Last Minute Gifts

June 9, 2016Christmas Standard

christmas cottage charted for needlepoint or cross stitch

Cozy Cottage, design & photo copyright Napa Needlepoint

It’s almost mid-December and, no matter what I do, panic sets in about Christmas needlepoint gifts. You’re probably like me and so I want to share with you some of my ideas for making quick needlepoint for gifts.

A small needlepoint box or picture frame is fun to do. One of my favorite sources for these are Raymond Crawford’ magnets. They are small (2″ square) and come in dozens of designs, so they work for anyone. I’ve made them as box tops. You can also buy small frames for pictures and use them. Often you can’t find 2″ frames, only 2.5″. In that case add a border of Diagonal Gobelin around it to make the needlepoint fit.

I have also made dozens of original Twinchies (2″ square needlepoints). You can find inspiring pictures as well as free patterns for many of them on Nuts about Needlepoint.

Although these are quick to stitch, sometimes I actually have time to make a larger box (like the one pictured at the bottom of this article) or even a bellpull.

The key is to find something you can finish yourself. If you have the box or frame and the stitched and blocked needlepoint, finishing a gift might only take a few minutes. Another fun idea for a Christmas needlepoint gift is to make a needlepoint bookmark. You can buy charming blank or painted bookmarks already inset into Ultrasuede. The top is not sewn so you can get to the needlepoint. Then sew the edges to get a lovely finished piece.

Princely Collection makes lovely ones which have a larger area to stitch.

Sometimes I have made glass paperweights as a Christmas needlepoint gift. Yarn Tree makes a nice variety. You don’t need to stitch something fancy, even a geometric pattern or a Bargello design will look great.

Holy Spirit needlepoint ornament

Whimsy & grace canvas, photo copyright Napa Needlepoint

The accessories from Lee’s Needle Arts and others make lovely gifts (though more expensive). Why not stitch something for one of their small items? I’ve given needlework coin purses often as gifts and now my thoughts have been going towards ebook and iPad covers. Since these products have sticky adhesive with them, you can finish them yourself.

Sudberry, Amanda Lawford, and others make lovely boxes and other accessories designed to finish yourself. These can make lovely, if somewhat larger presents.

Don’t overlook your local stores. With scrapbooking popular, you can often find albums which have openings in the front for photos. Often these can be used to hold needlepoint. But not every album works, you need to have certain characteristics. Look for an album which:

    has an accessible hole (i.e. not covered in paper)
    is thick enough to hold needlepoint
    has a back like a frame or one which could be covered with decorative paper once the needlepoint is inserted

If you can’t find an album which works, you could always scan your needlepoint, make a high res print and insert that.

In my house, Christmas ornaments are the big thing. One of my favorite ornament finishes work great for last-mimute Christmas needlepoint gifts. I like to use the largest size of Dritz button forms (2.5″ or size 100) to make round ornaments. I usually use Congress Cloth, make the design, cover the button form with sparkly fabric and then put the needlepoint over it.