Homemade Gift Ideas

There’s absolutely no reason to go broke buying gifts throughout the year for friends, family and co-workers. Nothing means quite as much as a gift that is made with love and care. Planning ahead and making all your gifts will save you a ton of money and a lot of headaches. Here are some terrific homemade gift ideas that are easy and fun to make:

Dollar Store Gift Baskets: Your everyday dollar store is a gift giving haven. You can make really inexpensive gift baskets using dollar store items. For instance, you can divide sets of fingernail polishes, candles, soaps, etc. or separate multi-pack food items like hot cocoa or crackers to make multiple baskets. Most dollar stores also have a great selection of plastic totes and storage containers that can be used in place of the traditional basket holder.

Bath Salts in a Bottle: Nothing is easier to make than scented bath salts. Just use equal parts of Epsom salt, baking soda and sea salt. Add some scents and pour into craft bottles that have been decorated with ribbons or other embellishments. Make sure to include instructions on how to use. No one should soak in bath salts for more than 20 minutes! It can be very drying otherwise.

Body Mists: Body mists are cooling, refreshing and very popular among the ladies. To make your own, pick up some spray bottles at your local pharmacy, beauty supply or craft store. Sterilize and fill each of them with distilled water. Add your choice of essential oils and you’re ready to give a lavish gift!

Hand Painted Golf Tees: Sometimes coming up with homemade gifts to give the guys can be a challenge. Here’s an easy and great gift to make them. Buy some ordinary golf tees and give them all a custom paint job. Choose neutral or wild colors. Or monogram them with the recipient’s initials.

Decorated Bird Feeders & Houses: You can usually find unpainted and inexpensive bird feeders or bird houses at your local craft store, and in various shops online. Hand paint and decorate any way you choose for a thoughtful gift. You can even package them up with bags of bird seed.

Pen Holders: Ordinary cans make the best pen holders in the world! To make, simply wash and dry empty vegetable or soup cans. Drill small holes on either side near the tops of cans (to tie on handles on later!). Paint them any way you want. When dry, use heavy gauge floral wire to make handles. Decorate with glitter, fabrics, ribbons, craft jewels etc. Tie a raffia bow to the handles and you’re done… practical pen holders, awesome gifts.

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The Perfect Christmas Gift Ideas For Men

Are you looking to purchase the perfect gift for the special gentleman in your life? There are plenty of wonderful gadgets, tools, trinkets, and other types of gifts that will surely have him shouting for joy this holiday season. Here are some of the more popular Christmas gift ideas for men:

Sporting Goods

It’s probably a pretty safe bet that the man in your life is into some type of sporting activity whether it be basketball, baseball, golf, hockey, tennis, fishing, or any other type of activity that would normally be considered a sport. Chances are pretty good that he’ll be totally satisfied with a new golf club, or a new fishing rod, or any other type of gift related to a sport that he thoroughly enjoys.

Sports Memorabilia

If he’s a big time sports fanatic, then you will certainly make his day by presenting him with an autographed football, baseball bat, golf towel, or any other autographed item form his favorite sports icon. This is perhaps one of the more difficult gifts to acquire, and it may not even be possible at times, so perhaps you might consider settling for sports memorabilia items such as pictures, plaques, bar furniture, clothing, and more.

Electronic Gadgets

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the different types of electronic gadgets that can given out during the Christmas season. Hand held poker games, portable DVD players, cell phones, and camcorders are all wonderful gifts that men thoroughly enjoy and can never get enough of.

Tools

Who ever heard of a guy that has too many tools? The truth is that a man can never have enough tools in his toolbox, workbench, or wherever it is that he keeps his equipment for performing every day maintenance tasks around the house or apartment. New socket wrenches, drill bits, hammers, all-in-one tool sets, power drills, or any type of power tool will make the perfect addition to that special someone’s collection.

Music

If the guy you’re shopping for is big into music, then you might consider purchasing him a new mp3 player if he hasn’t already got one. Does he have an iPod? Perhaps you might want to buy him a new pair of high quality earphones or an iPod docking station that can double as an alarm clock.

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Review of the ‘Gift Basket Connectory’ by Rita Wilhelm

Rita Wilhelm runs one of the top gift basket businesses in the US. In the Gift Basket Connectory she has compiled a large variety of resources to assist newcomers in starting their own successful businesses.

Membership at Wilhelm’s Gift Basket Connectory gives those interested in learning about the business access to the most comprehensive range of relevant resources and information available online. In the resources that she has put together she shares her secrets and has compiled her years of experience and knowledge so that you can get started right without making the mistakes that so many newcomers to the industry have made.

The knowledge base that she has created is both strong on the practical side of product creation as well as the business side resulting in well rounded information that can fast-track any amateur or hobbyist straight to the mindset of a gift basket professional.

The kit includes videos that teach you how to make professional gift baskets right from scratch and offers insights into which baskets sell better than others and how you should go about pricing and advertising your creations. She outlines some of the start-up considerations that new players should be aware of and sets out an action plan to guide beginners through everything step by step.

Wilhelm is an expert at winning corporate clients and she outlines a complete approach about how to go about establishing and maintaining these lucrative relationships. She also includes detailed information about how to market your gift baskets on the Internet.

The Gift Basket Connectory includes brochure templates, website templates, business forms and a list of wholesale suppliers.

The package also includes access to an industry marketplace as well as one of the largest gift basket business forums on the Internet with over 58,000 posts.

Currently priced at $129 as an annual membership fee, it comes with a 60 day money-back guarantee.

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Rock Climbing – Christmas Gift Ideas

We all know someone who’s idea of a good time is hanging off cliffs. If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for a rock climbing enthusiast, here’s some unique rock climbing gift ideas.

Rock Climbing Gift Ideas

You can always tell a rock climber by their appearance. White chalk fingers, bleeding knuckles, bent fingers and…a grin a mile wide. Whether they are climbing in indoor climbing gyms or hanging off Half Dome in Yosemite, rock climbers are very receptive to rock climbing gifts. Here are a few gift ideas that will make you a favorite with them.

1. Rock Climbing Gym – Most metropolitan areas now have rock climbing gyms. These gyms are typically indoor areas where rock climbers can work on their techniques. Walls come in a variety of terrains and with differing holds. Membership costs range all over the place, but climbers will love the gift. This is a particular good rock climbing gift idea for people living in big cities and who can’t head off for an afternoon of knuckle crunching.

2. Climb International DVD – The Climb International DVD is a highly recommended financial planning tool for rock climbers. Why? Well, the DVD contains climbs from exotic locations such as Thailand and China. After watching the DVD, the average rock climber will suddenly start saving every penny from their paycheck, rolling nickels and generally being as cheap as possible. The goal? To save enough money to travel to these locations for a personal rock climbing adventure. The DVD can be a bit hard to find. Search for it by name on any search engine and you should be able to find it. Expect to pay roughly $20 for this mouth watering movie.

3. Build Your Own Indoor Climbing Wall – You have to be very careful when giving this gift. This book gives step by step instructions on how to build an indoor climbing wall. This, of course, requires one to have a space in which to build said climbing wall. Basements and garages are typical locations, much to the chagrin of spouses. Personally, I wouldn’t put my name on the “from” section of the gift card. You can expect to pay $10 or so for this evil little book.

4. Climbing Holds – Climbing holds are plaster molds that are put on a climbing wall. They come in all kinds of vicious shapes, which are perfect for bending fingers in truly unnatural positions. If you know someone who has built a climbing wall in their garage or house, this is a perfect gift. Since each climbing hold is more or less unique, just pick the ones that grab your fancy. They come in a wide range of prices, so it is often best to shop by what you can afford. Helpful Tip: Look closely at the holds. If you can’t imagine how a hand would possible hold onto a particular hold, that is the one to buy!

5. Nomad Rock Climbing Journals – A little …

How to Survive in the Gift Basket Industry During Trying Economic Times

With 15 years in the gift basket industry, I have seen companies come and go, but in the past several months, during these difficult economic times, I have seen an undeniable increase in companies which are either for sale, or closing. Consumers still require baskets for a variety of reasons. How do you continue to survive and get consumers to spend their much coveted dollars with you during this downturn?

The gift industry is in a category all by itself. Many do not realize the amount of inventory necessary to offer the variety of gift baskets desired by consumers, as well as the many extra items like wrap, ribbon, packaging, boxes, etc. that all go into the design and shipping of a gift basket. It is easy to go overboard on purchasing these items. We must resist purchasing too much in order to keep our expenses in check. Things to keep in mind when purchasing inventory:

-Remember, when purchasing food product you will want to monitor your inventory carefully. Do not carry more than you can realistically sell over a short period of time. You want to be able to offer the freshest product possible to your customer. Old and out dated stock can be the end of your business, and having to discard over buys on a regular basis can put you in the red very quickly.

-Keep track of where your suppliers are. Are they located within a one day ship time? If so, you do not need to stockpile these items. If you know that you are able to re-supply low inventory within a day, there is no need to carry a large overhead. Although, it might seem responsible to order in larger quantities to save on shipping, it is more important to have a sustainable level of inventory, than save a few dollars on shipping costs.

-Are the items you stock available from several suppliers? Ask them to price match.

-Keep a detailed and categorized inventory list so that when it is time to re-order, you can order all the necessary stock from a specific supplier without forgetting anything, thus avoiding additional unnecessary shipping fees.

As responsible gift basket professionals, it is important that we watch our bottom line so that we are able to provide beautiful gift baskets at a fair price. If a customer knows that they can depend on us to provide fresh gift baskets on a consistent basis, you will be able to retain these customers regardless of the economic conditions. They will come to trust our dependability and be happy to pass the responsibility of getting an eye catching gift basket delivered to their family, friends and associates in a timely and affordable manner.

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What Giving Fountain Pens As a Gift Really Means

If you are looking to make an impression through a gift, there is no shortage of options in the shops and department stores that litter every town and city. However, no gift makes an impression more so than one of style, sophistication and reminiscent of the cultured society of the past. While there is a vast variety of unusual gifts for men and women, amongst the most commonly appreciated are writing artifacts, not just because of their design and worth, but because of what they communicate.

The fact is that such items reflect well on both the giver of the gift and the recipient. While modern, ball-point pens are impressive in their own right, with silver, gold and stainless steel finishes, and with some even wrapped in skins as exotic as snake, the pens of yesteryear suggest the kind of polished civility that is missing from the world of today.

Fountain pens, in particular, represent the worldly and the learned. They require a technique in their use that is both skillful and masterly, and are themselves designed to smoothly run across the page. Such a gift suggests that the giver’s impression of the recipient is that of a person of maturity, a learned and solid being of the world. And as far as the recipient is concerned, the person from whom he received such a striking gift has shown care and consideration in their choice, something only those with true taste can display.

Add to that the accessories that can complete a writing set, and the image grows. Such items are ink blotters, writing desks, ink wells and ink sets, quills for the antique effect and portable writing boxes. The list of writing artifacts that can be added to the pen is long, each one with a specific worth beyond the figure written on its tag.

In both cases, there is an array of options that any buyer can peruse before actually making a purchase. Any stationary store will have a wealth of pens for sale at a variety of prices, and while this may be sufficient for most people, a more discerning purchaser will seek out something extra special.

Often, it comes right down to the nib – literally – as pens can come in either ball-point, rollerball and fountain nib designs. Preferences are also decided on the barrel of the pen, which can vary in thickness and shape, or the pen’s weight in the hand, with some of the heavier models preferred for their seamless movement.

When it comes to fountain pens prices can run into thousands of pounds, with caps made of solid sterling silver and nibs that are as intricately engraved as they are engineered. Nibs can be made of 14k sold gold, steel or plated in chrome, and can be broad or fine in width. Barrels come in a variety of metals, carbon fibre and even wood.

Of course, writing boxes add a truly authentic feeling of old-world and the timeless sophistication that it imbues. …

Rejuvenate The Anniversary Couple With An Anniversary Gift

Wedding anniversaries signify milestones passed in a couple's life; and you can enjoy their happiness at crossing these milestones by gifting them wonderful gifts on their wedding anniversaries. You can very much help the couple feel that they have accomplished something special in their lives with an anniversary gift. In fact, special anniversary gifts are known to rekindle whatever dying romance there may be in couple's life.

There are traditional ideas for wedding gifts, which you could choose from to make a presentation. Each passing wedding anniversary signifies a different theme for presentation. The first year calls for something made of paper like a book, movie tickets or perhaps wrapping a gift with paper. Similarly, the second year calls for cotton, the third leather and so forth. The twenty-fifth wedding anniversary calls for a silver gift and the fiftieth wedding anniversary, a gift made of gold. Reaching the seventy-fifth wedding anniversary is indeed a great achievement, and calls for a gift made from diamonds!

If you are not content with presenting gifts based on these themes, you can always look out for gift articles to be presented to the couple. There are many gift stores and online stores you can visit to get an idea of ​​the perfect gift to gift the couple. Gifts like chocolates, jewelry, clothes and decorative items are the most preferred gifts. However, you can become ingenious, and using your creativity, create some changes to the gift to make it stand out.

You could perhaps gift a beautiful night out for the couple with Broadway tickets and a romantic dinner for two. Or perhaps a gift basket in a decorative basket, with products that you pick according to the likes of the couple. This adds a personal touch to the gift. If you are not that sure on what to buy for the couple you could always gift gift certificates. There are different gift certificates to choose from; some gift certificates permit the recipient to buy goods in their establishment worth the amount on the certificate. Then there are gift certificates where you can send the couple to enjoy the Florida sun, take an adventure trip, go on a diving trip or perhaps have a refreshing spa experience.

Couples who love parties and partying can be gifted theme parties. You could call all their near and dear ones, order food they like and spring a surprise party for them! As you can see, there are many choices to choose the best anniversary gift from. However, whatever gift you do choose, it should be remembered that it is the encoded message of how much you actually love the couple that is displayed through the gift that you choose for them.

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Halloween's Gift to Us-FEAR

Halloween is almost upon us, and grown-ups are planning Halloween parties, while kids of all ages figure out what costume to wear and whether to trick or treat. For all the fun we have at Halloween, it is still a day in remembrance of all things scary; ghosts, zombies, witches, spells and curses.

Fear. Or, as I prefer to think about it, FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. The "ghost" is a sheet fluttering, the "witch" is but a black robe and tall hat, the "zombie" an amalgamation of tattered clothes and white ghoulish make-up. Yet fear is a real emotion. Any time our survival, our well-being – or that of a loved one – is threatened, we experience fear.

The problem lies, not in that initial survival emotional knee-jerk, but in what we choose to do with it. At Halloween, we may be startled by an apparent ghostly apparition, but a moment later we dismiss it for the illusion that it is. In our daily life, however, too often we confuse our feeling of fear, with something to be afraid of, rather than something to deal with.

I learned this forcefully many years ago when I was rear-ended not once, not twice, but seven times over the course of a year. Even though only the first accident resulted in significant injury, by the seventh I was terrified to get back in my car. I was working, in my late 20s, public transportation in Los Angeles was scarce and Uber wasn't even a thought in someone's mind. I had to drive. I couldn't afford to be too afraid to drive. In desperation, I consulted a hypnotist, something I'd never done before. It worked. In my desperation I did the thing I needed most to do – deal with my fear.

You see, fear is actually designed to be a warning sign: "Pay attention, danger ahead!" I was hit, I was scared – how hurt was I? Would I be OK? But once fear has alerted you to paying attention to your survival / well-being, its job is done. Maintaining a state of fear prevents you from enjoying the life in front of you; your present, the now moment, really the only time you have. Which is why FEAR makes sense: if you're on the way to dealing with whatever the threat is, then fear is "false evidence," persisting merely because you haven't released it.

Think about it: you had a miserable divorce. You're afraid to get into another relationship because he / she might be a jerk. Again. You're hanging onto your fear rather than dealing with how to recognize and avoid jerks. Or, you hate your job. You're afraid of quitting because you're afraid you won't be able to get another job. Your fear gets in the way of exploring your options, such as improving your skill set, checking out where employees are needed, looking into job-search resources.

False Evidence Appearing Real. Just like that scary witch who was nothing …

Tea Gift Baskets How to Make a Tea Lover Happy

Tea gift baskets , the perfect gift for any tea lover. What would be the perfect thing to find in a special basket like this? Being an avid loose leaf tea drinker myself finding those loose leaves in a gift basket would make it special to me. Lots of luck though, trying to find this type of basket. I've been disappointed to find that most companies that offer tea gift baskets fill them with lots of goodies along with tea bags. Offering a true tea lover tea bags, is comparable to offering white lightening to a wine connoisseur.

What's the answer to this dilemma? Create the tea gift basket yourself. Don't be intimidated, you can do this. Today I'm going to give you three tips to get you started on your way to making beautiful tea gifts. You will not break the bank while doing this either.

Let's get started.

You will need a basket or container to hold your gift items. Here's a great tip, purchase containers just after the holidays when prices are slashed. I often pick up beautiful baskets for 50% to 80% off retail. Why, because they are decorated in some way for a particular holiday and that holiday has past. Retailers need to move that inventory out of their stores.

I will save some of the containers for that same holiday next year. Others will have the ornaments or decorations removed. I recently made a just because basket from an after Christmas find. It was completely covered in a green felt with ornaments on it. The covering was easy to slip off and the basket became a perfect container for any occasion.

Definitely use good quality loose leaf tea in your basket. Again, you don't have to break the bank to do this. Purchase sample sizes of tea. Many companies offer this small size to allow consumers to see if they love a particular tea and want to buy more of it. This eliminates the barrier of trying something new for fear of wasting money. That makes it a win-win situation for both the consumer and the retailer. The consumer is more willing to make a small purchase, but will often pass on spending more for something they are not sure they will like. The retailer wins because those teas that the customer really likes they will purchase again and again.

I have even found some companies that have great teas that send you a free sampling with a purchase. You just can't get any cheaper than that. Use these samples to place in your gift of tea.

This type of gift basket will always have some tea food items. Scones are a favorite food to serve with tea. Rather than buy from an expensive bakery make the scones yourself. I bake scones and freeze them. After they are frozen I vacuum pack them. This keeps them fresh for a very long time. Many years ago I purchased a Food Saver vacuuming appliance that has …

Finding the Anniversary Gift Idea That Shocks and Awes

Coming across that dazzling pair of gold earrings that your sweetie hid in your apple pie? Nice surprise. Finding that one of them is missing? Not so much. Sometimes even the most expensive surprise anniversary gift idea can backfire. When it works the way you planned it though, their reaction is priceless.

But how do you do that? How do conjure up an anniversary gift idea that’s perfectly suited to your mate without asking them directly “what do you want”? If your answer is “just give them the cash”, you’d best enjoy this anniversary. It could be your last.

Or you may be tempted to throw caution to the wind and go with your gut, but so was the earring guy. Instead, close your eyes, open your ears and shock her, in a good way, with the perfect anniversary gift idea that makes her say “ahhh”.

Show Your True Colors

On the surface, this is one of the simplest approaches to finding a tailor made anniversary gift idea. Use their favorite color as a starting point. Of course, to do that, you first have to KNOW their favorite color. And for guys, that requires you to leave your comfort zone and immerse yourself in a new experience: Paying attention.

Color Her Impressed

Look at her clothing and accessories and notice what shades tend to recur. Is she true to blue? Then a glittering sapphire bracelet may be an ideal fit.

Or maybe she prefers to go green. Pick out a dazzling pair of emerald earrings and await the accolades.

Does she often look pretty in pink? Treat her to a stunning pearl necklace that begs the question “how did he know?”

Ladies, the same approach will work wonders for your man, and since you’ve already mastered that whole “paying attention” thing, you’re halfway home in your search for an anniversary gift idea.

Maybe it’s an elegant watch with a face or strap to match his preferred tone, or a pair of classy cufflinks in the color he favors most.

Whichever route you go, overcoming your color blindness can offer eye-opening results in pursuit of the ultimate anniversary gift idea.

Playing the Numbers Game

What’s in a number? How about the key to an unforgettable anniversary gift idea and, in the process, your loved one’s heart?

Women are often pleasantly surprised when you remember your anniversary; let alone what number it is. So leave her doubly impressed by matching the gift to the material that is traditionally associated with that anniversary year.

Of course, this is easier for some years than others. Silver for the 25th or pearl for the 30th is pretty straightforward, but what about the first anniversary and its connection with paper? Hand her a pad of writing paper and you’re liable to get a “Dear John” letter in return.

Fortunately, there’s also a list of modern gifts for each year to go along with the traditional ones, probably compiled by the guy who went the “paper” route.…