How to Gift Something you Made- And Keep your Friends

We’ve all been there- we spend hours making something and putting a little piece of our soul (and money!) into it only to give it away and get NO reaction, or even worse, a negative reaction. This crushing experience can often lead to bad feelings between us and the person we gifted it to. The last thing we wanted when we took the time to make something handmade as a gift.

This is SUPER IMPORTANT- I’m not kidding

Entire families have been torn apart by someone giving someone else a hand-knit shawl. I’m not being dramatic. I’ve seen it happen. And it’s like a train wreck that could have been avoided if everyone understood what was happening, the risks involved, and what the proper reaction is. 

So with this post, I hope to give you some practical help to avoid the above scenario as well as a sheet of sticker designs that will go a long way to paving the way to a good gifting experience for EVERYONE involved.

Perceived Value Matters When You Gift Something Handmade

This may not be something you think about often, but perceived value is totally a thing.

Unlike actual value which usually means money or prestige- perceived value is all in the eye of the beholder. 

We can add perceived value to something we made by-

  • How we describe it
  • How we present it
  • The material choices we make
  • The details we add
  • And knowledge of current trends

Today I want to concentrate on the first two things on the list and we’ll go into them more in-depth in this post on how to gift something handmade presents.


YOU Get to Choose How You Describe Your Work

It’s really about perception. And as the maker, you get to give clues about how your work should be perceived. 

Words Matter When You Gift Something Handmade

And how we choose to describe our handiwork goes a long way to how clueing others in on how much value it has. 

Just choosing whether you’re going to describe your work as homemade or handmade sends a big message.

The Difference Between Home vs. Hand Made

Homemade is defined as something made in a home vs. a place of business like a store or factory. 

Handmade means it was created by hand and is often of superior quality.

So really the difference is that homemade describes where something was made, and handmade describes how something was made.


Homemade Isn’t Always a Selling Point

Here’s the real difference, in today’s world the word homemade has negative connotations.

Many people hear the word homemade and assume it’s something made of inexpensive materials without skill, tools, ability, or experience. 

For example-

  • We describe the Kleenex boxes made with yarn (and those plastic canvases) that you’d find at the senior citizen shops in the 80s as homemade. 
  • Or we describe the school craft made by a child because it’s wonky and barely usable as homemade. But we also imply that it was made with emotion when we say it was homemade, so there’s that.

When Homemade is Cool

Crazily enough, the DIY movement has embraced homemade with the use of inexpensive materials (by amateurs) to craft something at home without professional tools or experience.

But again, like with the word homemade, the finished product has to look professional. 

-Something DIY that looks DIY isn’t cool. 

-Something DIY that looks like a product Crate and Barrel would stock is totally cool.

What About “Homemade” Apple Pie?

EXCEPT- when it’s food.

Then, homemade is the gold standard of tasty awesomeness.

We literally have trained our mouths to water when we hear the word “homemade” if it’s in reference to canned preserves, baked goods, or family recipes. Crazy, right? But so true!


Handmade is Cool

The term handmade doesn’t have the negative connotations that the word homemade can have. 

In fact, handmade is cool. With the advent of Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods we’ve seen a surge of interest in buying handmade.

Here are the positive reasons to use the term “handmade” when you describe your work-

  • Handmade implies that it’s made without a machine, is one of a kind, and is unique. 
  • Handmade can mean a small studio, but usually, we think of a solo maker doing it because they love to create. 
  • Handmade makers are seen as skilled crafters or artisans who make professional-looking goods of limited quantity. That’s totally us!

AND We Pay MORE for Handmade- Usually

But the big kicker is that more and more people expect to pay more for something handmade because we expect it to be better, and made with higher quality materials than something mass-produced.

So Which Will You Choose? Homemade or Handmade?

So to recap homemade is something wonky and unprofessional (unless it’s a food item) and handmade is something unique, created by someone who loves what they do and is really good at it.

Oh, and we should pay more for handmade goods because it’s probably of better quality with nicer materials.



YOU Get to Decide How You Present Your Work

People also notice if we’re proud of what we do. So how do you show that?

  1. Present it well
  2. Tell them you made it by hand
  3. Don’t deflect when complimented
  4. Create a brand for yourself

It’s just the truth. If you gift (or sell) something that is wrapped in a paper bag, vs. a small paper box with a ribbon around it…. Well, we all know that impacts our perception of what’s inside.  

This doesn’t mean that you have to wrap it elaborately- just find a box that fits, and maybe grab a plain gift bag at the craft stores and decorate it nicely.

Take Credit for Your Something Fabulous

Nope! You can add perceived value when you take a couple minutes to wrap your gift nicely and if you proudly say it’s handmade when they ask.

Don’t belittle your work, and don’t talk it down by saying the equivalent of…

“Oh, this little thing? It didn’t take me any time and I just threw it together with what I already had in my basement.” 

Please.

Even if it took ten minutes, you already had all the supplies, and you did make it in your basement.

Just don’t. 

I have a whole post on how I learned to just say thank you when someone complimented my work. I used to deflect, belittle myself, and basically confuse the person who was just trying to pay me a compliment. It was totally cringe-y. 

Which Stickers Do You Like Best? I’d love to know!

Get Even MORE points if You Brand it

But if you take time to create a brand for yourself, and to create your own packaging…

Then people see that you’re not just doing this on a whim but seriously value and even charge for your handmade work. I’ll have more on this in an upcoming post!


Help a Friend Out (and avoid hurt feelings)

All this to say, this holiday season give people the clues they need to see more value in your gift. 

So when you gift something handmade they know they’re getting something handmade and valuable.

Use the right words, and show that you value your own work and that you’re proud of it through your presentation and packaging. 

Example of how to gift wrap your handmade gifts with handmade gift tags and ribbon.
Make Handmade Gift Tags- These Layered Sticker Tags are in the Free Library!

Get the Free “This is Handmade” Sticker Set

AND, if you want to get kind of silly with it, I have some packaging stickers you can put on the outside of your package. 

The stickers call it out and make it obvious for those who might need it, that what’s inside the box is made by hand, and that it is one-of-a-kind and awesome. 

(And basically, that they’re lucky to have it, and that you *may* be crushed if they don’t say they like it.)

Don’t Expect Too Much When You Gift Something Handmade

Because that’s really all we’re looking for from them- a positive reaction of some kind. Right? As long as they say they like it, you’ll feel good and never know that they put it in the downstairs bathroom or re-gifted it. 😂

So be sure to grab these stickers in my Free Library! If you don’t have the password yet, you’ll need to subscribe to my newsletter, but I honestly don’t care if you unsubscribe after you get it.

I promise it doesn’t hurt my feelings. 😂

Need the password? Just sign up for my email list, and you’ll get the password emailed directly to you!


Want to Know How to Print these Stickers with a Cricut? Or How to Draw Them in Procreate?

I have lots of posts on making stickers with a Cricut and on How to draw stickers in Procreate as well. Stickers are totally my thing, so I have YouTube videos you can watch too!

Did You Like this Post on How to Gift Something Handmade?

I’d love to have you share the post with others! Honestly, we can all use all the help we can get. And feel free to share the stickers too. Just use the handy dandy links below- and happy gifting!

Thanks for Reading,

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4 thoughts on “How to Gift Something you Made- And Keep your Friends”

  1. Good grief I have gone round and round trying to find how to just print these from the free library. I keep going in circles to the article and to getting a password which I have. Can I just print them already??????

    1. Hi Eileen! The stickers are in my Free Library. Just follow the link in the Table of Contents to the Print and Cut Stickers section and they’re at the very top. I hope that helps! And I’m glad you like them!
      Jen

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