Introduction

A DIY Gift Guide for the Poor and Weird

A DIY Gift Guide for the Poor and Weird

A random assortment of gift ideas, for you. I broke my body, brain, and so-called ‘spirit’ this week, so, it’s a bit disjointed. I’m going to go cry now.

Box of Hugs/Kisses/Positive Mantras
Get an empty box… and fill it. Good for kids to give. Bad for kids to get.*
I recommend adding this gift along with another gift… You don’t want your figurative love to be plain laziness. The box can double as a storage box if you compress your love enough.

Make Your Cards so Gorgeous and Heartfelt That They Are the Gift
A 5 x 7” masterpiece. Yeah. But, seriously, if you personalize/artsy-it-up it enough, your loved one will appreciate your, cough, “unique” style and the time you put in making them a lovely card.
COUGH. They better.

Non-Sequitur Trinkets
If you’re doing the tiny gift bag thing for many of your friends, add… strange things. Strangely strange or strangely useful. Depends on who it’s for. Chop sticks (if you can’t eat with them, they’re hair pins), marbles, chap stick (which I lose often), tiny note pads, pens, paintbrushes, LED lights, I dunno, whatever. Extra, presentable trinkets from home are good. Think useful, or at least philosophical. Reuse. Dollar stores are a blessing, but… are also full of junk.
Also, bauble things.  These can also make great jewellery, i.e., if you were to glue them to ring-things, bracelet things… push pins…
And candy. Always, always… give candy.

Mixtapes/Things Like Them
Once upon a time, there were things called ‘mixtapes’. Through analog magic, one recorded a series of songs, or one’s own voice, onto a cassette tape and could present it as a gift to a friend or record label fiend or something to that effect.
Make a mixtape, or burn a cd of songs for your someone special, labels and all. If you can sing, why not add your own voice? If you can TALK, why not add unnecessary commentary after every track?! Do a MIX-PODCAST.
If you’re really crazy, try a mix-Data-CD/DVD storage thing. Instead of just music, you can load it with pictures, random word documents, poems, website links, downloaded games, pixel art, msn conversations, anything you like that is special to the both of you. Awwww.

Lessons
Can you play the guitar? I can’t. Give someone free lessons in some brilliant ninja skill you have, whether it be singing, drawing, doing backflips… If materialism feels necessary, make little coupon thingies and stick them in a card.

Compiling(s) of Why-I-Love-Yous
Fariya suggested a Powerpoint presentation of a 100 reasons why you love someone. Well, if that ain’t th’ sweetest thang I eva heard I must be listenin’ t’ honey now mustn’t I? 100 reasons why you love them, 100 reasons why they’re great, etc…
Or, make a small book of their best qualities. “NEVER LEAVE THE TOILET SEAT UP”
^_^

Favours
I stole this from a friend’s brain. Give ‘guaranteed’ favours; save for assassinations and other deplorable actions, offer to unconditionally help a friend out with… I dunno, the dishes, an assignment, moving… once again, the adorable paper coupons in a card are applicable.

A Personal Event
Insult someone all day long. I’m just kidding. Throw someone a ‘just for you’ party; cook lunch/dinner for them, pamper them for a day, just spend time with them… These are the kinds of things I hear people only do for their boyfriends and garbage on Valentine’s Day. Yeah, there are other people in your life, I’m sure, and days other than Valentine’s Day. [/scorn for youth]

Wearable Doodles
Decorate. Clothes.
White shirts are a good place to start. Use sharpies or fabric markers. I suggest Crayola, as others fabric markers can be expensive… as can fabric paint. Buy a white/light shirt in your loved one’s size (if you are certain of that size), steal a pair of your friend’s pants that they do not want, get blank canvas shoes from the craft store…
I want to say you can use plain acrylic paint for fabric as well, but I have yet to try it myself. It would also be 107% permanent, a frightening prospect for non-Monets.

Personalized/Theme Gift Baskets
For example, movie-themed, with popcorn, a DVD, a blanket, like this cute one here**. One can also try travel-themed, if your loved one has a country they’d love to/will visit, or if you’ve got a little person on your list who has yet to travel… Cat-themed, Star Wars-themed, Uncensored Bugs-Bunny themed, etc. Fill it with anything and everything pertaining to said theme. Darth Vader Pez Dispensers?
(**Yes, I frequent that site.)
Here are examples of more personalized gift baskets. Kind of like theme-y one, but… person-themed.
Such as a ‘pamper kit’ of bath stuff for Mom, ‘beer kit’ for Dad, a ‘memories’ kit for your best friend… For your sister… a Star Wars kit…
(Ha ha)

Collage covered/customized Blank Journals
You could even add secret messages every few pages. If you have time, can you make the journal yourself from scratch? Can you make the PAPER?  Can you handle the TRUTH?

The Deft of Needle
Haveth you the basics of sewing? Tote bags, and those little ipod/mp3/cell phone cases are easy and quick to make.
Sewing ninjas can advance to scarves and hats for winter! Sewing many ad nauseum can cover quite a few people on your list. Or I imagine it would. We’ll find out after exams, now won’t we.
And you know those expensive heating pads? Yeah. Dried corn in a sewn up bag. Right here.
(NB: I think rice works too.)

EATS
I can’t cook, I can’t bake, maybe you can. Everyone eats, thus everyone can appreciate food as a gift. Provided it’s fresh and all. A candy example; Peppermint bark, chocolate melted with broken candy canes, is super simple and super tasty.
Make, and present beautifully any food you are good at making. Those possible to save or refrigerate are always good. My mom makes meatpies for our family friends and presents them on lovely plates wrapped in cellophane with ribbon and whatnot, but people usually care about the meatpies.
Compile a book of quick recipes for your fellow, starving college student friends. Example here. Don’t be intimidated by the immaculate Martha Stewart presentation; it’s just a pretty binder with pretty paper.
Ironically, Stewart herself (or her site) provides what looks like a simpler version. No, I do not frequent this site. I don’t even know how I got there.
Or try a ‘recipe in a jar/box’, in which the ingredients are already packed in nicely and ready to use.
Lastly, minimize the waste you produce. Use the comics section of a newspaper as gift wrap, save the wrapping you get, use and old (WASHED) shirt, do whatever, use your brain. Get creative. I’m tired, go away.

LINKS

Message board thread of random ideas from random individuals.

DIY Gifts for Geeks. Contains a ‘winter emergency car kit’ you can put together for cheap.

Inexpensive DIY Gift Roundup #4: Gifts for Teens & Twenty-somethings Or so they say. I kid.

DIY Network: Christmas Gifts . Plentiful, but some possibly time-consuming.

A Do-It-Yourself Christmas: 34 Great Gifts You Can Make Yourself. You will spot for yourself which ideas I ‘borrowed’.

-Liesl

* (blank stare) “But I wanted an Xbox…”