4 Last-Minute Birthday Gifts for When Time is Your Enemy.

Over the years, I kept getting challenged about what I should gift people on their birthday. I'm a sentimental person, so I more often than not choose to make my own gift rather than buy one. (Also, I'm broke, but that's besides the point.)

Either way, I always opt for either a card or a personalized I gift I know the receiver will love. And they all get done pretty quickly, because apparently I can manage my time except when it coms to remembering people's dates of birth.

Here are four gifts you cam make easily and quickly - at home. (That means you can do it in your pajamas.)

Without further ado, here we go:


1) An adorable giftcard.

I'm guilty of using this one a few times but it's the most adorable thing and a life-saver several times. I came up with it in middle school when it was my best friend"s birthday and I decided to make her a little something in class. It's really simple and takes 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Grab a colorful A4 paper (white is alright; it's what I always use) and fold it in half. Then, using a highlighter, marker, or Sharpie, draw the "+" ribbon; not exactly in the center though. Try making the part where the two ribbons intersect closer to one corner, so you have space to write something.

Step 2: Bring another colored paper - the same color as the ribbon you drew (or close enough). Cut it into 5 to 7 cm long and 1/2 cm thick strips. Using scissors, place the edge of the strip on one of the blades, using your thumb to hold it in place, then pull the short end, so the paper is pulled against the blade. (Make sure you aren't too quick or pressing too hard; the paper might rip.) You should end up with a perfect curl! Repeat with as many strips as you want.

Step 3: Glue the edge of the paper strips on where the marker "ribbons" intersect to create a gift-shaped card! Now all you have to is write something on the front (probably "Happy BDay!" or something). Write a cheesy letter or inside joke on the interior of the card and ... ta-da! You should have something that looks like this:

It also works for a baby shower or as a graduation card - pretty much any occasion that calls for a congratulatory card. (Bonus: you could add a "pop-up something" inside. Cut out the shape from a separate sheet of paper, fold the two ends, and glue one on each page facing outward. Done!)


2) Food is the gift of the soul.

So the cake is handled, right? But that doesn't mean you shouldn't please the birthday person and/or the guests, right? So bring along some cake pops, brownies, or cookies; if you know other fancy bite-sized desserts, go for it. But for the non-culinary citizens like me, here are recipes that are too good to resist - and only 3-ingredients long:

Recipe 1: Brownies. Preheat the oven to 350F. All you need is;

A) 2 1/2 cups chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella.

B) 1 heaping cup all-purpose flour.

C) 3 large eggs.

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, then pour it into a sprayed or buttered baking pan. Bake for 25 mins (or until surface looks crisp) and done! (Creds to FoodNetwork for this delicious, heavenly chocolate dish.)

Recipe 2: Peanut Butter Cookies. Preheat to 350F and ...

A) 1 cup peanut butter

B) 1 cup sugar

C) 1 egg

Mix until smooth, then dollop onto parchment paper set onto a baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes - careful not to over-bake! (Creds to AllRecipes for this one!)

Recipe 3: Cake Pops. Needs no additional tools.

A) 1 cake (store-bought or box; whatever you prefer).

B) frosting or jam - as much as fits the cake.

C) melted chocolate - as much as fits the cake.

Mush up the cake until it crumbles. Add 3 tbsp of frosting or jam and mix it all together. Keep adding 1 tbsp as you go until the consistency is good enough to be shaped into a ball without falling apart. (Careful to not over-goo the cake, though.)

Set the balls on a tray and refrigerate for an hour. After that, dip the pops fully into the melted chocolate and set back into the fridge until the chocolate hardens. (optional; sprinkle crumbled chocolate or sprinkles on top for a fancy finish) And you're done! (Creds to me for this one.)


3) *friendshipping intensifies*

So this one's a bit obvious, but why not DIY an accessory? And I'm talking every accessory. Here are a few ideas that might work ...

Bracelets: duh. Beads, rainbowlooms, string, ribbons, decals; friendship bracelets are a thing to be treasured. Give your friend a trip back to 5th grade and put something together. Here are some images of ones I've tried that work:

Bags: If you have a purse that doesn't look dead (or is unused. *guilty*) try renovating it and gifting it! There are cute iron-on decals and keychains that can bedazzle any item they're added to. (If that fails, maybe just stick to the desserts.)

Pillowcases: okay, this one's a bit bizarre, but what better thing than to make sure your friend sleeps on your gift every night? (A little creepy, but thoughtful, really.) Bring a blank pillowcase and use Sharpies, dye, or cloth paint to let your creativity roam free. You can even take it up a notch and tye-dye something else that's plain white, like a tote bag or hoodie.


4) The lazy - but friendly - Picasso.

This one's the best in my opinion. Bring a blank canvas and create modern art. Leonardo DaVinci who? Try sketching cartoon-ish characters and coloring them in with acrylic paint or brush Sharpies. Stick to something simple if you feel like you might just ruin everything (been there, sis.) And then the last touch - glitter-in the major areas!

For my best friend's 14th birthday, I painted an owl and colored in its feathers, before I painted a layer of white glue and sprinkled the same-color glitter. Maybe these two pictures can give you a clearer picture of what I mean:

Another idea is to decorate a picture frame. Stickers, beads, decals; all of that can make a sad wooden frame into a masterpiece. Do that on a bigger scale and you can gift a photo booth frame! (Reusable - the best kind of gift!)


And there you have it! A surefire way to make someone's special day extra special. Let me know in the comments if you do give one of these ideas a try!

(Happy birthday someone, and enjoy your day!)

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