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Buy or make unique handmade gifts.

Updated on August 27, 2012

Great unique handmade winter gift. Make in one evening.

You can buy it or you can make it. Between the two of us, my sister and I probably make at least 30 different items for art fairs and holiday shows. Each item is unique. We are both self taught. See an item, figure out how it's made, read up on the process and dive in to create it.

The fedora on the left was my first attempt at knitting a hat. I bought a child's suede leather belt for the trim.

I'll be searching for the perfect unique gifts to display on this lens, then I'll add the steps to make the gift, if you'd rather be the artist. One thing I've learned is people are looking for unique gifts that are handmade. They are more meaningful to the giver and the getter. One year I sold a purse to a lady who bought it for her Mother for Christmas. The next year, my sister made a knit felted hat out of the same yarn as that purse. The lady returned to our booth at an art fair and saw that hat, bought it to match the purse. We love working art fairs together for this reason. People looks us up knowing we will have unique items.

This is an unbelievably easy project. - I made about $37.00 selling this hat.

Felted Fedora with magazine pattern
Felted Fedora with magazine pattern

Next to the felted hat is the Vogue Knitting pattern in the holiday issue 2008. If you click on the picture you can go to the .pdf $5.00 pattern.

You need to know how to knit on double-pointed needles, and circular needles. But you can actually learn these steps by making this hat, trial and error - it really isn't that bad if you know how to knit.

If you cannot knit watch the videos on www.knithelp.com or sign up on the Vogue Knitting dot com web page and go to their glossary of pictures and step by step knitting instructions.

Felted Fedoras - For every sale from Amazon on this page, Squidoo donates $1 to Room to Read

Fedoras are huge this year. Make your own or buy one here.

Indiana Jones Men's Wool Felt Fedora, Brown, Medium
Indiana Jones Men's Wool Felt Fedora, Brown, Medium

I sold the green handmade Fedora for $50.00 at an art fair 2 years ago. It's my first hat, my first fedora, and my first felted fedora, made from recycled wool yarn, unwound from a designer sweater.

It was soft yet held it's shape. The pattern was in the Holiday Issue of Vogue Knitting 2008. It is a $5.00 pattern. The link for it is below, you pay the $5.00 and download the pattern.

 

The Gift of a Fedora on eBay - For every sale we donate $1 to Room to Read

Of course if you don't have time, bid on one on eBay. So fun ....

The 2008 magazine
The 2008 magazine

One way to get this pattern is to search for a used copy of the magazine.

Vogue Knitting has several free patterns in each issue.

Vogue Knitting Holiday 2008

In addition to the Felted Fedora pattern, there are bangle bracelets to knit (see cover). I think this was their best issue ever. So many unique ideas. Especially when you experiment and use your own choice of yarns.

What you need and basic steps to making this Fedora

You need to buy the pattern or borrow the magazine from the Library or a friend. I cannot post the pattern here since it isn't a free pattern, but I can tell you in general how it's made.

Buy the pattern here

$5.00 .pdf download here

  1. Start out on double-pointed needles - I held 2 strands of upcycled wool yarn together throughout the hat construction.
  2. As the stop gets larger and easier to work with by increasing stitches, change to a circular needle.
  3. Begin a decrease row when the top of the hat is complete, your knit hat will be 25-30% larger than the finished product after felting.
  4. Knit the body of the hat, then increase again for the brim.
  5. Bind off and felt.
  6. If you're an expert knitter you can figure out this pattern without the pattern. I needed it in front of me. I made another one out of black and gray self striping yarn last winter, it sold at an art fair.

OK, OK so you're not crafty

If this article has encouraged you to gift handmade items, but you are not crafty you still can gift handmade items.

Go to ETSY at www.etsy.com

or ArtFire at www.artfire.com

Click on picture to go to the pattern.
Click on picture to go to the pattern.

I made this in one day.

Well I was laid up with a bum knee - so I had several hours free.

I already had the yarn and the needles, threw them in a bag, took them with me to sit with the grandchildren, and started knitting. It was all done except about 6" of the strap when I left their house. I got up the next morning, finished knitting the strap, attached it to the opposite side and threw it in the washer. Shaped it and took a picture.

If you can knit you can make this bag. One click on the picture takes you to the step-by-step instructions.

Knit and felt these clogs.

Anyone can use great slippers.

I knit these clogs, and sent them to my son. I told him how to felt them smaller if they were too big, they were so he did. It's a really rewarding project.

I'm a Christian, so Christmas has very personal meaning to me. I try to make Christmas very personal for others. Family members know they will be getting something handcrafted and they're very gracious when they receive my gifts.

What are some special handmade gifts you've made in the past. Do you think handcrafted items are worth the time spent making them?

Reason for the Season - just because,

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    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 5 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      I am not much good at handicrafts but appreciate hand made gifts form family and friends knowing how much thought and effort has gone into making the gift.

    • pajnhiaj profile image

      pajnhiaj 5 years ago

      These things are really nice, I must saying homemade stuff from the heart is always better. It gives a loving and homey feeling to anyone.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      While I never learned to knit, I sure do love finding handcrafted knit gifts. Crochet is my favorite -- and I have found some really fabulous crochet on etsy ... back when Hearts for Haiti was active, I purchased several crochet scarves and hats. Delicious gifts.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 5 years ago from Royalton

      I learned how to knit as a child but was never very attracted to the art. Recently, however, I was introduced to needle felting. I love the idea of combining the two to make felted slippers like the ones for your son. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • Craftyville profile image

      Craftyville 5 years ago

      I love making handmade gifts, one year I made personalized ornaments with everyone's name. I also prefer to receive a handmade gift than something store bought, it means so much more.