Ask An Expert: DIY Gift Ideas

Ask An Expert: DIY Gift Ideas

Jourdan Fairchild is a Chicago-based creative consultant who banged the keys as a writer and editor at national magazines like In Style, O at Home and Country Living. Fairchild recently penned “Fly DIY: Crafts for the Modern Traveler,” a crafty e-book reviewed by Conde Nast Traveler, Racked and others. Jet setters might want to thumb through the collection of a dozen simple projects that were inspired by a trip to Africa that the author took after losing a job. Talk about squeezing out some sweet lemonade from life’s lemons.

Jourdan Fairchild
www.jourdanfairchild.com

Fairchild offers some trendy, yet easy DIY ideas that also happen to be inexpensive. 

For the Design Lover

Gold macrame hoop wall hanging with fringe. “This takes two seconds to make using hot glue,” Fairchild says.

Materials:

  • Gold hoop
  • Length of fringe
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors 

Steps:

  1. Cut a strip of fringe with scissors that will cover approximately 1/3 of the hoop. 
  2. Apply a thin strip of hot glue along the top, gathered portion of the fringe.
  3. Press the glued strip against the hoop. Let dry five minutes.
  4. Flip the hoop to reveal the finished side that’s ready to hang. 

For the Cat Lover

Cat coasters made of cork and suede. “I’ve made these for friends,” Fairchild explains.

Materials:

  • Suede
  • Cork tiles 
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Fine tip metallic marker

Steps:

  1. Print and cut out a silhouette of a cat head.
  2. Using a Sharpie, trace a cat head silhouette onto a section of thick cork. Cut out. 
  3. Trace silhouette onto the back side of a piece of suede. Cut out. 
  4. Apply gorilla glue, following package instructions, to suede and cork pieces; press together.
  5. Once dry, trim any excess cork along the edges. Use fine-tip metallic marker to add whiskers and nose. 

Related: Best Tattoo Shops In Chicago

For the New Parents

Instagram magnets or coasters of new baby. Because there are never enough pictures around the house of the new baby. Fairchild suggested this idea based on See Kate Sew.

Materials:

  • Photographs
  • Adhesive magnet paper
  • X-acto knife
  • Acrylic ruler

Steps:

  1. Use Photoshop (or a similar program) to format Instagram pictures into 2″ squares. 
  2. Peel off the paper backing of the magnet paper and adhere the photograph onto it. Press it down well and use a ruler and Xacto knife to cut out the squares.

For the Gardener

Rope basket planters (using $5 gift baskets from Container Store). “This idea is as easy as it sounds,” she says.

Simply use an inexpensive rope basket as a planter for an indoor plant.

Related: Best Consignment Stores in Chicago

Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.