Wedding registries are great. When it comes to picking out a gift for one of your best friends for her special day however, it can feel a little impersonal to go with a medley of bowls, kitchen tools and fancy glasses she might only use once a year.
For the record, I don’t think you should ignore the registry entirely (it’s there for a reason after all). But, if you’re buying gifts for the wedding, two showers and bachelorette party, you have some wiggle room to get creative with the gift for at least one of those occasions.
Since I talk about needlepoint wedding gifts all the time, from pre painted canvases to freeform designs, I thought it was about time I outlined some of my best practices for designing door hangers and ornaments as wedding gifts.
Consider the time commitment. I won’t lie to you and say that the effort required to needlepoint a small pillow is the same as that required to order ornate vases from Crate and Barrel. It’s not. Before you even go any farther down this path, ask yourself whether the couple in question will appreciate the gesture of needlepointing a personalized gift. I’m not suggesting you include a note with the pillow that reminds them how many hours you spent stitching it while catching up on reruns of Veep, I’m just saying that if these particular friends are likely to stick your gift in a drawer and struggle with what to say in their thank you note to you, maybe go with the vases.
Use household items to outline your project. Determine from the get go what kind of a gift you want to stitch, and how big you want it to be. Is it a Christmas ornament? Is it a door hanger? Is it a pillow? Great, outline the shape on your canvas and go from there. I like to use the rim of water glasses to make the Christmas ornament shape and coasters or the rim of my breakfast bowls for door hangers. Cookie cutters also work well for this purpose.
Use the save the date as a creative guide. The save the date is often a good indicator of the couple’s taste. This is likely the first insight you’re getting into their wedding so you’ll want to make the most of it. Use the colors and fonts on the save the date as a guide for your own canvas. Serif block letters or ornate cursive? Shades of blue, green or purple?
Prioritize the elements on your canvas. It can be hard to narrow down what to include on your canvas. The couple loves golf, they met in college and have three dogs. You won’t be able to fit all of that onto the canvas and that’s okay. Simple is better. Since I live in Virginia, I attend a lot of Virginia weddings and I’ve found that Etsy-inspired door hangers that feature the state outline are always a huge hit. Find one element you want to highlight (a state outline or wedding logo for example) and add one or two more elements to complement it (like the wedding date or wedding hashtag).
Be mindful of finishing time. I can’t reiterate this enough but plan out your stitching to allow for finishing time! If you’re making this gift for a wedding shower, you’ll want to actually have it finished in time to give it in person.
Feeling inspired to stitch gifts for weddings you are attending this year? Tell me about it! I’m always looking for inspiration for my next wedding door hanger.