Yesterday afternoon, I had intended on browsing through Off the Wagon in Downtown Kent to find my brother a birthday present, but that shop was closed. However, I stumbled upon Silver and Scents, a relatively new shop along Acorn Alley, and decided to take a peek inside.
Although the jewelry displays in the front didn’t look too promising for finding something a 17-year-old boy would like, I noticed some knitted items toward the back and inched into the store.
The friendly woman at the counter greeted me and noticed I was looking through the handmade hats and gloves. She explained that each item was knitted with alpaca wool. Some came from Peru.
I then realized how special handmade items can be. They have stories. They have meaning.
Interested in making your own handmade cards? Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Instead of buying those cheesy, cartoonish cards in a boxed set from the store, why not make your own?
Some tips to help you get started:
- Think about only a few people who you would like to receive your handmade cards. Don’t get carried away with big projects at first (i.e. mid-December when I’m scrambling to finish up 50+ Christmas cards for friends, family and co-workers).
- If you already enjoy scrapbooking, don’t be intimidated by the small amount of space you have to work with. Cards can use the same techniques as scrapbook pages, just on a smaller scale. Claire Selby, of www.pinkdilla.com, layered patterned papers of several textures on the handmade Valentines she created for soldiers.
- Cards can be simple. Try thumb printing pink hearts onto a small, blank card.
- Be sure that designing handmade cards is something you enjoy. In other words, put your heart and soul into your work.
- Need step-by-step directions? Try Vicki Churchill’s cute birthday card design.
People I know look forward to receiving my cards. I’ll admit I’m a procrastinator, even when it comes to a special hobby I enjoy. But no matter the hurry or worry about completing my cards, I always receive positive feedback in return.
Even my brother Matt ventured into the hobby and made cards for our relatives when he was younger. But when he finally realized his lack of creativity began to shine through, he moved onto sports. I can make a much more visually-appealing card than Matt, but he can make a basket, hit a home run and tackle me to the ground.
So in other words, I encourage you to try new things, but don’t neglect the hobbies you know and love.
After chatting with the interesting woman from Silver and Scents for a bit, I decided to buy my brother some alpaca wool glittens. I think they’re a unique gift, do you?
We’ll see what he says about the glittens (and the handmade card, of course) later today. But what is your favorite handmade gift you have received? What are some interesting handmade gifts you made for other people?