Let’s face it. Most DIY gift ideas are terrible. They are either too difficult, or too easy (and look like you spent about 5 minutes on it). They can be utterly useless to the person you are giving it to, or creating it can be so expensive that you should have bought a real version of it instead.
DIY Gifts Should Be:
- Useful or Desirable
- Less Expensive than Buying It in a Store
5. PERSONALIZED PHOTO LAMP
I stumbled across this project mentioned on various blogs and pointing to a site called Poopscape.com. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the domain has expired and there is nothing there except advertisement links. However, their hosting site, is still up! I did the digging and found the project for you. Now, in case this site goes down, the process is fairly simple. Buy some Mod Podge and a Grono Lamp from Ikea and use the Mod Podge to stick negatives to the lamp - boom. Ok, fine - also add an additional layer of Mod Podge over the final product.
4. HOMEMADE FOODS GIFT BASKET
3. COLORING BOOK FROM PERSONAL PHOTOS
I discovered this great Instructables article on how to create coloring book pages with Adobe Photoshop. Now, before you dismiss this one because you don’t have or know Photoshop, there is another way. Of course, to do this yourself, you will obviously have to have access to Photoshop and have some familiarity with the program, BUT if you don’t, take a look at Fiverr.com. There are MANY people out there willing to do your Photoshop work for $5. A quick search revealed, among many others, this listing that would work for you. Once you have those images, print them out and bind them together with some ribbon.
2. BOOZE INFUSIONS
I actually received this as a gift recently and loved it. There are many different types of infusions you can do and since this is a special gift, buy smaller bottles and your booze can become multiple presents for different people. Here are a few recipes:
But don’t stop there! Peanut oil, mint, hot peppers, ginger, cinnamon, bacon - there are SO many possibilities for alcohol infusions. Vodka is an easy base to stick with, but if you have a great idea, don’t be afraid to go with bourbon or tequila or something even crazier!
1. PERSONALIZED PHOTO CANVASES
I wanted to put the booze at #1, but given that the recipient has to be a drinker and airplane travel with homemade booze can be a little tricky, I decided to put this at number 1. These instructions for how to create canvas prints are great. The rubbing part takes a little time and effort, and there is the worry in the back of your mind that you will mess everything up. But the imperfections that come out are truly part of the appeal for me. Everyone will love this, especially if you choose the right photos. Your mom will love a wonderful shot of the family. Your college friend will think a classy black and white version of you two drunkenly missing a high-five is hilarious. Be creative!
BONUS: And That’s Why You Always Leave a Note
A note can REALLY help sell the personal part of the gift. It can be as simple as a sheet of paper, or even a print-out. The presentation here matters less than the content. The note should talk about the process of creation and allude to the fact that you were thinking about the person while creating it. For instance, you might give someone a photo canvas and talk about how you laughed remembering that day as you were working on the gift. You could tell someone that you know how much they like peaches and vodka, which is why you decided to combine the two. The note is what transforms your gift from “this thing I made you” to “a special, personal gift”
Knitting - This is always a good one and impressive. However it does take time both to learn and to do. There are all sorts of tutorials on youtube that you can use to teach yourself however. Tip: start with a scarf.
Balloon Luminaries - Not terribly personal, but I imagine you could decorate them to be. Kind of a cool process that doesn’t seem too difficult. Again, the note could really help you out with making this more personal.
Sports Team Blanket - My only problem with this is that it doesn’t SEEM like you put a lot of work into it, when you actually did. However, again, the note could fix that. And it is personalized to the person’s favorite sports team or college.