Weekly Poll: Homemade Gifts | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

03 December, 2014

Weekly Poll: Homemade Gifts

Happy Wednesday, everybody!


This week's question was inspired by the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping mania...

How do you feel about getting homemade/handmade gifts? Love them? Hate them? Begrudgingly accept them? In this case let's say that "homemade" means made by the person giving you the gift, not an Etsy seller or professional indie crafter or something like that.

Personally I've always been cool with homemade gifts—I think it's actually sort of touching when somebody takes the time to create something to share with their loved ones. But I was at a family gathering around the holidays last year or the year before when I heard an extended family member (I won't say who) ranting about some co-worker giving them a "shitty homemade present" and I was like whutttt? That seemed like a bit of an overreaction to me (unless the present was actually made of shit, in which case... yeah.) But maybe there's some aspect of the situation I wasn't aware of. Maybe my relative gave their coworker something really expensive. But in that case, is it still OK to complain? Are there situations in which homemade gifts would never be acceptable? Complicated.

18 comments:

  1. I'm making homemade gifts this year (if I can finish on time). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everyone likes them. I can't really remember getting a non-food homemade gift.

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  2. What are you making? I've mostly received homemade food gifts, but a coworker once gave me homemade lip balm and candles, and my sister knitted me a whole scarf years ago. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the scarf! I don't think she does a ton of DIY stuff but it came out really well and I still wear it sometimes. :)

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  3. I wish I was crafty enough to make homemade gifts! I don't mind getting a homemade gift. Some of my favorite pieces of jewelry were made by friends.

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  4. Lately I've been all about homemade gifts. I personally would rather receive a homemade bar of soap than one that anyone can just pick up from the store. I dunno, I guess it really depends on if the individual appreciates the time it takes to make things from scratch?

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  5. Oh i'm all for homemade gifts, being a crafter myself I really appreciate the time and effort someone takes in making a gift.

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  6. I went to a very sustainable college, so just imagine all the DIY/homemade gifts I got all the time! From knitted scarves or socks, to mod-podged little keepsake boxes, to sugar scrubs, I've had a lot of awesome homemade gifts. I don't think I've ever been let down except for once, when I went out of my way to find stuff and make stuff for a friend that I thought would truly treasure them and they kind of just threw the things in the backseat of their car. About two or three weeks later, they sent me a pretty botched drawing of a mandala in the mail that I knew they were able to draw in about 5 minutes. I was kinda bummed. I still have the mandala, though. Just wish they would have at least signed it or SOMETHING.

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  7. I think it depends on who is giving me a gift and what they are giving me. If it's a homemade sock puppet with poorly attached eyes, I'm going to say I will begrudging accept it and find the earliest opportunity to dispose of it somehow. In that particular case, a sock puppet is something I don't need/want/use nor is it something being done with any expert care or effort. The latter has a few exceptions – eg. made by a child or something where a lot of effort has been made/it's sentimental.


    Love homemade gifts, otherwise, though!

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  8. Sarah @ bitsandboxes.comDecember 4, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    I love getting homemade gifts! I have a friend who makes soap every year and I seriously can't wait til she gets to me so I can see what flavors she's made. Haha! If someone made me a burnt banana bread, I wouldn't be as thrilled but something that was made with thought and care? Yes, please!

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  9. A little totoro for a friend that loves kawaii stuff and snow men ornaments for everyone else.
    I want to make a hat as well but I'm pretty sure I'll be rushing just to finish the ornaments. =p
    It must be pretty awesome to have someone crafty in the family. I would love some homemade candles! Actually the only ones I buy now are soy candles made by a local guy that I found at a street fair =) it smells and burns so much better than Yankee Candle.

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  10. Same here! I don't craft as much these days but I suppose having made things makes you appreciate it when other people make stuff by hand more.

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  11. Haha I can imagine! That's an interesting point - handmade gifts are nice, but what if you can tell that it's a "lazy" handmade gift? That might hurt my feelings a little bit too.

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  12. Hmm, a sock puppet with poorly attached eyes? I think that would actually be kind of hilarious. But I have a lot of weird stuff around my apartment so perhaps the puppet-maker would know I'd display it. I get what you mean though - handmade gifts with no thought towards the recipient are a bit odd. Like if someone gave me a handmade diaper bag. (No kids, so...)

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  13. But what if that banana bread was burnt with LOVE? :P It's cool that your friend is into soap-making. I really want to try it someday but have lacked the motivation so far.

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  14. I think it would really depend on what it was, who it was from and the situation! I'm like most people on here, as I love getting a good homemade gift, be it food or something else.
    However... If it's a lazy gift or something the person made without any thought as to what I like, I'm not a fan. I'd rather not get anything from the person if they aren't even going to bother trying to make something they think I would like.
    Let me clarify by giving a few examples... A good gift, which you don't really even need to know someone to give, could be something like bath stuff (scrubs, soap, etc), yummy food (though maybe make sure they don't have an allergy/hate that food), a blanket, a pretty picture, etc....
    Some bad/lazy gifts could be something like a half-assed drawing/painting/craft (I had a dude give me a super creepy drawing of some kind of humanoid thing one year and it was teeeeerrible; I burned that sucker for good measure), food that wasn't properly made (I don't care how big of a hurry I was in, I would never make someone something and give it to them if I burned it or didn't pre-test it to make sure it was good!), something random that has nothing to do with me (i.e. a sock monkey is a great example, like someone mentioned!), or a weird piece of handmade clothing (as in badly made or clearly not for me/my size)... Also, I'm not talking about gifts from kids! Kids can make whatever they want and it doesn't matter because, well...they're kids and it's cute (usually).
    I love making little homemade things for family/friends. I made everyone body & lip scrub last year, which they apparently loved because I've had several of them ask if I'll make it for them again. I feel so much more...accomplished if I make something for someone, even if it's just a stocking stuffer.

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  15. I guess I'm the only one who would like a sock monkey or sock puppet, haha! I agree that bath stuff is a much safer choice. Personally I wouldn't want to give away burnt or poorly-made food, but sometimes the person giving it doesn't realize that it's bad. X:

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  16. I've found that sometimes there's a distinction to be drawn between handmade and homemade, if you will. Handmade has at least some thought and effort (and often skill) behind it. Homemade can reek of "well, I have a hot glue gun and some glitter, and the tree in the park dropped a bunch of pine cones, presents: solved!" which can be adorable if you're seven but not so much if you're 34. So when people complain about shitty homemade gifts, it's more likely to be the latter: something I now need to find a place for or dispose of, rather than something I might actually enjoy.

    I do remember various family members being confused the year I made soap, possibly because the scrubby coffee hand soap (to get cooking smells off of your hands) looked pretty dang fugly until I explained the purpose. And let us all forget the era of the novelty yarn scarf, please.

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  17. For me, the distinction between handmade vs. homemade is handmade = made by hand, not necessarily by you and homemade = made at home, by you. Some people are better at making stuff than others of course. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I've never felt the need to complain about a ridiculous pinecone coated with glitter-type gift. Would I keep it forever? Probably not, but it wouldn't be a source of frustration for me.

    Scrubby bits of coffee in soap are quite handy, though I can see how unaccustomed family members might be a bit put off, hah. Now I'm curious about these novelty yarn scarves...

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  18. About a decade ago there was a huge wave of eyelash and fake-fur yarns, at first it was $20-30 worth at a fancy yarn store, later $5 at Joann's, plus an hour or two of knitting, and you, too, could look like you were wearing a Muppet pelt around your neck! For the most part they weren't even *warm*.

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