Saturday, November 24, 2007

Making Presents Guys Will Really Like

The guys in your life can be notoriously hard to buy for. A nice American Eagle sweater can only be given so many times before you feel like a sellout. Lists of gifts that men will like seem to only contain high ticket items, like electronics, DVD’s and CD’s. What can you do when you have a low budget and a picky man to buy for?

One of the best things is to make a gift. Now, at first this may seem like a terrible idea. Everyone knows that a man wants an HDTV and not a hand knitted scarf, right? Well, not always. Of course, anyone would love a new flat screen, but your boyfriend or father isn’t completely shallow. He’ll appreciate the thought put into a hand made gift. But to make sure he’ll also appreciate the gift its self, there are some tips to follow.

First make sure that he’s involved in the picking out of the yarn or project. Tell your brother you want him to help you pick out supplies for a friend’s gift because their tastes are so similar. Get him to help you plan the entire project under this guise, and then you can be sure that he’ll approve of the finished item when you present it to him on Christmas day.

Take a look at what he wears and uses already. If your dad never wears long sleeves, he probably won’t really enjoy the wool sweater you’ve made him. If your boyfriend thinks royal blue is a little too wild of a color, it won’t please him to wear the Kelly green vest you’ve knit him. If your brother loves modern sleek d├ęcor he probably won‘t have much appreciation for the needle pointed desk set. Sad, but true. It’s best to try to truly reflect the style and taste of the person you’re making the gift for. And if knitting an entire sweater in plain black sounds like torture to your creative soul, try some of these more untraditional homemade gifts for your men folk.

Small accessories work well with inexpensive gifts, because even if you’re only spending five dollars on a gift card, you can find some scrap yarn and whip up a small gift to go with it, adding a lot of value for little effort. Gifts that go well together in this sense are coffee mug sleeves paired with a Starbucks gift card or an iPod sleeve paired with an iTunes gift card. Hats and scarves can work well because men who don’t care for bright colors or textures in their clothes will usually allow some leeway on the small winter accessories.

Use charts from video games to plan these things. Your boyfriend might give a lukewarm response to cross-stitched coasters with a bargello design, but stitch him up a set of Mario, Luigi and Princess Toadstool and you may find that you’re the best girlfriend ever. These charts can be use in knitting (how about Mario mushrooms around a hat). I’ve even seen some great projects done with these charts using the beads you put on a pegboard and iron together. What guy wouldn’t love a set of old school video game ornaments. Google Mario charts or video game charts or check out craftster.org for some awesome guy friendly projects.

If all else fails, food is definitely the way to go if you want to give an inexpensive, but guy-friendly, gift. Make a “Meal of the Month” club. Offer to cook him dinner once a month, including dessert. Make some special candy, like fudge. It’s fairly simple to do, the ingredients aren’t too much money for the amount of fudge you get, and any guy with a sweet tooth will love you forever for homemade fudge. You could even put together a Football Party in a Box. A large football themed serving dish or bowl filled with chips and dip makings, decorations and fun party ware, including a coupon to play hostess for the night of the big NFL game, complete with cooking, carrying and cleaning would please any guy any time. This of course could be tailored to your particular man’s interests, like NASCAR, MLB or NHL. A party in a box gift won’t cost you much more than your time, ingredients for snacks, and some effort, but it will be much more memorable and special than yet another store bought sweater or CD.

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3 comments:

Alison said...

andy would kill me if I did anything like that for him.

Adam J. said...

don't you think that you party in a box idea is kind of sexist? whomever thought of that one needs to be informed on women's rights!

Bethany said...

You two are like those old heckling guys from the Muppet Show. I love those guys.

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