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5 DIY gifts with printable templates

Jenn Kirk is a graphic designer by trade, but enjoys escaping the computer by developing hands-on DIY projects, especially the messy kind that involves her four and six-year-old boys. Recent transplants from coastal California, the Kirks...

DIY gifts from the heart

While jewelry and gift cards to favorite stores can be exciting, some of the most memorable gifts I have been given are of the handmade variety.

DIY gift ideas - photo collage, photo display ball, lucky number tote bag, paper orchid, floral paper crown

Here are some DIY gift ideas that are simple, beautiful and most importantly, communicate love and thoughtfulness -- all because they are handmade.

Photo display balls

Photo display balls

These fun photo holders are an easy way to display and change out favorite photographs around your home.

For this DIY gift you will need:

  • Wood sphere knobs, 1.5 and/or 2 inches in diameter
  • Small piece of string
  • 60-grit sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Work gloves
  • Acrylic or spray paints in colors of your choice
  • White paint
  • Sponge brush
  • Gloss sealer (brush-on or spray)

Directions:

Step 1: Begin sawing through the top of the wood knob. To find the center, I used a piece of string pulled taut across the top of the sphere. I marked a line by tracing along the edge of the string with a pencil. The first initial cuts with the hacksaw are the most difficult. Try to keep the blade aligned with the pencil mark. If you're working without any type of clamp (as I was), fold a piece of masking tape so the adhesive side faces out, then tape the sphere to the work surface to help hold it in place. And make sure to wear work gloves to protect the hand keeping the wood sphere stationary! A table saw would have halved the time I spent on this step.

DIY craft tutorial: photo display balls step 1

Step 2: Saw straight down the center of the sphere until you're about 60 percent to the bottom. Smooth the inside of the cut with a piece of 60-grit sandpaper.

Step 3: Prime the wood spheres with white paint. Let dry.

Step 4: Apply the first coat of colored paint to the spheres. Dry, then apply second and third coats as needed.

Step 5: When all paint is dry, finish with a gloss sealer. Allow to dry, then display favorite photographs!

FINISHED DIY CRAFT

Finished DIY craft: photo display balls

Up next: Lucky number tote bags

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