Now I know what you’re thinking: When we hear the phrase “homemade gift,” oftentimes we think of a misshapen scarf our great aunt knitted for us, or some randomly scented bars of homemade soap. But, what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that way? That you could give from the heart — on a budget?
With some time, thought, and a little fashionable inspiration, you could make the DIY gifts you create ones that are both fashion-forward and memorable. Want to know how? Check out the six ways below.
1. Take your time
Now I have my own blog called Frugal-nomics, which focuses on taking fashionable things and doing-it-yourself, and I’ve found that the key to a great DIY gift is that the recipient shouldn’t initially be able to tell that your gift is home made. I mean sure, while she is pouring on the praise about how great the gift is, you can buff your fingernails on your shirt and divulge this tidbit of information.
But by no means should your gift look “arts and craftsy.” So I can’t stress enough the importance in taking your time while making it. Yes, the holidays are drawing here and the shopping countdown has already begun, but you’ll still want to make sure your gift looks polished. That means no dribbling glue or rough edges — you don’t want your hard work to go unnoticed just because you rushed through your gift’s completion, so take your time.
2. Make a demo
Unless you are a DIY expert — and even then I wouldn’t recommend it — always make your prospective gift at least once before the big day. That way, you know what supplies you’ll need and that will work best, how long it will take, and how durable it is.
3. Subject it to rigorous testing
Once you make a demo for yourself, put it through a little testing –- think of it like the crash tests they perform on cars with the dummies. I recommend doing this because you’ll want to make sure your gift can withstand a little wear and tear. So pull on it…and be a little rough…I can’t tell you how much embarrassment this will save when your family isn’t bringing it back to you for minor repairs in the new year.
4. Go the extra mile and make the packaging look professional
After you’ve put all your hard work into a gift, you don’t want to wrap it in some newspaper and slap a bow on it — NO WAY! Go the extra mile and buy the little cardboard jewelry box with the cotton filling (or appropriate-sized box for whatever the gift may be), and wrap it like you would any other store bought gift.
5. Ask yourself, “Would I wear it?”
It’s a simple question. If it’s not something you’d love ripping open the wrapping paper and receiving yourself on Christmas morning, don’t gift it. To me, this is a no-brainer, but sometimes we get so excited about creating something with our own two hands or even the idea of saving money that we forget that we have to consider someone else’s likes, taste and feelings during the holiday season.
6. Troll your favorite DIY sites for inspiration
Not sure what to make for your loved one? If you haven’t already been inspired by something they’ve mentioned they like, I suggest taking a gander at some of your favorite do-it-yourself sites for inspiration. In addition to my own, I recommend checking out A Pair and a Spare, ISPYDIY, and P.S. I Made it Myself.
Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of Frugal-nomics.com, a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime — created after a massive unexpected layoff forced her to hone in on her true passion.
More from Manilla.com:
- Why Parents Should Butt Out When It Comes to Gift Cards
- ‘Tis the Season… 3-Step Survival Guide for Dealing with Teenagers
- Street Sense: Holiday Trivia