Gifts from malls and big-box stores can be great, but not if you want to give a gift that is original or has a personal touch; consider one of these five totally original Christmas gifts to help you give a gift that no one else has or to provide that unique gift for someone who already has everything.
Use photos to create original Christmas gifts. Purchase an ornament with a place to hold a photo and fill it with a picture of yourself or one of the recipient’s favorite photographs. Organize photos from a recent trip or past holidays into a scrapbook or small photo album. Many online photo websites provide you with the opportunity to create even more unique gifts using photos. Choose a series of photos and have them made into a calendar or have a favorite photo printed onto a puzzle or a mug. Websites such as Shutterfly and Picaboo allow you to upload photos and organize them into hardcover photo books or turn them into unique items such as canvas prints, playing cards, magnets and blankets.
A piece of engraved jewelry makes an original gift. Give the recipient a bracelet with an ID tag or other bangle that is engraved with initials or a personal message. Fill a gold or silver locket with a special photograph or other memento. Build a charm bracelet for the recipient by choosing charms to represent important moments in the recipient’s life. Many craft stores sell beads, necklace cords and other supplies that you may use to create your own jewelry. Create a special beaded necklace using the supplies you find at your local craft store. For younger gift recipients, make a friendship bracelet from yard or embroidery thread or make your own paper beads and thread them onto a nylon cord.
Homemade clothing makes another original gift you can give for Christmas. Most craft stores sell plain t-shirts and hats, along with fabric paints to use for decorating. Make a special t-shirt displaying the names and handprints from all of the recipient’s children or grandchildren. Write a special message or draw a silly picture on a shirt using fabric paints. Purchase iron-on transfers and use them to add your favorite photograph or another computer-designed image to the t-shirt.
Create homemade decorations for the recipient’s home. Purchase a plain wreath from a craft store, wrap it in yarn and hot glue flowers or other small decorations on to it. Decoupage a set of plain cardboard boxes with lids to give as a unique storage option. Many craft stores sell Christmas ornaments that may be painted or personalized. They also have a wide selection of unfinished wood items, such as shelves, plaques, stools and jewelry boxes, that you may choose to paint and decorate to make an original decoration.
Make your own gift basket. Fill a basket or box with a selection of fruits to create your own fruit basket. Make up a gift bag featuring all of the recipient’s favorite snack foods. Put together a selection of body wash, lotions and bath salts to make a relaxing spa basket. Pair a bottle of wine with a box of chocolates and some crackers with cheese spread for a gourmet wine and cheese basket. Wrap the baskets with a cellophane basket bag and tie it closed with a ribbon.