By: Kara Angelli Flores
DIY gifts cost less but mean more!

It’s always a wonderful feeling when someone gifts you with something that took more than a few clicks on a website to get. While we sometimes find ourselves doing the same thing out of convenience (add to cart and pay!) and practicality — no traffic, no gas, no toll — we have to admit that it’s just so much more special when you put in the extra time and effort into a gift for someone who matters. Plus, nowadays when everyone seems to be rushing off from one place to another and constantly on their phones, it’s a gift in itself that we take time to breathe, sit down, and create with our hands.

So, whether it’s your sister’s birthday, a friend’s show recital, your first anniversary, or even just a random “Hey, I miss you!” gift, here are 5 out-of-the-box gift ideas you can make yourself!

1. A delicious three-course dinner

This isn’t just your ordinary dinner at home. Take things up a notch by really bringing the fine-dining experience to your home! Compose a meal based on their favorite dishes and research the best recipes for it. You can even practice and let your other friends and family try out your dishes before finally surprising your loved one with an intimate date at home.

Dress up, put on your favorite songs, light some candles, and truly let them enjoy the fruits of your labor.

2. A scrapbook with a twist

Gather your favorite photos, print them out, and start creating a story by adding speech or thought bubbles and captions!

You can make it comic strip-inspired by chaining photos together, or even recreate an unforgettable moment in your friendship and give it a twist at the ending. This could go well with all your funny, candid shots.

Place all of these in a blank notebook and voila! You’ve got an out-of-the-box scrapbook of your life together that’s sure to make them laugh!

3. The “I got your back” box

Think personalized box, but better! Fill up a care package with specific items you know your loved one will love. It doesn’t have to be expensive — the joy comes from them knowing that you know them well and pay attention to their likes and dislikes.

Add some fun to this box by labelling the items with situations where your loved one will be most likely in. Think: “Stuck in traffic for two hours with no phone battery”, “Spontaneous beach trip care package”, “Overtime at the office again stress kit” — In all these situations, they’ll know that wherever they are, you are with them.

4. The crafty gift

Even if you’re not into arts and crafts, there’s a lot of easy but thoughtful gift ideas you can make on your own or at a workshop!

If your partner likes jewelry, create a one-of-a-kind pendant or bracelet for them. This can be easily done with some beads or charms you can get at any craft store! If you want to go all out, you can take a sculpting class and create a trinket or figurine for them. Need something simpler? Go ahead and try your hand at calligraphy and make them a handmade card or even decorate a blank canvas bag for them!

At the end of the day, more than skill or technique, it’s the thought and effort you put into this unique gift that will make your significant other smile.

5. The present is in the presence

If there’s one thing that plenty would agree to be the most valuable gift of all, it would be the gift of presence. When you give your time to someone, it is giving a part of you that you can never take back. It’s also the strongest element in creating an even more special and beautiful bond between you, your friends, constants, and family.

So go ahead and make hand-made coupons for a coffee date, a weekend away, or even just a night spent watching old movies and gift them to your loved one as a way of saying “I’ll make time for you”. After all, making time is a choice — one more important than any high-priced gift at a store!

There are few in life that feel better than showing those who matter that you love them. At the end of the day, more than any material things, your loved ones are what truly gives life it’s beauty. And doesn’t everyone deserve a beautiful life?


The COHO Living Team.