By Julia Fisher
The season of giving has at last arrived, and with it, so has the pesky obligation to buy gifts for all of your friends. You love your friends, we get it, but spending all that cash is something you just cannot afford to do right now. You are a teenager living on a meager income of compliments and food, not money. This year, instead of purchasing manufactured gifts, we suggest you buy inexpensive supplies to make homemade gifts, which often turn out to be the most memorable and the most meaningful presents of all.
Paper Clip Earrings
Supplies: Embroidery string, paper clips, earring hooks, jump rings, liquid stitch or Mod Podge to help the string stay on the paper clip
Step One: Unfold paper clips into triangle shape. One side will be overlapped.
Step Two: Slide a jump ring onto each paper clip.
Step Three: Wind the string around the entire paper clip to cover any silver, adding Liquid Stitch as needed. (Note: Do not wrap it across the paper clip. You want to make a triangular frame, not a solid triangle.)
Step Four: Wrap the string across the paper clip in a random pattern, making a “web.”
Step Five: Attach the earring hooks to the jump rings.
Animal Key Chains
Supplies: Plastic toy animals, paint or spray paint, sealant, screw eye hooks, key rings
Periwinkle giraffes, magenta tigers, gold elephants, emerald rhinoceroses—let your imagination run wild. After applying two to three coats of vibrant colored paint to your preferred animal, wait for it to dry completely. You may even want to add a few patterns or designs, such as polka dots or stripes. The more, the better! Spray it with sealant, screw in the screw eye hook (pliers may be necessary), and attach the key ring. Make multiple. Matching key chains are the best.
Supplies: Small jar, olive or coconut oil, raw sugar (brown or white), honey, mint leaf or peppermint essential oil (optional)
Make a paste by mixing one part honey, one part oil, and one part sugar until it reaches the desired consistency. It should be grainy. Measurements for the ingredients do not have to be exact. After adding the homemade lip scrub to the small jar, dress it up with a red bow or twine, and a label.
Supplies: Mason jar, razor, chapstick, cologne, travel size toothpaste, travel size hair gel, aftershave
Having trouble finding a gift for your practical friend who has no use for animal key chains or sugar lip scrubs? This gift will be both thoughtful and humorous. Start by packing the supplies into the jar. Then tighten the lid, and make a fancy label that says “Cleans Up Well.” Adorable.
Supplies: Just the Charms from Lucky Charms (All the Luck, None of the Yuck)
Remember the sugary cereal of our childhoods that sweetened our mornings? Take your friends back down this nostalgic road by literally filling a mason jar with the marshmallows from the Lucky Charms cereal. Whoever gets this is one lucky friend. And whoever spends the time picking out each piece is a dedicated one.