Are you drawing a blank on how not to break the bank this holiday season? Well never fear, the socially acceptable time to make people gifts from scratch is here! While this may not mean that those of us over twenty can get away with gifting macaroni necklaces (even if made with extra love), in this current day and age and with the emergence of the Maker movement there never been a better time to get away with the homemade approach.
Homemade gifts have in the past been known to have a bad rep for being a sort of monetary cop out. However when done well, they are often the most valuable and treasured items that one can give. What they may lack in financial value can be made up with thoughtfulness and time, but it can be daunting where to begin in your endeavor.
A good first step is to decide how much time and resources you can put into the gift. This part of homemade gift giving can actually be quite deceptive, and in the end between materials cost and time it is likely that it will end up more expensive than something store bought. But creating something yourself also allows you more freedom and ability to customize what you are making to the person you are making it for. This is a good second step, thinking about your intended recipient and their hobbies. Are they a Star Wars geek? Perhaps consider printing and framing them a map of Alderaan or blueprints for the Millennium Falcon. Do they love action figures? Consider using this Instructable to 3D print them an action figure of themselves. Or of you. Whoever is more photogenic. Speaking of photos, another idea would be to find a good picture that represents your friendship and using a image editor trace it down to just the lines. Then use a laser cutter to etch it onto a piece of wood or plexiglass!
Places to go for more inspiration:
Instructables: Always a solid place to find great D.I.Y. ideas, especially this time of the year! Check out entries in the seasonal contests as well for holiday specific tutorials!
Pinterest: The craftier of the three options, it is a awesome place to find a wide variety of projects and ideas, from gardening to cooking and beyond!
Hackster.io: For the more technologically inclined!
Places to go if you give up and decide to buy them an adorable homemade gift instead:
Etsy: The go to site for unique and crafty presents.
Instragram: The popular photo sharing website also doubles as an online marketplace for many small retailers!