10 Gifts for a Literary Mind

24 01 2011

This edition of homemade gifts is for the book lover.  I’m constantly reminded of how little time I dedicate to reading, and how sad that makes me (it’s that pesky little thing called work, always budging in on my book time ;)).  So perhaps these wonderful gift ideas will kick my reading butt back into gear.

1. Stamped Book Bindings

Of course you’ll need to buy the books, but I just love the freedom for creativity with such a sweet & personal touch.

2. Tassel Book Marks

Need to know how to tie a tassel?  Learn how here!

3. Books for Baby

These are not exactly homemade gifts, but in light of the fact that several people I know are having babies, I thought it would be nice to add this.  It’s never too early to give an old favorite (my classic of choice would be The Wizard of Oz), and you could personalize the gift or gifts with…

4. Book Plates

While in a middle school art class, I can remember working on a pretty sweet block printing project.  Fairly easy to do, with simple tools and supplies.  Take a carving block, ink your design with a ball point pen, and use simple carving tools to take off what you don’t want printed.  The next step is the easiest: stamp it on an ink pad and go!  With a homemade design on your homemade bookplate, any book becomes an incredibly thoughtful gift.

5. [More] Book Plates

If you lack the steady hand for a block and chisel, devoting your creativity to a computer screen will mean just as much.  I promise.

6. Photo Books Marks

7. Glasses Case

So maybe not every avid reader has reading glasses, but I figure if my 20/20 eyes have three pairs lying around the house, that yours most likely would, too.

I really, really love that these are made out of old neckties; there are so many fun and kooky ones sitting on a rack at Goodwill, just begging for second life.  The only downfall is how soft they are.  I don’t know about you, but if this were thrown into my purse, my glasses would be crushed by my wallet, book, serving apron, and whatever other madness I have in there.  When I try this, I’ll want to create sturdier interior wall.  Perhaps a cardboard sleeve, lined with a fabric that won’t scratch my lenses.  Don’t worry, when the day comes I WILL tutorial!

8. Tote Bag

This particular set is a bit girly, but a simple tote bag is great for a trip to the library, toting your books to the beach, or maybe even for the scholar who just needs a little extra room.  Whoever it’s for, it’s sure to come in handy in the cutest of ways.

9. Duct Tape Kindle Cover

There are many, many, MANY versions of the homemade kindle cover out there, but I have to say that my favorites are always the most creative and unique.  I for one am a ginormous fan of duct tape, and thought this was yet another wonderful use for it.  For those of you out there looking for something a little classier than The Silver Force (no offense, C. E. Grundler!), I found a really nice cover created by fellow blogger Joy Victory.  On her site, El Blog de Joy, she shows you how she crafted her case out of an old hardcover Texas Guide book and a few other cost friendly pieces.  I would usually be posting photos of her lovely cover right about here, but her website specifically requests that peeps like me not reuse her photos without permission.  So, instead I will provide this link to the post.  Go check it out.  Seriously, it’s definitely worth the extra four minutes.
I also feel I should mention this gift really only works if the gift-ee actually has a kindle, but it could be amended for any e-reader.  Just make sure to measure!

10. Make Your Own Book!

Three words: I LOVE THIS.
I’ll be honest.  What first caught my eye was the pretty, abstract design on the cover. What can I say, shiny object syndrome. 🙂 And then I noticed the binding.  And then I noticed it wouldn’t take ten years to do it on your own.  You can do so, so much with this!  You can opt for a thicker, blank paper to make a sketch book.  You can use a pretty lined paper to make a journal.  You could use paper you’ve already printed on to make a personal copy of your favorite book.  The possibilities are endless, and I love every one of them.

On a side note, if you were leaning in a slightly more professional direction, I also love the idea of having a book published for someone.  Example: I used to write poems when I was little, which my father adored and loved to brag about.  If I wanted to collect a few of them an have them published, I could simply go to this really great site I stumbled upon where the process is so simple.  You sign up for a totally free account, download their editing software, and before you know it you’re creating pages in a book which you can have published for as little as $2.95 each.  Check it out here!


We wish you a Merry Christmas, we MADE you a Merry Christmas!

24 12 2010

It may be “the thought that counts,” but if it’s a good thought, don’t you want it to do more than just ‘count’?

Being a 21 year old waitress, and typically [very] poor, I’m a big fan of do it yourself crafts and gifts. Not only do you get to beam with pride when you’ve actually managed to create something very cool, but it’s a great, cheap alternative to generic store-bought gifts. This year, I’ve opted to give a few of my own homemade gifts, but as they’ve not been opened yet, my lips will stay sealed on the specifics. I did, however, think that someone out there would appreciate some of the DIY ideas that I’ve found. Here I showcase: Six DIY gifts that I would LOVE to open tomorrow!

1. Photo Cubes I would much prefer personal photos to ones of nature, but I quite like the classy b&w touch.

2. Dip-Dyed Candles

3. Map Coasters I love, love, love these!  Being a musician, however, I must say that I might just have to try this with old sheet music…

4. Hard Flower Barrettes

5. Body Scrub

6. Fabric Clutch

All of the photos in the post do not in any way, shape, or form belong to me.  A gentle reminder that, as always, all photos that are not mine are hyperlinked to their original site– in this case, directly to the how-to page.  This entire post was made possible by Martha Stewart, and marthastewart.com.