Crafts for the holidays

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By Chanelle Williams / Features Editor

By Chanelle Williams / Features Editor


The economy’s downward spiral has hit almost everyone pretty hard.
Many Inland Empire residents are looking for ways to cut spending anywhere and everywhere.
And the holidays are fast approaching and with money being tight, one may be considering alternative ways to give people gifts. There’s always the easy option of picking something out at the mall or online. But then there’s the waiting, either in line or for the package to arrive.
Why not something handmade?
Anyone is qualified to make an exceptionally beautiful gift. There are many stores in the Inland Empire that aim to help, stores like Michael’s Arts and Crafts Supply, Joann Fabric and Craft Supply and Color Me Mine, that specialize in providing supplies anyone needs to create whatever they want. Few stores were willing to comment on their strategies for the holidays or were unreachable. However, Teresea Ames, manager of custom frames at Michael’s Art and Crafts store in Riverside had no problem talking about the upcoming season.
“Michael’s always has different promotions,” said Ames, ” We have samples of things and we show how to make them, and carry things to promote what they’re looking for.”
            Many customers already an idea in mind and they come in to get advice and suggestions from the staff at Michael’s said Ames.
            Even if the task of making a homemade gift seems daunting, the store offers “hundreds to thousands of things to buy” that need nothing more than to be wrapped.
But some feel up to the challenge and pleasure of making gifts home made.
“I like making things,” said Lauren Boebinger, graphic and product designer for Sunset Vista Designs and student at Cal State San Domingas Hills, “and I like designing my own snowman and Santa. And I also like the process of making rather than going to a store, rather than someone else getting paid to make and create it.”
“I think I’m going to do a combo of buying some gifts but also making cards for people. There’s not going to be much people, mostly family and people I work with,” said Boebinger.
If it seems like a fun and enjoyable way to give a gift that is one –of-a-kind made by you but are at lost for practical projects to do, look no further than your local bookstore. Hundreds of books have been published that offer ideas of gifts to make.
“The Big-Ass Book of Crafts” by designer Mark Montano provides suggestions such as décor for a room, body products, and personalized art. Then there’s the reliable and well-reputed Martha Stuart who came out with a book last spring called “Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A-Z Guide With Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration.”
            This encyclopedia of crafts is a how-to technique-focused book to most assuredly help people struggling to create the perfect gift. These books can be found on online book selling sites.
Popular stores, however, are also providing sources for their homemaking crafting customers. The online store for Urban Outfitters, mostly known for its emphasis on unique apparel for men and women, has a section dedicated to Do-It-Yourself projects.

They sell cameras, cookbook, craft books, craft kits and sewing machines as well craft sets that can be given so the recipient can experience the joy of creating.

So, this holiday season when you are trying to decide what to get your friends and family members don’t consider just any gift that is mass produced in a factory somewhere; think about a gift especially made by yourself that no one else will have and will warm the heart of the receiver knowing so much thought, time and attention was put into their gift.


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