Posted by: shelleyjo's life beat | July 23, 2009

Pay-It-Forward Creatively

A while back a fun little ditty went around my friend group on Facebook. If you participated in it, you were to do it, too. Sometimes I enjoy these things, but usually I participate because I love the people sending them on.

This one was something I actually wanted to respond to. It was an idea that I thought was unique for this sort of thing, and wonderful! It wasn’t as self-focused as so many of these forwards are, you know…the questions about me, everything about me kind of thing.

Truthfully, the name was something different when I got it, but I changed it to the above because it reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Pay It Forward.

You copy the post and paste it into your own note, then the first 5 people who read it, want to participate and respond to it get something that you make just for them. You have 9 months to get it made and to them, and there are no promises of what it might be, just that it was made by you and just for them.

The catch is that they must also post the same note and instructions and make something for the first 5 who respond to theirs. In this way, we each are making some things for others, and making sure they get them, but we are not the ones who get something back from them. It is “paid forward” from them to others.

 Not only this, but the gift multiplies! For each one you give to, there are an additional 5 recipients of gifts, so 30 to start with, plus their 30 each, and on it goes.

I had great response in just a few hours, and had to cut it off within 24 hours! A couple from out of town even made sure I had their addresses within one day! (smile!)

I am sitting here thinking of the people I am committed to, and realizing that time is ticking by.

I am thinking of what to make for each one of them. I truly want to make something different for each one. I can’t get bogged down with big, extravagant gifts, or gifts that take a large chunk of time. And yet, I want to make something that will either mean something to the recipient, or something that will be useable to them. I don’t want to add to their clutter of things they never really wanted or needed.

The wonderful thing for me is that I have a lot of craft supplies available in my own home, and I have a few artistic and creative talents, enough to accomplish this project anyway.

So, do I sketch for one? Write a poem, song or short story for someone? I haven’t done that in years!  

Do I bead for another? Do I crochet for another, and knit for another? For the ones who live in my town, should I bake or cook for them, or give them something lasting? Perhaps a personal recipe book, or…oh! I could make the food and then give the recipe with it! Should I show up and clean? Or even cook their meal, serve it AND clean up afterward? Perhaps a framed photo they may not have yet? Hmmm…

What do you think?

Hmmm… Fun just thinking about it, but I need to make some choices.

I was honestly excited to do this when it came around, and had some great ideas for each person. I am still excited about this, but wish I had written those ideas down!

Ideas, anyone?

Does this sound like fun to you, too? It sure makes me smile!


Here is a copy of the note I received so you can see how it was worded, in case you want to do this yourself!  ;O)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009    5:55  in the evenin’
The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me.

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:
– I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.
– What I create will be just for you.
– It’ll be done this year (2009).
– You have no clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something over the Internet. It may be a mixed CD. It may be a collage or fur sculpture. I may draw or paint something.

– Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure! [not me either, yet]
– I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
– Obviously, you have to be willing to provide me an address, unless we live really close to each other.

Here’s the fine print:

In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note of your own and make 5 things, one each for 5 others.

Ready… GO!


  1. I LOVE your ideas. The poem, the short story, doing something for them…cleaning, cooking…those are all great ideas.

    I love you…and I LOVE your blogs…no matter how long or short!

    Love you,

    • Hi, honey!
      So glad you stopped by. You know you are one of my people on this.

      Don’t be forgettin’ your 5! You know, with your recent love for sewing, you could make people happy with small sewn projects, like ornaments or something.

      And, with your recent bout of cooking for your family, that is a thought, too!

      Oh, and those poems of yours…;O)
      I am just full of ideas for you, aren’t I? ;O)

      I love you most!!!

      • Good ideas. I need to go back and look at who I owe stuff too! I need to get working on that. I had just thought of this last week, so it is funny you posted on this topic this week.

        Love you MORE!!!!!!!!!! (to the moon and back)


  2. I need to jump on this too! Katelyn already gave me homemade jelly, so i gotta get cracking!

  3. Too bad Sarah Patino wasn’t on my list…cause I made banana bread last night and brought it down to share with every one. We’ve already devoured half the load. Oh my goodness…it is SO good!

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