Inspiring Gift Ideas

There are lots of ways to surprise someone with a homemade gift. If you check out the projects in this book, you'll find the perfect gift for any situation. Once you start making homemade gifts, you'll find that ideas for projects are everywhere. Try checking out the Internet, local craft stores, craft shows, and craft books. The following are a few gift suggestions from this book to whet your appetite:

  • Gifts for nature lovers: Herb gardens, mosaic stepping stones, painted pots, birdhouses, bulb gardens, painted slate welcome signs, bird feeders, perennial gardens
  • Gifts for animal lovers: Catnip toys, a pet bed, a pet gift basket, pet calendars, animal T-shirts
  • Gifts for a new baby: Baby headbands, a Noah's ark hanging, unique picture frames, keepsake boxes
  • Gifts for a newlywed couple: A heart-shaped wreath, etched champagne glasses, homemade candles, decoupaged wedding invitation, kitchen caddy
  • Gifts for the aunt or uncle who has everything: Dried soup mixes with a special mug and crackers, chocolate-dipped spoons with gourmet coffee/cocoa, basket of books and bookmarks, refrigerator magnets, photo albums
  • Gifts for the teachers, bosses, or hired help in your life: A spa in a basket, gourmet wines/foods, tickets to a show, video store gift certificates presented with popcorn and hot chocolate
  • Gifts for the kids in your life: A homemade puppet show, sponge painting, the art of origami, a hand-stamped carryall, beadwork, stenciled aprons, coloring book covers, terrariums
Gifting Glitches

Try to stay away from perishable goods when making up a gift basket, particularly if you are sending it in the mail. If your basket contains gourmet foods that are perishable, be sure to hand deliver it and give instructions for cooking/storing the food.

Present Pointers

If you know someone who could use a monetary gift, you might want to consider putting some money on the bow of a gift box of homemade cookies, candies, or breads. You could fan-fold the money and attach it to the bow as a unique decoration. Just be sure your recipient sees the money in the bow and doesn't toss it out with the wrappings!

If you don't want to make all your gifts from scratch, you could always assemble a gift basket that compliments the person's tastes. The following are some examples of kinds of baskets that are guaranteed to knock the socks off of the recipient:

  • Baby basket: Rattles, teethers, toys, bottles, cups, spoons, onesies, diapers, and so on
  • Wedding basket: Champagne glasses, champagne, candles, gourmet spreads with crackers, and so on
  • Sports-enthusiast basket: Balls, gloves, sports books, sports videos, training equipment, sports drinks, and so on
  • Bird-lover's basket: Binoculars, birdseed, a feeder, bird books, a hummingbird feeder, a bird house, and so on
  • Breakfast-in-bed basket: A bed tray, pancake mix, exotic fruits, a vase and flowers, a waffle maker, an omelet pan, recipes, and so on
  • College basket: A shower caddy, shower supplies, a laundry bag, a first-aid kit, a tool kit, junk food, and so on
  • Picnic-in-the-park basket: A picnic basket, fruit salad, seafood salad, gourmet cheeses and breads, and so on
  • Budding-artist basket: Craft paint, construction paper, stamps, paintbrushes, stencils, wooden cutouts, how-to books, and so on

The list of possibilities is endless. You only have to think of the person's hobbies and interests and decide on a theme. Gather the ingredients in a basket, add some shrink-wrap and a bow, and voilà —a customized homemade gift!

More on: Crafts for Kids


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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