Retro Essentials: DIY Gift Ideas

I’ve done one of these for beauty related gifts and another aimed at the male members of the community. This is meant to be the DIY version of that. I know I included the occasional DIY idea in the other lists, but this one is purely DIY.

  1. Candles in Cups
    Ok, it doesn’t have to be a cup. However, a cute coffee or teacup with a vintage design is a pretty common way of holding home made candles.
  2. DIY soap and dispensers.
    There’s plenty of formulas for home made soap out there and you should be able to find some of them with a quick search. Bar soaps work well for a vintage feel, but if you want to do something liquid, I’d recommend putting it in a cool or quirky bottle. Here’s an example
  3. Needlework
    Crafting is for natural reasons associated with the retro subcultures, especially the more vintage focused ones. Personally, I’m more likely to stab myself than I am creating nice needlework. However, if you enjoy this type of crafting, it can make for some awesome gifts. No matter if it’s a tea towel, a fabric shopping bag, or a pillow cover, it puts a personal touch to an otherwise bland gift. It doesn’t have to be the type of needlework you’d actually find on vintage items though. May I suggest a Storm Trooper?
  4. Perler Coasters
    This is like cross stitching for people who can’t handle needles. Perler’s create a similar structure to the pattern that you would get with cross stitching and they’re a lot faster to make in my experience. These ones may show a Pacman theme, but you can use any pattern you want. I’d even recommend looking at cross stitching patterns for inspiration.
  5. Personalised Gift Baskets
    This can include things like baked goods, preserves, home made beauty items (sugar scrubs are usually popular), or a Christmas survival kit as seen here. This can be as much or little DIY as you like, from just decorating the items to making everything from scratch.
  6. Personalised Kitchen Items
    Cutting boards, cheese platters (chalkboard), sharpie decorated coffee cups… There’s an endless length of options for items like this.
  7. Terrariums.
    No, not the kind that comes with reptiles. Or at least not live ones. More like this one
  8. Comic Book Crafts
    Comic books can be used to decorate almost anything, ranging from shoes to fake flowers to tables. Want a simple project? Try a cuff style bracelet.
  9. Budget Whiteboard
    Ok, so it’s not actually a white board. It’s decoratively framed note paper. It’s a good thing to keep in hallways to write messages to the family on, to keep on an office desk instead of Post Its. Decorate the frame in a typically vintage style or use more formal letter paper. A variant of this is to skip the class and turn it into a chalk board instead.
  10. Food
    Yes, this is basic. However, if you’re going to some sort of Christmas party, it’s worth talking to the person hosting it to see if they want you to bring anything. Hosting Christmas parties (or any other party really) can be really expensive, so decreasing their cost might be worth more than giving them a gift that’s nice but that they don’t need. Include the recipe on a hand written card or note, put it in nice packaging and you have a gift ready to go.

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