Simple and Low-Cost Stitching Projects for Giving
You don’t have to spend months stitching a gift for someone. Here are some suggestions for cross stitching a gift when you get an unexpected announcement.
Spring is the time of year when it’s common to find an unexpected graduation announcement, First Communion invitation or other special event notice in your mailbox. If you’re strapped for money or don’t have time to shop or make an elaborate gift, this can easily send you into a panic mode. However, if you’re a cross-stitcher, you can usually create a special homemade gift in time for the special spring occasion.
Bookmarks are probably the easiest and quickest gifts you can make.
You can either make your own fabric by cutting it the size of a bookmark or buy an Aida (or linen) fabric bookmark ready to stitch. If you don’t live near a needlework shop, there are scores of free designs online you can find just by searching.
Keep your design simple because you have limited usable space and don’t want to cram too much into a small area. Again, your design can be as simple as the initials of a school or the person to whom you’re giving it. If it’s a religious gift (such as a First Communion), a simple cross is an excellent choice.
Stitch from the center of the design to make sure you don’t run out of a room, making sure your stitches are neat. Also, keep the back tidy and trimmed, as a bookmark is visible on both sides.
If you don’t already have cross-stitch photo-to-chart software, it’s well worth the investment. Besides designing your own cross stitch patterns, you can convert any picture into a chart. The software pays for itself after you’ve used it countless times to make your own patterns.
Stitching Ideas for Graduation Gifts
- School initials – It’s great to stitch an elaborate design of your favorite niece’s college logo, but that takes time. Instead, find something much simpler. For example, what are the initials of her school? If she went to the University of Texas, search online for an image of an orange “UT.” Then convert the picture into a pattern with your photo-to-chart software.
- School mascot – Almost as simple as designing and stitching the letters “UT” is designing and stitching an orange Longhorn. Searching on Google will lead you to the familiar orange UT Longhorn. You can finish in less than a weekend.
- Keep it Simple – Don’t design a chart any larger than about 3” x 5”. Also, limit your floss colors to a bare minimum. This eliminates the need for shopping. With all the shades of orange, you probably have a color in your stash that will work without having to go shopping. And, since the fabric isn’t large, chances are you have some Aida or Linen already at home.
Finishing Your Cross Stitch Piece
When framing your finished cross stitch, keep it simple. Rather than using a regular frame, explore other alternatives that are cheaper, as well as quick.
- Embroidery hoop – Use the hoop you used to stitch as a frame. To add a decorative touch, just paste some trim around the hook. Or you could paint the hoop a color to coordinate with the design.
- Crochet finishing – Single crochet around the edges. If you’ve cut your own bookmark from fabric, this is an excellent way to finish it off.
Besides saving money, you’ll bless your receiver, as most people love to receive homemade gifts. Not only are you offering a gift, but you’re also giving an heirloom that will be treasured for years to come.