3 DIY Birthday Present Ideas

hey there!

so i had actually been scheduling for a MAY-dle of May post (did you see what i did there!!), but somehow it slowly morphed into a post featuring behind-the-scenes pictures and ideas for birthday presents.

my close friend recently celebrated her birthday and i wanted to make some cute hand-made presents for her, rather than just buying something! i think hand-made things are a little more sincere sometimes and also save money haha. she’s been supporting me in terms of my creative creations since the very beginning so this post is dedicated to her in a sense. 🙂

to maintain the exclusivity of her presents, i’m not going to be putting up printables but i do hope to give you some fun ideas for your friend or family member’s next birthday!

(excuse the colour of the wooden background in my pictures – using natural lighting is hard! also, don’t mind the white dots on my hands, i did acrylic painting earlier that day, oops)

1. Decorated Clothespins

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

i recently mentioned decorating wooden clothespins for a fun relaxing DIY here, so i thought i’d feature some related pictures and suggestions in this post! i used washi tape and a fine staedtler marker, but you can definitely try paint or other materials. just for the record, i’ve sprinkled glitter on a layer of glue before – it actually turns out pretty cool too!

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

i started with writing out her name follow by a bit of embellishment on the top of the clothespin. sweet and simple! this was inspired by a picture i found on pinterest here. i love the basic but classy look this design has! however, if you’re writing directly on wooden clothespins, do be careful for the ink can bleed. try writing more lightly and spacing out your letters a little more! (i learnt this through botching up a few pins :< )

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

next i carefully pasted the flat surfaces of the clothespin with washi tape. i suggest being really cautious here because for a flawless (or near flawless) finish. i pasted tape on just the top and bottom of each pin but you can try to do all sides.

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

if you’re wondering, the washi tape i bought is actually quite affordable at $1-2 dollars per roll at the discount store, but i’m not sure if many other countries have such stores.

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

still, i love washi tape because it comes in such adorable designs and has that versatile papery feel! it’s definitely one of my weaknesses.

this is what all the clothespins look like together!

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty clothespins.

2. Corkboard Prints

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty prints for your corkboard.

i call these corkboard prints because i love to pin them up on my corkboard in my bedroom to inspire myself, and generally beautify the place. hanging up pretty prints is my number #1 use for clothespins. the ones i created for my friend are specially chosen to match the clothespins!

i drew three prints in Photoshop and printed them out on 154gsm cardstock. they were cut to size using my handy paper cutter! it makes such straight lines. (this is before the cutting)

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these pretty prints for your corkboard.

i created a print for each washi tape clothespin so she’ll have no problem matching them. sadly i didn’t manage to get a shot of them together 😦 it was too dark by the time i finished! (i think you can imagine though)

while i won’t be sharing printables of these, i will be posting wallpapers inspired by one of these prints very soon! so stay tuned 😉

if you wish to make some corkboard prints as gifts, i recommend drawing something you think appeals to the recipient of the gift. but if you’re not too comfortable with creating your own prints, don’t fret – there are plenty online to choose from!

3. DIY Notebooks

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts! Like these notebooks.

this is definitely the most challenging out of the ideas, but i think it was really rewarding to see the final product, and know that i made a fancy notebook from scratch by myself!!

for these, i first created repeating patterns in Photoshop for the covers of the notebooks. i learnt a bit about this on Creative Market through Skillshare! if you’re interested in other pattern designing courses, you might want to check out this one too; i’m enrolled in it at the moment 🙂

do go check both platforms out, especially Creative Market which has amazing products and weekly free goods! it’s my daily online haunt.

after printing out the notebook cover patterns {in A5 size}, i used a paper cutter to carefully cut them to size and prepared blank paper that amounts to 8 pages for each book. this is what the papers looked like afterwards.

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts!

i had to research on book binding too and eventually settled on stapling it (because i can’t sew for my life and don’t have professional tools). you can try other ways to tie the book together, but i thought stapling was convenient. remember to use clips to hold the sheets of paper together, so that the pages are aligned when stapled!

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts!.

i also placed an eraser under the book for a quick backing to staple into! be careful when you staple though, to ensure the staples are straight on the spine of each notebook.

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts!

it turned out like this!

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts!

i repeated this for the other print. and the finished product looks like this!

finished product of diy notebooks

to add a personal touch to these books, i also came up with cute puns for my friend’s name to write on the cover of each notebook. of course, this is totally optional 😉

finally i packaged the clothespins, prints and notebooks all together in a brown paper bag for a crafty feel! i use washi tape to seal the bag, not only because it’s cute but also because it’s easy to peel off without tearing.

Have a friend or family member's birthday coming up soon? Try making some DIY gifts!

that’s about it for this behind-the-scenes idea post. i hope you’ve gotten a little more inspired on handmade birthday gifts for your loved ones. do share them with me if you decide to recreate related presents! see you soon!

xx, roxanne

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