Sometimes I want to give a special, not right-off-the-shelves gift but don't have time to handmake it, so I'll choose a great book and assemble a gift kit around it. These feel custom and personal, but are so easy to put together. I've gathered a few ideas here using some of my favorite books (and, er, my books too!).
PAPER GOODS PROJECTS by Jodi Levine, photographs by Amy Gropp Forbes
First up....as I warned...my new book, Paper Goods Projects! Since it is about crafting with materials from the supermarket, I included some items for your crafter-friend to get started.
- coffee filters
- cupcake papers
- paper towel and toilet paper tubes
- paint and paintbrushes
- packaged in this jar
- also nice to include: food coloring, scissors, glue, doilies, and brown paper bags
Playful is one of the most beautiful craft booksI have ever seen. The projects are clever and pretty and so is the styling and photography. I love Merrilee's illustrations which infuse the crafts with personality. There are several painted projects featured so I wrapped up this book with paint, paintbrushes, and also duct tape. She makes magic with duct tape! I put it all in a blank tote bag, which your crafter/gift recipient can paint themselves. Another option is to package this inside a bunch of nested recycled cardboard boxes as the book includes fantastic repurposed cardboard box crafts.
- duct tape
- blank tote bag
- also nice: cardboard boxes, hot glue gun, plain linen or cotton fabric
This cookbook got me out of a dinner rut with it's simple, yummy recipes and encouraging words. You probably all know Jenny from her excellent blog. I love her writing as much as her recipes and I read her first book, Dinner: A Love Story, cover-to-cover, as if it were a memoir (which it kind of is). Now I want to make sure all my friends have her books too!
This gift is a fun one to customize. Flip through and you will find lots of ideas for ingredients to include. My gift doesn't include anything exotic but I included a nice olive oil which will make it a little more special!
- nice olive oil
- red pepper flakes
- crushed tomatoes
- wooden spoon "gift tag" (name spelled with sticker letters)
- pomegranate juice (I'll be adding it for this favorite recipe!)
DO UNTO ANIMALS, by Tracey Stewart
Do Unto Animals, a guide to "How Animals Live and How We can Make Their Lives Better" is by the founder of one of my favorite websites, Moomah, and is full of love (and beautiful illustrations by Lisel Ashlock)! Give it along with a donation to an animal sanctuary like Farm Sanctuary. (In fact, a portion of the proceeds benefit Farm Sanctuary!) You can even adopt or sponsor a farm animal.
Also, if you love Lisel's illustrations as much as I do, click over here to see their NEW line of merchandise, inspired by the book!! I especially love the notebooks!
Tracey includes ideas in her book for homemade pet gifts, like water bottle sock cat toys for dogs (inspired by her own dog playing with a water bottle!). For your crafty animal-loving friends, wrap up the book with the materials needed for one of these projects:
- cardboard mouse cat toys (above, top right)- cardboard tubes and rope
- hanging bird cat mobile (above, top left)- printable fabric
- duct tape treat pouch (above, bottom left)- duct tape
- catnip sea creatures, (above, bottom right)- felt and catnip
MAKE & GIVE by Steph Hung & Erin Jang
Make & Give is another favorite! This gorgeous design-driven craft book has really fun printable projects, so I wrapped it up with inkjet media, below. (By the way, if you don't have this book already, you should get it--quick!--for their creative handmade gift ideas!)
CANDY AISLE CRAFTS by Jodi Levine, photographs by Amy Gropp Forbes
Lastly, oh look, one of our books again! (Can't blame a gal for a little self-promo!) Candy Aisle Crafts includes ideas for edible crafts using supermarket sweets. One fun (and easy) kit to put together is simply a jar of starlight mint hard candies to make all the peppermint projects in the book, like the peppermint bowls (pictured).
- starlight mints- buy them from your supermarket or drug store, or in bulk and make a few gifts at the same time!
Another DIY kit gift to go along with Candy Aisle Crafts ....a Marshmallow Craft Kit to make the marshmallow projects in the book like the little bunny, above.
Fill a jar with marshmallows and add an assortment of sprinkles and nonpareils (to use for facial features and other decorations).
We have a whole chapter of DIY lollipops in Candy Aisle Crafts, like these Funny Face Pops (above). A kit with everything you need to make them would be a fun (and easy to assemble) gift.
For the Lollipop Kit, I put together a box with the book and the items listed below and added a lollipop gift tag (above, right, made from a piece of confetti and a toothpick).
- assorted sprinkles (as described in the Marshmallow Kit, above)
- lollipop sticks
- Jolly Rancher Candies
- black shoestring licorice (for hair on the Funny Face Pops, pictured above)
- treat bags
- baker's twine to package the pops
I'd love to hear about gift kits that you've put together. Happy gift-giving and Happy Holidays!