Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thoughtful Gift Guide: DIY Gifts- Cards

Yesterday I posted about some of my favorite homemade gifts, but I did not include my absolute favorite gift to give: homemade cards. I am not artistically gifted (my drawing ability extended to stick figures and shapes) but I still really enjoy doodling and making collages, which I often turn into cards for my friends and family. One of the great things about homemade cards is that if you do it right, the person likes it so much that it's unnecessary to buy or make an additional present (unless you really wanted to).

For instance, one of the best presents I've ever gotten is a small card from my best friend. She sent it to me before I had an important job interview, when we hadn't seen each other for a while. It's a store-bought card that she decorated with funny pictures and sayings that reference our inside jokes, and she wrote the sweetest message inside. It wasn't sentimental or dramatic, she didn't tell me that I was the greatest person in the world, or anything like that. She just talked a bit about our friendship and said some really nice, encouraging things. I keep it on my desk and look at it every day. No matter how bad I'm feeling, or how many times I've read it, I always laugh and feel better after I see it.

The key to making a homemade card is not to try to emulate a store-bought card, it's about personalization. The best cards are really funny and sweet, and make reference to things you and the other person really enjoy, or inside jokes and stories. The artwork doesn't have to be good, it's usually funnier when it's awful.

If you don't have the time to make a homemade card, you can always modify a store-bought one, as my friend did. And, if you want to make something with a more serious message, or you think a silly homemade card won't go over very well with someone, buy a card and write a long, thoughtful message inside. Tell the person how much they mean to you and how much you appreciate having them in your life. Don't use hyperbole or say anything you don't really mean, just be truthful.

Whether you make a card yourself or just write a message in a store-bought one, people always appreciate being told that they're important and loved. And unlike most things, a fantastic card is something that people keep and appreciate for a long time. You might be surprised at how, for many people, a thoughtful card can mean much more than an expensive gift.

1 comment:

Meg's Aunt said...

I'm sorry no one has responded to this blog. I think it's because everyone assumes Meg is lying about having no talent in art. Actually Meg has very little artistic ability,but enormous creativity. She has sent me hand-
made cards since whe was 5 years old and I treasure and keep every one of them. There is nothing she could ever give me that would make me as happpy as receiving a handmade card, either for a birthday or a thank you for something we did together over a weekend. So save your money, and get creative! You'll make someone very happy.