Handmade Gifts: Picking the Right Project
Handmade gifts have always been dear to everyone because it has been made specially for the receiver. It is considered as one of a kind because it's been made with love and is unique as no one else will have the exact same thing, something that cannot be said of gifts bought from a store. The designs are always unique and it contains emotions of both sides.
Keep In Mind These Things While Deciding On The Gift:
- Not More Than You Can Handle:
This isn't a competition. gifts are purely based on the amount of love and effort put in it, not the size or the cost. Handmade gifts are not meant for any kind of comparison because they are unique. Keep that in mind and pick a project that matches your skills; don’t take on anything you cannot execute well.There are no prizes to be won for the most difficult project undertaken or for complicated gifts with excruciating details. The point is to please the girl you are making it for, not undertake a huge challenge that will become more of a sore point than an enjoyable experience.
- Availability of Material:
It’s easy to get carried away when going through craft books and DIY websites. The sheer number of beautiful things that can be made at home is mind numbing. Before getting really excited about a gift, scan the list of ingredients and material needed to make it. Can you easily buy all the material you will require? The thing is most of the popular DIY blogs you see are foreign sites and often list ingredients that are either not available in India, and even if they are, are very expensive because they have to be imported. So while the original blog may have ideas for cheap handmade gifts, often it will turn out far from cheap. Look for gifts that you can make with fairly good and cheap alternatives that are easily available.
- Keep Her in Mind
The most important thing to keep in mind is will she like the gift? Don’t make something just it will be fun making it. Keep those projects aside and make them for yourself, or someone who will truly enjoy them. You are making a gift for your sister, best friend, roommate or girlfriend and her tastes are paramount here. Keep in mind her favourite colours, hobbies, and style when making it and personalise it.
10 Cute and Creative Handmade Gifts for Her
Mason Jar Fairy Lights
It is a pretty gift for your friend and it can be a romantic gift for your girlfriend. These lights look so charming that any girls would love to receive them. If you want to spend your time with someone special, use these jars to create the right mood. They are also very easy to make.
What you need:
- Mason jars or any clear glass jar
- Glow in the dark paint in different colours
- Pebbles and glitter (optional)
- Wash the pebbles and jars, allow them to dry.
- Using a different brush for each colour glow paint, make dots and spots inside the jar. If using pebbles, paint them too. If using glitter, sprinkle lightly over the painted surface of jar and the pebbles.
- Allow both to dry then place the pebbles at the bottom of the jar.
- Your fairy light jars are ready.
- Use a mix of different colours or use use one colour for each jar.
Photo pendants are very popular gifts as the receiver can wear her fondest memories or a picture of a loved one around her neck. These will take her down memory lane. Use her favourite pictures to make them.
What you need:
- Glass tiles
- Super glue
- Pick up pre-cut glass tiles or have them made from your local glass dealer.
- Take black and prints of the pictures you are using to match the size of the glass.
- Apply a coat of glue to the front side of the pictures and stick them to the glass surface.
- Allow it to dry before using the glue to attach the bails which will serve as a loop for the chain.
- When it is dry and firmly sitting in place, apply a coat of glaze to the back of the photographs to act as a sealant.
- Finally string the chain in place.
Lucky Star Soap
Handmade soaps are such a treat as they are gentler on the skin and can be made in a wide array of fragrances according to the scents she likes most.
What you need:
- Clear soap base
- Heart shaped cookie cutter
- Liquid colour
- Fragrance oil
- Star shaped plastic mold
- Plastic storage container
- Melt the soap and add a red colourant to it, then pour it into plastic container making a thin layer.
- When it hardens and dries, use the heart cookie cutter to cut out the inserts for the soap.
- Melt the remaining soap base and add the desired colour and fragrance to it.
- Pour into the star shaped molds, filling them halfway and allow them to harden.
- When dry, pour a little more of the soap before dropping a heart insert into each.
- Top up with the remaining soap base to fill the molds and let them dry overnight.
- Pop out the soaps carefully next day.
Fabric Coil Bowl
Craft lovers absolutely adore this gift. Being made out of fabric, it is aesthetic and is a good way to organise things around the home. It can even be crafted out of waste fabric and will a colourful addition to her home.
What you need:
- Long strips of fabric
- Coloured yarn
- Large needle with big eye
- You can use cotton or acrylic strips of fabric or even cut up old clothes to make them. Match it with a brightly coloured yarn that will be offset against the fabric.
- Next thread the needle with a long stretch of yarn, as long as you can manage, and tie it around one end of a strip of fabric.
- Then fold over the fabric end to make a loop and stitch it in place using a blanket stitch. Keep coiling the fabric around the loop forming a round base and stitch it using the blanket stitch.
- When you have the desired size base in place start coiling the fabric over the edge, overlapping it all around to create the wall of the basket, stitching it the same way.
- Make as many layers as you need to make it the desired size; finish with tucking the chord on the inside. You can find step by step pictures and instruction on we-are-scout.com.
Scented Body Scrub
Everyone wants to smell good throughout the day. Scented body scrubs make you feel fresh and smell good. They are a great way to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Scrubs made at home can be customised for the person you are giving it to. For example if she has sensitive or dry skin you can use ingredients she will benefit from. We suggest this delectable coffee scrub for someone who likes coffee.
What you need:
- ¼ cup grape seed oil
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons coffee grounds
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Use another oil if you want, ensure the smell compliments the smell of coffee.
- Similarly, the sugar can be swapped for sea salt or white sugar, we suggest the brown as it produces a lovely rich brown scrub and has excellent exfoliating properties.
- As for the coffee grounds, used grounds will do, however if you are looking for a more intense fragrance, swap some or all of it with fresh.
- Simply mix all the ingredients till evenly combined.
The girl who loves to read simply cannot have enough bookmarks. They are also handy to mark pages for reference later, such as in recipe books or magazines. And with bookmarks that are literally as cute as a button, she will will want to use them all the time. You can use up that box of buttons you have, and buy a few more cute ones.
What you need:
- Colourful paper clips
- Decorative buttons
- Hot glue & gun
- This is by far the simplest DIY gift you will ever make. Simply glue the button on one end of the paper clip.
- Cut out a small piece of felt and stick to the back of the button to cover the button hole and provide a clean finish.
- Make some with buttons and some with the ribbons.
- Simply make a pretty knot and glue it to the pin, or loop it into the clip. That’s all there is to it really!
Cake in a Jar
Homemade cakes are the best; using a few ingredients and with minimal effort you can make a cake at home and frost it with flavours she likes. The great thing about making cake in a jar is you can use a cake premix, or even a store bought plain sponge cake. When using a premix, you can bake the cakes directly in the jars. If using a store bought cake you can cut layers for the jar cake and focus on mixing and matching interesting flavours. We show you how.
What you need:
- Pack of chocolate sponge cake
- Whipped cream
- Glass jars with lids
- Spoon or piping bag
- If using a pack of sliced cake simply place a slice in the jar. If it is square you can tear off pieces from another slice and fill out the gaps. If using a whole cake, slice into layers and cut using a large round cookie cutter.
- Fill a piping bag with the whipped cream and add a layer of cream over the cake, if using a spoon, add a generous dollop and smoothen with the back of the spoon.
- Thickly slice the strawberries and arrange a layer on top. Repeat till you have enough layers to fill the jar.
- Finish with a layer of cream and halved strawberries and a few sprinkles as a finishing touch.
- Place the lid on top and tie ribbon around the neck.
- You can use any number of combinations and flavours. Use or bake a different type of cake, use buttercream in assorted flavours, pour in a little salted caramel, toasted nuts, chocolate chips, mousse, even bits of candy to make delectable jar cakes
Homemade Home Fragrance
Girls love to be surrounded with lovely fragrances. Gift her the goodness of natural aromas. The finest of perfumes are sourced from nature so why not use fresh ingredients to make her a batch of home fragrances that she will not stop raving about. Fresh fragrances are great mood lifters. These can be bottled in jars and given to her to use as and when she needs uplifting.
What you need
- 1 orange
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon cloves, whole
- ½ tablespoon allspice, whole
- 1 star anise
- 2 cups of water
- Glass jar with lid
- Combine all the ingredients in a pot and simmer on a low flame for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the flame and allow the mix to cool completely. Pour into a jar along with all the ingredients.
- She can keep the jar refrigerated till she wants to use it.
- All she has to do is tip the contents in a pot and allow it to simmer, it will give off a lovely aroma as long as the heat is on, and top it off with more hot water as it starts drying out.
- It is good for 2-3 uses depending on how long she uses it. For more fragrance combinations refer to the blog The Yummy Life.
Fabric Covered Books
Plain notebooks and journals can be transformed into lovely diaries with the help of fabric. Even other books can be given a facelift by simply covering it with a beautiful piece of cloth. They add a wonderful charm to an ordinary book. Use different styles of fabric to make book look colourful, pretty, elegant and chic. If you don’t have a large budget you can buy plain books and turn them into a beautiful gift for he
What you need
- Books or journals
- Hot glue gun
- Spray glue
- Covering a book with fabric is much like covering it with paper. Begin with removing the cover from the book.
- Cut your fabric according to the size of the book, leaving an extra inch overhanging from all sides.
- Spray the outside of the cover evenly with the spray glue and lay it flat on the fabric.
- Smoothen it out so the fabric is evenly covering it.
- Next, cut and fold in the extra fabric and glue it in place, much like how you would if covering with paper.
- Place the inside of the book back within the cover and glue it in place with the hot glue.
Scrabble Tile Coasters
This is a great gift for a person who loves to play with words. It is fairly simple to make and can be put together in a jiffy, and the results are rather quaint. You can get creative and arrange the scrabble pieces to spell or different words that will make her laugh, or based on themes such as tea, coffee and wine.
What you need:
- A large pack of scrabble tiles
- Hot glue
- Clear Polyurethane spray or varnish
- Thin cork board
- Pick out tiles to make the different coasters, spell them out and arrange them so they are ready to be glued together and you aren’t scrambling for a tile at the last moment.
- Arrange the tiles for all the coasters you plan to make so you don’t run short of tiles or have scope to improvise if you do. If using the Polyurethane spray, test it out on the leftover tiles to see the results. If you don’t like the look of it use varnish or another sealant.
- Cut the cork board into coasters, make sure the size of your arranged tiles match the board.
- Glue the pieces to the board and leave it to dry. Spray over to evenly coat the tiles and seal them.
- Apply another coat if needed to ensure they will be resistant to moisture
You Can Also Buy!
Handmade doesn’t always have to mean handmade by you. If you really want to give her a unique handmade gift but don’t have the means or the skills to make it yourself, consider buying a handmade product. Just because it is made by a craftsperson it doesn’t take away from the charm of being made by hand.
Even the most skilled craftsmen cannot make two identical products, making each piece unique. There are also platforms such as Etsy that offer to make customised and personalised handmade products, so have something made specially for her. It can be a blanket in her favourite colour with a personal message, jewellery, books, clothes, bath products. She will enjoy it just the same.
Word of Advice: Do Not Cut Corners
A handmade gift doesn’t translate into a cheap gift. You may be making it because you are low on funds or cannot spend much on a gift but whatever you make should be of good quality and made well. If you are low on funds, pick a smaller item to make where you can use good material that is available at a low cost. If you are short on time, make something that can be implemented well with minimal effort.
Do not make excuses saying you didn’t have enough money or time or lacked the time or skill. You chose to make a handmade gift so instead of using cheap material, using shortcuts or just making it badly, just pick something you can make truly well. At the end of the day it should be a nice gift she will enjoy and it won’t matter if it took you 10 minutes to make.
Why Handmade Gifts are Special
If you are wondering if it is worth it to take so much of effort to actually make a gift, then read on. The benefits are many indeed!
Thoughtful and Caring
To make it appealing the person making it has to put a lot of effort in thinking about its uniqueness and how to make it enjoyable for the receiver. It has to be made whole-heartedly and with tenderness. The thought, love, care and effort put into a handmade gift makes it special for the person you are giving it to. Even the simplest of handmade presents require effort and you would only put in so much work for a person you truly care for.
You are crafting something with your hands and thinking of your best friend the entire time you are working on her gift, making it a very personal experience. When you give it to her, she knows this too and it reminds her of all the things that make you such a dear friend. The more intricate the design, the more work that has gone into it; no other gesture speaks such volumes of the affection you share and no gift can close to replicating that.
Fun to Make!
Crafting things have always been fun! There is nothing so satisfying as making something pretty, useful and functional with your hands, more so when it’s meant for a person you care about. We learn how to make things as kids and though other commitments in the grown up world do not leave much time for craft projects, given the chance, it is an extremely fun activity! It allows you to unleash your creative juices and make a lovely gift in the process.
Cost and Quality Control
Handmade gifts are always economical as you only have to spend on the ingredients and material required to make it. If you are creative and don't have a large budget for buying a gift you can always shift to handmade gifts. The same product may cost a lot more were you to go and buy it. Not only can you control the amount of money you spend on the gift, often you can make a far superior product than one you would buy for the same price as you would only select good quality ingredients.
Make it With Love
A handmade gift is a labour of love and so undertake such a gift only if you truly care for her and are willing to put in the required effort to make something she will like. A simple project too will take your time and effort so you must be prepared to give it the time it needs. Handmade gifts are a great way to show someone how much you care and that you are willing to put in work to make them happy. Done right, it is the most memorable kind of gift.