Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Personal Birthday Gift Ideas

We've all been there. And by 'there' I mean a week or so before someone's birthday with NO idea what to get them because they have everything already and you don't just want to grab another bottle of lotion, Almond Rocas, picture frame, pack of stationery, DVD, or t-shirt because they have tons of those too and really how special are those kinds of gifts all the time? This cluelessness occurs most for me in regards to my parents for a couple of reasons.

1. there are 3 times a year to give them something (Birthdays, Christmas, Mother's/Father's Day) and
B. they really do have everything!

So this year was no different. UNTIL, I hatched a great on-the-spot idea. My mom wanted to do the Color Run for her birthday so that was kinda all our gifts to her. But I wanted to still get her a little something.

I already had a pack of red crayons that I had gotten during one of my many school-supply-shopping adventures. Then when my college roommates was visiting and we went to the farmer's market, I saw this adorable red pot turned into a pin-cushion/sewing container. Somehow I just knew I had to get it for my mom. It was too cute, it was red, and it was about sewing.

(Insert important sidenote to mention that my mom's favorite color is red and she loves sewing.)

So now I had crayons and a pin-cushion container. I suddenly decided I would get her a bunch of small, inexpensive items that were red and some of her favorite things. My friend and I headed to WalMart and the gift giving shopping began (among craft supply shopping for our girl's weekend of course). It was really fun and kind of a challenge to find things that were red, and her favorite, and small, and inexpensive. But I think I did pretty good.

I bought a bag of M&M's and picked out all the red ones. (Which incidentally means I ate all the other colors).

 I just love the cupcake liners!

I used the buttons, an 8x10 canvas, and various forms of glue dots (Zots, Double Stick Tape, Zig Pen, etc. basically because I kept running out of whatever I used) to make this:

Then I got on my Silhouette Cameo and made a red heart-shaped card. I even found a red gift bag in our stash and a box with a red lid for the canvas!

Finally, I wrote her a song on my hour drive to her house. I used the tune "Favorite Things" from Sound of Music and inserted my mom's favorite things include free shipping, sewing, chocolate, chai, etc. It had 4 verses I think and then a chorus. It was fun to write and my mom loved it! I gave her the lyrics to keep and she took a video on her phone. And no, I'm not going to post the video. :)

My dad had no idea about my all-red plan when he ordered his gifts for my mom and yet somehow he followed the same theme! He got her a red case for her iPhone and red Wonder Clips. The only non-red thing she got was The Purple Thang, which is okay because the name alone is cool enough to justify it not being red in all-red birthday.

All in all I spent $24. It was really fun and even though some of the items were pretty trivial, the fact that they were red and represented her favorite things made it personal and special.

Who do you know that is hard to buy gifts for? Have you ever done a color theme to your gifts? Do you think you would try this idea? If you do, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. Great idea. My gift problem is men in general, my husband, my dad etc. They never have any idea what they want and most things just seem boring. For a lot of female presents I either sew or bake something.

    1. Well maybe you can try the "favorite things" with a man: candy bar, chips, sports team item (keychain, calendar). Hey, you could even bake or sew for a man! The men I know (except my hubby) love baked goods! And when I was little I sewed flannel PJ pants for my brother and dad for Christmas. Choose sports or camo fabric and you got it!

  2. It was a great birthday and all of the presents were fun and creative! I do think you should post a video of your song though ;) It was pretty awesome! <3

  3. Wow! nice idea! I love giving out homemade gifts. They allow a lot of creativity, and can often be done on a budget. For most occasions I would rather spend some time creating a one-of-a-kind item than purchasing something off of a shelf. Making things at home doesn’t have to be hard, and you can even have things prepared ahead of time.If you want more....

    great birthday gift ideas