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9 Heartfelt Homemade Gifts to Impress Your Friends

9 Heartfelt Homemade Gifts to Impress Your Friends

Some people have difficulty coming up with a gift idea for their friends, especially if you’ve been friends with someone for years now, and you already exchanged all the big and meaningful gifts you planned. The budget is also a factor here – the winter holiday season is coming and we all need to be cautious about the way we spend money.

There’s a nice and useful method of surprising your friends and not paying a fortune for a gift – homemade crafts. It’s really not necessary for you to be particularly handy or resourceful for what I have in mind. A sprinkle of will, a pinch of creativity and a fair amount of patience is all you need.

1. Homemade Sweets

sweets

    Cooking actually might be a pretty great idea for that special someone you’d like to surprise. If they have a sweet tooth and can’t resist a fresh batch of cookies, that’s exactly what you should make!

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    Your best choice here is muffins – they are simple to make, so you can’t really mess them up; and I don’t know a person in this world who doesn’t like them or who can even stay indifferent to their smell. The ones with chocolate chips are a classic, but you can always spice them up with some kind of berries or – even more chocolate.

    2. Scrapbook

    Having a meaningful friendship with someone implies that you have a lot of memories and that you two have gone through a lot of different things, both good and bad. Well, you can take a walk through your past memories and remember all those things that helped you build this bond of yours.

    The most meaningful gift I ever gave to my best friend is a scrapbook that contained our first photos and the most recent ones, and all the pages were filled with jokes, funny sketches, and drawings. Aesthetics shouldn’t really matter here – find the most meaningful photos and items, draw and write from your heart, and I’m absolutely sure that your friend will be the happiest person in the world once they receive it.

    3. Gift Basket

    No, I don’t mean the ones you can just buy – you are to make it from scratch. That way, it’s a budget-friendly gift in which you invested time, skill, and effort.

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    A gift basket is a simple DIY project – all you need is a hamper of sorts and a theme. If you can’t decide on only one thing your friend likes, you can simply fill the basket up with everything your special person enjoys and make it even more personal.

    4. Framed Flowers

    flowers

      This idea requires some planning, so you should have that in mind. But, it’s worth all the trouble because it looks gorgeous. If your friend is known to be an aesthete, I believe that dried flowers pressed with glass on both sides and simply framed is a present that they will definitely appreciate. All you need to do is to find a beautiful flower, several of them, or a leaf perhaps – the composition is completely up to you – press them very carefully and have your piece of art framed.

      5. Knitted Blanket

      This is a huge trend all over the internet right now, and it’s no wonder – blankets made out of really thick wool are both very cozy, so you’ll never want to leave yours, and very stylish, so they fit with any inner décor and any room in a home, as a matter of fact.

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      I know this seems like a lot of work and it does seem to require a lot of skill, but that’s really not true – you just need to be patient, follow a detailed guide and you’ll have a really nice gift in no time. Of course – unless you decide to keep it for yourself.

      6. Canvas Print

      Canvas significantly contributes to the level of stylishness when it comes to wall art and you should have that in mind if you’d like to share a particular memory. My suggestion is to have some photo editing done on that photo, so that it doesn’t look like it was just glued onto the canvas.

      7. Custom Coasters

      This is a nice little present that everyone needs. The thing is that coasters don’t have to be ordinary. You can have a set specially made according to your friend’s personality – the bands they listen to, favorite characters from movies, or perhaps some symbols they find meaningful. A gift that is useful and pretty is always appreciated.

      8. Artsy Pillows

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      pillows

        We all have that one friend who loves to sleep and who appreciates being comfy above all else – a person like this can never have too many pillows. Considering that Christmas is coming soon, you can have some fun with those motives if that particular friend is into that. If you’d like to do some brainstorming, you should browse through different ideas online and find the most appropriate design.

        9. Handmade Bottle Stoppers

        Another easy to make DIY project any friend who enjoys a quality drink (or two) will appreciate. Handmade bottle stoppers have a decorative purpose, but they are also quite handy – no one likes it when their drink goes stale. So, depending on your friend’s affinities, decide on which theme to go with for this DIY and create a set of bottle stoppers; I’m sure that you can find the right person for this gift and that they will have a lot of appreciation for your efforts.

        Once I started creating homemade gifts for my friends, I felt amazing. Now, I rarely actually purchase them. Spending money on a gift isn’t the point of making someone happy – thinking about an idea for starters and realizing it later is something that will make your friends happy, and the surprise itself is just the second wave of joy.

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        Tanvir Zafar

        The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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        Last Updated on March 13, 2019

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

        1. Work on the small tasks.

        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

        2. Take a break from your work desk.

        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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        3. Upgrade yourself

        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

        4. Talk to a friend.

        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

        7. Read a book (or blog).

        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

        8. Have a quick nap.

        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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        9. Remember why you are doing this.

        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

        10. Find some competition.

        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

        11. Go exercise.

        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

        12. Take a good break.

        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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