Giving Gift - Giving the Personal Touch

When was the last time you wandered through the mall, looking in frustration for that one special gift that would jump out at you and shout, "pick me?"

It's probably been a while since you actually found that one-of-a-kind special gift that seemed custom-made for the recipient, the gift you knew you had to give them, the gift they couldn't do without, the gift that wouldn't end up getting exchanged or re-gifted.

So what's the secret to finding that ultimate gift?

Make it yourself!

Here are five quick ideas that you can make yourself that will be very much appreciated and treasured by the recipient... and as an added bonus, won't cost you very much money!

1. Personalized Photo Album

Have you shared some great times with the person you're giving the gift to? Do you have any photos that commemorate the fun you've had together?

They make an excellent personalized photo album cover, to go with a blank photo album you purchase. Take the pictures of the two of you and either cut them into interesting shapes you can use as a collage, or just put one or a few on the front cover. You can use a clear sticky covering to hold them in place, or use craft glue that doubles as a glaze to protect the photos.

You can even stick a few extra photos inside the actual photo pages to get them started.

2. Dream Journal

Does your gift recipient have a big dream they've told you about? Make them a personalized dream journal to keep track of their progress and remind them of their goals.

Start with a picture that represents the dream and paste it on the front of a blank journal. Do they want to be a musician? Choose a picture of the instrument they want to play. Do they want to be a dancer? Put a picture of a ballerina or salsa dancer on the front.

Inside they can write down their goals, dreams and accomplishments, and be reminded of both their vision and you every time they see the cover.

3. Decorative Vase or Keepsake Box

If your gift recipient likes to keep flowers or knick-knacks around, make them a special vase or keepsake box.

Start with something plain that you purchase, and use craft glue to personalize it with dried flowers, pressed leaves, seashells, or something else inspiring that they might like. If you choose to give them a box, you could put another gift inside it too.

4. Window Decor

Does the gift recipient have a nice big window that they enjoy looking out -- that might be made even more enjoyable with a beautiful window decoration that catches the light and creates rainbows?

You can buy one or a few small crystal prisms at the craft store that have holes in them for hanging. Use fishing line or invisible craft line to tie them, along with a few glass beads, jewels or charms, onto a suction cup so they dangle down. When they hang the window decor from the window with the suction cup, the crystal will catch the light and make rainbow patterns.

5. Paperweight

If your gift recipient has a desk where they like to work or to write, you can make them a personalized paperweight to remind them of you.

You can pick up a nice stone, or buy a decorative polished stone, and paint designs or words on it with model paint. Or you can glue shells or dried flowers onto it for the nature feel. You could even paste jewels or sequins on it if it fits the person's personality.

Whatever type of gift you choose to create, having fun is the main key, and keeping the personality and preferences of the person in mind as you unleash your creativity, so you know you're making something they'll treasure as much as you treasure them.

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