Welcome to Brighter Home Projects! In this series, we explore DIY home renovation, repair, and a variety of related projects by taking to heart this simple idea: you are capable of more than you realize. Each installment focuses on home improvement projects, information, and advice aimed growing both your skill set and your self-confidence.
Put a DIY Spin on Your Holiday Gift-Giving
It’s October and, despite the fact Halloween and Thanksgiving haven’t arrived yet, Christmas has already exploded in many stores. The cliché that “Christmas comes earlier every year” has become a truism. But while I am a big believer in actually enjoying the other holidays before allowing Christmas to explode in my own home, the DIY Dad in me knows that some concessions have to be made in my workshop.
I’ll explain. For the past several years, my wife spends months hand-making beautiful presents for the entire family. She changes the theme every year and always seems to produce something so much more thoughtful than a store-bought gift. And since I use my DIY skills around the house to save us money and bring me great satisfaction at a job well done, I have realized that my DIY skills can contribute to handmade gifts game, too. So here are my top tips for making your own DIY holiday gifts this year.
Start Your Research Early
Like anything handmade, crafting DIY holiday gifts for your friends and family takes time. In fact, it always takes more time than you think, so give yourself far more time than you think you need. This includes determining the scope of the project, the likes (and dislikes) of people on your holiday gift list, the budget for the materials, and allotting the necessary time to create these presents.
Planning will save you the stress of the all-nighters leading up to Christmas so you can complete the project on time, which will prevent that last-minute dash to a store to find just something for the big day because your project didn’t work out.
The Web is Your Friend
I have far too many of my DIY friends say they avoid Pinterest because “it’s just for girls.” I think that’s a pretty ignorant perspective. There are so many ideas on Pinterest for any skill and interest level – from general home improvement to specific design ideas for any given room in your house.
If you have advanced DIY skills, just a picture may be enough, but, for beginners, the rest of the Internet is packed with amazing resources, including complete supply lists and step-by-step instructions that can help you ease through a project with confidence. Two of my favorites are instructables.com and howtoinstructions.org.
Keep It Simple but Thoughtful
DIY holiday gifts are not about building someone an heirloom piece of furniture (although, if you can do it, channel your inner Ron Swanson and go for it). The thought truly is more important than how hard it is to make.
For example, I made my wife a jewelry holder a year ago. It wasn’t a difficult project, but it was something I knew she wanted, and since I made it for her, the gift was extra-special for her. So make something you know will be valued as opposed to something you just want to make.
Do you have any DIY tips for creating meaningful holiday gifts? Please share with us in the comments!