If you’re like me, “homemade gifts” conjures up thoughts of pinecone wreaths or soup mixes in mason jars. If hot glue guns and gingham prints aren’t your style, that doesn’t mean you can’t power out some awesome homemade Christmas gifts. First let’s look at what makes a gift “homemade”. Homemade gifts are personalized to reflect the taste and personality of the receiver. They take time and thought to produce, unlike a gift card from the nearest store. Giving a cheap and easy homemade gift that was clearly made for your recipient is appreciated far more than something that took little thought to produce, no matter how much you spent. Tech savvy individuals already have the tools needed to create cheap and easy homemade gifts. The ideas below require only basic computer or video equipment, like scanners, internet access, and digital transfer abilities. If you have these items, most of these ideas can be done for under twenty bucks.
Digitize Precious Memories: My mother was excellent at keeping and updating a baby book for my sister and I. Her writings about our early childhood are our most prized possession. A fire, theft, flood or even misplaced box in a move could easily take away the stories of our childhood – until now. This year, my sister will be receiving a scanned copy of her baby book on CD. Sure, the original is still the best, but if anything were to happen to it – she wouldn’t lose the memories.
For your gift recipients, scanning precious memories is an easy and cheap way to create something they will really appreciate. Not only can they put an extra copy away for safe keeping, they can send their memories to friends and family via e-mail. Scan old family photo albums, letters, cards or other items and burn them to a CD. It’s not just an easy homemade gift; it’s a legacy for future generations. A guide is provided to the person to select the best sewing machine buffs at sewinghub.com site. The quitting will be understanding and easy for the person without any obstacles. The information available with the person will be shared with the beginners to get the effective results in stitching and purchasing.
Create a Video : There are two ways to approach giving a video as a gift: edit existing videos, or create a new one. For friends, dig up old photos and footage of previous outings and edit them into a great DVD. For family, find old VHS tapes and unedited digital footage. Most families invested a lot of time taking their videos, but not editing. By editing them properly, these memories can be enjoyed again.
Can’t get existing footage? Start an entirely new video based on a “theme”. Record friends and family telling stories or answering your questions about your loved one. If you have time, ask family and friends from out of state to send in their own videos with answers to your questions. Add in their favorite music and you’ve created a fabulous gift. Not only will they enjoy the gift for years – everyone will enjoy watching your handiwork on Christmas Day!
Personalized Calendars, Photo Albums amp; More: Don’t have time to scan an entire photo album from the 70’s? Then just find or scan a dozen of your favorites, and create a personalized calendar! Sites like Shutterfly.com, KodakGallery.com, and even Walmart.com have calendars starting at just $17. Order more than one, and the price at Shutterfly drops to less than fifteen bucks. Not only can you personalize the pictures, you can personalize the dates too – they’ll never forget your birthday again!
Another fun twist to the traditional picture calendar is to Photoshop some great pictures for a calendar, mouse pad or coffee mug. Does your best friend love the political scene? A little work on Photoshop could have him shaking hands with the President, or making a speech in front of the White House. Your niece could be singing on stage with Hannah Montana, while your nephew hangs ten on the perfect wave. Personalization is the key to “homemade” gifts.
Give them an e-mail account or download a game: Okay, so you’re definitely the tech savvy member of the family. Many older people who have computers are afraid to set up online accounts or download a program because they don’t want to harm their computer. Having a trusted family member help them will give them access to the information without the worry of “doing the wrong thing”.
If grandma has a computer, but doesn’t really use it, open up a whole new world by creating a free e-mail account at Gmail.com or Yahoo.com, and showing her how to use it. (Be sure to have friends and family send a few “welcome” e-mails and pictures, so they are waiting in her inbox before she logs in.) Even if Grandma never masters the art of sending out her own photos, she can keep in touch with family – a wonderful gift.
Maybe dad is great at e-mail, but still uses an actual board when he plays board games. If he’s an avid chess player, download a chess game that he can play anytime – even if he can’t find a partner to join him. Plus, he can take as long as he wants to decide his next move – the computer won’t mind. There are many places on the web to get free chess games, and at ChessCentral.com you can even download a 4 player variation on the classic! Again, personalize this for the recipient by finding the perfect game to gift.
Computer System Maintenance: If you’re truly a tech head, offering computer maintenance to friends and family can be a great gift. If your friends give you a blank stare when you talk about defragging and disk cleanup, they’ll think you’re a magician when you spend a little one on one time with their computer and it runs faster. Beware though – once your friends discover your talents, this may be a gift that you keep on giving!
Easy, cheap homemade Christmas gifts – they may not be crafted with hot glue, but they are gifts that take time, thought and a personal touch. Your recipients will know you spent time creating the perfect Christmas gift especially for them.