a note of no expectation of receiving anything back.
As silly as this sounds, a simple handwritten ‘just for you, no response required’ will relieve most of the pressure of expectation and allow your recipient to feel more at ease to enjoy their new item.
#3 Be Aware of Gender Roles For Handcrafted Gifts
Now, more than ever, should we be concerned with not only the type of gift given, but also the message it might convey.
In the late 90s and prior, gifting a bright pink or blue item didn’t raise a flag or set harmful implications, at least not vocally. However, there’s a heavy focus on gender equality and social acceptance in today’s world that even the most subtle figurative nuances will be put through the wringer.
Meaning that the same bright pink or blue item that you didn’t think twice about in the 90s could lead you into years’ worth of apologies and side-eyes from the recipient AND onlookers.
Going back to tip #1, it pays to know before you bow. If your handcrafted gift is intended for someone you don’t know well, sticking with neutral colors and earth tones would help make sure you stay out of the line of fire and keep everything calm.
Another thing to note, if your handmade gift is in the form of a written statement, joke, or personalized saying, have a few of your trusted, give-it-to-me-honest friends look it over and explain what the wording conveys to them. You’d be amazed at how a few words can create thousands of impressions, and if you want to make sure that you continue to get a good night’s rest afterward, then this step is a must-do.
#4 Add Instructions If Necessary
This should have been tip #1 as I usually scream this at the top of my lungs: Add instructions if there’s a potential for confusion! Yes, that includes your handmade salt shakers, knitwear, coasters, and figurines. Spare your feelings and sanity!
Confusion should not be taken personally, but it is. Your recipient simply may not know how to properly use the lovely gift you spent hours or weeks making them. Please give them a little help.
Instead of pouting the next time you witness them using your coaster as a door stopper, or your salt shakers in the washroom, add a quaint ‘Instructions and Care’ note inside the wrapping or bag.
1 to 2 sentences on proper use followed by cleaning and then storage instructions is enough and helps your recipient greatly. But be forewarned, they still may use it in an unintended manner, no matter how spelled out the instructions and use are. That is OK.
These four (4) tips for proper handcrafted gift giving save me from digging holes for myself time and time again. Keep this in your notes and let them be your guide for the next time you’re thinking about presenting someone with a token from the heart. It’ll save you a lot of trouble in the end, promise.
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