Creative Gifts – Part 1

Valentines Day is fast approaching and it’s often nice to give a personalised handmade present. This is part one: for those who like making things. I’ll do another post tomorrow for those who are somewhat artistically challenged.

The first thing to do is have a theme for the person in mind. This is usually quite easy – think of a type of animal they like, or a hobby, favourite place, colour, sport etc. For example for me perfect themes would be: cows, rabbits, the Alps, red, multicoloured stripes, computers and tennis. Once you’ve decided on a theme, you need to work out what to make.

Drinks coasters

You can buy plain cork square or circular packs of coasters at art stores (including Hobbycraft) which can easily be turned into something personal. With Fimo or small mosaic tiles you can decorate the coaster with grout, or you can draw/print off a design and stick it on (remember to laminate the front side so spillages don’t spoil it). You can attach some black felt on the underside to stop the coaster from slipping. Paper doesn’t stick too well to cork, I find using Uhu glue works the best though.


Maplin sell clock parts including a movement and the hands quite cheaply. That’s all you need to make a clock – you design the rest! How about using an old bit of circuit board for a computer geek, or making some 3D numbers out of paper-mache.

Piggy banks

I made this bee piggy bank called Archie for Jason‘s birthday last year out of a balloon and papier-mache. These are quite easy to make but require a lot of time and patience waiting for layers of papier-mache to dry. See my post on making highland cows if you want to make a figurine out of papier-mache.

iPod socks

I made a sock for my iPod by sewing cow print fabric together, and then adding a flap at the top which is held down by elastic. Pick the persons favourite colour or add some googly eyes to make it cute. This is very easy to make if you have a sewing machine!

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