creative gifts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11559/all en-US 25 Gifts You Can Make Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-gifts-you-can-make-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holmakegift-186070383.jpg" alt="making jewelry" title="making jewelry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Homemade gifts are often more meaningful than store-bought gifts, and fortunately they&rsquo;re usually easy on the wallet too. For those who would like to save a buck or two on the next birthday, anniversary, or shower gift, or just like the idea of making something unique for a friend, here are 25 ideas for gifts that you can make with materials that are easily found at your local craft or hardware store. Many require little to no crafting skills, while others are a little more challenging, but definitely still doable for us amateurs! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=seealso">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <h2>1. Friendship Bracelets</h2> <p>Friendship bracelets were all the rage when I was younger, and they remain an easy and pretty gift to make. If you know how to tie a knot, you can make one of these colorful <a href="http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2011/7/10/mollys-sketchbook-friendship-bracelets.html">macram&eacute; bracelets</a> from The Purl Bee, which can be made in several patterns.</p> <h2>2. Lace Earring Holder</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.u-createcrafts.com/2010/04/creative-guest-trey-and-lucy-lace.html">lace earring holder</a> from U-Create is the perfect gift for your favorite style maven. Spray-paint a thrifted picture frame in the color of your choice, and tack a pretty piece of lace onto the back for a quick and beautiful earring holder.</p> <h2>3. Sisal Rope Bowl</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2011/07/sisal-rope-bowl/">sisal bowl</a> by Centsational Girl looks so beautiful (not to mention expensive) and is the perfect easy gift to make as a housewarming or wedding gift. You need a cheap metal bowl, a coil of sisal rope, and some hot glue, and you&rsquo;re set. Try covering other items with sisal rope (like a jar or an old vase) for a fun variation.</p> <h2>4. Homemade Cake Stand</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holmakegift-168769160-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Use glass glue to attach a goblet or candlestick to the bottom of a pretty plate, and you can easily create a <a href="http://strawberry-chic.blogspot.com/2011/06/diy-tuesday-glass-cake-stand.html">lovely cake stand</a> like this one from Strawberry Chic! Use glass for a more traditional look, or spray paint the base for a more colorful finish. This cake stand is perfect for displaying a friend&rsquo;s birthday cake, and he gets to keep the stand at the end.</p> <h2>5. Framed Silhouettes</h2> <p>Classic framed silhouettes look great in anyone&rsquo;s home and make a thoughtful gift. All you need is a photograph with the person you want to silhouette in profile. Blow the photograph up to the size you want and print it out (black and white is fine) on your home printer. Cut out the head, neck, and tops of the shoulders. Trace around the shape you&rsquo;ve cut out onto black or colored paper (or better yet, a pretty patterned paper), and cut out the new shape. Glue it onto a contrasting background, and put it in a pretty frame. You don&rsquo;t have to do a profile; a whole-body silhouette of one person or several people works just as well.</p> <h2>6. Vintage Postage Stamp Coasters</h2> <p>Print these colorful <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2010/12/diy-project-jessicas-postage-stamp-coasters.html">vintage postage stamps</a> from Design*Sponge (which have already been resized for you) onto iron-on transfers to make these easy and unique coasters.</p> <h2>7. Homemade Lip Balm</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holmakegift-stk66470cor-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>I made homemade lip balm recently, and I was surprised at how easy it was to make and how cute the resulting jars of lip balm turned out! Here&rsquo;s an easy tutorial for <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2010/12/small-measures-with-ashley-homemade-lip-balm.html">homemade lip balm</a> at Design*Sponge.</p> <h2>8. Customized Onesies</h2> <p>A wonderful gift for a baby shower, High Street Market has an easy tutorial for making <a href="http://highstreetmarket.blogspot.com/2011/06/custom-onesie-clothesline.html">customized onesies</a> for an expected baby. Just buy a few plain white onesies, print out designs onto iron-on transfers, and iron the designs onto the onesies. How cute!</p> <h2>9. Beaded Necklace With Ribbon</h2> <p>Martha Stewart&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/268720/jade-beaded-necklace-with-ribbon?backto=true&amp;backtourl=/photogallery/handmade-necklaces#slide_4">beaded necklaces</a> with ribbon are elegant and trendy. You don&rsquo;t have to use the same brand of beads &mdash; use whatever is available at your craft store.</p> <h2>10. Spray-Painted Bottle Bud Vases</h2> <p>Grab a four-pack of empty soda bottles (or a six-pack of beer bottles), remove the labels, and spray paint them to make these <a href="http://thecolorfullivingproject.blogspot.com/2011/05/spray-bottles-diy-project-part-one.html">sweet bud vases</a> from The Colorful Living Project. Spray-paint the cardboard bottle caddy too, and then put the dried bottles back into the caddy, fill with flowers, and you&#39;ve got a lovely set of matching bud vases for a charming gift.</p> <h2>11. Fruity Button Embroidered Napkins</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holmakegift-161823801-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Embellish store-bought fabric napkins with this cute <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/271473/fruity-button-embroidery-napkins">fruity button tutorial</a> from Martha Stewart. Small colorful buttons and some green embroidery thread form apples, oranges, and cherries in this easy project.</p> <h2>12. Tiny Polaroid Magnets</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ambrosiagirl.com/blog/tiny-polaroid-magnets/">Ambrosia Girl&#39;s adorable magnets</a> are personalized with tiny photographs in mini faux-Polaroid frames. Use pictures of yourself to ensure the receiver will think of you every time she sees them!</p> <h2>13. Cork Mouse Mat</h2> <p>This easy <a href="http://chillybear.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/cute-crafts-projects-to-make-as-christmas-gifts-6/">cork mouse mat</a> is made from a cork tile from your local hardware store. Stencil a design onto the cork using a homemade or store-bought stencil, a foam brush, and acrylic paint. Cut out the mat and spray it with a quick-drying clear protective sealer.</p> <h2>14. Recipe Cards</h2> <p>Print out this pretty <a href="http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2011/07/printable-recipe-cards.html">recipe card template</a> from How About Orange, and handwrite your favorite recipes onto them. Wrap the recipes with a ribbon, or place them in a box, and give them to your favorite budding chef.</p> <h2>15. Front Door Wreaths</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holmakegift-91716922-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>A perfect housewarming gift, a pretty floral front door wreath with house numbers on it is both attractive and practical. Simply hot glue some silk flowers and other decorations onto a grapevine wreath, available at your local craft store. See some great examples of <a href="http://missloviecreations.blogspot.com/2011/04/hydrangea-wreath.html">homemade wreaths</a> from Miss Lovie.</p> <h2>16. Wine Cork Trivet</h2> <p>Hot-glue together 31 wine corks to make this easy but rustically elegant <a href="http://www.craftynest.com/2009/07/wine-cork-trivet/">trivet</a> from Crafty Nest, perfect for the wine-lover in your life.</p> <h2>17. Fruit Bouquet</h2> <p>Here&rsquo;s a yummy alternative to bringing a bouquet of flowers. Stick assorted fruit onto skewers and arrange them artistically in a vase. There are a few ideas for different kinds of <a href="http://www.diylife.com/2011/05/03/edible-arrangements-make-a-fruit-veggie-or-cupcake-bouquet/">fruit bouquets</a> at DIY Life.</p> <h2>18. Fabric Yo-yo Flowers</h2> <p>A fabric yo-yo is basically a circle of fabric gathered together in the middle to form a flower-like shape. Use them to decorate pins, headbands, T-shirts, magnets, hair clips, and more. Heather Bailey has a clearly illustrated <a href="http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/photos/how_to_make_a_yoyo/hbyoyotutorial1.html">guide to making a fabric yo-yo</a>.</p> <h2>19. Canvas Doily Stencil Bag</h2> <p>This stylish bag is a cinch to make with some fabric paint, a paper doily for a stencil, and a paintbrush. Just pick up a plain canvas tote bag at the craft store and follow this easy tutorial for a <a href="http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2009/11/21/diy-doily-canvas-bag/">doily stencil bag</a> from Ashley Ann Photography.</p> <h2>20. Lavender Sachets</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll need a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-sew-easy-to-save">sewing machine</a> and rudimentary sewing skills to sew these fragrant lavender sachets that can be tucked among linens. Find the step-by-step <a href="http://sew4home.com/projects/pillows-cushions/466-last-minute-gift-pillows-fragrant-lavender-sachets">sachet tutorial</a> at Sew4Home.</p> <h2>21. Teacup Candles</h2> <p>Martha Stewart has a <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273016/teacup-lights?backto=true&amp;backtourl=/photogallery/mothers-day-gifts#slide_58">tutorial for sweet candles</a> contained in antique teacups (easily found at thrift stores or flea markets). Old, partially burned candles are melted down and get new life in this beautiful gift.</p> <h2>22. Mason Jar Soap Dispenser</h2> <p>These rustic-looking mason jars are super-easy, and they make wonderful housewarming gifts. Drill a hole in the top of a vintage, thrifted mason jar and insert a soap pump from an old bottle of soap. Hot glue the pump into place and you&#39;re ready to go! Read the <a href="http://theblissfullycontentlife.blogspot.com/2010/08/homemade-christmas-canning-jar-soap.html">soap dispenser tutorial</a> at Blissfully Content.</p> <h2>23. S&#39;mores Gift Box</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holmakegift-88296016-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Do you have a friend who loves these marshmallow-chocolate treats? Make an easy s&#39;more gift box by putting graham crackers, marshmallows, and tablets of chocolate in a pretty transparent box or bag, and then tie it with a ribbon for a quick and easy gift.</p> <h2>24. Hand-Drawn Monogram Mugs</h2> <p><a href="http://www.designmom.com/2010/11/diy-monogram-mugs/">Design Mom</a> bought a few white mugs from the thrift store and hand-drew lovely monograms onto the cups using a porcelain pen (available at craft stores). After baking them in your oven, the cups will become pretty, personalized, and dishwasher-safe gifts.</p> <h2>25. Doily Table Runner</h2> <p>Pick up a few inexpensive crocheted doilies from an antique or thrift store, and sew them together to make this gorgeous vintage doily table runner. Ashley Ann Photography has the <a href="http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2009/12/16/diy-doily-table-runner/">tutorial</a> for this fresh take on a vintage look.</p> <p><em>Do you have any other ideas for handmade gifts?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-coupons-20-great-free-gift-ideas">20 Great, Free Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle cheap gifts crafts creative gifts easy Wed, 27 Jul 2011 10:36:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 632644 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Give Cash as a Gift http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-give-cash-as-a-gift <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-give-cash-as-a-gift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_shirt.jpg" alt="Money Origami" title="Money Origami" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves receiving cash as a present, but sticking a $20 bill in a card is a little anti-climactic. At best you'll receive a smile and a thank you. It's money. We've seen it before, and while it is nice that you were able to put an exact dollar amount on your thoughtfulness, you didn't step up and give a gift that's memorable. In fact, it may signal that you waited until the last minute. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-give-kids-cash-for-the-holidays">5 Reasons Why You Should Give Kids Cash for the Holidays</a>)</p> <p>How can you give cash and make the recipient feel like a million bucks? Get a little creative with the gift's entrance, and you'll make the dollar amount feel like an afterthought. Try one of these five fun ways of gifting cash, and your typically mundane present could turn into the hit of the party. In fact, the harder the recipient has to &quot;work&quot; for the cash, the more fun it could be!</p> <h2>1. Money Origami</h2> <p>What's cooler than getting cash in the shape of the things you could buy with the money? Use <a href="http://members.cox.net/crandall11/money/index.html">money origami</a>&nbsp;to make a collared shirt and some boots. Add in a bow-tie and you have a new wardrobe! The possibilities are endless, and the time you put in will definitely earn you a few impressed looks. The only downside is the recipient won't want to &quot;unwrap&quot; the gift!</p> <h2>2. Cold Hard Cash</h2> <p>Put your the cash in a plastic bag and close it tight. Place it in a container of water and stick it in the freezer for a few hours. The recipient will have to chip away at the block of ice (or wait for it to melt!) in order to reach the present.</p> <h2>3. Never-Ending Roll</h2> <p>Cut a slit in a cardboard box (shoe boxes work great!), wide enough to fit the short side of a dollar bill through. Tape the bills together, end to end, and roll them up inside the box. Tape one end to a sign that says &quot;Pull Here,&quot; making sure the sign hangs outside the box while hiding the dollar bills that are attached to it inside. When the recipient pulls the tab, the cash will flow out, and the present will take some time to unwind.</p> <h2>4. Pop for Your Cash</h2> <p>Fill a bunch of balloons with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-things-to-do-with-a-1-bill">dollar bills</a>, blow them up, and then give the recipient a little box with a pin inside. They&rsquo;ll soon figure out that their job is to pop the balloons and collect the cash that falls out.</p> <h2>5. Going Nuts&nbsp;</h2> <p>Split some walnuts carefully down the middle and place tightly folded dollar bills inside each one. Super glue them back together so nobody will know that you've manipulated the walnuts. Imagine the surprise at finding out that maybe money <em>can</em> grow on trees!</p> <p><em>What other creative entrances for cash have you seen?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-packer">Daniel Packer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-give-cash-as-a-gift">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-spot-counterfeit-money">How to Spot Counterfeit Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fine-art-makes-fine-gifts">How to Buy Art as Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips birthday cash creative gifts holiday presents Mon, 21 Mar 2011 10:00:08 +0000 Daniel Packer 503126 at http://www.wisebread.com For Delicious Cocktails, Infuse Alcohol http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3965322470_eacedcc474_z.jpg" alt="infused alcohol" title="infused alcohol" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've been to a liquor store recently, you might've noticed the increasing variety of flavored liquors. Sure, there are the classics like lemon vodka and coconut rum. But I've also seen coffee-flavored tequila, cherry-flavored whiskey, and one disturbing bottle of a murky liquid that promised to deliver the flavors of red wine and chocolate in a single beverage. (I'm not sure if that last one was supposed to be sold as a legitimate drink or a gag gift.)</p> <p>Some of these flavored liquors can taste pretty good, while others deliver the sort of fake fruit tastes normally reserved for children's cough syrup. The best (and often cheapest) way to make sure the flavored spirit you're sipping is something delicious, though, is to infuse your own alcohol. Homemade infusions often taste better than store-bought flavored liquors and can make low-to-mid-range spirits taste high-class (or at least higher-class). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/living-large-with-lower-calorie-cocktails" title="Living Large with Lower Calorie Cocktails">Living Large with Lower Calorie Cocktails</a>)</p> <h2>How to Infuse Alcohol</h2> <p>The process is very simple. You choose your favorite spirit, ideally something relatively neutral like vodka, gin, or rum (darker spirits can be infused, but because they're more flavorful on their own, they're harder to pair with an infusion). Then you choose what you'd like to flavor your spirit with &mdash; anything from lime peel (pith removed) for a tonic-ready gin to hot peppers, bay leaves, and black peppercorns for a vodka that begs for bloody mary mix. Combine the liquor and flavorings, seal in a container (its original bottle, a new bottle, or a large jar are all good), and let the mixture sit. The infusion process can take anywhere from three days to several weeks depending on how strong you'd like your infusion to be (you can always take a little taste to see if you're satisfied with its strength).</p> <p>Once you're happy with your spirit's flavor, strain it through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, store it in a clean bottle, and enjoy! Infused alcohol also makes a great homemade gift.</p> <p>If you need some ideas on what flavors to use, we've posted ideas before about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-life-to-life-la-kayim-the-joy-of-home-enhanced-booze">infusing vodka</a> &mdash; even with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-do-with-leftover-halloween-candy">leftover Halloween candy</a>. Some of my favorite combinations that I've made include ginger-lime gin, the aforementioned hot pepper vodka, and <a href="http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes/2007/08/22/homemade-falernum/">falernum</a>, a rum-based drink that was once popular in tiki cocktails.</p> <h2>Cocktail Recipes with Infused Alcohol</h2> <p>Not sure how to use your new infused alcohol? You can replace any flavored spirit you would buy at the store, or try it in a cocktail where you'd normally use a plain version, like mixing a rum and coke with home-infused orange rum. If you need more ideas, cocktail sites like <a href="http://cocktaildb.com/">CocktailDB</a>&nbsp;or the <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipesmenus/drinks/recipes">drinks section of Epicurious</a> are great places to start.</p> <p>Have you tried infusing your own spirits? If so, do you have any flavor combinations to recommend?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-delicious-cocktails-infuse-alcohol">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink General Tips alcohol cocktails creative gifts Wed, 03 Nov 2010 13:00:12 +0000 Meg Favreau 277768 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Buy Art as Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/fine-art-makes-fine-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/fine-art-makes-fine-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/art-104263053.jpg" alt="art" title="art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Growing up, I always viewed original artwork as something other people had. Rich people.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve never been an art geek, but I&rsquo;m starting to hit that point in my life where I&rsquo;d like some nice things to hang on my walls. I&rsquo;m in what I think will be a long-term home, and I&rsquo;m aging out of the grad student chic look that kept me happy through my 20s.</p> <p>So I&rsquo;ve begun paying more attention to art. I&rsquo;ve found myself visiting a lot of art studios and gallery shows over the past year. In doing so, I learned that beautiful original art doesn&rsquo;t have to be expensive. Often, it costs no more than you&rsquo;d spend on a sweater at the mall or a gift certificate for a nice restaurant. In other words, entirely within many holiday gift budgets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art?ref=seealso">How to Cheaply Display Your Art</a>)</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve replaced my garage sale prints from college with original pieces by <a href="http://www.photoclave.com/blog/">Molly Tomlinson</a>, <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35543462">Nica Davidov</a> and <a href="http://www.somervilleopenstudios.org/artists/artist_profile.php?artistID=773">Rachel Silber</a>. Never heard of them? They&rsquo;re not famous, just local artists who are good at what they do. There are literally thousands of good artists making interesting work out there.</p> <p>How do you shop for fine art at an affordable price? I turned to Boston-based artist and teacher <a href="http://www.rachelmello.com/">Rachel Mello</a> for advice. Here are her tips for a successful gift.</p> <h2>Be brave!</h2> <p>Giving someone art as a gift can be tricky, but it&rsquo;s tricky for the same reason it&rsquo;s so special: it shows you&rsquo;ve been paying attention to the person and (hopefully) know what they like.</p> <h2>Go with your gut.</h2> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to overthink an art purchase. Rachel says the two most important questions to ask when you see a piece of artwork are, &ldquo;Do I like it?&rdquo; and &ldquo;Does it remind me of the person I&rsquo;m shopping for?&rdquo; It&rsquo;s really that simple.</p> <h2>Don&rsquo;t be afraid of abstract art.</h2> <p>If the colors draw you in, and you think they&rsquo;d look great on your loved one&rsquo;s wall, go for it!</p> <h2>Look locally.</h2> <p>Open studios, like <a href="http://www.somervilleopenstudios.org/">Somerville&rsquo;s Open Studios</a>, are common places for artists to show off their stuff. You can also buy from artists directly at craft shows and holiday fairs. Art schools often hold holiday shows where you can buy work directly from art students.</p> <h2>Look online.</h2> <p>Many young artists market their work through <a href="http://www.etsy.com/">Etsy</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-is-it-art">eBay</a>. If like me, you&rsquo;re interested primarily in photography, check out <a href="http://www.imagekind.com/">Imagekind</a> as well.</p> <h2>Buy directly from the artists.</h2> <p>Every time art is collected and resold, the price goes up a notch.</p> <h2>Frame it.</h2> <p>&quot;If you give somebody art that is not ready to hang, that can be a big burden,&rdquo; Rachel said. &ldquo;Work that&#39;s not ready to hang or put out often ends up in a drawer.&rdquo; She warns against falling for the custom framing racket, though. A ready-made frame from Target will serve nicely for most pieces.</p> <p>Rachel points out that for someone who loves art, the gift of an original piece is two-fold. &quot;Not only are you giving them a thing that they like, you&#39;re supporting a practice they like: you&#39;re supporting art and keeping art-making happening,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>So go ahead and turn your home, or your mom&rsquo;s home, into a mini-museum this holiday season. You&rsquo;ll be bringing more beauty into your home, and your local arts community will thank you for it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sierra-black">Sierra Black</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fine-art-makes-fine-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">25+ Easy Ways to Save Money But Still Get What You Want During Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-rules-for-planning-your-most-affordable-christmas-ever">5 Rules for Planning Your Most Affordable Christmas Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-art-of-the-group-gift">The Art of the Group Gift</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping art creative gifts holiday presents holiday shopping Thu, 10 Dec 2009 14:00:11 +0000 Sierra Black 3953 at http://www.wisebread.com