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Topic: From: Not Crafty boyfriend, To: Craft Girlfriend  (Read 3487 times)
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« on: December 11, 2006 08:18:58 AM »

I've recently hit on some serious financial issues and need ideas for christmas gifts. The hardest one is for my girlfriend. She's really crafty and creative and artistic. I don't consider myself very crafty or creative and would appreciate any  ideas for a unique crafty gift.

I've got access to a sewing machine, but money is a serious issue.

Any ideas?

EDIT: I just realized there was a threat the top of this forum saying what to include so i figure i might as well include those to help you help me Cheesy

Occasion: Christmas
Relationship: girlfriend
Age: 17
Likes/Dislikes: favorite color green and other pastel-y colors, very woodsy/outdoorsy, very artsy, and.. superbly awesome?
Hobbies: listens to a lot of indie music, big fan of threadless.com, has a dirty secret of enjoying science fiction/fantasy novels.
Style: Crafty ... very crafty.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006 07:58:47 PM by wildrabidbush » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2006 08:57:15 AM »

maybe recon an old t shirt? there are lots of tutorials on how to do that kind of thing here on craftster. you could also just try and wrangle up various reusable supplies related to her crafts of choice (my boyfriend recently gave me a bunch of his old shirts to make into other stuff and i was so excited!!!!)

also, as the crafty girlfriend of a less-than-crafty guy, just the idea of him making something for me, ANYTHING, would be a complete thrill. so regardless of finances, i'm sure your girl will like whatever you choose to make her.
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2006 07:16:11 PM »

I personally think it's really sweet you're willing to make somehting for her. I agree with kidcompassion. I'm sure she'll appreciate the fact that you even tried to make her something.
My first question would be, do you have any power tools or access to supplies like wood, paint, etc.
If the sewing machine is your main tool, heck, that's awesome too. Post back and let me know if you're still struggling for ideas.

and remember that [depth] is the greatest of *heights*
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2006 07:32:13 PM »

I'm struggling with where to begin at this point. I have "access" to power tools and materials (i don't know exactly where they are but could drum them up if needed) and the ironic part is that i recently lent the sewing machine to my girlfriend so SHE could make crafty things. If i can get everything squared away and planned out i could easily get over there and sew it all up and not let her see.

Your help is greatly appreciated, as last year's Christmas was lacking in the gift department (from me to other people).
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2006 07:35:34 AM »

a craftster.org membership?  Grin Grin Grin

or what about a super personalized scrapbook of some sort, either make it or embellish it, but leave lots of pages blank for the future- then you guys can work on it together!

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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2006 07:38:44 AM »

Why don't you search around for the threads for DIY kit swaps? There have been about six of them by now. Look in the galleries and see where people have listed everything that comes in the kits. Pick one she'd like and get everything. Go for something that doesn't take a lot of complicated instructions, though. Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2006 08:45:46 AM »

what type of crafts does she do??

how about finger knitting. you can make her a scarf... you don't even need the needles. my son made my mom a scarf like this last year. i'll see if i can find a link... i found it in an old book, but there should be soemthing online.

eta: i found one

this is a good tutorial on how to do it.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006 08:48:36 AM by brideOFkniterstein » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2006 09:18:34 AM »

Yanno...I would go with the craft kit idea..buy her the supplies you might use to make something..so she can make it.
I am so thrilled that my husband has taken up knitting..I FINALLY know what to get him! He will love the needle set, tool, and yarn I have for him.
I bet your girl would also love the materials to make something.
If in doubt...paint. I'm an artist and paint is always welcome. My sis always gets me a gift certificate to our local pro art store. It makes me gleeful.

http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2006 09:34:14 AM »

This is a different direction than the above posts.  Not to poo-poo the above lovely suggestions--but if you are low on cash, chances are you won't be able to put together a very good kit.  Materials are pricey, especially the kind a craft-goddess would most appreciate. 

However, there's still plenty of stuff you can do.  If she's a fan of threadless, then I suggest stenciling her a shirt.  Use the freezer-paper method to be very inexpensive--look for tutorials in the Techniques section of Craftster. 

Many Dollar Stores and Big Lots-type places have packs of plain shirts for very low cost.  If you print a clever design to cut out for a stencil, you won't need to rely on your artistic ability alone for a cool design Wink just your keen wit. 

Maybe a character from one of the books she likes?  With something like, "out of the closet" on the front and "sci-fi fan" on the back.  OK, that's cheesy...I'm sure you're more clever than I am.  But something like that would be cool. 

Another option would be to make her magazine racks, mail holders, and photo-stands out of wood scraps.  There was an early issue of readymade that detailed how to do those...one of the first 10 issues, I think.  Head to your local library and see if you can find it.  In truth, however, it's very simple.  Get wood scraps.  Use a handheld saw to saw slits of desired depth and thickness.  Sand.  Varnish.  Then the mail sits in the slot, or the photos.  For the magazine rack, you have a tall, free-standing thick block.  Saw the slits diagonally so that they are deep enough to fit aluminum sheets in.  Then stick in the aluminum sheets and glue in.  The magazines sit on the aluminum.  I wish I had a picture...maybe someone has this issue and can help.  Maybe it was Issue 8? 
« Last Edit: December 12, 2006 09:42:37 AM by craft-matic » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Work is love made visible.
                            --Kahlil Gibran

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.           
                            --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2006 09:42:15 AM »

  Bookbinding can be really easy and cheap -- you just need cardboard, paper, needle and thread. You could make her a sketch book and decorate the front of it with things you like about her. I know that sounds super cheesy, but I sure liked cheesy things like that at 17. (Still do, in fact.)
  I have a tutorial I wrote for a DIY kit, if you'd like me to email it to you.

"Dare to Dream. Dare to believe in what is possible and instill in others the same sense of possibility." -C. Fiorina 2004
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2006 02:18:47 PM »

I am having SO much trouble finding plain white t-shirts that I don't have to order online! Am I looking in the wrong places? Do stores just not say on their site if they have packages of plain white t-shirts?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2006 02:22:57 PM »

Hmm do big supermarkets (Walmart etc) not have plain tees?

I think a cool idea would be to make a pillow from one of your old shirts - that could easily be handsewn Smiley
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2006 02:24:58 PM »

You can get plain white tshirts anywhere. I mean, they sell mens white undershirts in like packs of 3 (?) at Kohls, Target, any clothing store should have them. And they generally don't list them online. I was looking for plain white boxers to tie-dye, but they weren't listed on any websites, my boyfriend found them at JCPenney.
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2006 02:45:19 PM »

Yeah, most sites won't say if they offer them.  If you want to browse styles online, go to manufacturer's websites, instead: hanes, fruit of the loom, and .... don't know who else.

Work is love made visible.
                            --Kahlil Gibran

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.           
                            --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2006 02:49:13 PM »

One Recon-ing an old t-shirt -
I made a sweet little pillow out of an old t-shirt I had with a funny Jamaica logo on it:
find your shirt
measure across the chest to see what size pillow form you need (if you can get 10" from armpit to armpit, then get a 9" pillow form, etc. - the t-shirt will stretch, but I gave myself a good 1/2" seam allowance for the frilly bits)
get the pillow form
cut up the shirt so it's square
now - cut off the hem, cut off the sleeve hems
use the hems as a pillow frill on the outside of the pillow - lay the seam of the shirt raw-edge to raw-edge, with the back side of the pillow facing right-side up - lay the front side of the pillow right-side down on top of the facing and the back of the pillow - pin it, and sew - do this on three sides.
the hand-stitch the bottom closed after you stick your pillow in - or if you're like me - use a zipper (I hate hand-stitching - I'd rather use a zipper) - BUT DO THE ZIPPER EDGE FIRST - then do the other 3 sides, making sure that before you do the last side, you open the zipper up a bit, so you can flip it inside out to stuff when you're finished.

« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2006 03:30:37 PM »

alright, here's my first draft of the stencil shirt, tell me what you think. The quote is from Amelie.


(I haven't made 10 posts so i can't post the actual image, sorry for the inconvenience)
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2006 03:38:04 PM »

If you're still looking for a plain shirt, try out Charlotte Russe/Wet Seal, because they usually have them, and they're generally shaped more girly, which is always flattering. It's my standby.
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2006 03:50:24 PM »

Hey Wildrabidbush-

That image looks great!  I think your girlfriend will like it.

One thing you should keep in mind is that if you do the freezer paper stencil, you have to be careful about "floating" pieces in your stencil.  Usually with a stencil, there can be no piece that is entirely cut out; for example, in your text, any center to a round letter would be cut out--and then promptly lost, so the letter would be solid with no center.  With freezer paper, if you're careful how you cut them out, you can save them and iron them in place.  But that can get tricky.  The other way to do it is to use a font specific for stencil (see: http://hans.presto.tripod.com/fonts/stencil2.html), and in either case you want the text to be big.  So from your example, maybe you could have:

A fool looks
at a
finger that
points to the sky

With "A fool looks ... at a ..." to the left of the moon, and the rest running across the whole front, and then you could increase the font size quite a bit.  Just an example; play around and see what you like best. 

Also, a note on the moon; don't forget that you'll have to do that bit in two steps: one with the stencil for the white part, one with a stencil for the black part.  I recommend doing the white part separately as a full circle, set it and then do the black over it.  Another way would be to design a black line around the moon so that you don't need two paint colors.  Since paint can be expensive.

Speaking of paint: you can use plain acrylic paint on T-shirts, but you would probably want to consider using a fabric medium.  The other option is to get fabric paints.  There are many, many out there that are washable.  I personally like the Pebeo heat-set inks, but you have a lot of options. 

Work is love made visible.
                            --Kahlil Gibran

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.           
                            --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2006 05:22:05 PM »

Alright, here's the revised edition based on some suggestions from craft-matic. I must admit, it's really starting to come together. Now all i need is the materials to DO the stenciling and it'll all be good.

« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2006 08:15:16 PM »

That looks great!  Post pictures when you're done, we'd love to see the finished product Smiley

Work is love made visible.
                            --Kahlil Gibran

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.           
                            --Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2006 03:32:44 AM »

You still have a few islands in the shillouette of the people too, might want to look at that.  I'm not sure how you would fix it without changing the image, maybe find images of a few seperate people pointing instead of grouping them like that...
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