Whether your best friend is an artist, a sports fan or a culinary connoisseur, you don’t have to break the bank or brave the store lineups to present her with a special birthday gift. Invest a little creativity into the project as you use her interests as a guide and your gift might just be her favorite one yet.
Spend an afternoon in the kitchen to make your best friend something special. If your best friend enjoys movie nights in, ensure he's ready for his next Friday night flick with a tin full of homemade, gourmet popcorn in his favorite flavors, such as cool ranch, buffalo or maple pumpkin spice. If sweets are more his thing, whip up a batch of his favorite cookies or cupcakes or use edible icing images to personalize cupcakes or cookies with pictures of all of his favorite things, such as tools, sports and friends. Alternatively, think back to when you first met and make him a batch of his favorite treats from his younger years.
Help your best friend relax and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday stresses with some homemade pampering goodies. You can make her a container of invigorating body scrub from sugar, olive oil and lemon juice, or make a foot soak from lime, peppermint, Epsom salts and baking soda to pamper her tired, work-weary feet. You can also make a soothing facial mask from oatmeal, yogurt and honey or make aromatherapy bath salts from Epsom salt, table salt, baking soda and lavender or ylang ylang essential oil. Pour each of the pampering treatments into a transparent glass or plastic jar, add a sticky label and tie a ribbon around each container to enhance the look of the gift.
If you’re artistic, make your best buddy a new piece of artwork for his wall, or use your woodworking skills to make a custom wine or beer tote, utensil holder or dresser tray. You can make and paint ceramic planters or vases if your best friend enjoys indoor or outdoor gardening, or sew him a memorabilia quilt from the souvenir shirts, bags and pennants you’ve collected together over the years. You can create a set of photo coasters from small ceramic tiles and some of his favorite pictures, too. Just make copies of the photos and cut them to fit the tiles. Secure each one with polyvinyl acetate, let them dry and paint a layer of polyvinyl acetate on top. Add a few layers of polyurethane to seal the coasters and wrap them up in a gift box.
At Your Service
If you’re having a difficult time coming up with the perfect handcrafted gift, create a bouquet of favors for your friend instead. You can cut out flower or petal shapes from poster board and write a different favor on each one, such as a movie night in with homemade treats, an afternoon of window shopping together, a weekend road trip or a drive through the countryside and a makeover if you’re handy with a curling iron and mascara wand. If your best friend has children or seldom has time to herself, consider other practical services that will help to ease her workload, such as a helping hand when laundry is overflowing, a dish-washing helper day, a homemade dinner for the family, an evening of babysitting or a garden helper day. You can also write the services on pieces of construction paper or plain, white paper and bind them together in a coupon booklet.
- The Girls' Book Of Glamour; Sally Jeffrie
- Natural Beauty at Home: More Than 250 Easy-to-Use Recipes for Body, Bath, and Hair; Janice Cox
- A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book; Elsie Larson, et al.
- Chris Clinton/Photodisc/Getty Images