How to Buy, or Make, the Perfect Gift for Someone 

Kaylee Powell, Staff Writer

Throughout my many years of gift-giving, I believe that I have figured out a great formula for getting someone  the best gift (no matter the occasion.) No matter how crafty or straightforward the person is, I’ve always figured out the perfect gift to give them. This is my guide to making or buying the perfect gift for someone.

How to Make a Gift

I’m a really crafty person so when it comes to gifts my first thought is “what can I make?” My first step is to think about my friends’ favorite colors, animals, hobbies, and personalities. This helps me build up the perfect gift for someone.

Raccoon piñata (Photo courtesy of Kaylee Powell)

For example, I made this piñata for my friend last year. One of my best friends wanted a pet raccoon. Unfortunately, I do not have the ability to acquire a raccoon so instead, I made her one. Using two pieces of poster board, a lot of packing tape, streamers, glue, and string I made this masterpiece. Here is a link for a piñata tutorial.

I decided to make it a piñata because I knew she’d enjoy tearing this apart and seeing the reward inside. Inside I put her favorite candy, balloons, candles, and a few other things. This project only took me about a day and was cheap to make, not including the items I put inside. This item can be made multiple times if made smaller. This would be a great gift to make if you have a small friend group.

A second option is thinking about inside jokes, another great way to build a gift. Inside of the piñata, I added a few paper clips because another mutual friend of ours put paper clips in an outlet. It was a constant joke in our friend group about her finding new paper clips so I gave both of them paper clips. I had another friend who constantly ate grapes wherever he went, so for his gift, I made him a bunch of grape-themed gifts. The pictured item is a 3d grape I made out of a cardboard box, old newspaper, glue, and paint. Inside of it, I put grape Kool-Aid, grapes, and grape candy.

Grape piñata (Photo courtesy of Kaylee Powell)

Both the piñatas had a flap so the recipient didn’t actually have to break it open if they didn’t want to.

A third option is making gifts in bulk. This could be something as simple as going to Costco and buying candy canes, gum, and ribbon to make a sleigh. You can write notes on each gift that helps make these gifts a bit more personalized for your friends without taking too long. This gift only takes about 5 minutes per gift.

Photo courtesy of

Here’s a shopping list for everything you need to make this gift (at the cheapest price):

  • Candy Canes
  • Gum: This could be replaced by any box-shaped item.
  • Mini chocolates: square-shaped like gifts.
  • Tape
  • Cardstock: This isn’t required but you can write notes on here.

How to Buy a Gift

If you don’t know what to buy a person the most simple way to get the best gift is to ask your gift receiver what they want. Hopefully, the person you ask is straightforward, but if they’re not there are a lot of ideas on TikTok, Reddit, Youtube, and Pinterest. It’s just about knowing what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a gift for a crafter, then maybe put together a gift basket of art supplies they like, or give them a gift card. If you’re looking for a musician, get them a book of new music.

Knowing what you’re looking for is an easy starting point, looking around the receiver’s room can give you some amount of information. Most people have a collection of items they’d like to grow. For example, I have a stash of yarn in my room and would gladly take more, my brother has a collection of Nintendo Switch games, and my mom has a collection of candles. This gives me a great starting point for gifts.

Photo Courtesy of Kaylee Powell

For my brother, I would look at what type of Nintendo Switch games he has, mostly Lego, so I could buy him a new Lego game. While playing games I know he’d probably like to drink something, eat snacks, or sit in a comfy position. This helps me choose to also buy snacks, his favorite drink or a water bottle, and/or a chair pillow that allows him to get comfortable.

For my mom knowing she likes candles would be the jumping point for me. I can start by buying similar-smelling candles or the same candles if they are low. Then I can buy her more items that help with relaxation such as Epsom salt, bath bombs, and face masks.  This is how you start building gifts for people.

Sometimes a gag gift is just what you need. Gifts don’t always have to be serious, I found this amazing toilet cover at Walmart and paired it with a roll of toilet paper I’m sure most of my friends would love. If you and the recipient have a goofy relationship, then getting them a gift like this works because sometimes they don’t need much more. This is the closest I came to finding the product online.

I am also a big fan of buying gifts on sale and saving them throughout the year. There are many people on Instagram like @thefreebieguy and @couponwithkayla who only post coupons and deals. A few Saturdays ago, I saw a post about $1 socks at Old Navy and bought 18 pairs. After buying socks in bulk, I bought lollipops and soaps to make relaxation gifts for a few of my friends. Buying a bunch of things on sale and putting them together as a gift is a great way to make a lot of gifts at once in a shorter period of time. After the holidays is a great time to do this as well.

Socks from Old Navy, $1 per pair (Photo courtesy of Old Navy)
Lollipops from See’s Candies, $10.50 for 12 (Photo courtesy of See’s Candies)
Hand soap from Bath and Body Works, $2.50 each (Photo courtesy of Bath and Body Works)













Following these simple steps should help you. Overall, buying a gift is just meant to show someone how much you care. As long as you put thought and effort into your gift, then you have given the perfect gift.