I always enjoy giving homemade gifts to people that I know will appreciate the planning, preparation, and plethora of work it takes to create an entirely new concept just for them. My dear friend Karen is one such person. Karen and I have been friends for over a decade now, our daughters were in the high school marching band together and Karen and I were very involved in the Band Parents Association. She and I had much more in common than just our girls though, she is also a crafter and she can create beautiful things that I admire greatly. So, when she and her hubby built a beautiful new home my wheels started turning and I tried to come up with a new and different Housewarming gift. What does a crafter give another crafter? It can be tricky…luckily, our ‘talents’ lie in different realms of the crafting world. Karen herself actually gave me the idea of what I ended up making for her. She texted me one day to ask me if she could borrow my red gingham tablecloth to use for an upcoming get-together. Well, when she asked me that the light went on in my head and the bells started ding, ding, dinging, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her; a lantern centerpiece 🙂 First, I purchased her a red gingham tablecloth of her own. Then I made a lantern centerpiece with a red gingham bow, pip berries garland, red and white gerber daisies, black metal stars, a red battery operated candle, and a “Family” wooden sign, all arranged in and around a cream colored wooden tray and cream colored wooden lantern. I also put a red gingham placemat in the tray to serve as a nice decorative base for the design.
**Side note–I love arranging my lantern centerpieces in trays, the tray provides an anchor for the entire design and *bonus* it is easily picked up and moved from place to place**
Here is that finished centerpiece:
I then thought, well, I don’t want to pigeonhole her into having to use the red gingham accents all of the time, so I took it a step further and supplied her with the necessary materials with which to change out the red gingham accents and insert a more neutral design; utilizing the same metal stars, lantern and tray. I made a new bow out of chevron and burlap ribbon and supplied a different colored pip berries garland, a cream colored battery operated candle, different colored gerber daisies, a different “Home” sign, and a neutral placemat. Also, I made it so that she could easily change out the bows by hot gluing velcro on the ends of a piece of the same ribbon and attaching it to the bows; they were then secure when in place, pretty, and functional. 🙂
Here is that version of the centerpiece:
I packed up all of the neutral design materials along with a picture of how she might want to switch out the red and white gingham elements and replace them with the more neutral elements.
I delivered the red gingham version of the centerpiece to her with the neutral version packed in a gift bag. I immediately knew that I had chosen right in giving her a homemade gift because when I handed it to her, her sweet eyes welled up with tears and I got the very best hug ever! My day was made, completely made!
In my opinion, it is *always* better to give than to receive, and when it comes from your heart and is made with love and with the receiver in mind, it makes for a good day all around.
**LOVE you Karen** ❤