Sixth-annual Queermonton Gift Guide preps those who are frugal and less than crafty
Welcome to the Sixth annual Queermonton Holiday Gift Guide for people who are tight on cash and not overly adept with crafts.
Wander down to a thrift store and buy some old brooches. Ask your lesbian friend to borrow some needle-nose pliers and remove the pin part of the brooch. Glue on a magnet. Done.
While you are at the thrift shop, cruise the aisles for some wacky t-shirts (and a date!). Use scissors to cut out the collar and the sleeves (or troll the internet for fun patterns). Perfect for pajamas or casual Fridays.
Acquire some large metal cookie cutters (hello thrift store!) and some polymer clay. Roll a tennis-ball sized piece of clay between your hands and roll out to about a quarter inch thick (no rolling pin? Use a beer bottle). Use your cookie cutter to make a clay cookie. Gently stretch your cookie out so it’s a little bigger than the cutter. Drape the cookie over the cutter and form a bowl shape by gently pressing down in the middle of the cookie. Leaving your cookie in the cutter, pop it in the oven according to package directions. After it’s cooled, decorate to your heart’s content.
Eat a lot of Pringles. Wipe out the Pringles can with some paper towel. Wrap the can in wrapping paper, tie a bow around it and maybe toss on some of those little balls if you’re feeling fancy. Fill with cookies (or Pringles, no judgement).
Blanket fort kit
Between the dollar store and the thrift store, assemble: sheets, clothespins, light rope, and suction cups. Optional: flashlight, pot brownies, and granola bars. Now when the world gets to be too much, your “giftee” will have somewhere to hide.
Homemade vanilla extract
This requires some time and money up front, but each batch will make gifts for at least six people. The bad news is that there’s a vanilla bean shortage and they are really expensive, but the plus side is your friends will be even more impressed with how splashy you are. Little do they know you’re still broke. Find yourself some vanilla beans—Silk Road on Whyte sells three for $12 (I know, I know). Buy the cheapest vodka you can find. Measure out half a cup of vodka per vanilla bean and heat it until it’s almost boiling. Slice your vanilla beans in half lengthwise and toss them in a large jar with your hot vodka. Let it sit for a week, divvy into small jars, and you’re done. If you don’t have a week, snip small pieces of vanilla bean for each jar you make to let the flavour deepen. Also, tell your friends to toss the vanilla beans in sugar once the extract is gone. You’ll have instant vanilla sugar and a gift that keeps on giving.
This is great if you have some of those silicone ice cube trays IKEA sells. Put half a cup white or brown sugar in a bowl. Slowly add in water until the sugar has a paste-like consistency. Pour the paste into the ice cube tray, fill each one halfway, and press down firmly. Let dry overnight.
This requires you to use Gmail and Chrome. Boomerang is an add-on that allows you to pre-schedule emails. Draft emails full of fun videos, GIFs, weird stuff you’ve found on the internet, or love notes. Schedule them to go out at random times over the next month or year. You can schedule 10 free emails a month.
Candy + vase = classic that will never die.