I can hear panic setting in from all around — “There are _______ days until Christmas/Hanukkah! How am I ever going to get some needlepoint gifts stitched and finished?” This is where the great assortment of self-finishing items comes in. Many of these are small and can be finished quickly. With them and needlepoint you have stitched, it isn’t too late to get those gifts completed and ready for giving.
Today I’m going to divide up products by manufacturers, show you pictures of items I’ve stitched, and link to my articles about each of these products. Shopowners, knowing how much we are stitching and knowing that almost all finishing deadlines have passed, have stocked up on these items so you can create wonderful gifts.
Of all the companies making items for self-finishing, Sudberry House has been around the longest. I think I bought my first Sudberry item in the 1970’s. The company makes wooden items including trivets, coasters, boxes, trays, and some furniture. These come in a variety of sizes and finishes. Some even are lacquered to a high sheen. Products come and go at Sudberry but some, for example the trivet and the smaller boxes, have been around for decades.
A great choice for a quick gift is the mini box, pictured above. The opening for a design is 1.5″ square. It is available in red, black, white, or mahogany.
I have to say that I love Lee’s self-finishing products, and I have stitched and finished many of them. The company makes mostly leather items and classifies their canvases to fit these products. This can make it easy to match canvas with a product. Happily Colonial Needle makes this information available on their site to easily shop from home (look at the drop-down menu under needlepoint for links to the catalogs).
My favorite shape to use for Lee items is a 3″ circle. Using it you can finish luggage tags (I often use these as ornaments), mirrors, snap trays (reviewed here), tool boxes (reviewed here), tote bags, cosmetic bags, CD cases, and more. You can also find 4″ rounds as ornaments (reviewed here) and coasters. Snap trays are also available for rectangular canvases.
I use my Lee ebook cover daily (reviewed here), I’ve already worn one out. I even bought my latest Kindle sized specifically to fit this case.
I have a couple of Lee products that you’ll see reviews for next month.
Planet Earth makes several leather products that are high quality and are designed for self-finishing. Like the Lee leather products, they are incredibly easy to finsh with professional results. Each item comes in several colors and these vary according to the item. They also make some new items and rattan purses I have not had a chance to try. Items available include a 1″ round leather key chain (reviewed here). the square travel jewelry box (reviewed here and pictured above), the round jewelry box (reviewed here), credit card cases in two sizes (reviewed here), luggage tags (reviewed here and pictured at the top of the article) and coasters.
I have some coasters in my stash. Look for a review of them next month.
Pointe 2 Pointe
Pointe 2 Pointe makes a wonderful variety of silver items, most of which fit their adorable 1″ canvases (reviewed here and pictured above). In addition, they make Ultrasuede key chains (reviewed here) to fit these same canvases, self-finishing bracelets, and wine bags.
I have a wine bag in my stash to do, but that will be after the first of the year.
Studio Decor makes ornament frames and frames of all sizes that are sold at Michel’s. I love these and buy them regularly to make ornaments (finishing tutorial here and reviewed here). They are even easier to finish than the Lee’s and Planet Earth products. I usually buy the plainer designs, but there are also lots of them that have themes as well. They are often in Michael’s Black Friday sales.
Earlier this year, I found an interesting product from them: a photo cube (reviewed here) If you have six small pieces of needlepoint or a mix of needlepoint and photos, this could be an unusual gift.
Beth Gantz makes wood frames and ornament frames (reviewed here) in both round and square in a number of different colors and sizes. I believe she also makes wooden boxes. They are very easy to finish. I used them for most of the ornaments I made this year.
Cooper Oaks</strong> has a wide variety of acrylic items. I used one of the simplest to finish, the coaster (reviewed here and pictured above). A 4″ square canvas fits nicely inside with no extra work beyond folding needed. These coasters are thicker than most.
VNG makes two kinds of self-finishing items, rectangular wooden boxes and square glass-topped coasters. i have not tried these yet but they are on my list.
Voila, makes a few items for self-finishing. Two of these are kits for key fobs that include the hardware in a pretty gift bag and snap bracelets (reviewed here). Several other products could be self-finished but require more skill.
Mindy is one of the newest companies in the self-finishing market. Initially she came out with wallets in a variety of colors (reviewed here and pictured above). There are two styles, the double wallet pictured and a single wallet which has only one zipped compartment. New this fall are lovely dragonfly boxes with a dragonfly clasp, a black bottom and a colorful top.
On Monday, look for another round-up article on finishing items yourself using sewing machines and traditional techniques.