Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hostess Gifts

With wedding and (for me) baby season approaching, it's also hostess gift season. All those showers take extraordinary work to pull together, and you don't want to forget about your host or hostess. For my baby shower last month, I waited too long to order something handmade from Etsy or other artists, and wasn't able to find local sources in time.

I put together a few gifts to reflect each hostess's personality, resorting to Target and a local boutique for two of them, and making one. A pot of herbs for the woman who helped with some of the food, souvenir-ish items from a local gift shop for the main hostess (she's from this town, but as a military wife has to leave it often and gets homesick), and stenciled tea towels for the good friend who did a lot of cooking and helped set up the party.

Every Christmas, I'm reminded to save cards to use as gift tags the next year, and I always forget. But why use holiday cards only? This time I cut up a thank-you card from a friend to make cute little gift tags. This works with birthday cards, Mother's Day and other holidays, not just the big winter holidays.

The tea towels were by far the most fun, since I made them myself. I got the art from Briar Press, a fantastic source for vector files (thanks, Presser Foot!), and used freezer paper for the stencils. And of course it was more complicated and time consuming than I'd planned, since I was cutting through 4 layers of freezer paper PLUS the regular paper stencil. I wanted to cut them all out together so they'd match, and felt like I had arthritis when I finished! But they do look nice, don't they? I think I'll make a permanent screen so I can use this motif on other projects (like a set of towels for myself!).

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