Are you looking for a sincere gift that won’t empty your bank account? Let’s make them ourselves. There are literally thousands of cheap DIY projects that make excellent gifts. These sorts of gifts can make a major impression; taking the time to make them by hand is often more exciting than spending lots of cash.
Try making a scrapbook.
A scrapbook isn’t just a great gift — it’s a way to remind your friend of all the great memories you have together. If you need a quick gift or you don’t have enough photos for an entire scrapbook, try making a collage on a single piece of paper or posterboard. You can decorate the photos and the border around them with cut-out quotes, stencils, drawings, and more in either case.
Write a heartfelt card.
When all else fails, this simple gesture makes a great choice for almost any occasion. While cards can be purchased at nearly any supermarket or department store, piecing together your own from craft materials can make a statement about the time and effort you’re willing to spend on the recipient. The most important part of the card, though, is the words you write on it. Try to be sincere and honest while writing something that your friend is going to find sweet or entertaining.
Make friendship coupons.
These are fantastic gifts for family members, boyfriends, and girlfriends. The basic idea here is to make a small book of cards or “coupons” from scratch. On each coupon, write a favor or an activity that you know the gift recipient likes. For example, if you’re giving the coupons to your boyfriend, you might write “I will give you one free back rub” on one of the coupons. When you’re finished, tie the coupons together with a ribbon and decorate them as you wish.
Make a flower arrangement.
This makes a great gift for Mother’s day. Pick a collection of flowers that you think look good together, then put them together in a vase or decorative arrangement. Try using objects from around the house for this. For example, an old rinsed-out wine bottle makes a great vase. Don’t cut flowers from your garden (or a neighbor’s) without the permission of whoever is responsible for taking care of it.
Make a deck of complimentary cards.
This is sometimes also called “52 things I Love About You.” You take an ordinary pack of cards for this gift and turn it into something special by writing compliments for the gift recipient on each one. You may want to brainstorm first, so you don’t run out of ideas halfway through. Then, when you give the gift, offer to use the cards to play your favorite card game together.
Make a gift basket.
This is an excellent way to give the impression of a homemade gift even when some of the things you’re offering are bought in the store. A gift basket is exactly what it sounds like — a decorative basket filled with small gifts the recipient will enjoy. For example, if your friend loves movies, you might fill the basket with a selection of classic DVDs. Try combining a mix of store-bought and homemade gifts in the basket for a personal touch.