A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: Did you know you can view all images posted by a member? Learn how here!
Total Members: 300,899
Currently Running With Scissors:
405 Guests and 5 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 7
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Pride and Prejudice - Or, Why Don't They Like Stuff We MADE?  (Read 8205 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
SparkleHorse
The Green Fairy
Offline Offline

Posts: 291
Joined: 19-Aug-2005


View Profile
« on: September 26, 2005 01:49:50 PM »

Do you guys ever have problems with people turning their noses up at handmade stuff? Do you work hard, pour your blood, sweat, and tears into your carefully crafted birthday or holiday gift, only to get a lukewarm, "That's nice" followed by the recipient tossing your gift into the corner, never to see the light of day again?

When I make stuff for people, I really try to make things they'll like or use or get a kick out of.  I don't just give everybody lime green potholders for every occasion. I really try to do something they'll like and appreciate.

This has only been a problem with a couple of people. Most of the things I do are well-recieved. But some reactions still hurts my feelings. For example, I made this beautiful wool scarf for my father-in-law for Christmas 2 years ago. He went on and on about how great it was. Yet he's never worn it. For Mother's Day, my husband and I got my mother-in-law some kitchen things, and I made my her this big ol' flower arrangement made of origami flowers I folded myself - thinking that she could have flowers year round, instead of just a week or so like with fresh flowers. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave her a potted plant.  When she hugged me good bye, she goes, "Thanks for your...homemade present...." Like, didja HAVE to point out HOMEMADE like that? And I never saw the flowers again...I think she threw them away.

So what do you do? How do you handle it? Do you think handmade gifts are ok to give people? Have you been snubbed?

Tell me about it. 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2005 06:05:36 PM by SparkleHorse » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"But why don't you scream now?" Alice asked, holding her hands ready to put over her ears again.

"Why, I've done all the screaming already," said the Queen. "What would be the good of having it all over again?"
CatyX
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2005 01:52:45 PM »

Thats harsh, I've never had anything I've made for somebody really snubbed but sometimes people just don't apprieciate its a little different spending ages (in your case) making origami flowers than going to the shop and buying a plant.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
LRS
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2005 01:59:14 PM »

Anytime you give a gift, you're taking a chance that you know what that person would like.  Whether you buy it or make it, sometimes you'll miss.  I'm sure people have given you gifts that you never used.  

For instance - the flowers.  If I were your MIL, I would be thinking "Oh no, what am I going to do with these?" because I like live plants and cut flowers. I just don't like any kind of artificial flowers.  (I hope I would have handled it a little more gracefully.)

Some people just don't value handmade gifts. You can't change them.  Focus on those who are delighted that you would make something for them.  

Your MIL and FIL seem to be the biggest offenders.  There may be something else behind it.  They may resent you and look for ways to undermine you, or you may be insecure about them and you may hear their comments as more critical than they really are.  Or maybe they're just unappreciative dolts!

For your MIL and FIL, don't surprise them with handmade gifts.  If there's something you think one of them would like, ask first.  And do it in a way that doesn't pressure them to say yes. as in "if you really do like the XXX that I made, I could make you one too.  You could even pick out the color/size you want."

LRS
THIS ROCKS   Logged

bags & purses:  Elaress.etsy.com
fabric bowls & boxes: ElaressAtHome.etsy.com
radio show/webcast:  www.FrugalYankee.com
modpodge
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2005 02:01:57 PM »

It is all a matter of personal taste. Some people just prefer the latest white bowl set from Crate & Barrel....and see no value in a homemade present that is totally unique. I think it is good to continue giving homemade gifts, so the person (whether they like it or not) knows to expect that from you. And is part of your own personality that these are the type of gifts you prefer to give.

In my family, some people were a little weirded out when I first started giving homemade things...but after a while they got genuinely interested in how it was made, and would ask "well, what did you craft up this year>?!". It gets better.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
slackferno
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2005 02:14:25 PM »

Quote
When she hugged me good bye, she goes, "Thanks for your...homemade present...." Like, didja HAVE to point out HOMEMADE like that?

      Your response should have been an icy, "Ahem. Handcrafted, not 'homemade.'"

       My millieu is painted shirts, and there's a world of difference between "Nice shirt!" "Thanks, I made it!" and "Nice shirt, you make that yourself?"   As far as gift snubbery, I painted an Olivia the Pig shirt for my niece's third birthday.  It was a companion piece to the book.  When my sister-in-law opened it, she said, "Shirt and book," and moved on to the next gift.  She didn't realize I'd painted it myself.  So I yanked it back out of the gift pile and said to a few people, "I gotta toot my own horn here.  I think this shirt turned out great!"  They were astonished.  "You MADE that?Huh"  Nobody (including my sister-in-law) realized it was anything more than a Wal-Mart purchase with about five minutes of thought behind it.

THIS ROCKS   Logged
heroinechic
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2005 03:30:33 PM »

regardless if you saw the gifts afterwards, it seems like both of your gifts were recieved gracefully sparklehorse.  the fact that your MIL thanked you for the homemade (handmade, whatever) gift showed that she acknowledged you made it for her and that it was special (not store bought).  and I think that is huge that your FIL went on about what you gave him.  From what you said, it doesn't seem like your gifts went unappreciated.  Maybe unused, but not unappreciated. 

And in your case slackferno, where the fact that the gift was painted by you but not noticed as such... if I am giving something to someone who is not likely to realize a gift was made by me, I attach a little tag that says it was handmade/embroidered/whatever by me.  I do it because I want them to know I went to that effort especially for them and also, it is a little professional touch.  At least I think so. 

LRS has some good points.  LRS's idea to ask what they would want is right on.  People can be overwhelmed with handmade gifts and not want to use them because they are too nice.  But maybe there is something they need, and would use, that you can make.  LRS is also right that gifts are always hit or miss. 
THIS ROCKS   Logged

minouette
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2005 03:38:33 PM »

I think it's great to make people handmade gifts. I've had better experiences with handmade items than store bought (my mother actually said, "What's this? I can't use this? Take it away," once to a carefully selected gift). Sometimes gifts go bad regardless of whether they are handmade or store bought. You might want to ask your husband about it. Do his parents not value handcrafted items? It might be something else too. Maybe your FIL loves that you made him a scarf, but finds it itchy or doesn't match his coat or something. Maybe your MIL carefully stored the oragami flowers away for safe keeping. Maybe on the other hand, they mistake handmade for cheap or maybe they are just rotten meanies. If they do not value handcrafted items, I suggest not attempting to change them and simply buy them a potted plant, if that's what would make them happy. It's their loss, not yours.

I've had handmade items received with great joy and then never noticed the recipient use them. Sometimes, you just have to ask. Sometimes it's nothing more serious than a shirt which is too small or a purse being used to store little items, rather than as a handbag.

I also like slackferno's suggestion of not being shy to explain the work involved. Maybe they would get it and appreciate things more with a few words of introduction.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

I opened an Etsy shop! Come visit http://minouette.etsy.com

(I have a wist too: http://minouette.wists.com)
SparkleHorse
The Green Fairy
Offline Offline

Posts: 291
Joined: 19-Aug-2005


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2005 06:17:53 PM »

after re-reading what i wrote, i think i sound a little bitterand maybe a little whiny, which isn't what i meant to do. sorry for that. i used my in-laws as an example but i don't think i really wanted to talk about them per se.

i think i'm more interested in thinking about the stigma attached to handmade stuff... yeah, slackferno, you're right on about handmade vs.homemade.  of course some people don't get handcrafted items. of course you have to be careful about who you craft for and you have to think about what they like - obviously i thought my MIL would like the flowers. obviously i was wrong. but i wonder if people in general have negative ideas about what a handmade gift means. do they think, "what, i'm not good enough for you to go buy me something?" is there a mental difference between the fancy handmade soap you get in a pricey boutique and the kind you made in your own kitchen?

 i don't know the answers...i'm just pondering.   
THIS ROCKS   Logged

"But why don't you scream now?" Alice asked, holding her hands ready to put over her ears again.

"Why, I've done all the screaming already," said the Queen. "What would be the good of having it all over again?"
slackferno
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2005 08:53:29 PM »

Quote
i wonder if people in general have negative ideas about what a handmade gift means. do they think, "what, i'm not good enough for you to go buy me something?" is there a mental difference between the fancy handmade soap you get in a pricey boutique and the kind you made in your own kitchen?

        It depends on the recipient's background, breeding, and manners.  I was raised around parents and grandparents making me things.  My grandmother crocheted me afghans, my grandfather painted a Rockwell reproduction for me, my mom made me stuffed animals, Dad made me woodwork furniture...you get the idea.  As a result, I learned that handcrafted meant that thought AND effort as well as artistry and craftsmanship went into my gift, and that NOBODY else was going to have one like it. 

       When I moved out on my own, I ended up in a group of creative people who were just as likely to make gifts as buy them.  One year for my roommate's birthday, I made her a quilt and our other friend made her a portrait of Marilyn Monroe in jellybeans.  The next year he baked and decorated a stunning cake for her, and I wrote her a novella. 

        I usually don't encounter indifference or lack of grace when I give handcrafted gifts, but there's always going to be someone who just doesn't get it.  They equate handcrafted with "quaint" and "can't afford anything else."  Hey, just because I craft, it doesn't mean I'm a) Amish or b) destitute.  It means I cared enough to MAKE you something, and I likely won't do it again.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2005 08:58:36 PM by slackferno » THIS ROCKS   Logged
LRS
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005 05:47:34 AM »

Sparklehorse,

To get back to your original question, I believe that most people do appreciate handmade gifts.  I've never had a store-bought gift bring tears to someone's eyes.  But handmade gifts often do.

LRS
THIS ROCKS   Logged

bags & purses:  Elaress.etsy.com
fabric bowls & boxes: ElaressAtHome.etsy.com
radio show/webcast:  www.FrugalYankee.com
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 7 Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
Tricks That Prevent Your Hair Color from Fading
Brow Makeover With Kelley Baker: Growing Out Your Brows
Beauty Expert Shares Surprising Summer Factors That Can Cause Wrinkles
Could Potato Skins Get Rid of Your Gray Hair?
Tips for Hiding Your Varicose Veins This Summer
Latest Blog Articles
Handmade Gift Ideas: Wooden Chain
Handmade Gift Ideas: Upcycled Car Trash Bag
Tute Tuesday: Honkin' Big Beach Ball Snowman

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.