Thursday, February 28, 2008

Handmade vs. Homemade

Yesterday I got a lovely thank you note in the mail thanking me for the "homemade" gift they'd received from me. As I read the note, I couldn't help but cringe when I got to the word "homemade". I feel like "homemade" sounds so cheap. Like all I could afford to give was something I threw together at home when quite the opposite is true. I could have so easily popped in to Target and got her something there, but instead I lovingly picking out something special to make and then spent several hours working on the project just for her. I know she didn't mean to make me cringe, but it just gives me such an unsettling feeling and that dreadful word makes me feel like my efforts weren't really appreciated. I think if someone doesn't sew, they just don't realize how long it takes to make something or the thought and effort that goes into the process. I much prefer the word handmade to homemade, it sounds so much classier. What word do you prefer and have you ever had this happen to you?

13 comments:

Sharon said...

I think they do understand that a lot of thought as well as time went into the creation of the "homemade" gift - I think they mean it as a compliment. That said, I personally prefer "handmade" for much the same reasons as you stated. It just sounds classier.

stacysews said...

I wonder if I use the word homemade when I talk about sewing? I never thought about it until now... but I agree, handmade sounds so much better! I'm going to try to make sure I use it from now on.

Blakely said...

I use both words equally, but I prefer handmade. My mother always discourages me from giving handmade gifts to people who don't sew. She has been there done that, and they just don't appreciate the thought and time that you put into it. I don't always listen and sometimes I'm really disappointed in the reaction I get from the gift

RiAnge Creations. Ltd. said...

I've never really given it a thought. When I've given gifts, the recipient knows I've custom made or created it just for them. Don't let the terminology upset you. Use this opportunity to "educate".

Tomato, tomatoe.

Rhoto said...

Hi Melissa,
Let's have the dictionary "help out" here:
HOMEMADE: made in the home, on the premises, or by one's own efforts.
HANDMADE: made by hand, not by machine.
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal

YC said...

I got a little cringe, too. But look at it this way, too -- no one ever is thrilled by "handmade" cookies, but "homemade" is fantastic!

Mary said...

I try to match the gift to the recipient. Some folks just don't appreciate something as special as an item I've sewn, so I don't stress over it -- I just buy them something.

Anonymous said...

I seldom make a gift anymore unless it is a fast machine embroidered premade item. People who do not sew are usually clueless and think even a lined tailored jacket happens in 30 minutes and you only threw it to the machine that did it with no help at all from you. If I make someone a special thing it is usually a family member who needs or really really wants the item. As beautifully as you sew, I am sure the word was meant in a complimentary way. The person probably only meant they knew you made it for them and wanted to acknowledge the fact. At least you got a thank you. My deceased mil made a precious pieced baby quilt once and hand quilted it in her frames and the girl did not even write or call to say thank you so it can be a lot worse than the homemade thank you. mssewcrazy

Valerie said...

I, too like the word handmade. I understand what you are saying.

Anonymous said...

I use "homemade" with food and "handmade" with crafts.

Michele said...

This is very helpful. I was trying to decide myself which to use. Valerie has a good tip that it should be homemade with food and handmade with crafts. Can you get that into wikipedia? LOL!!!

Thanks for helping me determine the difference!

Check out my blog to see my handmade skirt!

http://mrsgardengirl.blogspot.com/2011/09/next-stopproject-runway.html

Michele said...

oops, it was anonymous who said that!

Tre Holland said...

I remember my mom talking years ago about the difference between "Homemade" and "Handmade" when it came to sewn items. With her, the difference between the two was in the finish work and the quality of the overall item. For example, pressing your seams open as you sew is not always absolutely necessary, but does give a much more professional look to the finished project.