I love making gifts. I really do. I was raised to believe that anything hand-made will always have more meaning than something store-bought. While there may or may not be a capital investment for materials, the real investment is the time and thought to develop and produce the item. For me, making gifts is a fantastic opportunity to explore processes, designs and materials.
Balancing wine bottle holders are a simple gift for the wine-lover. Give one with a bottle of wine but without any documentation and see how long it takes the recipient to figure out what it’s for.
Turned items can be quick and are also often practical. Pens and pencils are always popular. For that extra-special someone, consider making a box for a pen-and-pencil set.
Paperweights are probably the most unrestrictive things you can make. Use your imagination. A small paperweight can double as a playing piece for a board game.
Cutting boards can be as simple as a single board planed smooth, or as complex as you can dream. Every household needs at least one good, wooden cutting board.
Looking for something a little more obscure but still fairly quick? Last year, I scrolled Diamond Challenge, a 65-piece puzzle. This one will keep anyone occupied for hours.
If you have a little more time, a cribbage board is a fun, practical gift. (Okay, it’s more fun to use than to make and you’ll want to have a drill press for one of these!) If you choose a simpler design, you can easily make one in a day. There isn’t much better than a gift that forces people to sit down for a while and just have some fun and enjoy each other’s company.
Regardless of what you make, take an extra few minutes and add value by embellishing the item with a little carving, paint, or pyrography. The idea is to make it unique and personalized. I like to use an engraver to dedicate the project to the recipient. And of course, I sign my name too.
In the age where so much of our surrounding environment is mass-produced, who wouldn’t like something unique, made just for them?
(Last year, I wrote a similar post HERE.)