Instagram is kind of taking the world by storm. So many people I know are completely obsessed with it, and some of them— some of them— are really good at using the application. If you are one of those people or, like me, you know somebody who is (who also conveniently happens to have a birthday coming up), then this DIY project is for you.
A few months ago, I came across a website that creates magnets out of Instagram pictures— 9 magnets for 15 dollars. I thought it was a great gift idea, but you have to give the website access to the account from which you want to pull the pictures and I wanted to use someone else’s photos, not my own. So I ruled that website out and decided to DIY some magnets myself. The largest problem I encountered was that I couldn’t save pictures from Instagram myself. This was easily remedied by a quick Internet search, which led me to Copygram. Copygram pulls up the Instagram app in a web browser, which allowed me to save the pictures I wanted to use onto my computer. NOTE: Don’t use pictures from other users without their consent, as that’s illegal.
Once I had the pictures saved, I got started creating the magnets. I am so bad at Photoshop, y’all. I mean, I can very basically edit a picture, but beyond that I’m completely lost. I’d had “Photoshop proficient” on my resume since high school, but I took it off immediately after I frantically gchatted my friend Elias demanding help resizing images and made him talk me through the program for half an hour. ANYWAY. Here’s what you do.
If you asked me to make resolutions for this year a week ago, I’d probably say that I wanted to stop eating whole meals that consist solely of brie+fig preserves or goat cheese+local honey on crackers or to stop buying so many books in hardcover. But a standard I set for myself a few months ago was to be less negative— to stop “calling people out” when I don’t agree with them, to compliment strangers and commend excellent service, to be optimistic and uplifting and supportive. In that vein, I decided to make a list of 101 goals I want to complete in 1001 days instead. They center around doing things and bettering myself (as well as my relationships and my surroundings) rather than simply trying to eliminate bad habits.
I love hearing people say that they want to start giving back, and the holiday season is a wonderful time to do so— especially because you can share the joy of helping others with all the people on your list.
Organizations like food banks and homeless shelters are always looking for donations to keep people warm and fed during the cold season. There are shelters that only operate during the winter months, too, and all of these places are often in need of canned goods, volunteers, clothes, blankets, and so much more.
My gift guide from last year suggests tailoring the charitable organizations you pick for your friends or family to match their interests and then pairing your donation with a little present to turn it into the perfect Christmas present (example below). This year, I highlight some other gift guides that give back and some worthwhile organizations.
One of my very favourite people recently got engaged. I gave her and her fiance these champagne flutes, which are etched with their initials, as part of their engagement present. I wanted to share them here, not only because I love my friends and am so happy for them but because etched glassware is a perfect, easy, personalized gift to give this holiday season. Monogrammed pint or wine glasses paired with craft beer or a nice bottle of cabernet (or a beer-of-the-month subscription or a trip to a winery…) would be appreciated by any hostess or friend. I made scotch glasses for my dad last year for Christmas and he loved them. You can also etch glass casserole dishes, tumblers, mirrors, etc.
Filed under DIY, Gift Ideas
My plan was to start highlighting gift ideas and doing small gift guides at the end of November, but obviously that didn’t exactly pan out the way I wanted it to. However! There are still 20 days until Christmas, which sounds terrifying but is plenty of time to finish everything on your list.
I am a huge proponent of handmade everything: gifts, cards, food, packaging. I think that if you’re going to give gifts, especially to people that you know well, it means that much more when you take the time to write a heartfelt note or wrap something in a unique way rather than just signing your name to the bottom of a stock message and stuffing the whole thing in a bag. The present itself will be a lot more meaningful if you put a lot of thought into it and your relationship with the recipient rather than buying something off of a wish list. I also love donating to a charity in someone’s name and gifting them a little certificate that mentions the donation along with a small gift that fits the theme. With that in mind, I’m going to feature a few very easy DIYs that can be done last-minute for the holiday season, starting with coasters.
Filed under DIY, Gift Ideas