Do's and Don't's

During the banquet at our annual convention, the Sleuths participate in a gift exchange.  You may bring a "store bought" item or you can bring a "crafted" item.  If you bring a store bought item you will enter that exchange and receive back another store bought item; the same for the crafted items.  Crafted items must be hand crafted or hand embellished.  You do not have to do the crafting yourself - you may purchase an item that has been crafted by someone else.

Follow this link to see a gallery of some gifts which have been received in previous years' exchanges.   I hope these will help inspire you to dream up some cool creations of your own!

To guide you in an understanding of the "do"s and "don't"s under what is considered a crafted item, please review the following sequence of exhibits pointing out potential pitfalls.


This is a plain plushy dog; an accompanying notecard explaining "It's Togo!" might have been included to explain the connection to Nancy Drew.

This would be unacceptable under the definition of a crafted item - there is no hand crafting or personalization present in this gift.  Furthermore, this is just any old dog and does not have  any similarity to the Togo of the books.

Another plushy dog, but this time at least it is a bull terrier, as Togo is sometimes (but not always!) described.  However, clearly this is Spuds McKenzie, not Togo - he needs a little more molding before he can represent Nancy's faithful companion.

Same dog, but now he has a collar and tag which reads

 "Togo, if lost please call Nancy Drew"

This is pretty good - the collar is a cute touch and required some effort, and it is personalized to Nancy/Togo.  This would be acceptable under the "embellished" guidelines, but all tolled it took me about 3 minutes to put this together.  It lacks zing and could be taken to another level with a bit more effort.


Same as above, but now included are photos from an album entitled "The Tales of Togo," showcasing the adventures of Nancy's canine sleuthing companion.  The research involved in gathering the information for Togo's booklet reflects that the giver is a true Nancy Drew fan, who has culled info from his or her beloved stories.  It is also evident that some time and effort was involved in putting together the pages of the album.

This package could be further improved by the addition of a purse hanging out of plush Togo's mouth!


For those of you who do not consider themselves to be "crafty," please do not feel that you cannot participate in the gift exchange.  There are several projects you can do which are not complicated and simply require a little imagination.  Here are some suggestions featuring easy techniques.  Any Sleuth would be delighted to receive these heartfelt gifts.

Mod Podge

Cut out various images of Nancy Drew and use this glue/lacquer substance to overlap them on any surface imaginable.

Tip:  If you use pictures made on an inkjet printer you will need to spray on some fixative before using the mod podge to avoid smearing of the colors.  If you use a color xerox, you should not have any smearing problems.


Stationery made from xeroxed internal illustrations
textured scissors give the edge of the image some flair

Cut out spooky or mysterious silhouettes and attach them
to almost anything

If you are looking for ideas, the DYI Network web site has a crafts section with step by step instructions.  Just about any project could be adapted and "Nancy-fied."

If you really don't feel like you can create something on your own but still would like to participate in the gift exchange, it is acceptable to purchase a crafted item with a Nancy Drew theme from another party.  One marketplace for such items is Etsy - just enter "Nancy Drew" in the search area to bring up a variety of bags, jewelry, notebooks, etc. crafted by folks around the world.