Updated August 20, 2019.
With Christmas finishing deadlines already happening, you might be having the just-before-Christmas panic I often have. But you needn’t worry. There are so many options for self-finishing projects these days that if you can stitch it, you can finish it. Here are some great ideas:
Needlepoint bookends Get a set of inexpensive metal bookends and some 14 mesh plastic canvas. Stitch the canvas to be about 1″ bigger than the bookend on the sides and top. Make two of these. Cut two more pieces the same size, but don’t stitch them. Spray paint the bookends another color if desired. Stitch one stitched and one unstitched piece of canvas together and slip the bookend in.
Photo Albums Look for albums with a hole in the front for a photo and a fairly deep pocket. Trace the size of the opening onto a canvas and stitch your design, adding three rows all around and trim the canvas. Slip it into the album.
Needlepoint Boxes Find a box with a hole or glass in the top. Follow the procedure for the album to make a decorated box, such as the one shown above. Sudberry makes these as do other companies. Lee makes round leather ones. The wonderful travel jewelry boxes from Planet Earth are also easily finished this way.
Purses & Totes I’m a huge fan of the Lee leather items. If you want something with big impact but that you can finish yourself, consider these as your perfect solution. They come in many sizes and shapes from small clutch bags for evening to large canvas sites that could be weekend bags. There are also new acrylic clutch bags I’ve seen but haven’t tried yet that can have interchangeable needlepoint panels.
Another possibility for purses is the black silk bags with needlepoint flaps from Sophia. I stitched mine with a simple pattern and customized it with a carved Chinese bead for the clasp.
Needlepoint Wallets Find a wallet with a solid clear pocket on the outside and at least one clear pocket on the inside. Trace a credit or ID card onto the canvas. This is the stitching area. Stitch it, cut it out and insert it into the outer pocket of the wallet.
I adore needlepoint wallets and have used and made many over the years. You can find these from Mindy, pictured above, and Lee in several different sizes. Also consider the credit cards cases available from Mindy, Planet Earth, and others. These only take a few hours to stitch and are finished in minutes. It’s such a great gift.
Silver self-finishing Pointe2Pointe makes fantastic silver items that you can finish yourself. Many of these (cuff links, wine tags, necklaces, etc.) tage their 1″ square designs. But there are also bracelets. Non-silver items from them include wine bags & Ultrasuede key rings. These also make quick elegant gifts.
Snap Trays I love the Lee snap trays that now come in three sizes and several colors. One great thing about them is that they make outstanding gifts for guys. The flower one above is the third I’ve made in the last six months. One my DH liked so much he took it for his own immediately!
Needlepoint Pictures This assumes you have a stash of stitched but unfinished projects. Go through them and find ones close to standard frame sizes with 2″ canvas margins and unstitched backgrounds (you’ve just stitched the focal point). Buy a ready-made frame that size. Add a simple stitched background to make the needlepoint fit the frame. Trim the needlepoint, old under the sides and pop into the frame. I did this with four twinchies (I tend to stockpile frames in certain sizes). and they look great! Mindy and Patricia Sone are now packaging canvases in 2″ sizes that come with frames.
Ornaments You can also do the same thing as ornaments. Many companies make 2″ square or round frames that you can insert needlepoint into. Lee makes leather ornaments in two sizes of rounds and a mini-sock. Kreinik makes heavy cardboard frames.
Coasters There are so many options out there for coasters today. You can get round leather ones from Lee. There are square leather ones from Planet Earth, clear acrylic ones from Melissa Prince, wood ones from Sudberry, and Vallerie Needlepoint Gallery has 4″ square glass-topped coasters that are available in eight finishes. With the glass top you can add beads and embellishments with no problems. You also might consider using coasters as frames for needlepoint.
I hope I’ve solved at least some gift dilemmas. I am so excited about these ideas that I’m ready to pull out some more stuff to finish!