10 Easy Gifts to Make for a Man Using Your Embroidery Machine
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Ok – I’ll say it. Shopping for Father’s day sucks. But guess what? There are a lot of fun gifts to make for a man using your embroidery machine.
Father’s day shopping is especially difficult for me because my dad needs absolutely nothing and what he does want, he just buys. When I’m really grasping for straws – I’ll get him the latest hardcover non-fiction World War II book. Boring. But, he’ll likely read it, or at least it will look good collecting dust on his bookshelf.
My husband may be worse – albeit in a different way. He’s just picky, and I have a about a .35 batting average in getting him something he actually likes, except when I pick him up some new Banana Republic Outlet boxer briefs. Those are always a winner.
The beauty of an embroidery machine though, is you have the ability to make the man in your life something really unique and personalized. And even if they don’t totally LOVE it – hey – you put in some effort and it shows. Over the years, I’ve made the men in my life a lot of gifts using my embroidery machine. I’ve had a few misses, but I’ve had a lot of hits. Here are my top 10 favorite gifts to make for a man on your embroidery machine. Hopefully this will help you get inspired for Father’s Day gift giving.
A few years ago when I was in Banana Republic Outlet buying my husband his favorite underpants, I noticed a simple, stretchy blue belt and wondered if I could embroider on it. Since it was on major clearance, I made an impulse buy and gave it a go.
Surprisingly – it turned out great. Yes, I could have vertically centered the letters a little better, but the stitching showed up nicely, and it transformed the belt from being totally generic to completely custom.
There was, however, one little problem. I stitched the letters upside down. Apparently right-handed men like to put their belts on starting on the left side of their body and then feed it around their back, ending on the right. So, if you do this project yourself, be sure to lay the belt on the embroidery hoop with the buckle pointing TO THE LEFT. Despite my mistake my husband still wears the belt, but gives me some crap about my upside down stitching every time he puts it on. JEEEZ!
I highly doubt you will still be able to find this belt at the Banana Republic Outlet, but there are some good alternatives you can Amazon Prime to arrive before Father’s Day: Military Canvas Belt with Double D-Ring or Web Belt
Monogrammed Seersucker Swimsuit
Ok, how many dudes have a swimsuit with their initial monogrammed on the leg? And being that summer is just about to kick off… What. Perfect. Timing. The seersucker suits I personalized for my dad and my husband came from Sewforless.com. Unfortunately, they no longer carry the mens’ sizes (but lots of cute kids ones). The swimsuit I found (below) on Amazon would be pretty perfect for a man, and they’re less than $10!!
A monogrammed tie
I got this idea from a Martha Stewart magazine where she encouraged readers to personalize a tie with a single initial using HAND EMBROIDERY. That sound like crazy talk to me. Who has time for that? I made these personalized ties on my embroidery machine in minutes and it thrills me to no end to see my father-in-law rock it. Stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx are great sources for ties at bargain basement ties. Or, if you don’t want to chance it, Amazon Prime one of these solid colored silk ties for $12.99.
Monogrammed Handmade Bow Tie
If you are feeling a bit more ambitious and really want to make something from scratch AND the man in your life is a bit more of a fashion risk taker, consider making him a personalized bowtie. I whipped together this bowtie following a free pattern I found online and stitched it with two different colors of seersucker with the monogram on both sides to make it completely reversible. Instead of a series of hooks along the back, I used buttons (just like the bowties they sell at Brooks Brothers). The only challenge with this gift is figuring out how to tie a bowtie! But there are plenty of tutorials for that as well.
Personalized baseball cap
Don’t let this one scare you. You CAN actually stitch on the front of a baseball cap with a basic home embroidery machine. It takes some careful pinning and some patience but its totally doable. Here are a couple I did on my very basic home machine.
But what to stitch on a cap for a dad or a husband? Well, it could really be anything. But, I’ll tell you what not to stitch. My sister-in-law bought my brother a baseball cap emblazoned with “SALTY,” due to the fact that he can often be a bit of a curmudgeon. We all thought it was HILARIOUS. He did not.
If you really want the man in your life to wear the hat you personalize for him, stitch something on it that’s cool and unique. For example, maybe you call him “your rock.” Then stitch a cool rocky cliff on the hat. No one will know what it means but him and you and that’s what makes it special and unique. Amazon has baseball caps that are PERFECT for this project.
Knit Cap with Embroidered Nautical Initials
If the man in your life enjoys being out on the water, or at least look like a fisherman, this is the perfect gift for him. Stitch out his initials using nautical flag letters on a black knit cap. It looks super sharp. Just be sure to stitch it on the inside of the hat upside-down so that he can turn up the bottom edge of the hat to expose the initials, and they are oriented the right way.
When I came up with this idea one Christmas, I made nautical hats for just about everyone, and they were a huge hit. In fact, my son actually requested that I make him one!
Monogrammed dopp kit
I monogrammed a dopp kit for my father-in-law a few years ago after seeing the junk (read: ziplock bags) he was using to transport his toiletries when he came to visit. Needless to say – he loved it. But the bar was set pretty low.
Dopp kits are a little tricky to get on the hoop. It’s best to completely flip them completely inside out to stick them to your adhesive stabilizer. Make sure you choose a dopp kit with a large opening. A dopp kit that completely opens up would be easiest to embroider.
Monogrammed golf towels
Ok – I’ll admit I haven’t made this one yet simply because I don’t have many avid golfers in my life. In fact, my own father abhors the sport and my husband plays only occasionally, so I don’t think I’ll be making this anytime soon. But… what about monogramming a golf towel with this cute little golf ball/club cleaning kit. Genius.
A dress shift with monogrammed cuffs
Here’s a real easy one. How about stitching his initials on a shirt cuff? This subtle touch elevates a plain shirt from a $19 find at Marshalls to a totally custom item. I would go with a simple 3 letter serif typeface and stitch it on the left cuff facing outward. Yes – you can even get basic mens oxfords at Amazon and they are super cheap (<$20).
If you are interested in trying out this project, check out “How to Embroider on Men’s Shirt Cuff.”
An outdoor chair
Well this one made me a bit nervous, but it actually turned out great and the recipient loved it. Stitch out a man’s name on a chair and there will be no question whose spot it is. And you can get some great, practical chairs for $10 and less. Check out how I did it – sweating bullets all the way.
A monogrammed travel tote
If the man you are stitching for has a trip coming up in the future, then a personalized travel tote makes a great gift. The beauty of this tote is that it compresses into this small carrying case which can be stuffed into a larger suitcase, taking up very little space and weighing even less. I liked this particular bag because I was able to double personalize it – once on the case and, again on the bag.
And, if you are really feeling generous, throw in a travel book about the destination of your recipient.
BONUS: “I like pigs butts and I cannot lie” apron.
Ok ok – one bonus idea because I know this is not personalized but it sure is funny and very appropriate if the man you are gifting really does love the meat from a pigs butt. Order your apron on Amazon, download the pig butts design and you’re guaranteed a unique gift + a few laughs
Good luck everyone! And have fun making gifts for the men in your life on your embroidery machine