Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know

by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

Does gift-giving leave you stressed? What should you give and to who? Is regifting OK? How should you handle an unexpected present?

We have the answers to these commonly asked questions based on recommendations from Peggy Post, author of Emily Post's Etiquette, 17th Edition. They'll help you gift with confidence while avoiding sticky situations!

1. Make a List
When it comes to gift-giving, it's best to make a list of the people you want to give to ahead of time and figure out how much you can spend on each person.

Making a list allows you to buy things when you see them available or even on sale. For example, if you're shopping and see a purse that your mother would love, buy it and mark it off your list. It probably won't be available when you look for it again. And, by marking it off your list, you'll remember you have it covered.

Most importantly, your list will keep you from forgetting gifts and overspending. Spending more than you should takes the fun out of gift-giving and there's nothing more nerve-racking than overspending--and feeling uneasy about it.

Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know

2. Make It Special
This is especially important with handmade gifts. Did you splurge on precious metal findings and gemstones in a handmade necklace? Make a tag that includes a description of the piece, such as "handmade sterling silver and onyx necklace." Or if you've made a charm from Art Clay®, include on the tag, "handmade fine silver charm." This makes a nice presentation and lets the receiver fully appreciate the workmanship and quality of the jewelry.

You can also include on a label what materials were used to make your gift and how to care for it. This can be especially helpful if the gift was made with cloth or fiber.

If you purchased a gift from a boutique or a local artist, include the card from the store or the artist that you purchased the gift from. This gives the recipient more information about the gift and it also helps the small business you purchased from.

3. Personalization
People love seeing their names! Gifts marked with a monogram or anything else specific to the recipient (think birthstone, letter charms, lockets with photos, image transfers, etc.) are all the more appreciated.

Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know

4. A Lasting Gift
Flowers or a box of candy will be enjoyed for the short term, whereas jewelry will last a lifetime. Some gifts "keep on giving," such as quality jewelry-making tools. For the person who has everything, you can gift an "experience," such as a jewelry-making class or a kit for a jewelry-making technique they haven't tried before.

5. Keep it Under Wraps
The element of surprise is half the fun of gift-giving, so keep your gift under wraps with the perfect packaging. You can also make your own wrapping paper for that personal touch. Embellish with charms and beads and use earthy hemp cords to tie it all up.

Host and hostess gifts are an exception, as they are traditionally not wrapped. It's always fun to add a little extra touch though, such as a tag with flat-back crystals or a beautiful ribbon.

6. Do Your Homework
Be a detective! Ask recipients for hints or a wish list, or gather ideas throughout the year and note them on your gift list. Keep track of ages and likes/dislikes to ensure you are giving appropriate gifts. Sizing is very important; make sure you have a good idea of the size of your recipient if you are making something. For example, you don't want to gift someone a bracelet that is too small for their wrist. If you don't know the size, it's a good idea to make the jewelry adjustable. Earrings always fit--as long as you know their ears are pierced and that they are not sensitive to certain types of materials.

7. Gift Certificates
When you are not really sure what to get for someone, a gift certificate is an excellent choice.

One of the best gifts for the jewelry maker in your life is a Fire Mountain Gems and Beads gift certificate. It's easy to order gift certificates online. You can have them sent to you to give them personally or sent directly to your recipients.

Fire Mountain Gems Gift Certificate Information

8. A Note of Thanks
What if you are the recipient of a gift? Is a thank-you note required? YES. It's always best to send a handwritten note for gifts, especially if you're unable to thank someone in person. An email is better than not sending anything, but a handwritten note is still the best way to go.

Keep cards and stamps on hand at all times (at home and work). This way you'll always be ready to send a note of thanks.

Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know

9. The Unexpected Gift
What if you are the recipient of an unexpected gift? All that is required is a warm "Thank you!" and a follow-up thank-you note. Unexpected gifts do not have to be reciprocated. Saying that you will get them something in return is like trumping their gift.

You also, at times, may find yourself needing to give an unexpected gift. Avoid getting caught without a gift by stashing a few items that will work in a pinch. It's easy to keep copies of your favorite jewelry-making book, a simple necklace or earrings on hand. This way you'll be ready if you need a gift right away.

10. Regift with Caution
It's OK to regift but proceed with caution. Be sure it's a brand-new gift in the original box/packaging. Never regift something the original giver took great care to select just for you or made by hand.

The most important thing to remember about gift-giving is to trust your judgment. Forget about being afraid that the gift isn't perfect. If you think the person will like it, chances are they will.

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Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Jewelry Maker's Guide to Gift-Giving: 10 Things Every Gifter Should Know," featured in the a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"I hoped for more "tips" for giving handmade jewelry. I have given pieces that were happily received but the recipient never knew it was hand-crafted or that it was crafted by ME (how disappointing). I also like to include a note that any unexpected breakage (a clasp gone bad or a broken cord) can and will be replaced. I also put a note in to offer a change in length if possible. I'm a pretty small person and a necklace that hangs on me very nicely doesn't always work with a woman with a more substantial bosom. I offer a change in clasps for those who find a piece difficult to open and close. I especially like the magnetic ones for friends who have a little arthritis or carpal tunnel issues. I don't always choose them first because the "design" and scale of the finding is often important (to me) when I design the piece. Make the gift card original, too. Draw something pretty and put a few left over beads on it so that it is uniquely a "jewelry" gift card. All you need is a bit of card stock and a glitter pen to make it look "sparkly" - sign your name and dot the "it's" with a bead. I love your "tips". Not all my art friends are jewelry persons but we all give our artwork as gifts. I have forwarded many of these articles to them and we share our "gifting stories". (I will never make hand-painted Christmas cards again...).Thank-you,"
- Chris

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This article was a blessing! I am always late and rushing. Most times I am clueless. My Mom is so hard to buy for; she has everything. Males are especially hard for me. This article has helped me so much. I dearly love your newsletter. The information you give is just amazing. Thank you!"
- Raven