Friday, November 23, 2012

Handmade Gifts for Men

I have never attended a Black Friday sale. Maybe I really am missing out on the greatest deals of the year. Maybe I'm also missing out of a headache.

I've always loved making gifts for people. I enjoy the creative process, saving a little money, and putting thought into a custom gift. However, it is so much easier to make gifts for women and children. I find myself typing "DIY gifts for men," "handmade gifts for men," or "homemade gifts for men" into Google every holiday season. Whether it's intended for my dad, brothers, husband, or male friends, men are just plain difficult to make gifts for.

I think I have successfully pulled off several gifts for my husband over the years, though.  I thought I might play "show-and-tell" with the crafty people out there looking for some gift ideas for the men in their lives.

T-shirt quilt. Jon had a lot of t-shirts left over from an electrical company he used to work for. He was going to throw them away, but I rescued them. One side is just t-shirts, and the other side is a soft fleece fabric. It's the perfect blanket for bringing on trips or picnics since it folds up so flat. Jon especially likes that I made it so long, since he's tall.

Sweater scarf. I made this scarf by buying wool sweaters at a thrift store, felting them, cutting them into little squares, and piecing them into a scarf. It's incredibly warm. You could make mittens or a hat to go along with it.

Embroidered handkerchiefs. Back in the days when we'd go swing dancing twice a week (wow, those were pre-baby days!), Jon was always searching for napkins to wipe his glistening forehead in between dances. I replaced the napkins with a set of four handkerchiefs that I embroidered with his initials.

Honeymoon memory frame. I was saving all these little mementos from our honeymoon: train tickets to New York City, postcards, restaurant advertisements, Broadway ticket stubs, etc. I finally decided to take them out of the box where we never looked at them to display in a simple frame. You could make a nice collage of any life event or vacation mementos.

Man apron. Jon is quite the cook. When we were dating, I asked him what his dream apron would have (I know, subtle, right?). Little did he know, he'd be receiving it for Christmas that year. Not only does it have pockets, it also has a Velcro tie, and little "tool belt" loops for utensils (all on his "dream apron" list!).

I still haven't decided what I'm going to make Jon this year. And guess who else is still on my list: my two brothers and my sister's new fiance. How typical of me, saving the men for last. Maybe there's a few more people like me out there who are spending Black Friday at home. I want to spend some of the day on Christmas gifts. I've got a few ideas to get me started. What gifts have you made for men that were a hit? There's enough time for us to finish a project if we get started soon!

1 comment:

  1. One thing that has worked well for me in the past is knitted hats or scarves with cool designs (such as a favorite phrase or band name, robots, dinosaurs, or old school nintendo 8 bit characters - they're perfect for knit designs since they're supposed to look pretty blocky). I just use fair isle style knitting; it's easy once you get the hang of it, and you can make pretty much any design you want. Another gift I think pretty much anyone would appreciate (men included) is a laptop bag. I've seen some neat ones made from flet (perhaps another project for your upcycled sweaters?) or old bike tubes. I made one a while back out of a wool suit jacket I found at goodwill for a couple dollars. I let the original suit pockets be the outside pockets on the bag, and used a tie for the shoulder strap, so it was all "dressed for success". It looked awesome, but the material actually wore out pretty quickly. I would recommend using some sturdier material to reinforce the edges and bottom. I don't have the tools to work with leather, but if you do, that would be perfect.
    I love your blog, by the way! Such fun ideas. :)
    Rosie Maier (from Shorewood)