There are plenty of gifts that require the currency of the heart, and not that of the wallet. This holiday season, we recommend you dodge the crowds at the mall by creating one of these four memorable gifts!
Have a (soap) ball!
Our sense of smell is the most powerful sense we have. Smells can trigger memories and create positive emotions, energy or relaxation.
- 2 bars mild, unscented castile or vegetable-based soap
- 1/2 cup dried lavender blossoms
- 5 drops essential oil of lavender
- 1/4 cup warm water
- Scrape soap into a large bowl with a cheese grater. (Hint: Freeze the soap for 20 minutes first.)
- Add the lavender blossoms to the soap.
- Mix the essential oil into the soap thoroughly.
- Add the warm water and stir.
- Roll heaping tablespoons of the mix into balls, preferably about golf-ball size.
- Place on a cookie sheet to air-dry completely, which will take 2 days.
- Carve your friend’s initial in homemade soap to help her fight stress and combat the blues.
Wrap your soap in a clear cellophane bag and tie with a ribbon closure.
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
If your girlfriends are nostalgic, they’ll fall in love with a book picture frame.
The best part of the creation process is locating the perfect hardcover book to use as the backdrop to frame one of your favorite pictures. Look for relevant titles or vibrant colored covers and for the price ($1-$2 at your local thrift store or used book store), you can’t help but stock up!
- A hardcover book
- Straight pins (preferably with metallic-colored tips)
- Decorations – beads, fabric, magazine cut-outs
- Box cutter
- One of your favorite Kodak moments
- Take the paper cover off of the hardcover book and put aside.
- Using a box cutter, slit either side of the binding and the pages will fall out, leaving you with just the cover.
- The cover can be broken down into three sections: the front cover, back cover and side binding. Decide which part(s) of the 3-panel cover you’d like to use as your picture backdrop. Using scissors, remove the panel(s) that you decided not to use.
- Place your photo on the cover and secure with a straight pin in each corner.
- Glue ribbon to the back of the book – you’ll hang the frame from this material.
- Once dry, tie the ribbon together at the top to make a bow. Cut the ribbon depending on how you’d like your frame to hang.
- Decorate the cover as you wish! We recommend using beads, magazine clippings, lace or even a sentence or two from the book to make the design unique!
To personalize the gift more, write a note and attach it to the backside of the cover. You’ve created a masterpiece, so don’t forget to sign your initials and date the frame!
A Gift that’s Green
Who doesn’t love to receive stationery around the holidays? Instead of finding the new design at Target, make stationery for your friends using recycled materials from around your house!
- Recycling materials – newspapers, magazines, phone books or even an old boyfriend’s letters!
- Extra materials to add interest to your paper – dried flowers, herbs, confetti, construction paper or yarn.
- A blender
- A tub or container for mixing all the materials up
- A recycled paper making kit ($20 at a craft store)
- Take several pieces of your recyclable content and place them in the blender with water. Add colored construction paper to the blender if you’d like a hint of color in your final product.
- Once blended together, pour blended material into the tub. Repeat until tub has plenty of material to draw from.
- Add decorations that you want included in your paper. Try dried flowers or leaves and confetti – be creative!
- Place the paper screen from the recycled paper making kit in the tub and lift it out of the water. The recycled paper particles with remain on the screen while the water drains through.
- Sponge the extra water out of the paper.
- Remove paper from screen and set aside to dry.
Group six or eight sheets of the recycled paper together and tie them with twine and attach an enclosure card. Your friends will be excited to have special paper made from recycled materials for their thank you notes.
Mix-it Up with Music
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut playing the same old Taylor Swift or One Direction song over and over with your friends. This Christmas introduce yourself and your loved ones to new music and make them a personalized tape of songs that remind you of your friendship. Check out our entertainment section for some of the latest Christian CD releases to expand your musical palette.
- Access to a computer with a CD burner
- A blank CD and jewel case
- CD label making program
- Create your playlist on the computer and burn to a blank CD
- Using a label making program, design the cover for the jewel case and the label for the actual CD. Be innovative and discover fun ways to make it personal! Giving a personalized CD gives your friend something more personal than just a series of downloadable songs. If you don’t want to use a standard plastic jewel case, create crafty new ways to present your present.
To take this idea one step further, create a scrapbook that corresponds with your play list. On each page include a picture with a verse from a significant song. This way as your friends flip through the scrapbook they can follow along with the music.