If you have the time to make gifts, there’s a number of simple things you can make that are wonderful gifts and show the receiving party that you’ve thought of them. Some examples of gifts you can make quickly are: A photograph/scrapbook that you’ve put together filled with pictures of moments of that person’s life and things that they love.
Make your own line of beauty products, and put them in a glass jar with a cool label or image glued on. You can look online for all sorts of all-natural, simple recipes for numerous beauty products. A really simple body scrub you can make that leaves your skin feeling wonderful is to combine sugar and olive oil and a few drops of a essential oil (peppermint is great for invigorating showers or baths, and lavender is a nice choice for relaxing). You can also combine 1-part honey, 1/2-part olive oil, and 1/2-part of cornmeal with a pinch of sugar and 20 drops or so of an essential oil. Along this same idea, find a place that sells essential oils and will custom-blend shower gels, lotions, soaps and scrubs with your choice of scented oils.
Another inexpensive, craft that anyone can do is candle-making, or candle-decorating. There’s many ways to decorate candles, a couple of simple ways is to trace a simple design onto a votive candle, and then use a thick pin to scratch the design into the wax. This will show beautifully while the candle is lit! You can also take other colors of candles and drip the wax onto the new candle- use as many or as few colors as you like. Also you can take pretty decorative paper like scrapbook paper or tissue paper, cut a square out or enough to wrap around the middle of a candle. Take a drip of wax or glue to hold it in place, and then hold wax-paper over it, and use a hairdryer to seal it on. You can also use drips of wax to hold down the image if you don’t have any wax-paper. This same process can be done with dried flowers sandwiched between wax-paper.
Paper-mache is super-inexpensive and the various recipes can be found online, but it’s also very easy to do, and gives you lots of surfaces to paint or collage over. You can use a cooking bowl as a mold for the paper mache, and then when its dry you can decorate with paint or magazine cut-outs, or glue in little glass “stones” to make a mosaic. Make sure you spray a protective spray on the outside to keep it from being ruined.
If you can knit, sew, or crochet then make a scarf, hat, mini-blanket or purse. These all can really be made for anyone pretty much because they are one-size fits-all gifts!
Magazine subscriptions are VERY easy to give as a gift, and there’s so many magazines out there all you have to do is check online and you’ll find an enormous selection- usually you can get them for $12-$35 for a year. Each month, the recipient of your gift will think of you!
Now if you don’t have time for all that stuff or you simply don’t feel like you’re creatively inclined why not support a small-business person who has done the work for you? Buying a hand-crafted gift from someone else insures that it will be unique and you will be supporting small business! Some wonderful places to get unique hand-made gifts: Etsy.com, Artfire.com, BuyOlympia.com, or Artsefest.com