So you just remembered that it’s almost Valentine’s Day. It’s your mother’s birthday tomorrow and you need something heartfelt. Any schmuck can buy an iTunes gift card. It takes real skill, craft, if you will, to gift something creative while low on time and budget. Never fear, a quasi-professional present procrastinator is here! Without further ado, here are some 15-minute gifts that say, “I really spent time on this.”
1. Book Earrings
Is your gift recipient an avid reader? In that case, all you need is paper, glue, thread, earring hooks (available at any craft store worth its salt) and a knowledge of their favorite rainy day reads to draw/print onto the cute, tiny cover. I made a pair of The Fault in Our Stars earrings for a good friend of mine and she received a ridiculous number of compliments for her rapid-fire creations. Plus, they look really thoughtful and artsy. I followed these instructions, but a simple Google search produces many more.
2. Speedy Peanut Butter Cookies
I have never encountered anyone who didn’t love a good cookie. This simple 4-ingredient recipe is easy to make and quick to bake. What’s more, it doesn’t taste like a dozen cookies in a dozen minutes. I discovered this gem of a recipe in the Southern Living Best Loved Cookies cookbook, but the recipe is also available here online. This is probably the most time and cost-efficient gift on this list. Also the most delicious.
3. Photo Collage
Okay, so this is probably the most time-consuming item on this list. But also the most worth it, if you have three hours of time to spare! (Don’t worry, only about forty minutes will be spent doing actual, physical labor. The rest is waiting for glue to dry and pictures to print.) All you need to do is find photos of yourself and this other person, or any other images they may appreciate. (I’ve found that even a browse on Facebook yields quick results.) Order them, and while they are printing at your neighborhood Bartell’s, get your hands on some Modge Podge and a canvas at your local craft store. Then, simply arrange the pictures on the canvas and attach them with Modge Podge. Once that has dried, add a top coat. As long as you keep the layers thin, Modge Podge can dry completely in ten minutes.This gift is especially good for beloved friends and family members! A more comprehensive set of instructions can be found here. Believe it or not, people actually pay to make these things online, but you can make a professional grade version in the comfort and cheapness of your own home.
4. Arm Scarves
You like this? What if I told you that I made it with my bare arms in 20 minutes? Are you impressed? Every time you wear this, I practically have my arms around your neck in one crafty choke hug. I wouldn’t recommend this in a pinch for anyone who hasn’t knit before. But it’s easy to learn– you simply cast onto your wrists and go stitch by stitch, just as you would knitting by needle. Once the motion has been perfected, all you need is half an hour and a ball of thick yarn to make a fashionable infinity scarf. Click here for an instructional video on YouTube. One of many.
5. A Really Nice Card
It’s easier and a lot more meaningful than people think.
Hope this was helpful!
Maddie, 17, Teen Center Advisers
A Quasi-Professional Last Minute Blogger