DIY Gifts

So, the rush is on for the holiday shopping season. Black Friday kicked it off, Small Business Saturday followed up and Cyber Monday is in full swing.

I’m one of those people who would gladly spend all my money on local small businesses, but I’m also one of those people who needs to spend most of my money on monthly bills and put a bit aside as often as possible for savings just in case of emergency.
The problem ends up being, “How in the world do I get things for people I love without breaking the bank?” Thankfully, I’m a little on the crafty side, so I end up knitting holes in my fingers, or at the very least, gluing or wiring myself to goodies on Christmas Eve.
As a result, I’ve come up with some relatively simple gifts which have personal meaning and look pretty decent.
Handmade, beaded earrings
Create Jewelry
It’s a lot easier than you might think to make jewelry for people. Beads are sold everywhere, and there are many great how-to books on how to make the pieces with high quality.
Since I learn from doing, those books gave me a foundation to jump off of, but I had to learn by doing. I usually end up comparing different types of beads, ornaments and twining material/chains and figure out a simple pattern from there.
It’s pretty easy once you already have a picture of what you want in mind already. Just lay the beads out and go. Lengths can be a little difficult to figure out at first, but if you use yourself as a model, especially if the person you’re giving it to is about your size, you’ll get the hang of it.
One of the best things about jewelry is that you can make it for both men and women. Generally, men’s jewelry is a little bigger and much more simple than women’s, but remember to take into account your loved one’s tastes, too.
Simple Bead Patterns
Tiny little dragon I made as a gift
for someone.
The internet has a lot of free, very doable beading patterns out there. One of my favorites is this tutorial on Deviant Art. It works much better with bigger beads, though. It looks pretty complicated at first, but with some patience, it’s really pretty easy to figure out.
I’ve also seen many beading patterns for necklaces, bracelets, earrings and even rings. If you have a gift with needle and thread, it’s very easy to add beaded patterns to your creations as well.
Easy Art Projects
Much as I wish otherwise, I’m not much of an artist when it comes to painting and drawing. I mean, stick figures flee in horror when they see me coming with a pencil.
These were made as my part of an art swap.
There’s no law saying that if you want to make something meaningful for someone that it needs to have figures on the finished product, though. I’ve found that quotes I either find somewhere or that I make up myself work wonderfully. Although my calligraphy skills aren’t all that spectacular, they’re still decent enough to look rather pretty when I practice them.
A good friend of mine gave me a water color set a while ago, and I’ve found that medium is great for those of us who are better with general shapes and colors rather than realistic artwork. After playing around with them a bit, I’ve discovered that I can create some simple, but rather pretty pieces in a relatively short period of time.
So, this holiday season, take part in the shopping frenzy, by all means, but don’t sell yourself short in the creativity department. Sometimes, a handmade gift is the best gift of all.

Leave a Reply