Dec 102003
Authors: Brooke Harless

What to get others for the holidays is a question that begins to

consume many around this time of year. Most opt for compact discs,

DVDs, gift certificates or other impersonal gifts not realizing

that homemade presents are an option. The thought of homemade gifts

often conjures images of Popsickle sticks, brick-a-brack and pet

rocks, yet there are many presents that can be made that are not

only more unique but also fun to make.

1. You can turn that old ’70s lamp that has been in your garage

for ages into a funky present for the eccentric person on your

gift-giving list by making the lampshade into a kaleidoscope of pop

art. You will need: a lamp, a variety of magazines, scissors and a

bottle of hodgepodge (clear spreadable glue).

First, cut out various advertisements and pictures from

magazines and newspapers. These magazines clippings should

correspond with the tastes of the person receiving the lamp –

nature scenes for the outdoorsy, Sports Illustrated clippings for

the sports fan or possibly some more racy selections for that

certain someone. Next, detach the shade from the lamp and begin

covering it with the cut-out pictures by placing a clipping on the

external part of the lampshade and covering it with a layer of the

hodgepodge. Continue this until the shade is covered. Give it time

to dry before reattaching the newly covered lampshade to the lamp.

Turn on lamp and marvel at its beauty.

2. There is nothing like giving steamy, revealing pictures of

yourself to that special someone. They truly are the gift that

keeps on giving. What you will need: a camera, yourself. This can

be executed two ways. Set up your camera on a tripod or other

sturdy surface and use the camera’s self-timer setting. This can be

tricky, as focusing and angle are hard to determine without

someone’s help. Your other option would be to enlist a close friend

who is good at keeping his/her mouth shut and that you don’t mind

being “natural” in front of to take the pictures. The poses should

be playful, maybe add a Santa hat or some mistletoe to give the

pictures an added holiday feel.

The second step is to take the film to an obscure developing

store, possibly several towns away to avoid any embarrassment. They

always make copies of the spicy pictures anyway. Next, present the

pictures to your lover by placing them in a small album, possibly

complete with a lock. Lastly, burn the negatives.

3. The mix-tape or, more advanced, mix-CD is an intimate gift

that provides the recipient with hours of music that will remind

him/her of you each time he/she listens. The traditional tape is

always fun, but if you are fortunate enough to have a burner it

could prove to be easier. The mix could be a holiday brew,

reflecting the season, love songs to accompany the “special”

pictures or an eclectic mix of several types of music. The set list

should contain quite a few tone shifts as well as one ’80s song to

evoke nostalgia. A good rule of thumb, you cannot go wrong with

Barry White, but Whitesnake should not be used by any means.

4. One of the more popular gifts among the college crowd is the

mistletoe belt buckle. This is a fun accessory that makes going to

the bars more interesting around this time of year. What you will

need: a belt buckle (these may be found at Western-wear shops as

well as thrift stores), a small cluster of plastic mistletoe (which

can be found at most craft stores) and super glue. Slather the back

of the mistletoe with the crazy glue. Press the mistletoe firmly on

the buckle for 20 seconds. Let the buckle sit for 10 minutes to

ensure that it will stay in place. Finally, present your clever

present to your friend and accompany them to the bars to watch the


5. Endearing or comical nicknames you hold for your friends can

come in handy this season. To make a personalized present,

embroider the special name on a shirt or sweatshirt. You will need

an article of clothing conducive to embroidering (cheap shirts and

sweatshirts can be found at Ross as well as Target and Wal-mart).

Once you have selected a garment, take it to Stitches in the mall,

where they will embroider anything you would like using a variety

of fonts and colors rather inexpensively and quickly. Your second

choice would be to buy a pack of iron-on letters and do it


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