Restyling the Regift

comments (4) December 15th, 2008     

Pin It

Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
Love it! 5 users recommend
This sweet sweater can become even more awesome (if thats possible) with a bit of craftgenuity.

This sweet sweater can become even more awesome (if that's possible) with a bit of craftgenuity.

Photo: Courtesy of

Admit it: you’ve gotten a few lame gifts in your lifetime, poorly chosen presents from coworkers or folks who just didn’t get you, and therefore didn’t get you anything particularly suited to you or your tastes.

What’s a crafter to do?

Restyle the regift, of course! Instead of regifting a weak, unused gift as is, consider giving it a makeover and sending it back out into the world stronger, cooler, and just the thing for someone else.

Here are a few ideas:

I really hate getting mugs, calendars, and pictures frames. They scream, “I don’t have any clue who you are so here’s a token of my lack of affection.” Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but unless it’s a customized coffee mug, calendar, or picture frame—Is it so hard to put a meaningful photo into the frame or album, people?—just wish me a Merry Christmas and call it a day.

So I pulled out that Far Side mug I got years ago from my brother and thought it would make an excellent mosaic trivet. With a hammer and some grout, voila!, a hipster friend gets a useful kitchen accessory.

A calendar, however beautiful in its original form, can be cut up and used for note cards or even Scrabble tile pendants (here’s an easy-peasy tutorial at Annie Howes Keepsakes).

Spray-paint a picture frame and write a great song lyric on it with a paint pen.

If you’re like me, there are some family members who haven’t seen you in years. But, for some reason, that hasn’t stopped a few brave souls from sending clothing, even though they have no idea of your size, let alone style. Maybe it’s just me. But if you do have a ginormous pink fuzzy sweater (or the ever-popular Cosby sweater) tucked in the back of your closet, pull it out and turn it into a whimsical cat bed or if it’s wool, felt it down and make it into a pillow for a teenage niece.

Also questionable are a few pieces of jewelry you’ve been given with love over the years but which just don’t suit you. Remove a few links from a silver-tone ankle bracelet, add a few charms that signify the interests, hobbies, and personality of a loved one, and you have created a gift that will be cherished forever (or at least until the chain tarnishes). Clip off the backing from a pair of giant earrings and glue on an adjustable ring for a sassy cocktail ring.

The newest hardcover from that syrupy author can be gutted and turned into a book safe, or deconstructed and made into a comb-bound journal for a book lover.

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t exactly jump for joy when a boyfriend gave me a stuffed animal for my 30th birthday. Rip out the stuffing, cram it with candy, and turn it into a makeshift birthday piñata for the Capricorn in your life.

Silk boxer shorts
, I’ve been told, can also be a bit “Jack Tripper at the Regal Beagle on a Friday night.” Cut those bad boys up and transform the fabric into a neckerchief or wrapped bangle bracelet for a fashionista friend.

I hope this has given you a few ideas for turning those gift frowns upside down. Let any guilt go about restyling or regifting. Instead, feel good that the gift is getting a new life and is seeing the light of day at long last.

And if anyone can help me figure out what to do with the pink pig slippers my brother Chris thought were perfect for me, I’d be forever grateful.

What gift are you dying to restyle and regift?

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

posted in: Jewelry, , wearable, seasonal, keepsake, sweater, regift

Comments (4)

whimsy_chidori writes: Bonniedoo has a good idea, if the brother will get the humor of it. lol.

I suggest turning them into a stuffed animal for a niece or other female relative, or maybe trim them down and turn them into storage pockets.
Posted: 11:37 pm on May 7th
hagridsmom writes: I knew a woman once who took an ugly flowered 1960's type apron/happy top gift and made a very cute purse with that as the lining. Definetely an improvement and would never have occurred to me!
Posted: 12:59 pm on January 29th
Carriecan writes: Oh,Boy, have I regifted!!! Many times and I am always happy that someone (hopefully ) got something that they really like and that I will not longer have something that I really don't like lying around the house and gathering dust (and guilt.
As for the pink pig slippers....can you cut the faces off and make pig masks? Or is that really dumb?
Posted: 3:11 pm on December 15th
Bonniedoo writes: Wrap up those pink pig slippers and give them back to your brother.......a pair of huge furry beaver slippers has been going back and forth between the members of my daughter-in-law's family for about 10 years......they never know who will end up with them for their birthday or Christmas, etc. Great fun!!!
Posted: 1:32 pm on December 15th
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.