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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

DIY Great Option For Holiday Gift Giving


Some people believe that is the most wonderful time of the year. But behind all the reindeer, Santa and menorah decorations, a necessary evil lingers in the background … the deflated and almost empty wallets and bank accounts. But have no fear; a saving grace has come to everyone’s rescue. Do it yourself gifts have made an impressive comeback. And conveniently just in time for the busiest shopping time of the year.
Katie Kraft, a sophomore elementary education major, said DIY gifts are more personal because spending time on someone is always better than spending money on him or her.
“I enjoy making DIY gifts because I love the creativity that goes into making each personal gift,” Kraft said.
And that feeling of spending time appears to be reciprocated and appreciated.
Laura Lee Williams, a freshman biological sciences major, said she loves getting DIY gifts because they are heartfelt.
“I know that they took time out of their schedule to make me something, and that makes me feel special,” Williams said.
Not only are DIY gifts more common, they seem more acceptable. Through the emergence of the popular website, people have discovered the magic and power of these personalized presents. Through this and other channels, many have learned the key that unlocks the barrier between classy, crafty and other than crappy.
Rachel Cheatham, a freshman special education major, said she enjoys Pinterest because it helps to get her creative juices flowing.
“It also is a great source for tons of really cool and easy DIY projects,” she said.
Some people are probably asking what is Pinterest right about now.
The official website states, “Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”
DIY gifts are nothing new. But a common dilemma with the homemade production of gifts is when the crafter does not create something at which he or she is good and skilled. For example, attempting crocheting a scarf is probably not a good idea when you are a knitting rookie but a skilled painter. No one wants a poorly made gift — not even mothers and grandmothers.  But there is no need to be frightened of the prospect of “messing up.”
Landry McMillan, a junior business administration marketing major, said some people are intimidated to do DIY gifts because they want things to look perfect, which can be frustrating.
“It is worth it because gifts you make are usually not only less expensive but also more sentimental to the person you are giving it to,” she said.
This common predicament can easily be solved with just a little bit of research. Pinterest is a good, reliable source that can even instruct on how to create the present.
“I have done a couple projects off the website, and I am planning on doing more for this Christmas.  It is a great way to organize all your ideas and see what other people have done,” McMillan said.
Even if the most perplexing problem about DIY gifts can be solved, just imagine the good that can come out of them for not only the receiver but also for the giver. First of all, people can save money.
“Making gifts definitely helps relieve the stress off my pocketbook, and I do not have to worry about buying everyone a gift,” Kraft said.
DIY gifts can also serve as a remedy to help relieve stress when considering the holiday shopping frenzy, traffic and chaos.
Amanda Gilstrap, a freshman kinesiology major, said shopping stresses her and by making gifts it helps alleviate her stress level.
No matter what a person’s artistic skill level or their specialty is, DIY gifts are a perfectly reasonable, financially responsible and personally fulfilling process that is sure to bring a smile to someone’s face and to wallets everywhere.

Interested? Addicted? Here are a few examples of interesting DIY gifts that are sure to make someone happy.

You can do this project if …  You can color in the lines:

Pretty Bird Wall Art(Pictured top far left; borrowed from Blue Cricket Design;
Supplies Needed:
Two canvases,
permanent marker,
printed birds to trace,
paint, wallpaper or vintage pages, glue or mod podge
1. Print off pictures of birds on cardstock or mount the picture on cardstock to make them sturdy.
2. Cut birds out.
3. Glue newspaper pages, scrapbook paper or book pages to the canvases. Make sure to completely cover the canvases.
4. Lay canvases next to each other. Trace tree branches on the paper, then fill in the lines using a permanent marker.
5. Place birds on the canvases and arrange them.
6. Trace the birds, and then color them in using a permanent marker.
7. Add as many details as you please like leaves, etc. 

You can glue something to something else:


Jeweled Monogram Letter or Word(Pictured top far right; borrowed from Handmade by Ryoan;
Supplies Needed:
Old or broken jewelry, trinkets or knick-knacks, premade wooden letter, glue
1. Arrange decorations on letter.
2. Glue decorations to letter.

You can paint something:

Painted Paper Towel Holder/ Bracelet Holder(Pictured top right center;
Supplies Needed:
Paper towel holder, paint, paint brush
1. Paint a paper towel holder. Hint: Make a bracelet to put on the holder.

You can write and color inside the line:

Painted Canvas with a Quote (Pictured top left center;
Supplies Needed: Canvas, quote, paint, paintbrush
1. Paint border and background.
2. Write quote with pencil. Make sure it looks good, centered and proportional.
3. Paint in the words.

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DIY Great Option For Holiday Gift Giving