An unconventional holiday gift guide for makers
Because, let’s face it – makers are unconventional people who prefer to make their own clothes, home decor, and even shoes!
Unlike your average gift recipient, a maker values time to be creative and the opportunity to learn new skills over typical gifts.
Of course, they do enjoy the materials, supplies, and tools to be able to make what they want to make, but they can be picky about quality, color, and fiber preferences, so we’ve got your back.
Since makers require an unconventional gift guide, let’s use an unconventional framework:
Remember that old 90’s personality framework, the Five Love Languages?
It’s about an individual’s preferred way to receive affection in a relationship: words of affirmation, acts of kindness, gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
While the original framework was intended for romantic couples, we decided to loosely hold the idea of the five love languages in our minds as we considered ways you could show love to the people in your life who enjoy making things: sewists, knitters, artists, and crafters of all kinds.
Using the concept of love languages in your decision-making process may help your gift really touch your friend’s heart, or make your mom feel special. Since makers tend to participate in gift giving from a different perspective, focusing on connection rather than consumerism, this holiday gift guide for makers will help you gift them something they will truly appreciate.
Words of Affirmation
Makers really appreciate it when loved ones reaffirm that their creative practice is important and valued. These ideas are perfect for those folks who enjoy a good book, a powerful message, or an inspirational quote.
- Prints like these from The Far Woods and this one from Addie Best would be perfect to frame and hang in their creative space.
- Include a thoughtful note along with any gift you choose to remind them of how their creative spirit makes the world a little brighter.
- Some of our favorite books for creatives: Keep Going by Austin Kleon, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, and Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
- A year-long subscription to Taproot Magazine, a home for thoughtful makers of all backgrounds.
- Consider a book of poetry or stories, such as What Kind of Woman by Kate J Baer, Bright Dead Things by Ada Limón, or Life on Mars by Tracy K Smith.
Acts of Kindness
These are the people who insist they don’t need gifts, but they are very touched by acts of kindness. Makers sometimes feel guilty when taking time to be creative (rather than cleaning the kitchen!) so show them you support their creativity with some of these suggestions. Have your maker friend or family member unwrap a little handwritten note or a “coupon” to redeem for an act of kindness. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Get their sewing machine serviced for them. If they don’t have a machine but want to learn to sew, read our guide to buying a sewing machine first.
- Give a coupon for a Creativity Day – a day set aside for them to work on a favorite hobby, either alone or together. (Unfamiliar with a Creativity Day? Read about it in our free Guide to Making Time for Creativity.)
- Help them put together or improve their creative space or crafting corner. Need inspiration? Check out Meg’s dreamy sewing space.
- A pair of noise-canceling headphones for listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and music. This year, Meg’s son started playing the drums, and she got herself these headphones. They are life-changing, especially for creative folks who live in busy households with lots of auditory distractions. Consider recommending LibriVox, a free service with public domain books read by volunteers.
Gifts (Tools and Supplies)
Some folks just love receiving a tangible, quality gift from those they love. But shopping for a maker can be a bit daunting, especially for those who don’t share the same hobbies. Here are a few of our favorite tools and supplies that any maker (and especially sewists) will appreciate.
1. Special sewing supplies like this cute pincushion, or really anything from Brooklyn Haberdashery.
2. Our go-to references for hand sewing: Hand Sewing Clothing by Louisa Owen Sonstroem and this guide to hand-sewing a pair of pants by Fibr and Cloth. Add a sewing bird and you have the perfect hand-sewing gift.
3. The Maker’s Board provides an adjustable magnetic surface that is perfect for knitters and stitchers of all kinds.
4. These tiny snips are perfect for travel.
5. Makers can always use extra help with tool storage, like this toolbox from Snuggly Monkey.
8. Another great gift from one maker to another is the Gus Tool Bag pattern from Indigobird.
9. How about a fun sandal-making kit and course?
11. Know a knitter? Can’t go wrong with a beautiful sock set like these.
Makers whose work and family responsibilities keep them from enjoying time with others who share their crafting passions will truly appreciate the gift of a class, whether in-person or online. This goes without saying, but a distinguishing characteristic of makers is their insatiable curiosity when it comes to learning new skills. If you’re also a maker, consider a gift of taking a course together! Many students in our sewing and wardrobe classes are taking them alongside a sibling or a friend. An online class with a community component allows you to connect with loved ones who might not live close by, giving you a wonderful shared experience.
- Start by seeing if you have a local fabric or yarn shop that offers classes, then get your maker a gift certificate to choose the class that best fits their skill level and schedule.
- Allyson Dykhuizen is a wonderful, fun instructor and offers online knitting classes.
- Get your loved one a gift certificate for one of our online sewing or wardrobe styling courses. Sew Liberated offers high-quality online courses for sewists of all skill levels, from absolute beginners to advanced. Each course comes with membership in a private course community of other supportive sewists.
- Tatter hand sewing classes are taught live with various instructors and are always very enticing.
5. Any quilting class with Heidi Parkes looks amazing.
6. If you’re looking for an immersive experience for your loved one, or want to plan a crafting getaway with your bestie, definitely check out Squam Art Workshops. A beautiful setting, wonderful people, and a variety of workshops from which to choose!
7. Camp Workroom Social is basically summer camp (in October) for folks who love to sew! It’s an unbeatable way to learn new skills and make new friends.
The following gift ideas are for the maker who loves to feel cozy. These makers are motivated by soft fibers, warmth, and comfort. True connoisseurs of the Danish art of hygge, if you will.
- A cozy-loving garment sewist will appreciate versatile fabric yardage that feels like butter to wear. This fabric is particularly yummy.
- A skein of any scrumptiously soft cashmere yarn, or for a real splurge, this cashmere ombre wrap kit from Purl Soho.
- Often sewing and other crafts require a lot of bending at the neck and shoulders or sitting in sustained positions for many hours. A gift certificate to a local masseuse is just the thing to relax those creative muscles.
- Something warm to drink while making? Yes, please! This iconic maker’s mug + a favorite tea/coffee adds so much coziness to the creative experience.
Do you have any more suggestions for great gifts for makers? Please let us know in the comments so we can continue adding to the list. Bonus points for supporting small, creative businesses!
WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE PERSONALITY?
Uncover and celebrate your hidden creative strengths, understand your roadblocks, and get personalized guidance on your sewing journey.