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Discovering Handmade Gifts: Weddings and Beyond

Wedding Plate for Margaret and Wayne's Wedding June 11, 1992
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Wedding Plate for Margaret and Wayne’s Wedding June 11, 1992

I was thinking about handmade gifts, and how my favorite wedding gift was a pottery plate with our names and hand painted flowers.  I was thrilled to have such a personal gift, and that our friend special ordered this just for us.  I don’t know who made the plate.  The only clue is an M within a circle on the back.  It has survived 5 moves!

Our goal was to have a wedding under $100.  We almost made it!  We commissioned our rings from a local silversmith in Eugene, OR, and then fortunately, my mother bought my dress, and the flowers.  One of Wayne’s grad school classmates offered her back yard for a potluck reception.  I was moved that she made such a lovely space for us to celebrate.  Another friend, who was a witness at our traffic court wedding, provided the “something borrowed” since we forgot to bring any money to pay the judge’s fee.  Another classmate was dating a cake decorator, and he drove a cake in from Corvallis, as the icing started to slide down the sides!  But it was chocolate, so how can you go wrong??  Did I mention we got married during finals week, right before graduation?  We were a bit wild and crazy then.

Margaret and Wayne's Potluck Wedding Reception
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Margaret and Wayne’s Potluck Wedding Reception

I have been honored to be commissioned to make wedding mosaics.  I completed a Celtic Cross for a couple, commissioned by a good friend of theirs, who brought them into the process and we all had a wonderful time choosing colors and beginning the seed of the finished project.



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Cutting the Cake. 1992.
Cross Commission for Mimi and John
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Cross Commission for Mimi and John by Margaret Almon.

What is your favorite handmade gift, either that you have received or given? I’d love to hear about them, or see photos!

Commissioning a Mosaic: 3 Questions to Consider

A Wedding Mosaic Plaque for Cate and Sello


  1. Teresa says:

    My favorite homemade gifts are those made by grandmother. She used to sew all kinds of things for us when we were little, mostly clothes. Now I have several things that she gave me, like pillow cases, aprons and quilts, to name a few, that I have saved in my cedar chest. My grandmother died about 3 weeks ago at the age of 95. She and my grandfather lived beside my family and me the entire time I was growing up. She had a huge influence on me and my life. I will really miss her.
    I’m stopping by from SITS. I wanted to give a little comment love.
    Teresa <><

  2. Kathryn J says:

    I loved seeing the wedding picture of the two of you. Same smiles but slightly different hairstyles and more dressed up than I’ve seen.
    My sister-in-law has done some lovely portraits of my children and a drawing of my house. They are among my favorite things. But I am also quite delighted by a beautiful chemistry-inspired stained glass piece and a mosaic picture frame.

  3. Holly says:

    I love handmade gifts! They’re so much more personal than store-bought ones.
    My current favorite is an apron my friend Katie from high school sewed for me after reading on my blog that I didn’t have an apron and always stained my clothes when cooking. I absolutely love it, and I always think of her when I’m cooking in it.
    Right now, I’m knitting birthday scarves for my boyfriend’s sister and her boyfriend, who I’ll be visiting in Rome in a couple of weeks. I know it’s summer in the nothern hemisphere now, but I’m in a knitting frenzy, and I know they’ll be able to use them in the winter.

  4. Deb Chitwood says:

    I LOVE your celtic cross! I always love receiving handmade gifts. One of my favorites was a handmade patchwork quilt for my wedding in 1975. My husband and I used the quilt until it was in shreds, and then we cut out a square to keep as a memento.
    I think your wedding was great! My husband and I got married at sunrise in our best friends’ backyard. We’ve never regretted such a simple and inexpensive wedding. It was a magical day. I found you through SITS 31DBBB.

  5. That celtic cross is my favorite of the ones I’ve made! That’s cool that you used your quilt and then kept a square–my husband’s grandmother made us a Log Cabin Quilt, and we’ve slept under it all these years. Your sunrise wedding sounds lovely!

  6. Valerie Kamikubo says:

    I love all things handmade but my favorite things have been those made by my husband for me. The first thing that he ever gave me was an embroidered butterfly patch that he purchased and then enhanced with additional hand embroidery. I chuckle now to think that he attempted art with a needle and thread in order to impress me because it took a certain amount of courage on his part, having never sewn anything prior (or come to think of it… since). He certainly has shown amazing ingenuity over the years though, and I love him terribly for that 🙂
    BTW… Super cute wedding photo of the two of you!

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