Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

Chanukah Needlepoint Matcbhox Cover

Chanukah Needlepoint Matchbox Cover

Last week a customer ordered needlepoint kits to stitch as gifts for the holidays. She caught me by surprise, but time is flying by, and this organized woman is preparing. I can’t entertain the thought of shopping for gifts yet, but if you want to give hand-made gifts for that special personal touch, you better get started. Here are some ideas that are easy, attractive, original, and inexpensive.

Dreidel Matchbox Cover

Dreidel Matchbox Cover

Matchbox Covers

For someone who “lights up your life,” or is a “perfect match,” these matchbox covers work up quickly. The results are so professional, they were even featured in Needlepoint Now magazine in the September 2012 issue. They are stitched using DMC perle cotton #3 on plastic (10 mesh) canvas and  embellished with Preciosa Czech rhinestones.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, to fit different size matchboxes. The larger size fits the matchboxes sold in judaica stores that contain 45 elongated matches each. The Chanukah one has a menorah pattern on the large size, and a dreidel pattern for the small. size There is also both a large and small size in silver and greys for Shabbos and Pesach, featuring a candlesticks pattern. The kits contain all necessary supplies besides for the actual matches. See the photos for all of the varieties.

Please come back for more – I’ll be writing about needlepoint bookmarks and cala lily projects.


Small Shabbos Matchbox Cover


Large Shabbos Matchbox Cover


Large Shabbos and Yom Tov Matchbox Cover


Pesach Matchbox Cover

Boring Writing Assignment? Write About Needlepoint

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Do all teachers start the school year with the same old writing assignment? “OK, class, everyone write one paragraph titled ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation.'” I dreaded writing that initial paragraph in school. My summer vacations were typically uneventful, and I pitied the teacher who had to grade so many similar essays.  As a matter of fact, when I taught creative writing to high school juniors, I threatened the students that they would have to write that exact paragraph if they misbehaved!

Well, I am here to eat my words since let me tell you HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION: it featured lots of needlepointing. I’ve already posted some of my creations in previous posts during the summer months, but here are some more I haven’t shown you yet. Perhaps I should tell you in photos and not use words.  So I’ll be quick.

Pictured above this post is my Scarlet Tanager (or in simpler terms – a red bird).


Tropical Fish Needlepoint

This is a rendition of my Tropical Fish 3 design. I stitched and beaded a tropical fish needlepoint.

Needlepointed Tefillin Bag

Needlepointed Tefillin Bag

I finished my son’s tefillin bag.

Bronze Urn With Flowers

Bronze Urn With Flowers

I stitched an urn with flowers design and used 7 mm silk ribbon for the flowers.  I consider 7 mm silk ribbon a delicacy. Some connoisseurs enjoy truffle mushrooms, others prefer caviar.  Silk ribbon tempts me.

In addition, I started a new challah cover in sage and mauve tones. Stay tuned for a post about that piece.

I did not swim.  I did not play tennis.  I did not hike.  I did not take a cruise.  But I stitched and stitched, and it was an ideal way to spend my summer. I hope you did too.