CELEBRATE SELF EXPRESSION THRU GIFTING THIS SEASON
1. Personalized Binder: These days, everyone keeps their notes, etc, in their phone. But there is something to be said for having a binder in case there are physical mementos you’d like to save irl.
binder (any size)
holepunch and mini padlock if you want to be cute and make it like true diary-style.
Clip things from the magazines that make you think of the recipient. Glue them onto the binder cover. Put a layer of mod podge over top to seal. Punch a hole on front and back cover to accommodate lock (if you choose). Put a few sheets of notebook paper inside so your receiver has a place to jot notes, if they so desire ☺ Also, some clear plastic sheets will give them a place to store ticket stubs, programs, etc.
2. Mixtape: It is really easy to express one’s self through music.
2 thumb drives
Pick 10-20 songs you love, and think the receiver will enjoy. Put them on a thumbdrive. Maybe there is a theme—workout mix, make-out mix, cleaning mix, etc—maybe it’s just a random assortment of songs that make you happy.
*When you gift the thumbdrive mixtape, also give the receiver a blank thumbdrive and suggest you’d love them to share their favorite music with you as well.
3. Recipe Magnet: No matter your dietary beliefs or practices, food is our fuel. Sharing a recipe that you enjoy making is an easy way to express your love and encourages others to prepare food, an act of expression in itself. If you want double brownie points for this idea, bring the recipe to a holiday function and give the host the recipe as a gift.
paper or cardstock
4×6 magnet frame from walgreens (or wherever)
Neatly (or messily) write out your favorite recipe. Add doodle décor, or not! Place recipe in frame. Voila. Fini.
4. Blind Drawing: Many people do not feel comfortable drawing. But that’s ok! It’s a great way to personalize a gift, and it’s fun, so go for it. One way to explore drawing without hyperventilating is to practice blind drawing. Choose your receiver’s favorite animal/food/sport/emoji, and draw/paint it.
Look at your subject (photo or real, just make sure it’s sitting still), put the pencil to paper, and draw whatever you feel represents the image. Try not to look at the paper, and try not to lift the pencil either. When you’re done, it will look crazy, and you will feel like Picasso. Choose your receiver’s favorite animal/food/sport/emoji, and draw/paint it.
5. Photo Memory: Getting photos printed these days is like having a VHS player. It’s archaic and that makes me sad! Where are your photos? The cloud? Where is the cloud? I am old fashioned…if I can’t see it and hold it, it aint real.
photo—get one printed at any drugstore, you can even email it in online!
gems, jewels, any accoutrement with which you wish to decorate the frame (or don’t decorate at all! That’s ok too!
Decorate (or not) frame. Put picture inside. Finito! *note: although slightly risky, I like to decorate my pictures while they are in the frame, so that I can get a full scope of the composition while I am working. Just be careful to not get glue on the pic.
6. Pet Self Expression
Has your pet had trouble expressing itself lately? Maybe it wants to thank your mom for watching it while you were studying abroad in Spain.
pet and paws
Use your pets paws as a brush/stamp and go crazy! Or just let them walk across the picture few times. Just make sure you’re outside so you don’t end up with pink paw prints all over your casa. Minimalism will work wonders in a project like this.
7. Essential Oils
People forget that the sense of touch is a wonderful form of self-expression. Not to mention, aromatherapy can do a lot of talking for you. 2 senses, 1 gift! There are plenty of tutorials online if you want to make your own oils. Or buy them (I currently swear by Oxalis Apothecary oils). Give the combo gift of essential oil and massage!
Author: Lisa Iacono
Bio: Lisa is a painter in New Orleans. She donates 10% of her proceeds to NAMI. For more info/commissions, see insta @dreamcarrrz or email firstname.lastname@example.org.