Time and again we hear the phrase, "It's the thought that counts," and never is this more true than with your best friend. Having passed the more formal gift-giving of acquaintances, it can be meaningful to make your friend something by hand that shows you care without the process being too difficult or time-consuming.
Practically everyone loves homemade treats, especially when they are unexpected and made with love by a friend. Seasonally decorated sugar cookies, classic chocolate chip, brownies or lemon squares are fairly fast, simple and fun to make, and are quick to make any recipient smile. If your friend is vegan or has special dietary needs, find a gluten or dairy-free recipe and make that instead.
Origami Ornaments and Decorations
Whether it is the holiday season or some other time of year, these delicate and colourful folded paper creations are beautiful around the house, hung from a Christmas tree, perched on windowsills or even strung from the rearview mirror in your car. While they only take minutes to make, these hand-folded shapes show thought and care, and are not a typical or easily store-bought gift. Make creatures or objects that your friend particularly likes. If she is a bird lover, paper cranes are a classic and beautiful origami staple. If it is Valentine's Day, you can fold hearts. Stars are lovely decorations in any season, and if you are giving for the holidays, an origami Santa looks sharp on any tree or table.
Handmade Photo Frames
A picture of the two of you is a wonderful gift, appropriate for any time of year or occasion. While purchased frames can get boring or costly, a handmade frame allows you the chance to personalise the photograph in the way that best suits your friendship and your friend's personality. With some strong cardboard or wood, a glue gun, some beads or shells, some colourful construction or wrapping paper and a silver or gold accent pen, you can quickly and beautifully craft a frame. Although this gift does not require a large investment in terms of money or time, it does show your commitment to your friendship in that you made it yourself specifically for that special person.
Perhaps your best friend loves the smell of lavender. Perhaps she is a fan of roses or mint or thyme. Rather than buying an air freshener or sachet for a linen drawer, you can sew one yourself without it taking a great deal of time or trouble. All you need is some dried flowers or herbs, a needle and thread, and a double-thick square of your favourite fabric (fleece, silk, corduroy, whatever your friend would like). If you want to make the sachet more intricate, you could embroider her name on the front, but this is not necessary. This simple gift is something that could be kept in the car, in a closet or drawer, or on your friend's work desk for a midafternoon refresher, and will not take you all day to put together.