Your old college roommate’s bridal shower is less than a week away and you haven’t even looked at her registry yet, much less considered the bachelorette party or the wedding. Not only that, but she’s one of four friends getting married among your circle this year.
If the thought of buying bundles and bundles of bamboo towels makes you feel less than warm and fuzzy, it’s time to think outside the box store.
The most memorable gifts aren’t necessarily the ones held together with organic cotton, but the ones woven with your imagination.
Here are some clever DIY gifts your friends will treasure long after the linens have frayed.
Couples’ Coasters. All you need are some ceramic tiles, ribbon, Mod Podge adhesive or glossy finishing spray and your best snapshots of the happy couple to create something that’s practical and a great conversation starter. These coasters look professionally made and cost less than $20. Find instructions and more examples on Pinterest.
Shadow Boxes. Nothing turns an ordinary beige living room wall into a personal museum exhibit like a shadow box. This works well for a spouse, relative or close friend with whom you’ve shared many memories already. Include several high-quality snapshots, as well as tokens such as seashells from a vacation you took together, ticket stubs or pieces of fabric. A shadow box can also help you celebrate significant accomplishments, such as a graduation or military service. Once you’ve collected everything you want to include (or narrowed down a huge pile) you’ve done the hardest part. If you need help with the rest, check out this tutorial in Real Simple magazine.
Wine Racks. Scour your local thrift shops for old wooden wine racks in good condition. You may have to use paint or wood stain for a more polished look. Then let the creativity (and the wine) flow. For an original wedding gift, paint the couple’s last name on the top of the rack. You might include the wedding date and linked bands to symbolise eternity. A few well-placed photos will go a long way to accent your work. Browse craft sites, such as etsy.com, for inspiration.
Customised Frames. You can make an eye-catching frame out of almost anything. Try using textured objects, such as flowers pressed beneath a transparent covering, wood chips or broken bits of sea glass, to create a striking border. Experiment with a variety of surfaces, such as glass bottles, ceramic pots, wax candles or even pie tins— all make great backdrops for your snapshots. Read DIY blogs, such as It’sAlwaysAutumn.com, for spectacular frame ideas.
Keepsake Pillows and Quilts. Use iron-on transfers or inkjet fabrics to create something your friends and family will always hold close to their hearts. Use photos of similar sizes for a more uniform look, or mix your snapshots in with larger printed photos. Blend them with fabric from your team’s jerseys or your sister’s favorite pair of jeans (as long as you’re sure she’s tossed them for good). If you’re feeling more ambitious, create a baby quilt for the newest addition to the family.
A high-quality instant camera is the gift that lets you keep on giving. Instax mini cameras from Fujifilm are as portable and simple to use as point-and-shoots, but their enhanced features — such as a high-performance flash and macro mode— allow you to transform a standard snapshot into a work of art.
Find the one that suits your style at Fujifilm Australia!photo credit: Stacie Stacie Stacie