Handmade birthday gifts and cards are the best
remembrances, from one heart to another
birthday is a very personal event, and the best birthday gifts or cards
are the ones you make yourself with your heart and hands.
What birthday card is more treasured by a parent than the
crayon and glitter masterpiece that shouts "HaPpy birThDay MommY" with
a picture of a green dog? And what birthday gift survives the decades
like a picture frame made of Popsicle sticks inscribed "Friends 4EVER?"
At our age, our crafts and scrapbooks may be more sophisticated, but
handmade articles are treasured like no others.
When thinking about handcrafting a birthday gift or card, consider some
of these ideas for making it truly personal:
Incorporate the age-old tradition of birthstones.
For many centuries before the mid-1900's, birthstone jewelry
was considered a personal and even romantic birthday
gift. Each of the twelve gems, one for each month, represents
distinct qualities of soul and spirit for those born during
its month. The colors of the gems and the personal attributes
associated with their owners can be a wonderful theme for a special
gift or card. Consult the birthstone
chart for inspiration.
If your tastes run more to the occult, consider Zodiac birthstones.
These gems share a common heritage with birthstones, but they are a
little more humble and earthy in origin, and have the added
responsibility of providing astrological protection for their owners.
Consult the Zodiac
birthstone chart to see what the stars hold.
Look to the lilies. Every month has its patron birth month flower.
The tradition is long and somewhat obscured by time,
but crafting and cardmaking with flowers is like gilding with
lilies. Tiptoe through the tulips in our birth month flower chart
and Zodiac flower chart.
makes it personal. A couple of initials is all it
takes. Personalize gifts and accessories instantly by using
stick-on letters, rub-on letters, appliques, rubber stamps, or potato
printing (just kidding). We'd give you a monogram chart, but it is
basically the alphabet. Do you want to see how the professionals use
personalization to make a gift special? Perhaps you know of a graduate
who would appreciate something personal. Celebrate their hard work with
graduation gifts from
Add a personal message.
Never give a book as a gift without writing inside why you
are giving it. Look at every gift you buy or make and think: Where can
I write on this thing?
Create one gift from many.
First, begin with his or her interests. Gardening? Travel? Art? Music?
Perhaps you can assemble a gift basket of items on a theme:
(for the cook) jars of spices in a
ribbon-decked vegetable steamer; bread mixes and jams in a bread
basket; exotic pastas and sauces in a colander;
wooden spoons, spatulas, and measuring spoons in an oven mitt.
(for the gardener) packets of seeds and garden
tools in a hand-painted flower pot or a big straw hat.
(for the artist) oil paints and brushes in a
(for the barbecue-meister) assorted sauces,
spices and basting brushes in a wire basket.
(for the tea lover) teas, sweeteners and an
infuser in a oversize cup or teapot.
(for the handyman) some fancy new tools and
band aids in a wooden toolbox.
(for the fisher) lures, gloves and sunscreen in
a picnic basket or creel.
(for the sewer or quilter) needles, threads,
pins cushions and pretty buttons in a sewing box.
(for the crafter) appropriate supplies (rubber
stamps, paints, ribbons, punches) in an undecorated paper machè box -
there's a challenge for them.
(for the hedonist) bath oils or beads in
decorated jars; potpourri and scented candles in a basket.
something of yourself. Do you cook or bake?
Make jams or candy? Make soaps or candles?
Do you grow your own vegetables or flowers? Write poetry or
music? Sing "Melancholy Baby?" A specialty of yours may be the perfect
gift with the right presentation. A handmade specialty,
combined with a handcrafted box, bag, basket or wrapping, can be a gift
I know, this topic got a little too broad for its own good.
We had every intention of designing some birthday gifts like
the baskets described above, as well as some cards
based on birthstones and birth month flowers (using great vintage
images). Someday, we'll add some actual projects to this page!