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Last-Minute Birthday Gift Ideas for Teens

by Rosenya Faith, studioD

Finding the perfect gift for a teen when you have plenty of time to shop can be a trying task, so finding the most awesome offering at the last minute might seem like an insurmountable challenge. Fortunately, you don't have to give up hope just yet. Take a deep breath, think about your teen's personality and his interests, and call on your imagination; now you have everything you need to find a gift fast.

Sweet Treats

With one quick trip to the corner variety store, you'll have everything you need for the ultimate chocolate-fest gift. Pick up as many chocolate bars as your budget allows and arrange them all in a gift basket. If you have a few extra minutes, you can arrange the chocolate bars to look like a tiered cake. Just stand the chocolate bars and arrange them into a circular shape on a plate. Wrap a ribbon around the tier to hold it in place, stack a smaller paper plate on top and make a second tier of chocolate bars. Wrap the tier with ribbon and top the cake with a gift bow. You can whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies instead, or make a quick trip to the local bakery to fill a box with eclairs, chocolate croissants, bear claws, cheesecake squares and other decadent desserts.

Beauty

Help your teen keep all of her beauty essentials neatly organized in a brand new makeup box, or craft a makeup roll from a fabric place mat and fill it with a brand new set of high quality makeup brushes. To make the roll, just fold up one long edge of the place mat and sew dividers along the entire length, making each divider wide enough to hold one brush or makeup item. Roll up the place mat when you're done and tie it closed with a ribbon. Alternatively, you can pick up all of the manicure and pedicure items your teen will need to keep her hands and feet gorgeous and wrap them up in a new, plush bath towel. If your teen has just begun to venture into the world of beauty and makeup, surprise her with a gift experience that will help her get every makeup application just right; a one-on-one consultation and makeover with a professional makeup artist.

No Shopping Required

If there is no time to make it to the store and you don't have enough time to make something crafty either, you can still surprise your teen with a gift she'll love; a homemade basket or jar full of favors. Choose your favors, such as one free chore pass, 30-minute extended curfew, one mom-and-me movie night, and a manicure or pedicure at home. Write each one on a piece of colorful paper, fold it in half and put it in the basket or jar. If you have chenille sticks and floral foam, fill the basket or jar with the foam, wrap one end of a chenille stick around each favor coupon and plant the favors like flowers instead. If your teen's favorite gift is cash, give the gift in a creative way. Roll up each bill and wrap decorative paper around each one. Stick a tiny piece of floral wire down the center and voila -- cash candles. Wrap a little cellophane around the bottom of each candle and stick them on a cupcake.

Jewelry

Surprise your teen with a little glam for her birthday. You can pick her up a piece of birthstone jewelry or a pendant with mom-and-me birthstones instead. You can add a little craftiness to an ordinary silver or gold necklace chain and make it unique by adding a pendant made from ordinary washers. Use a steel letter stamping set to hammer your teen's name or a simple quote into the washers and then thread them onto the necklace. Make a heart-shaped cuff ring in less than five minutes from a piece of medium-gauge jewelry wire. Just use a pair of needle-nose pliers to shape one end of the wire into a heart, wrap the wire to fit your teen's finger and make a coil at the other end to cover the rough edge. If your teen is ready for a key to the house, make a colorful, crystal bead necklace to hold the key and paint the key head with nail polish to make it a bright fashion accessory.

References

  • Stamped Metal Jewelry: Creative Techniques and Designs for Making Custom Jewelry; Lisa Niven Kelly
  • Wire Art Jewelry Workshop: Step-by-Step Techniques and Projects; Sharilyn Miller

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images