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Monogrammed gifts grow in popularity

Now, more than ever, people prefer to use their creativity to produce gifts during the holiday season. Some gift ideas include holiday wreaths. Others prefer to use some local businesses to create personalized gifts like monogrammed aprons or towels and manny other items. -- Special photo

While Christmas may be a time to share gifts, swap family stories and eat comfort foods, it can also be a time to make memorable arts and crafts. While Christmas wreaths, Santa or reindeer faces or decorated stockings have become popular creations, making garments, like Christmas aprons, can be a fun project for the whole family.

Home and Garden writer Sam Feeder said the great thing about making aprons is the chance to be creative.

“While you have to stick to a few specific themes, like colors, patterns or figures that represent the Christmas season, there is a lot of room for creativity,” Feeder said. Also, as you will most likely be doing a lot of cooking, the festiveness of your apron will add a certain subconscious flavor to the food.”

And for those who want to add a little personality to a plain apron, experts suggest monogramming.

Jeffrey Nichols, manager of Screenco, said monogramming is a popular thing, especially this time of year.

“(We’ve done) anywhere from 500 to 700,” Nichols said. “We do a variety of things — stocking, aprons, shirts, blankets, any kind of gift item or personal item.”

This year, Nichols said, the store has monogrammed 200 aprons.

“It’s a trend — it comes and goes,” Nichols said. “It’s normally during (the) holiday season that it does tend to pick up.”

Nichols said do-it-yourself monogramming is easy with the right equipment. Home machines, Nichols said, can cost around $500.

“Industrial (ones) is up in price range,” Nichols said. “Once you learn the program — general knowledge of sewing or computer skills, it’s very easy.”

Aprons and craft material, Nichols said, run cheap.

“Prices can range from $5 up to $10 to $15 — it depends on the style, if there’s a pattern on it or if it’s blank,” Nichols said. “There’s so many styles available.

There’s a variety of stuff — it depends on how creative you want to get,” Nichols said. “There’s beads, jewelry … so many things that are available …”

Feeder gives decorating tips on how to make your kitchen apron a fascinating sight this holiday. Christmas tree handprint apron. Painting with handprints on anything is a lot of fun for everyone involved and if done with Christmas colors it can be memorable. A Christmas tree can be made out of green handprints, starting with five in a row on the bottom, four handprints directly above the five, all angling up into one single handprint at the top, creating a triangle. Allow the paint to dry on the apron.

Stitched Christmas apron. With different fabrics that are red and green, stitch together an apron that ties in the back and will fit you for the Christmas season. Once the basic structure of the apron has been assembled, different patches or ornaments should be added to it to create a certain Christmas flare. Small bells or brass heads can also be attached to string and hung from the bottom of the apron to make it jingle.

Stenciled Christmas apron. Stencils which have the word Merry Christmas or the outlines of trees or reindeer can be purchased from a crafts store as the holiday season approaches and used on that blank red, green or white apron. Screen printing kits are easy to use.

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