Condo Blues: What Are Your Favorite Homemade Gifts for Men and Boys?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What Are Your Favorite Homemade Gifts for Men and Boys?

OK gang. I need your help. Even though I try to Christmas shop for ideas and gifts all year round, I’m a little behind this year. Yes, I realize that it’s barely October and I should be writing about Halloween and Fall wonderfulness and not Christmas. I will write about that later, I promise.

PhotobucketIt’s just that Crunchy Chicken with her Homemade Christmas Gift Challenge and Renovation Therapy’s making cloth gift bags early, both got me in the mood for making Christmas gifts now. Which is a good idea all the way around. I’m in desperate need for a project. Preferably one that doesn’t involve ripping the kitchen apart like the one I just finished. Projects keep me off the streets at night. You really don’t want a (sort of) suburban girl like me gone wilding now do you? Of course you don’t.

I’m sewing things for some of the ladies on my list. I’ll write about that later after I deliver a birthday gift. I don’t want to ruin the surprise on the off chance she reads my blog (Hi Mom!)

Blitzkrieg and his dog cousin Chopper are set.

My problem this holiday season is I don’t have any ideas on what to make for the guys on my gift list. For the side of the family that does Christmas stockings, last year I helped Santa fill them by making peppermint chocolate bark for the guys and peppermint sugar scrubs for the girls. That might happen again because it went over big last year.

Other than that I’m stumped.

Women and girls are easy, most crafty things are women-centric (soaps, jewelry, scarves, etc.) and being a girl I have some insight on what the women on my list might like. Men are a little more problematic because I have no experience being a dude.

What are you favorite gift ideas for boys and men?

And a couple of the guys are my list are tween boys. They are way past the age of most handmade little boy toys (*snif*.) They’d rather play video/computer games so I usually go with that. They eschew handmade toiletry items because they are, well, boys. And as of this writing girls are still kinda icky so smelling like a manly man for the ladeez isn’t on their radar – yet. Thank goodness! I’m not ready for that.

Are you making anything for the men on your gift list? What is it?

Guys, what was a favorite homemade gift that you received? I’m really looking at you to help me out on this one. Especially if you got a homemade gift that didn’t quite hit the mark. I really like to know about those too. Help a gal out, I’d really like to know. Thanks!

PS: Just so I’m not jumping the seasonal gun too much, here’s a picture of a scarecrow I made last Fall.




Robj98168 said...

I don't know- This year I am making "Movie Bags" for my cousin's kids (all boys) I was going to the gently used DVD store and buy movies, but discovered I had 60 safety points at work (1 point = $1) so I got Blockbuster Movie rental cards- 1 card is 1 movie rental, add some boxes of movie candy like nerds or some licorice and stuff all in a popcorn bag. Other than that I like to get scarfs, hand woven or knitted, or my mommy makes knitted slippers. If yu can macrame you can make a scraf or a belt (macrames blets very retro 70's)or just go out to the garage and build a boat wonder woman.

Robj98168 said...

PS Cookies are always a welcomer gift- you could put the cookies in a neat cannister from the thrift store.

Amanda said...

I'd say either stick with the baked goods (you can't go wrong with that) or make something they use all the time. My boyfriend loves pajama pants to lounge in and blankets/quilts we can snuggle under together, so that's the route I'm going. If they have a favorite sports team, you could incorporate that, too . .

Morgan said...

Yeaaahh! I am getting ready for Christmas, too! I always start my "everything Christmas" right around this time because I feel like stretching it over a few months seems like less money and more time to plan and shop wisely. :)

Now, onto the question at hand-- I have no idea, but I think everyone is on the right track with food.

I think the tween boys will be your biggest struggle and I couldn't even begin to help you out on that one. Hm...

You'll have to let us know if you come up with something, though!!

utahlawyer said...

I like to make Homemade Carmel Sauce. It is great over ice cream, popcorn, or with sliced apples. For gifts, I make a double recipe and put it in a reused glass pint jar.

Homemade Carmel Sauce:

CAUTION: This recipe involves very high temperatures. The melted sugar in this recipe will reach over 360 degrees and will stick to skin if spilled or splashed and will cause severe burns. The contents will foam up when butter and cream are added and will boil over if a deep pot is not used. Although this recipe is rather simple, it should not be attempted by children without adult supervision.

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup cream

Get all of your ingredients ready. This recipe requires you to move fast to prevent burning. There will be no time to scramble for ingredients. Place sugar in a large sauce pan; at least 6 quarts (if doubling the recipe, us a 12 quart pan with a bottom of, at least, 12 inches in diameter. This will help prevent your sugar from burning). Break up any lumps in the sugar. Over medium heat, heat sugar until it is about half melted. Stir rapidly until all the sugar has melted. Break up any sugar lumps that appear. The sugar should be a medium amber color. Do not allow it to get darker, because it will burn the sugar. Do not let the sugar boil. Add the butter and stir rapidly until the butter is melted and fully incorporated into the sugar. When you add the butter and stir, the mixture will foam up and give off some very hot steam. I like to us a spoon with a very long handle so my hands don't get steam burns.

Add the cream to the mixture and stir rapidly until the cream is fully incorporated into the mixture. Watch out, the mixture will foam up again. Immediately remove the carmel sauce from the pan and pour into a heat proof container. I like to use a Pyrex measuring cup. Allow carmel sauce to cool before eating.

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Gooooood question. Let me know what you come up with, I always have trouble with this one too...

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I'd like to stay away from food gifts for the kiddoes. Our hosts like to bake and all family members are given large tins of treats (we had so much I froze it and we had cookies until March!)Besides, some of the moms want to limit those kinds of treats because their kids are prone to bounce off of satellites wcwn when not under the influence of sugar!

Thanks everyone for the great ideas! Keep them coming!

Lisa said...

Do you sew? If so what age because there are cute little I-Spy bags that look pretty easy. You can find them on etsy to see what I'm talking about.

If you knit or crochet scarves or hats? OH and if you can crochet really well their are patterns for making stuffed animals.

This is where I go for ideas-

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Lisa - Do I sew? Girl, do you even read my blog? :) My first sewing project was a pair of pot holders as Christmas gift for my Kindergarten teacher at age 5. Haven't stopped since. Been paid to built lots of historical costumes. So yeah, I sew.

We have a knitter and crochet person in the family. She's got that covered. And she's better than me, so I tend to stay away from those projects.

Miss MoneyYa$$y said...

Here's one that my boyfriend really liked and appreciated - personalized handtowels for the gym. I got the idea since our gym requires you to have a towel (buy one). It's also good if your tween boys participate in team sports, so their towels or other personal items don't get mixed up with others. You could monogram, stich a pattern or a patch on the towel and voila! You could also make personalized bags for their "personal items" and fill them with small bottles of shampoo, soap, etc. You can also customize the towels/bags by choosing their favorite colors or team colors if you know them. Other homemade/personalized gifts: shoe bag (for cleats or running shoes), cosmetic/wet bags, water bottle holders, etc.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of making a terry towel wrap with velcro to wrap around his waste when he's done showering but not yet done getting ready. I was also thinking about decorating a clear plactic credit card holder with themed paper, old sports tickets etc. I have such a hard time with the guys. I did pj pants and slippers (really sleep socks) last year. I am always looking for great ideas too!

Anonymous said...

My five year old nephew loved the memory game I made him out of family pictures. Just buy doubles of your pics, cut them into 3x3 squares (or get creative with shapes, this is just the easiest to reproduce) then I cut either a 3x3 or you can do 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 out of cardstock and stick the pic to it. Super easy and can be dressed up with a corner rounder or corner shape. This is good for kids up to about eight.
For Tweens and up, I would make bean bags in favorite sports colors and have someone crafty with wood fix you a corn hole board set. Look up rules online and attach with gift. My husband went camping with his brother who had this game, came home and bought one and then got all the guys at our church playing. They even had a cornhole tournament. It's a beach game and is like horseshoes.

Jean Martha said...

Boys are tough to shop for! My nephews are getting "manly bags" with a gift card or cash in them.

Sue said...

So since the kids were little we've pulled names and have to make something for whomever we pull ( why did I think that was a good idea years ago?) Anyhow, I'm not very crafty, not that being crafty would help much, as I have to make for my 14 year old son this year. I'm thinking of one of those no sew fleece blankets- relatively easy and the fleece comes in lots of patterns that are good for boys/men.

Becky R said...

My boys ages 6 and 12 love the no sew fleece blanket sand matching pillows I made them.

Also if they have game system (like a portable one, dslite or psp) make them a travel case that can hold the game, games, and zips up or closes. You could look at a case they sell in stores for ideas

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have a couple we are best friends with and have agreed to make homemade gifts this year. The guys make them for each other and my husband decided to collect music and download it to a key so it can be loaded onto a computer, used in the car, i pod or other media. With this he said he may also try the cookie baking idea, butterscotch his friends favorite.

Anonymous said...

I agree, boys are tough. I would suggest metal waterbottles, maybe even personalized if you can swing it. If they have a nintendo or computer, you could get something to go with it like a cool stylus, cover or case. Games are cool if you can afford it, but make sure they will actually like it. Any school fads that are going on like silly bandz or animal/food erasers are awesome. Then, if the trend continues, you can give more of them and maybe be crowned the "cool (aunt, grandma, etc.)" but if the fad stops DONT keep giving them. It's lame. For men, I suggest a desk novelty like those evil unicorns or for outdoorsy guys gloves or a weird game like ladder ball. Sorry this answer is so late!! Hope it helps!:)

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