When we were little and in elementary school, giving homemade gifts wasn't only practical, it was adorable. Than we got a bit older and it wasn't seen as so adorable anymore.
Well, in these struggling economic times, and at this certain age, making gifts has just come back into the picture. At least for me. I'm at the age where my friends and I are struggling to find careers and not just jobs, save money for a future while paying off student loans from your past and doing anything and everything in our power to get out of our parents house, and not just into an apartment with a futon and a milk crate end table.
Now is the time and the perfect season to put together cute little gifts from the heart and not only have them be sentimental, but cute and chic as well.
1. Photo Collage-
A couple years ago one of my best friends made me the nicest photo collage. It was straight from the heart and s0o simple and chic. She used a regular black and white copier to copy pics of us through the years. She resized on the copier as necessary. She then arranged the photos on a piece of paper and copied that and voila-instant photo collage. She added a couple of subdued stickers and put in a frameless frame and I loved it. (I'll be adding a pic tomorrow night!)
Along the lines of the photo collage is the shadow box. You can pick up a super cheap shadow box at your local craft store or at Ikea. These hold not only pics, but memontos as well. Pick a favorite concert you went to and include a copy of the ticket, the cd book and your favorite pic from that night. Or what about your beach trip? Throw some sand and shells in there and your fave pic. The possibilities are endless.
2. Bag or box o’ samples-
I don’t know about you ladies, but I looove samples! I love choosing my free samples at Sephora and always ask for samples at a cosmetics counter. It’s a great way to try a new product and a great way to collect a lot of junk. Over the past year I’ve collected tons of samples and haven’t used most of them. My best friend’s younger sister is just getting into make up and it’s hard to try out new products as she has a one year old little girl. I put together all the samples I’ve collected into a cosmetics case (a free gift with purchase!) and gave them to her. She was so thrilled.
3. Look kit-
I got this idea from ELF. They put together little kits to use for different looks-bronze goddess, smokey eye, etc. Why not do something similar for your bff? If she ever commented on a look on you she loved, or really liked a youtube tut, try to gather the stuff needed for the look and create a look kit. I was at CVS the other day and a lot of the makeup that is going to be discontinued was 50-75% off! This is a great alternative if you can’t afford all of the products to recreate a particular look.
4. A day of-
My best girlfriend and I have recently become obsessed with Twilight. If you guys share a common passion (which if you’re bff I’m sure you do) why not treat her to a “day of it”. If it’s a movie, take her to the movie to see it and discuss it after lunch. If it’s a book, grab two copies to read and discuss. If it’s a band and you can’t afford the concert, buy her the cd and blast it all day. At this age it’s hard to see my BFF has often as I want to, and if there’s any excuse for us to get together and act like little girls again, it’ll be a great gift.
5. A blast from the past
There has to be some embarrassing crush or hobby or something from your BFF’s past. If enough time has passed for them to get over it get something to remind them of it as a joke. I would get my bff Ally anything Nick Carter or New Kids on the Block related (come on that’s embarrassing!). Or I’d get my other BFF Anthony something Charmed or cartoon related (even though he still watches cartoons). I know you and your gals (and guys) have tons of inside jokes. This is the time to laugh and bring them up again.
6. A magazine subscription
I read so many magazines it’s not healthy. Magazines though are a great escape from the boring stuff we read at work or in class. Get your BFF a subscription to Cosmo or Glamour. Anything beauty related with the chance of seeing some half naked hotties is a good gift!
7. On the same theme as a magazine subscription how about a look book? For the past few years whenever I see an article, outfit, recipe, whatever from a magazine I rip it out and keep it. When it got to be a mess about a year ago, I bought a huge binder and put everything in there by section. I now have tons of hair ideas and tips, make up tricks and tutes, outfit ideas, home decorating ideas, recipes, etc. I looked through that new cosmo book with all the beauty tips and I have pretty much everyone of them just from ripping out the ideas from the mags and filing it away. Copy a few of your faves and put together a look/tute book for your BFF.
8. Any kind of “kit”
If your BFF is in some serious need for R&R put together a mini spa kit with a relaxing bubble bath, sleep mask and a candle. If she’s starting a new job how about a new planner and a desk frame for a “new job” kit. There are tons of kits out there and there are just way too many to list here, so be creative.
9. Anything homemade that doesn’t look like it came from a first grader.
Home made is chic again. My favorite resource for arts and craft tutes is Craftbits. This site gives step by step tutorials on any kind of craft imaginable. I made soaps last year for a swap partner and I can't even tell you how easy it was thanks to this site!
So time is limited, get on that Christmas shopping/creating for your BFF!