project in a box! :: the holiday gift guide

 

2014 holiday guide2holiday guide_project in a box

 

One year for Christmas, my sister gave me a box full of fabric, embroidery hoops, and embroidery floss. She was in the trenches of college at the time and hadn’t been able to finish the projects she’d wanted to make, so she gave me all the supplies. Project in a Box! she called it. She was worried that it was a lame gift, but I loved it. Not only would I get to enjoy the products of creativity, I also had a bunch of supplies to work with. It was genius. So today I’m giving you a few ideas for your own Project in a Box! gifts. For the creative- and tactile-minded, this gift is gold.

1. The embroidery box. This is essentially what my sister gave me. Start off with a cut of fabric. Muslin is typical for embroidery projects, but I think finding a tasteful novelty print could be really fun here. Find some floss in pretty colors, and if you buy printed cotton, be sure to coordinate the floss with the colors in the fabric.

Don’t forget the actual embroidery hoops, and include a few of varying sizes. (In the box my sister gave me, she had an oblong hoop that I love.) You could include some actual embroidery patterns/designs, but that’s not necessary to enjoy this craft. Top it off with a package of new needles, and you’re set! All of these supplies can be found at major craft stores.

2. The knitting box. Knitters are basically a whole creative set of their own, but many sewists moonlight as knitters and vice versa. For this box buy the nice yarn if you can. Yarn–like fabric–can get pricey, and from what I hear, working with angora-cashmere is akin to sewing with stretch wool. So. Buy the nice stuff.

Find a pattern either online or in your local knitting shop to include in the box. And try to buy enough yarn for the pattern you buy. (I can’t always afford to do this, but you should try!) If your friend is a knitter, chances are she already has the appropriate needles, but you may want to do some reconnaissance to make sure. If she doesn’t have the size the pattern requires, pop those in too. I encourage you to find the supplies for this box at a local store. Knitting people are like sewing people–really nice. Local is the way to go with sourcing this box.

3. The cross-stitch box. This box is the more put-together cousin of the embroidery box. You definitely want to include a design with this one and can find great ones on Etsy. You’ll need specific fabric for cross-stitch, which is available at any large craft store. (Large local fabric stores would carry this as well, but smaller shops probably won’t.) Buy all the floss requisite for the pattern. Floss is super inexpensive, so this shouldn’t be a big deal. Toss in some needles, and you’re good to go!

4. Both Etsy and Sublime Stitching have excellent patterns for these boxes. You can find actual patterns on these sites or buy gift cards so your friend can find one for herself. (If you think gift cards are lame, we’ll be covering that topic tomorrow!) The sources for Projects in a Box! really are endless. Trust me: the creative in your life will love these. These could even make a good stocking stuffer! (Santa, I’m looking at you.)

For this particular gift guide, I highly encourage to shop local. Local shops are not only personable and intimate, but the people who work there are so knowledgeable and friendly! Support your local stores!

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