It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”
Gifting is an age-old tradition. The system of gifting has its roots in human’s intrinsic need to express love, affection and respect for another individual.
During ancient ages, tribes used to gift each other with skins, bones and horns of animals, and sometimes weapons as a gesture of friendship and truce. In the medieval period, there were customs of exchanging large amounts of ornaments, precious items and even cash crops between monarchs to show mutual respect.
Gifting is nothing but a token of one’s feelings towards the other. If we share a fond relationship with someone, we like them to have something which would remind them of us. But the culture of gifting has changed tremendously ever since franchisees like Archie’s took over. We convinced ourselves that expensive décor items, greetings cards and exotic chocolates are a must to express our love.
But that is not always necessary. You can gift simple, home-made items created from leftover pieces, scrap materials or any other homely stuff that you can put your hand on. All you need is a little bit of creativity and willingness to make a beautiful gift; you will be amazed at the different options that can open up for you.
Here are 10 DIY gifts that you can make at home and gift your loved ones on occasions, or even without any.
PHOTO COLLAGE BOOK ALBUM
Gather copies of the pictures of the best moments you have shared with the person over the years – it can be selfies, dualies, groupies or candid photographs; they can be in either one of your houses or in a place you two visited together or of a special day spent. Buy a scrapbook and paste the whole of the picture or cut them into shapes of your choice. Fill the rest of the space with captions, memorable dates, a conversation shared or simple quotes. You can use bright sparkling pens or even crayons to give it a touch of nostalgia. Leave a heartfelt note at the end. Wrapping the book with colourful handmade paper will also be a lovely addition.
Your own photos, words and handwriting will make this gift way more special than a greetings card with a generic passage purchased from a shop.
This is even simpler than the previous one. All you need is a string of rice-lights that can be bought in any electrical shop, especially during the festival of Diwali; another item is a medium-sized glass fishbowl or jar. Cover the glass fishbowl or jar with fluorescent coloured neon paper, leaving the mouth open. Coil up the lights string and keeping the plug outside put the whole of it inside the glass item. When plugged in and switched on, the light emanating from behind the fluorescent papers will make the glass fishbowl or jar glow in darkness. It is a brilliant substitute for neon lamps and yet so simple and cost-effective to make.
Gather any trinket or scrap piece of cloth you can find in your home. Stuff like any old pair of danglers, pendants, embellishments from your dress that came off etc. will do perfectly for the item. You can take help of a flexible copper wire to hold the things together. Twist, paste or sew the colourful cloth pieces and the trinkets with the wire to make your customised wall hanging to gift. Following the recent trend, a dream-catcher wall hanging will be a very good improvisation.
This gift is easy to make but requires extra consciousness and safety, and lots of patience. Buy paraffin wax of different colours from the market and melt it safely in a double boiler. Get small and medium-sized jars and containers of thick glass and pour the molten wax into the jars. Wait for the scalding heat to pass before inserting the cotton wick into the liquid. Let the wax go back to its solid form and you can have colourful jar candles of different sizes as a simple yet lovely gift.
This one is pretty easy to make. You will need a colourful ceramic, plastic or melamine plate from your collection or you can buy a new one. There are many with several abstract patterns and designs found in the market. Attach a battery operated clock machine behind and the three hands in the front. This part might be a bit tricky, so you can take help of a technical person or YouTube videos. You can decorate the plate further or add the number figures with paper scraps or acrylic paints. Attach a hook or a stand, depending on whether you want it to be a table clock or a wall clock.
Convert a tissue paper box into a piggy bank for children. Wrap up the cardboard box with colourful chart papers or marble papers and also use some stickers and sparklers to make it more attractive. Keep the slit on top open. This is not only a handmade, lovely gift for a child but it will also teach him or her the importance of savings.
Bring out the knitting needles and weave some square, circle or rectangular pieces from leftover wool from last winter to make coasters. Use different colours and give them double or triple layers to make the coasters thicker. Gift them in a set of 10-12 together. It is simple, yet very unique and useful a gift.
Homemade pieces of jewellery are in vogue right now, but most of them are highly stylised. Make a quirky one for your friend or sister by bringing together spare buttons, beads, a broken seashell you might have kept, a piece of tinsel and any other funky material you can find. Braid up some threads - either in monotone or in various rainbow shades to make the necklace thicker. String up the materials into it and add a hook in the end or leave it in a knot. Your DIY funky necklace will be ready for gifting.
Another easy deal – cut a rectangular piece of cardboard, cover one side of it with colourful marble paper, neon paper, chart paper or handmade paper and fold it into a whole circle, thus giving it a cylindrical shape. Glue the edges together to maintain the shape. Cut out a circular piece in the measurement of the cylinder’s mouth, cover it in the paper also and paste it on one end of the rolled cardboard sheet. Stick any small trinkets you want to on the body. Your new gift of a stand-out pen stand is ready!
If your friend is a bibliophile, cut out several pieces of cardboard in various shapes and sizes, cover them, paint them and decorate them as you want to, paste small funny figures or emoticons that are easily available in stationery shops. You can improvise as much as you can in this case. If the person loves superheroes, the page mark can be in the shape of a flash or Batman’s Batarang. If the person is a foodie, it can be a sandwich, pizza slice or burger shaped, and so on.
These gifts are not only simple, cost-effective and easy to make, but they have a touch of your own hand. It shows how much effort and thought you have put into making the gifts and that reflects in the gifts themselves. Even though homespun, they have ten times more appeal to your loved ones than the expensive and clichéd ones available for everyone in the market.