I don’t know about you, but I prefer both giving and receiving thoughtful, handmade gifts. The presents might not always be the easiest or the cheapest gifts compared to buying something from the store, but they are very meaningful. The receiver treasures them as keepsakes. So the next time you need a gift for a special occasion, try one of the following.
- Frame a photo with a special mat. Use any picture you want of the recipient of the gift or your children. On the mat, write down the name of the person and their relationship to you. Then write descriptions or phrases about the recipient. I usually use a different color marker per child so one can track who said what. It is a sweet way to give a picture in a frame.
- Paint/decorate a glass pitcher or glassware. Purchase your chosen glassware from a store. Using acrylic paint for glass, paint your design on the outside of the glass. Dry it in the oven according to the paint’s directions. This makes a unique gift for wedding showers, Mother’s Day, etc.
- Make photo coasters for grandparents. Buy four tiles from a hardware store that will coordinate with the recipient’s home decor. Select four pictures that he/she would treasure. Using double-sided tape, adhere the picture to the tile. You can use special scissors to make interesting ends of the photograph. Place the tiles on newspaper. Then mix and pour a plastic resin to protect your photograph. It makes a nice thick clearcoat on the top of your coaster. Last, attach small floor protector dots made for furniture in the four corners of your tile.
- Fill a basket of homemade gifts. I did this last Christmas with items for my farm. I put fresh eggs, homemade bread, jalapeno jelly, fudge, homemade goat yogurt, and fresh vegetables. You can fill yours with anything you make at home from monogrammed towels to baked goods. The beauty of this gift is that everyone will use different items.
- Create a concrete bench for the yard or porch. Make forms out of 2 x 4s and plywood. Use a piece of cattle panel as rebar. Mix the concrete and pour into the forms. When it is the right consistency, place your handprints in the bench. You can use stamps and letter stamps to further decorate the bench. When it dries, paint the decorations. Slip the concrete out of the forms and assemble. The benches we made cost us about $40.00. This gift is the most expensive, time-consuming, and hardest of any gift on this list, but it is truly a keepsake that will last a very long time.
The magic of giving these presents is that you put your heart and soul into each one. You focus on the person you are going to give this to and really trying to make specifically for them. It is truly unique and creative.