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Personalized gifts made really personal…like made just for me. (Best Personalized and DIY Gifts)

Nov08

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I just threw out our jack-o-lanterns which means my brain is running right to the other less costume oriented holidays coming up. I know, you’re thinking, ‘Bluh?! Is this Target? Putting out Christmas items before Halloween is even over?’
But I’m talking about custom gifts and those can take a while to have made, so you can’t just sit around staring off into space waiting for the right gift to give your mother-in-law to drop into your lap. You’ve got to move now or you’re going to be wrapping up golf ball soaps for your husband on Christmas Eve. And he doesn’t golf.
roundstamper.jpgAs the owner of a freebie self inking stamper I love these custom self inking stamps from Three Designing Women. (It also comes in square.) I kind of wish there were less choices here, because I’m feeling overwhelmed, but I do particularly love this one. The stamper can be customized with name and address, initials, save the date information and check out the coordinating stationary and gift cards or even wine hang tags, to make your gift a complete set.
stamps.jpgYou could even throw in a set of custom stamps to go with your stationary and custom stamp gift. You send an image (for my brother, maybe that shot of him in a powder blue tuxedo…) and $20.98 (for one sheet of stamps), in return PhotoStamps sends you personalized stamps. Don’t know what picture to send? Give a gift certificate.
robotfactorytshirt.gifKids love to see their names on things, but a t-shirt from your very own Robot Factory!? Or what about their very own species of dinosaur? How mean would it be to customize Max’s with ‘Grumposaurus Rex’? Yeah, I know. I won’t. Negative labeling. I know!
customnestingdolls.jpgI’ve eyed these custom nesting dolls for over a year now. Trisha Krauss produces sketches of each member of the family (up to five) you’re having the dolls made for from full-length photos. She then transfers the images to the dolls and you have an heirloom gift to give (to yourself or someone else). But, uh….don’t look at the price. I said don’t look! I know, you’d better really love the family you’re giving this gift to. Of course, I’m cheap so maybe $1000 isn’t a lot to you.
unfinishednestingdolls.JPGIf it is a lot to you and you’ve got an artistic side, you could go with this unfinished DIY kit for $35. Also, I beg you to browse the Celebrity Collection. I’m begging you. I can’t decide if the American Presidents set (where GW is the biggest one who ate all the other presidents) is most disturbing or if the Clinton’s Ladies set is. You think about it and let me know.
handprintpendant.jpgI know someone who had his daughter’s newborn footprint tattooed on his arm and I thought the sentiment was nice but I’m a little ink-shy since my first and last tattoo I got at 18 ended up being the Procter and Gamble corporate logo. I’m pretty happy that’s on my ankle for the rest of my life. Maybe you want the sentiment without the commitment, how about a piece of jewelry with a child’s hand or foot print? For between $75 and $135, Magic Dog Studio will create a piece of jewelry with your child’s hand or footprint etched into the metal.
mugprint.jpgNot shopping for a jewelry fan? Take the kids to a local ceramics studio and use your children’s limbs as paintbrushes. Make sure the studio uses non-toxic and lead free glazes and press the kid’s hand or footprints onto a coffee mug, platter or even an ornament. Simple and fun for kids.
dogbust.jpgGrowing up the neighbors down the street had a wall of silhouette portraits lining the wall in their stairway. They’d gotten them while at Disneyland and looking back I don’t know if that’s why I was so envious of those silhouettes or the trip to Disney. A great gift for a parent or grandparent on your list…or for yourself. I can’t have Disney but I can have a couple silhouettes of my kids. Now, to get them to sit still for a profile photograph. Karl Johnson is a well known silhouette artist with work featured in several publications including Domino Magazine and Nickelodeon Magazine. An 8×10 silhouette is just $45 (frames are available at the site at an extra charge), if you’re a 5×7 minimalist like me the price is just $25. (He can even do pet silhouettes…if you can get your pet to sit still long enough.)
At this point I’ve made a list of things I’m going to want to buy myself. I’m going to need more personalized gift ideas. What’s the best personalized gift you’ve ever given or received?
Related Content:
2006 Melissa’s Anti-Gift Guide
2007 Melissa’s Anti-Gift Guide
Best Children’s Board Games
Kids’ Digital Cameras Reviews
Best Children’s Holiday Craft Ideas
Handmade Holiday Gifts To Make With Kids
Best Children’s Crafts Websites and Resources
Dear Santa Letter Week: children’s stationery & resources
The Best Handmade Holiday Cards For Kids
The Holiday Open House: Five Easy Steps for Hosting
The Best DIY Advent Calendars
Complete Resource for the Best Advent Calendars

About the author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa's Buzz Off.


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10 Responses to “Personalized gifts made really personal…like made just for me. (Best Personalized and DIY Gifts)”

  1. kate Nov 09 at 5:15 pm Reply

    I am a big DIYer, so custom-made, personalized gifts are a) home crafted and b) pretty routine. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not that talented, but I *am* that cheap. The best gifts I made/gave, tho, were personalized bath salts and body lotion. I mixed the fragances to match the recipients (my mom and grandmother). They loved ‘em! Pretty cheap and easy, too. Everything came from JoAnn’s!

  2. Melanie Cipher Nov 09 at 8:18 pm Reply

    Okay, I have to plug my husband’s INCREDIBLE photography here!! http://www.mr-e-cipher.com – his stuff is gorgeous (and really, not just because he’s mine, but because he’s amazing!!). Anyway, pictures like his of my son are pretty amazing personalized gifts. The best gift ever was on Mother’s Day when he made a sort of scavenger hunt for me – he had got me all this Sanrio Chococat stuff (I love Chococat) and put it all over the house – brought my coffee in a Chococat mug, put my contact lenses in a Chococat case, etc etc. It was just a really sweet gift and a lot of thought and time and effort went into it.

  3. Tiffanie Nov 10 at 7:28 am Reply

    I am a huge personalized gift shopper. Some of my favorite things are made from photos. I use http://www.snapfish.com but there are lots of places online and around town. There are ties, address books, puzzles, playing cards, etc. that can all be personalized with a photo of your choice. Love it! I also got my dad a set of golf balls for Christmas that have his name and “Watch the birdie!” on it. (you can pick whatever you want to put on it).
    Love your blogs, Melissa (now will you let me post a comment since I’m new? :) haha)

  4. Isabel Kallman
    Isabel Kallman Nov 10 at 11:37 am Reply

    okay. how did your tattoo become the P&G corporate logo?

  5. melissaS Nov 10 at 11:58 am Reply

    Yeah, I just got it thinking ‘I like moons and I like stars!’
    And then 3 years later when I met my husband he said, ‘Wow, that looks like the P&G logo.’
    That was ‘flirting’ I guess?

  6. Michelle Nov 10 at 9:02 pm Reply

    These are some great tips, I especially love the stamps. Hard to start thinking about Christmas yet but you’ve inspired me.

  7. kelli Nov 13 at 1:36 pm Reply

    I cheaped out and made my husband silhouettes of the family using photographs. I followed the simple tutorial right on Shisomama.

  8. Patty Nov 13 at 1:40 pm Reply

    I’ve gotten out of gift buying by making calendars every year. I pick a theme and send an email to everyone in my extended family and ask them to submit a photo and short blurb on the topic of that year (travels, or a favorite recipe, etc.) and then I put them all together using Publisher (one or two people per month, depending on how much stuff i get) and print out a blank calendar (and add family birthdays) and take to Kinko’s to copy, bind, and drill a hole at the top. My family loves them! It’s really fun for me and I don’t have to shop at the mall–everyone gets the same gift. My husband’s family seems to prefer just photos (they’re like that), so I just do photo calendars for them using photos from throughout the year. Staples can do 12-photo calendars the cheapest–about $10 each.

  9. Victoria Nov 14 at 12:52 am Reply

    I haven’t given any as a gift (yet) but I really like the custom graffiti wall art designs that you can order from http://www.wonderfulgraffiti.com. I like the chalkboard graffiti a lot.

  10. Zoot Nov 14 at 2:59 pm Reply

    My husband gave me an embroidered cotton throw for our 2nd anniversary b/c the second “is cotton, or something like that” according to him. I thought the effort was incredibly awesome.
    Here’s a point I’d like to address: My son has an unusual name. When I got re-married a few years ago – my son got an engraved class mug for a gift and he FREAKED OUT. He had never seen his name on something before…since then I’ve made a point to personalize anything I can. In today’s era of unique and unusual names – it’s a special treasure for kids.

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