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  1. #1
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    Crafty wedding gift ideas?

    One of my favorite people in the world is someone I've known since she was three and I was five. She's also the person who taught me how to knit. I just found out she's getting married, in 12-18 months (they have to set a date, etc.).

    Her wedding gift has to be really, really cool.

    I was thinking of something like a quilt or a knitted/crocheted blanket. But I'm not sure -- after all, this is the friend who taught me to knit, how I can really knit her something that great? And my quilts are all "pretend" quilts (tied quilts, no real patterns, made of recycled materials) -- I know my friend totally loves my quilts, but her husband-to-be's mom makes real quilts, so I feel weird about giving them one.

    Any other ideas? I have at least a year, so I can afford to brainstorm for a month or so ... and I figured the Craftistas would be the best people to brainstorm with!

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  3. #2
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    Maybe you could make her some kind of memory quilt? I mean, with embroidered/printed blocks of fabric...memories you share, "hopes" that you have for the couple's future, etc (you could even include knitted parts if you want to). That would be a crafty gift and wouldn't compete with her MIL's "real" quilts. Or you could make smaller quilted things, like pillows or something...

    Or how about making a really cool scrapbook-type thingy, along the same lines? Do you know her fiancÚ well, or are you planning to give a gift that's more to her than to them as a couple? Do they need household stuff etc? I was thinking that maybe you could decorate some things (I don't know, bowls? Though that's a bit boring) for them if you're good at that kind of thing...paint porcelain/glass or etch wine glasses or something.

    (I'm also going to hope for ideas from this thread - my sister is getting married in June and I probably won't be able to be there, so I want to get them a cool gift. I will make my sister's jewellery (not the ring) though so I don't have to get them anything huge, but it would be nice to give them both something)

  4. #3
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    I know that this is probably not what you want to hear but, usually, the best gift for a newly married couple is money. I know there's nothing personal or crafty involved but it's the most practical gift. (and wanted gift I might add). There is just so many things that you need when starting out, I think money is the best.

  5. #4
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    Re: money as a gift. I agree, money is a good gift, and one that's needed.

    My own totally nerdy (but I swear, it's financially savvy) take on it is to give them your own money and possibly collect from others to help them start a retirement account (a Roth IRA). Now they're getting hitched, it's "together forever" and you want to support them now and later. The money makes a lot of interest while it's just sitting there - it will be worth a lot more by the time of their 20th or 30th anniversary. Plus, it's sort of a "good start" gift for finances together - you put together a packet of information for them about this retirement account, then you're saving for them, but also giving them information about how they can add to it and have good finances. Financial problems/conflicts are the #1 argument in most relationships, after all.

    If you know some of their family and friends, you can make a fun, crafty way to collect money for it - build a tree with decorated envelopes that people can put money into at the wedding, ask people to send a donation and a story or a drawing or a poem about growing old together or retirement or whatever & make a scrapbook... endless possibilities. Just remember to make sure that the names of people contributing will be recorded, so that your friend will know who to thank.

    The cool thing about an IRA is that it's not just cash, it's money that will grow, and there are tax benefits, and it's definitely an investment in the future. If you get together just $500 for it now, it will be worth thousands by the time they use it, and if it jump starts them on saving for retirement, it will be worth so much more. IRAs get big tax breaks, so mostly, you can't touch the money 'til retirement without paying a penalty, BUT you can also use it for a first home purchase or to pay for education.

    Nerdiness over.

  6. #5
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    Hmmm, if you still wanted to go quilt-wise, but not the time/skill investment of a full size quilt, you could do a table runner or a wall hanging.

    There are also patterns for embroidering dresser shawls, table cloths and pillow cases for something crafty and homey.

    You could also do a nice cross stitch pattern for them, I've always wanted to do an elaborate "Cead Mile Failte" for my own front door, or something with their names and the wedding date.

    There are lots of great yarns that you could knit a blanket out of and fancy Aran style patterns too.

    Remember - anything you obviously put your heart into she will adore!

  7. #6
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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions -- and Teagrrl, I hope you get some good ideas from it too!

    It's interesting, because this made me really think about wedding gifts and what they do. I've definitely been to weddings in the past where the best gift really was money -- and Ambelina, the ideas about how to do IRAs were awesome -- although for this particular friend, we have a 20+ year history of giving each other handmade gifts (everything from elaborate mix tapes to handknit stuff to the year I dyed her hair for her), plus in general she's someone who places a high premium on thoughtful/personal gifts, so money would actually be an insult. Plus, they've been living together for awhile (and had their own places separately before that), so there's not a lot of stuff they *need* -- I'd like to go more in the direction of an heirloom type of thing, and I'd like to give it to them as a couple, rather than mostly to her.

    But moving outward from my situation in particular to wedding gifts in general, I'm curious what most Craftistas think about wedding gifts these days. What do you give when it's not a very young couple, when they're in/near their 30s, when they're pretty established as far as households go? What were the wedding gifts that were most meaningful to those of you who married later, cohabited beforehand and/or just didn't need (or want) a lot of household stuff?

  8. #7
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    if you want to give money, you could make one of those woven heart valentine type things, I think it's called a "Swedish valentine" although some people from sweden have said they don't call them that...anyway i gave a gift cert to home depot to a coworker and put it in one of those hand made hearts as a card. simple, crafty and practical

    jt

  9. #8
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    I'm not sure what to think about people who think that money is an insulting gift. I think it's sort of a general well-wishing gift for an event like a wedding. Maybe for birthdays it's a little lame, but...

    ANYWAY, sounds like you really want to make her something, and sounds like she would really appreciate it. Your question about what wedding gifts are special is a good one. I think they're partly special because they're usually large scale, either expensive or high quality or whatever - extraordinary in some way. They're also special just because they're wedding gifts. My mother still knows which aunt gave her the really nice towels for her wedding 35 years ago. It was an aunt who probably didn't give her a lot of gifts, especially as an adult, but a wedding is a big event, and what makes it a big event is that your community recognizes that it is, and part of how they recognize it is by giving you gifts.

    I have a generally warm fuzzy feeling about the wedding gifts I got, even just the inexpensive registry things that didn't require extra thought or cash. Just because it was such a special thing to get married, and everyone who came to the wedding and everyone who gave a gift was saying "Hey! Big stuff! I'm glad about it! Hope it goes really well!"

    After re-reading your first post, if you're intimidated about the quilt-thing, I think a knitted blanket would be an AMAZING gift. It doesn't matter if she knits, because if you start thinking about actually knitting a blanket, it's a LOT of work, just because it's a LOT of knitting. Any knitted blanket is a very special thing just because of how much goes into it. And if she taught you to knit, she probably likes hand-knit items (or she wouldn't knit!), AND she'll know how much work you put into it, AND it'll be super-special because she'll know that you did it for her wedding.

    If you're worried that your knitting skills are too basic to make an interesting blanket, I'm sure you'd get a lot of info if you posted on that topic. One interesting, pretty, simple thing to do would be to make mitered squares - it's really easy & fun. You could do a websearch on mitered squares, and there are some nice ones at Mason-Dixon Knitting:

    http://www.masondixonknitting.com/ar...03.html#000970
    http://www.masondixonknitting.com/ar...12.html#000793
    http://www.masondixonknitting.com/ar...11.html#000747

  10. #9
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    wedding gifts

    hi - I've never posted before but had to reply to your post - I also have good, old friends for whom nothing but a handmade gift would do. in my experience, as long as it comes from your heart, she will love it. one of the coolest experiences I've had making wedding gifts is combining a traditional element with something new - even if your friend is having a hip wedding, marriage is an institution with such history, it's cool to honor it. so some of the emblems I've used are the shaker tree of life (a simple tree pattern with apples you could download and applique onto a small or large quilt), the chinese double happiness symbol (traditional in red) and if you're feeling ambitious, you could also do a double wedding ring quilted pattern (even if you painted this on). another idea is to do something that you add to over the years - like a memory book. also, for one of my friends, I wrote a silly rhyming poem and read it at her rehearsal dinner and she loved it, for another, I dug up a "note" we passed back and forth in 5th grade and gave it to her - it's that little stuff that just shows your friend you care about her decision. you know? you could embroider some towels with her new initial, if she's changing her name, a la the "trousseau" concept from forever ago. like give her a set of "linens" - matching placemats and cloth napkins, dishtowels, etc. that you made for her new house...
    hope this helps - I bet she loves whatever you come up with

  11. #10
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    one of the most thoughful gifts i got from friends for my wedding was a lovely pair of champagne flutes. you could buy some nice plain ones and then etch something into them.

    the embriodery idea is nice too- you can never have enough towels. :)


 
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