I have totally been on a gift kick lately. I have several family member birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Teacher Appreciation in May; all good reasons to hunt around for fun little presents for people. If possible, I try to choose gifts that will work for many individuals, so I can mass produce or buy in bulk.
I recently had coffee with a friend that I met through my children’s swim team. TheSwimFriend has been borrowing an embroidery machine and monogramming almost anything that will fit under the sewing machine foot. During coffee, she showed me a monogrammed umbrella. I had to have one (or five). After a quick trip to Target for travel sized umbrellas, I dropped off my purchases with TheSwimFriend who kindly monogrammed them for me.
I am hoping USPS has already delivered TheRoomMomMom’s Mother’s Day umbrella, so I am not ruining the surprise. Since I used travel size, my mom can leave the umbrella in her car or stuff it in her purse on a rainy day. I had one made for Mr. Star Wars’ teacher for an end of the year gift because the teachers at school have to walk about two blocks from the parking lot to the school, rain or shine. The umbrella is just the right size for a teacher bag. I have a few more ready for upcoming birthday gifts. My favorite combination is the navy and white polka dot umbrella with the kelly green monogram.
TheSwimFriend played around with the monogram size and liked 3 1/2″ tall at the center point. The monogram also needs to have stabilizer on the back in order to keep the umbrella material from puckering.
My SwimFriend did this as a favor for me, and I would like to do something nice back. Any suggestions? TheSwimFriend has seen all of my recent gift ideas.
I love anything personalized! After seeing a designer on Project Runway wear monogrammed t-shirts a few seasons ago, I purchased a stack of Gap t-shirts for all of the women on my holiday gift list. I stuck with basic colors (black and white) and had monograms added. I probably should have included my pre-teen niece too because she is a preppy girl, and this is a great gift for girls ages 10 and up. I will monogram just about anything. What would work well for my shopping list this year?
What to Do: Find cotton t-shirts that are a good weight. I like the Gap Essential Crewneck Ts because they are a little thicker and can hold the stitching of the monogram machine. I took my shirts to a local monogrammer. You may want to ask about having a fabric stabilizer added to the back of the shirt, so the monogram is stitched in evenly.
Styles: I chose 3 letter monograms for all of the shirts. Some shirts had the fancy cursive and some were more tailored. It just depended on the person receiving the shirt. I think 2 1/2 inches is a good height for the largest letter in the center.
I have been living in the South for awhile now, and calling cards are pretty much a requirement around here. These are the little cards that are business card size. They have your name and/or monogram on them and possibly a small motif or design too. Last year, I ordered calling cards for all of my nieces who are school aged. Has anyone else given these as gifts? What type of wording or design did you include?
Where to Find Them: All stationery stores sell a variety of these little cards. They are also available online. I have ordered a few through Finestationery, and I really like the calling cards by Fontaine Maury for adults and teens. If I am ordering super high end, I go for the good stuff at Crane.
What to Print: For young children, print the first and last name. For teens, you can print the name or a monogram. For my oldest niece, I had a babysitter business card made. The card included her name, the word babysitter, e-mail address, and phone number. For a mom with young kids, you can have the name, e-mail address, phone number, and phrase so and so’s mom printed on the card. Our Aunt B gave my son a set of cards that listed his name, monogram, and the word Spy when he was going through a secret agent phase.
Attach to birthday presents
Attach to hostess gifts
Give as baby gifts or christening gifts
Teens, distribute to moms for potential babysitting jobs
Moms, distribute at playgroups, the park, book clubs
Bloggers, distribute when people ask how to find your blog!