How to Plan Your Handmade Gifting (So the homemade gifts get created and you don’t go crazy!)
Hey y’all, today I’m sharing some DIY gift ideas to sew, but more importantly I’m sharing a free printable gift planner. Because ideas without execution don’t make a magical Christmas or other holiday. I’d say NOT planning out my handmade gift ideas leads to stress for me when I want put love into every stitch. And a stressfull holiday season is not what anyone wants.
If I were really organized, I would have started on homemade gifts months ago. Alas, I never can get motivated to start on Christmas presents until the weather cools down. And the cooling doesn’t happen until around Halloween where I live. So if you, like me, don’t start planning your handmade Christmas gifts in July, this post should help. I’ll start by going through my organization process, share the free printable you can use to do the same, and show you some easy DIY gifts that you can sew for everyone on your list. Here are the steps to planning your time to make the perfect gifts for the holidays:
- Determine the recipient
- Brainstorm DIY Gift Ideas
- Get the needed supplies
- Plan time to make the gift
- Make your handmade present
In the video below, I talk a little about using this planner to track your DIY gift ideas and completion. I go into more detail below the video as well. You can also watch on YouTube here if it won’t load below for some reason.
Step 1: Determine The Gift Recipients
Let’s be realistic right from the start – the biggest key to successful gift making is keeping your list manageable. There’s a reason I only put eight spots on this printable gifting planner. Remember not everyone loves or will appreciate DIY Christmas gifts. If you know your sister will make a dismissive comment about something you sewed for her, save yourself the stress and disappointment and buy her something. You want to make sure that the crafts you used your good fabric on are fully appreciated. And if you skip the supplies and time to make columns you can still use this planner as a gift buying checklist.
I like to list out my gift recipients in order of who will like my handmade gifts the most. That means Mom is at the top of my list. I do it this way in case I run out of time despite my best planning efforts, so that I’m more likely to have finished the gifts that mean the most to me. If you’re the type that would rather purchase the big gifts and you’re just looking for heartfelt small gifts for teachers or stocking stuffers for your kids, make your list that way instead.
Step 2: Brainstorm DIY Gift Ideas
Now that you know who you want to gift with your sewing time and the good fabric, it’s time to brainstorm ideas for each recipient. If you’re making a few gifts for special people and want to spend more time on them, pick a project tutorial from my site. Here are some gift ideas for men, these suggestions for presents to sew for women, and these kids gift ideas. If you’d like to keep it more neutral, consider something like a pillow, coaster/pot holder or fabric basket – all home decor projects you can find in this group of ideas. I’ve put a column in the planner to consider budget – that can be an important factor to keep in mind while you’re brainstorming.
If you’re looking for quick gifts to make, check out the video below or on YouTube here for some great ideas.
Here are all the links to the projects shown in the video.
- Coffee Mug Cozies
- Beanie Hats
- Zip Pouches
- Boxed Corner Zip Bags
- Snap Cowl
- Chapstick Holders
- Travel Tissue Holder
Step 3: Find Supplies Needed
Once you’ve decided on what to make each recipient, make sure you’ve got the supplies to make it. If you don’t, you’re going to want to buy or order your fabric and notions soon. You can also use the supply list to check out Black Friday sales. For example, many stores have sales on fleece this time of year and if you’re making blankets, ponchos, robes or or slippers you might want to hit up those types of sales.
Step 4: Plan Time to Make the Gift
There’s a reason I had my phone calendar open while I was using my holiday gift planner – time. You have to be realistic about how much time you have to craft or you’ll make yourself miserable. There’s nothing joyful about sewing on Christmas Eve and disappointing yourself when you still don’t get done.
Step 5: Make your Handmade Presents
This is the fun part! You have your supplies, now you get to sew. I like to put on cheesy Christmas movies while I sew – I don’t have to pay close attention to keep up with the plot and this puts me in the holiday spirit. You might also want to check out my tips to sew faster. Because getting through your list earlier than you thought you would is soooo satisfying.
Maybe you took a whole day planning and all you realized is that you don’t actually have time or supplies to make great gifts for the people on your list. While that might be frustrating, try changing your perspective – now you have all your planning done for next year! Put your planner page somewhere you’ll see it often – maybe tape it above your sewing machine. You have done the work to be one of those super organized and thoughtful people that sews their gifts months ahead of time and then enjoys the holiday season events without cramming in gift making.
I will absolutely admit that the reason some of my family has received hand knit socks under the Christmas tree is that I didn’t finish them in time for the previous year. (So if you’re related to me and you read my site, now you know). If you can’t wait that long to give a gift you planned, maybe think about gifting on the recipient’s birthday so you don’t have to wait a whole year.
As a last minute idea, mix up some hot chocolate mix and gift them a jar of it with a pretty square of fabric tied on top like I did here. It’s quick, cheap, easy and you can whip up a large batch of it in just a little time.
This is such a great post. Keeping it real, planning ahead and realizing that the time and supplies will cost more than expected, and moving that handmade gift to the birthday list in the future is so much less stress….ahhh, validation!!! Love it!!
I must be related to you–do not get all sewing projects finished by Dec. 25. This planner should help the list finished by the Big Day be a larger list!
Thank you so much for the planner it will be very helpful to sort out the gifts for my care team and family.