By Melanie Christiansen
Making holiday gifts for friends and family adds that personal
touch that many find rewarding and sentimental. Crafting gifts
for the males in our lives, however, can be quite a challenge.
Finding something they will enjoy and appreciate is not an easy
task. Most men tend toward utilitarian tastes: They want something
useful; something that won't take up space unnecessarily; something
that has meaning.
For sports fans, we can make gift baskets complete with a referee
book. These come in handy when the ref appears to be watching
a totally different game and the at-home viewer can safely throw
the book at the television to vent his frustration.
Take several pieces of felt and secure
them in the middle to serve as the book's binding. They can
be hot-glued or sewn by
machine or hand. On the "cover" of the book write the
recipient's favorite sport and the word "Rules," plus
that person's name (i.e. SPORTS RULES! or BASEBALL RULES! by
John Q. Public).
Use permanent marker, fabric pens, paint
or glitter glue. On each page write something that a viewer
might yell at the television
such as, "Are you BLIND?" "What game are YOU watching?" "He
was totally safe!" and more.
Homemade "gift of the month" clubs
can be creative gifts that are also fabulous budget stretchers.
First you must
determine what type of gift you will give the person on a monthly
basis. It can be a home-baked treat, a mix in a jar, a book,
a necktie, art or school supplies, coloring books, or any number
of items limited only by your imagination and your budget. This
is perfect for guys who find it hard to keep in touch on a regular
basis. It is also great for younger boys to learn the concepts
of exchange and correspondence.
Once you've decided on your monthly gift, use your word processing
software to create a certificate and a dozen coupons printed
on cardstock. The certificate should explain the plan and include
the recipient's name, the dates available, and the requirements
of redeeming the gift coupons. Each coupon should be placed in
a self-addressed stamped envelope and the stack can be tied with
a colorful ribbon. The certificate can be rolled as a scroll
and attached likewise.
Each month, the recipient must use one coupon, mailed to the
giver, in order to redeem that month's gift. This allows opportunity
for additional correspondence such as snapshots, drawings, letters
and more. A great motivator for staying in touch!
You may also collect clever sayings about fathers, brothers,
uncles, sons, friends -- or any title that fits. Print these
clever quips to make personalized magnets, stationery, sweatshirts
or plaques for your male recipient. Search the Internet, poetry
books, the library or create your own. The special touch will
remind the recipient of your caring gift whenever it is used.
A friend recently created a memory book
for her father's sixtieth birthday. She used her Creative Memories
to create a wonderful keepsake for him. It depicted moments with
him and each of his grandchildren. He reportedly loved it, complimenting
it over and over. Usually a man of few words, he commented that
this gift was "priceless" to him, and I am sure he
will treasure it forever. This type of heartfelt craft can bring
out the tender side of guys. Even for a graduation gift or thirtieth
birthday, creating a book of memories from his childhood, or
that of his kids or grandkids, will be a gift with a special
place in his heart.
Still at a loss? Everybody needs socks! Buy two pairs of identical
socks and have some coordinating buttons and thread on hand.
Find a small dowel or heavy wire that you can fashion into a
miniature clothes hanger. Arrange the first pair of socks on
a table in front of you so the soles are touching and the cuffs
are pointing away from each other, opening towards you. The toes
will be pointing away from you. The other pair of socks should
be placed so that the feet overlap and cover the toes of the
first pair. The socks should look like a pair of long johns.
Stitch the socks together loosely so that they hold that shape,
adding a few buttons down the middle of the front. Attach the
following poem with a small safety pin:
"I made these dandy long johns
They shrunk a bit it's true
But cut the strings that hold them
you'll find brand new socks for you!"
A little creativity and a touch of imagination can go a long
way when crafting for men. Start by thinking of what you know
about your guy and build on his interests. Something that will
require minimum output from him and without requiring dusting
will satisfy even the most elusive gift recipient. Have fun with
it and make it fun for him, and everyone will have a heartfelt
Melanie Christiansen lives in northwest
Ohio with her husband of 12 years, their two cats of 11 years,
and their two-year-old child. Raising their daughter is her
full-time job. On the side, she runs an online support group
for housewives and sells educational toys, along with her own
handmade crafts. Her website is mamalanie/craftycrafterson..