For some reason, macaroni necklaces just aren’t as popular or cute anymore when kids enter college and the world of purchased gift giving. If you’re on a tight budget or just want to put extra effort and love into a gift, then making your own gift is probably best. Below, Chapman students offer their best suggestions and most memorable home-made gifts that they have given or received.
“In high school, I had a friend give me some ornaments that [she] made [herself]. You just buy those clear ornaments from Michael’s and buy paint. You squirt a few colors in and then swirl it around. I think my friend just wrote my name or something on the outside, but I thought it was a cute ‘make it yourself’ gift,” said senior Lauren Ramos.
“A really cute gift my parents received from their grandkids was a calendar. Each month of the calendar had a photo of the kids. For October, it had a picture of the boys in their Halloween costumes; December had their picture with Santa Claus, etc. When I asked my sister-in-law how she made it she said she just took the pictures to Walmart and paid $12 to have them turn it into a calendar. It’s a great gift to give relatives who you don’t see often or who live far away,” said junior Megan McCarville.
“If you go on iphoto you can customize a calendar or book and put in any pictures you want. It’s fast, cheap and easy to use,” said freshman Emily Esposito.
“I made a photo album online for each person in my family for a trip we all went on. I’m also publishing a book on Alaska for a trip I went on recently that is going out to each family as well,” said senior Preston Chase Zeller.
“I always make personalized mix tapes for my family and friends. It doesn’t cost more than $20, depending on how many songs you have to buy. I always make them for everyone in my family,” said senior Sarah Foster.
Senior Ryan Fontana shared his favorite gift story: “I made my dad a Stussy mug in ceramics class when I was seven. He drank out of that mug everyday for 13 years. It was his favorite. There was an epic earthquake that hit Hawaii two years ago, and all of our dishware fell out onto the kitchen floor. He called me and said that he didn’t care about the damage, but he was devastated over the loss of his favorite mug. For Christmas that year, I went to Color-Me-Mine and re-made him the same Stussy mug to the best of my memory. You should have seen the look in his eyes when he opened that present. Color-Me-Mine is a great place to go for gifts that have that personalized touch to it. People know that you put some time into their gift and that you were thinking of them while you were making it. Plus, it’s pretty fun,” said Fontana.
“For my 21st birthday, I received a piñata of a football referee that had been made-up to look like it was rooting for my favorite team, the 49ers. My friend filled the piñata with a bunch of mini-alcohol bottles that she had gotten from Bev-Mo. This was one of my favorite gifts because it was really creative and I knew that a lot of time and effort had been put into it to come up with the idea and personalize it to fit my interests,” said junior Matt Garbutt.
“My brother and I surprised our parents with professional pictures of ourselves that we had taken,” said senior Katie Takeshita, “It doesn’t cost that much to get them done somewhere in the mall, and you can also make your own frame or scrapbook to go with them.”
“My friend made me a memory box for the two of us. It had things in it like notes that we had written each other in class, pictures we had drawn, photographs, etc. I just got it last Christmas so it had really juvenile stuff in it and then more meaningful things as we had gotten older,” said senior Alex Timberlake.
“For my grandpa, I made a booklet of ’15 reasons why I love PopPop’ and had each of his grandkids write I different page of it,” said senior Stephanie Orth. “I’ve also made personalized paintings for friends and family members that adhere to their interests such as a painting of a beer pong table for my friend Jen.”
“Making scarves can be easy when you get the hang of it and you can personalize them to be any color, length, or pattern that you want,” said freshman Jackie Hackler.
As you can see, there are numerous creative, easy, and cost-effective ideas out there. If you still cannot come up with something, try browsing the aisles of your nearest Michael’s and getting inspired. It’s pretty hard not to be creative when you’re surrounded by that much crafting gear. If you’re still not feeling creative, a useful website to look at for gathering ideas and inspirations is www.do-it-yourself-gifts.com, which has hundreds of ways to make gifts for even the least-crafty of people.