Gift giving can be tough, especially for the people you care about. You want the gift to be something they’ll love, while also being something unique and special. Enter homemade gifts.
However, even the most practiced homemade gift givers often shy away from giving similar gifts to their boyfriends. Often times, it is simply a matter of not knowing what a guy would like to receive and being worried about the kind of reception the gift would elicit.
To alleviate these fears, I polled my male friends on what kinds of homemade gifts they’ve received or would like to receive from a significant other. I made sure to get a variety of opinions by asking guys who are happily married, seriously dating, embarking in new relationships, and currently single. Here is a compilation of their responses.
As clichéd as this may be, almost every guy said a special meal/treat would be a great present. Who doesn’t enjoy having their taste buds pampered with delicious food. Choose something that has happy memories from their childhood or is a special thing for the two of you.
On the first date, some family friends had tres leche cake for the first time. John thought it was so good he, teasingly, said that if she learned how to make it as well, then he’d marry her. They’ve been married 42 years now. While it wasn’t her numerous practice attempts and final success at making the cake that made John propose; her efforts helped show that she, like him, felt their relationship was special.
2.) Knit Blanket or Hat
Nothing quite spells “I love you” like a knit blanket (Here’s a video tutorial). Even the most unsentimental of the men I polled said they loved or would love a cozy knit blanket. It takes time to knit a blanket, but wrapping yourself up in a warm handmade blanket makes you feel like you’re getting a huge hug from the person who made it. You can do the blanket as a bunch of patchwork squares sewn together or as one solid thing. Either way, he’ll love it.
If a blanket is a bit too big. Several of the guys said they’d enjoy a knit hat almost as much as a knit blanket. If he’s a bit goofy and you sew instead of knitting, you can make a lot of fun winter hats with polar fleece instead.
3.) Personalized Gift Basket
You don’t have to be super crafty to create a homemade gift. Make a personalized gift basket that matches their interests. Maybe there is a movie they love but don’t own. Find it cheap and partner it with some homemade popcorn (maybe with some fun toppings), drinks, and maybe a book of movie trivia or story quotes.
Or perhaps they want to be pampered, a lot of guys do, they just don’t admit it, make him an at home pampering gift basket. Include things like bath salts, homemade aftershave, strong lotions, maybe even a loofa or bath puff (you may laugh, but I’ve had more than one past boyfriend discretely add a bath puff to my shopping basket because they wanted one but were too embarrassed to buy it themselves).
4.) Something that uses your talents
Are you an artist? Poet? Writer? Musician? Play up your talents. Create something just for them. Think of things they love or things that are special to both of you. Think of something that will represent your relationship. Men like feeling special and valued as much as women.
The guys I polled reported getting personalized paintings, pen drawings, books of letters (especially nice if you’re in a long distance relationship), and more. What made each of these things special is the fact that it was created with the individual in mind.
5.) Personalize something they already use or want
Personalizing things can take a generic, everyday gift and give it incredible value. Personalized mugs with a picture or quote is a common one for a reason. My friend made a mug with a baby turtle eating a strawberry for her husband because he loves turtles.
If they are a cocktail drinker, you can create your own etched glassware sets. There are tons of tutorials on it, but here is a short video to give you an idea. This works great on beer steins, old fashion glasses, mugs, mason jars, and anything else glass. Try hitting up your local thrift store for some really unique pieces to work with.
Personalize a bookshelf (or something smaller, go with something you know he could use and has space for). Paint it with a theme he’s love. A Doctor Who fan would love a Tardis bookshelf, you could make it like these guys did, or simply modify a bookshelf you find (again, go to your local thrift store to find good bookshelves for a few dollars).
No matter what you decided to make for your boyfriend, make it with him in mind. Colors, topics, scents he likes. Think about his individual hobbies. Sometimes the best gift can be a homemade one that shows him you know he has interests outside of you and that you’re happy he does and want to support that. Or think about things that hold special significance to the two of you. Use those associated feelings to create a gift your boyfriend will love.
If you’re still worried about giving your boyfriend a gift, here is a little reminder from one of my happily married friends, “If he’s smart, he’ll love anything his sweetie makes him.” That’s because hand made gifts are less about the item and more about the sentiment behind the gift.