The “Art” of Giving {Handmade}


I have to admit before you keep reading, that I have historically been a terrible gift giver. It has nothing to do with not wanting to shower those I love with gifts, but rather the frustration that always came with it. I wasn’t skilled at sending letters like Steph, I never knew what to buy, I never had money to buy what I would want to give. It bothered me. I thought it was often impersonal. But recently my husband and I have taken a different approach to our giving.

We recently pledged to only give handmade.This means that either WE have to make it or we have to buy handmade. No more last minute trips to Big Chain stores, no more wasting $30 on a lousy gift that no one wants, no more generic $4 greeting cards. Gifts have to now be thought out and planned. IN ADVANCE. This is a big deal for the procrastinators out there like me. But so far, let me just say that I am in LOVE with our new commitment.

Jess’ How to of Handmade:

1. Keep a Calendar with Important Dates Highlighted. (THANK YOU STEPH!) This sounds like a no brainer, but I just can’t keep dates straight without it.

2. Decide based on the person/event what you will be making (card, small, medium or large gift) and how long it should take. There are many times when a handmade card says more than a gift card ever could. But it does take planning.

3. Allow yourself enough time to get it finished ON TIME.No, that quilt you wanted to make for your BFF’s daughter will not make itself 2 days before she is born…

4. Involve the kids! Sure it will mean more mess and it will take longer, but it is truly worth it! It is in moments like these that we are able to teach our children about so many things- the value of relationships, giving, working with your hands, taking pride in what you do, seasons, holidays, and so much more.

5. Add personal touches. Though it might seem like making something for someone gives a personal touch on its own, there are many ways to make it personal. Adding a child’s initial to a superhero cape, or typing up favorite family recipes to give as a wedding gift can create memories that last for a lifetime (or at least longer than the doll or the five other coffee makers they get!)

6. Don’t think you have to come up with ideas all on your own! Not that you can’t, or shouldn’t come up with your own ideas, but speaking from experience sometimes I just hit a creative wall. Did you know there are ENTIRE websites dedicated to tutorials on things you can make yourself? Two of my favorites are Make It and Love It and Ucreate. I do have to warn you though, you may end up spending an entire day looking through all of the fun things that YOU can make.

7. Don’t be afraid to try! Just because I’ve never Etched Glass before doesn’t mean I’m not going can’t try it out for a friend’s upcoming wedding gift!

Do you ever give handmade? Have you considered it? Do you have any handmade ideas you’d like to share with us?


Jess Fischer is a Phoenix native who is happily married to her very best friend Lukas. She has two beautiful babies (15 ½ months apart) her son Parker and her daughter Piper. She has a love for most things domestic- be it cooking, sewing, crafting, or gardening although she has never enjoyed cleaning (oh well!) She loves saving money and views it as a game that she is constantly trying to win. She enjoys spending time with her family above all else. She recently started her own business and loves keeping friends and family up to date with her life on her family blog.


  1. If you’re not crafty, take a look at, where artists are only allowed to sell handmade or vintage items. Buying directly from the artist makes you feel warm and fuzzy.

    • OH HOW COULD I FORGET??? 🙂 Thanks for adding Stephanie, they also can sell supplies for all of your crafting needs as well! I personally have never bought anything on Etsy, but I am always looking on there for inspiration. There are some extremely talented men and women out there!

  2. This is great, I LOVE crafting and making things but always find that I get a little intimidated by it and worried that it will never turn out the way I hope lol… Great suggestions!

    • Oh that is part of the beauty of it though. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you would have hoped your heart is still in it and I think that is what shows through. regardless if it is ‘perfect’


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