Designing Gifts . . . How Do You?

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Forum topic by BreakingBoardom posted 10-21-2010 01:05 AM 1335 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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615 posts in 4138 days

10-21-2010 01:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: design gifts question style

So I was thinking about making some gifts for some friends, family and maybe coworkers. Now say I was going to make a wine rack or a bread box or something for the house, how would i design it if I’ve never seen their house? My concern is that if I were to make say a bread box out of maple and they have cherry cabinets in their kitchen and then they may feel it doesn’t go well in their kitchen and won’t use it. How do you design something for someone as a gift or a surprise and make it a style that will go with whatever they have? Or are there only certain items maybe that should be given to avoid this? Does anyone have any experiences where something they made as a gift wasn’t used or was possible even re-gifted? I’d like to hear anyone’s advice or personal stories. Thanks!

-- Matt -

7 replies so far

View Bothus's profile


443 posts in 4233 days

#1 posted 10-21-2010 01:24 AM

If they won’t even invite you to their house they don’t deserve a gift!

Seriously though, one of the best gifts we ever got was set of reindeer made out of what looks like giant old fashioned clothes pins. We got them probably 20 years ago and still pull them out every year and put them on the porch for the holidays. Our friends gave us a mom and a baby. The mom is probably 36” tall from the bottom of the foot to the tip of the antlers. He only put a single screw attaching the head to the front feet so you can rotate it around for storage. I found a picture of something similar on the net.

The ones my buddy made have a body about a foot long between the front and rear legs and his wife made a red & white plain “saddle” to go on it.

I think he made them from 2×4’s and the body was a 2×6.

If you interested I can take pictures and dimensions of ours. He stained them and did a very professional job with them.

Good luck.


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20638 posts in 4732 days

#2 posted 10-21-2010 01:29 AM

I’d make something else. I have a similar problem making purses for women in the family. Like my daughter says, a pruse has to be “just right” :-)) How do you do that without letting them on the surprise?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3908 days

#3 posted 10-21-2010 08:41 AM

Ornaments are good.
-wood goes with wood!!all wood looks nice together, so that is no matter, & boxes of any type are always good.
-just don’t forget to try to keep it simple!! How many of us stay up till all hours all December trying to make everyone the perfect gift?
-I know though…I just noticed today that my dad needs some wedges with long handles for under his boat trailer wheels when he parks it, so he doesn’t have to lean over and pick up those rocks when he’s tired from catching me some fish!

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View misslolly's profile


52 posts in 3857 days

#4 posted 10-21-2010 01:53 PM

If you make something that everyone can use and can quickly become indispensable (regardless of colour) you have solved all the problems. How about a remote control caddy?

-- wishIstillhadaclydesdaleinmyfrontyard

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 4040 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 03:39 PM

I’ve never had a gift re gifted, or returned. The fact that you made it they will use it.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 4138 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 04:47 PM

One of the things I wanted to make was a picture frame for a friend of mine who runs a photography business on the side. I just didn’t want it to be too light or too dark and not work well with the frames he already has showcasing some of his work. I guess I should just go over the top. If it’s going to stand out, might as well make it really draw your attention, right?

-- Matt -

View traupmann's profile


124 posts in 3843 days

#7 posted 10-25-2010 09:44 PM

Presents with a clock in them are cherished and easy. There is even a kit available for one like this. There are many vendors for the hardware which isn’t expensive.

-- chas -- looking for Serta sponsorship to go Pro...

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