6 Steps for Planning Handmade Holiday Gifts PLUS a Free Calendar Download!

It’s that time of year. The rest of your family and friends can put off thinking about holiday gifts for another month or two, but as a maker, you know you need to start now. If you are going to knit or crochet the perfect hat/scarf/shawl/mittens for your mom/dad/brother/sister/significant other, you need to start making and you need to start planning. Here are 6 steps to successfully planning your handmade holiday gifts and a handy calendar download to help get you started.

1. Download this Interweave Calendar Page.

Download this handy calendar page from Interweave and print a page for each month you have left until the holidays. Because it is still October, I have printed off 3 of these pages so I can start planning a gift-making schedule. I love the cute yarn, hats, and mittens all over this page—they inspire me to keep on making!

2. Plan who gets what project.

Think about the people you want to make gifts for and pick out a project they would use. As you’re planning projects for people, you may want to read through “5 Things to Remember About Non-Knitters (and Crocheters)” from Interweave Knits Holiday 2017. Ravelry and the Interweave website are great resources for finding the perfect pattern for the people you love. My go-to issues for great gift patterns are Interweave Knits Holiday 2017, Interweave Crochet Accessories 2014, and Knit and Crochet Toys 2017.

3. Track down the patterns and buy your yarn.

Make sure you have the pattern for each gift you would like to make. You can purchase individual patterns at www.interweave.com for $5.50-$6.50 or buy an entire issue for $6.99-$15.99 (and you never know—you might want to make a couple projects from a single issue!). Once you have the pattern in hand, it will tell you what kind of yarn and how much you will need. Check out what’s available at www.interweave.com as part of the Patterworks closing sale—you might be able to snag a great deal! If you are crunched for time, Interweave offers kits for some projects in which you can get both the pattern AND the yarn with one quick click of a button. If you are tight on time, kits are the quickest way to get right to gift-making, but color options are typically limited.

4. Calculate the time each project will take.

If you are an experienced crafter, you can probably predict how long each project will take you. For example, you may know that you can make a hat in an afternoon but it takes 3 weekends of solid work to make a sweater. Make a note on your list of projects of how long you expect each project to take, then add a couple of extra hours. You’ll want to account for the time it takes to swatch, learn a new pattern, or take out a mistake.

handmade holiday gifts

5. Map it out on the calendar.

Start putting pen to paper! If you think it will take 3 weekends to make that shawl for your sister, map it out on your calendar! Look for holes in your schedule and see where you can fit in extra crafting time. I use the notes section at the bottom of the page to know what pattern, yarn, and notions I’ll need that month to accomplish my projects. You can list pattern reminders or other to-do lists there, too. It’s up to you how you use the calendar.

6. Get started on your handmade holiday gifts.

Put on your favorite holiday movie that you’ve seen a hundred times and get to making. Check off each day as you work so you know you are accomplishing your goals. Celebrate each time you finish a project! And when you’re all done with your projects, you can use the leftover yarn to wrap your gifts.

Share the gifts you plan on making in the comments below! And check out Kerry Bogert’s advice on “How to Make Gifts and Still Post on Social Media”!

Happy holiday stitching and gift planning to you!

-Sara Dudek
Associate Editor, Interweave Crochet


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