gift guide

5 Easy DIY Gift Ideas

Okay, so now that I’ve tackled gifts for the men and for the women in your life that you can purchase, how about a few ideas of what you could potentially make them yourself?

Creating a gift yourself is a totally a win-win situation. You will feel very accomplished and fulfilled, and they will LOVE it because you put in the three key ingredients: time, effort and love. That is the recipe for successful gift-giving.

I know what you’re thinking though: “I suck at DIY. I am the least crafty person in the whole world. It’s too much work. I don’t wanna!”

Hush, child. It will be fine, alright? I’ll take you through this, step by step!


1. Framed Photos

Photo thanks to room2593

While not exactly DIY, giving a gift of a photo in a beautiful frame definitely reflects thought and effort. People are always looking for unique, pretty things to put around their homes as reminders of people who love them! So here’s your chance to contribute, I promise your present won’t be in vain.

Here’s what you do:

+ Find a beautiful photo, either online (try here, here and here) or of your own creation

+ Look for one that would be special to the person: either a photo of them, their family, or just a beautiful landscape or image of something they really love.

+ Get your hands on a frame! Idea: see if you can find one at Goodwill or a thrift store and spray paint it a pretty colour. Fun fun fun.

And there you have it. A lovely reminder of you and your love!


2. Baked Goods

Photo thanks to booleansplit

One of my favourite gift options for the holidays is baked goodies. Cheap, easy, adorable, thoughtful, it’s the perfect gift! Plus, there are so many fun and creative ways to package your treats.

+ My top picks? Cookies of any variety, cupcakes, squares, holiday-themed bark (try candy cane, maple, white chocolate & cranberries..the list goes on!), if you’re ambitious – or you only have a few gifts to give – pie, cakes, pumpkin breads, biscotti, chocolates (truffles, brownies, mmm)! Am I making you hungry yet? Good, that means your giftee will be just as amazed and delighted by your present.

+ Wrap them up in cute ways! Find an old tin with a cute pattern on it, line it with wax paper and fill with goodies. Or get a pretty plate and stack it high, then wrap the whole thing with cellophane and a pretty bow. Or how about buying a pretty purse or bag or cute little Christmas stocking and stuffing it full of treats?

You do that, and visions of sugar plums will be dancing in their heads.


3. Do-it-Themselves Baked Goods!

Photo thanks to photoann

Another fun and easy idea is to create a cute little package for someone to make themselves their own treats on a cold winter’s night. Even if they are self-professed non-bakers, they will definitely be grateful if you package up all the ingredients for them and include a short recipe. :) Here are some ideas:

+ Get a cute mug, and fill it with the ingredients for Microwave Chocolate Cake. Attach a little hand-written card listing the steps in how to make it!

+ Package together a gourmet hot chocolate mix, complete with an adorable cup and plenty of mini marshmellows

+ Fill a mason jar in layers with the ingredients for a yummy cookie (sugars, flours, chocolate chips, extras) and affix the recipe to the side. Try this adorable recipe from Bakerella!


4. A Token of Your Talents

Photo thanks to ummella

What’s something you’re really good at? Don’t say you’re not good at anything. I know you are. Why not use that special talent to create something special for everyone on your list?

If you’re an artist (even an amateur!), draw/paint/sketch/pastel/sculpt.

If you enjoy taking pictures, see #1.

If you’re a writer, dream up a short story (or a long one), get it printed (try here) and gift it.

If you like to knit, create some fluffy mittens or a scarf.

If you’re a musician, record some holiday music on your computer or online!

..You get the point, right? The point is: no matter what you’re good at, and no matter what you think of the finished product or its caliber, the receiver of these gifts will be astonished. They will cherish them forever, because they came straight from the heart, wrapped up in love. :)


5. Bath Products

Photo thanks to cyron

Again, don’t freak out about how DIY this sounds. It doesn’t have to be super complicated or stressful! Here are a few recipes to make some delectable lotions and potions for everyone on your list:

Bath bombs (so expensive at Lush, so cheap DIY – I read that citric acid = lemon juice for our purposes)

Bath salts (mmm, I want to add peppermint oil to mine!)

Lemon & honey body scrub

Sugar face scrub

Check out tons more great ideas for slightly more complicated recipes here :)


And you’re done!

See! That wasn’t too scary, now was it? Just think how nice it would feel to gift something straight from your heart, made with your own two hands. I’d say that’d be living the true spirit of the holidays. :) Hope you were inspired!

Any other ideas for DIY gifts? I’d love to hear them!



Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Men in Your Life

Alright! Now that it’s officially December, I am definitely allowed to start daydreaming and brainstorming about what to buy or make for my loved ones. While I believe that the best gifts are thoughtful ones, especially if you create them yourself, I realize that making presents for everyone on your list could be a bit time consuming, especially around exam season!

..Which is why I’ve put together a little list of things you could purchase for any guy in your life: brother, father, lover. These items really spark my giving spirit: they’re all beautifully made and would (hopefully!) make the receiver’s day just a little bit brighter every time they were used. Voila:

Music by Andrew Zuckerman – $31.50

Bormioli Wine Decanter – $59

Cotton corduroy shirt from Banana Republic – $69.50

iPod Nano 6th Generation – $159

Leather bound journal – $23

Bodum Bistro juicer – $69.95

Personalized M&Ms – from $8.49

Burberry Cashmere Check scarf – $335

Ralph Lauren Big Pony Colognes – $50 each

Plus anything that pertains specifically to the man you’re buying for. For example, my Dad loves to read, so maybe I’ll get him the latest Grisham or Connelly thriller. Or an universal remote for the flatscreen he’s thinking of buying. Or a really, really nice pen. For my boyfriend? Vintage comic books or gourmet coffee or a wooden guitar pick. Choose something personal and awesome!

Okay, that’s all for my inspiration. I’d love to hear what you’re thinking of buying for the men in your lives! Let me know, if you want.

I’ll be posting a list for the women in your life soon, so stay tuned. :)


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