Get your cook on

Edible gifts don’t last forever, but the time you spend with them is usually pretty good! What could communicate the sincerity of your well-wishes better than a batch of freshly-baked cookies? No oven in your dorm room? Not a problem – there’s always no-bake cookies! Or what about a jar of homemade salted caramel? It’s far easier to make than you’d think! Just make sure to keep your eye on the pot…

Credit: Lydia Matzal (@lydia_matzal) on Unsplash

Credit: Lydia Matzal (@lydia_matzal) on Unsplash

Ceramic panic

You weren’t given these fingers for nothing – it’s time to put them to good use! There’s a rare delight in seeing something beautiful come to life under your touch, and it’s just as great to receive it as a gift. It’s only fitting that ceramics are experiencing a tiny renaissance lately – after all, there’s so much room for creativity there, from simple mugs and vases to lanterns, key bowls, and… salt pigs?

No need to worry about the language barrier, either – this is the kind of craft you can learn with just your eyes. Thankfully, there are a number of ceramics studios in our city that provide services in English, such as Carousel, or Legko Legko, a charity workshop where you’ll be taught to craft a tiny, charming piece of St. Petersburg architecture.

Put it in print

If you’re not too sure of your own handicraft skills, why not leave it to a professional and get something custom-printed? To keep it unique, choose a design that’ll have special value: a heartfelt message, a precious memory, or an inside joke that only few will ever get. And it’s not just T-shirts and coffee mugs these days – what about a nice tote to make your friend’s grocery store trips a tad more fun? There’s no shortage of print studios in St. Petersburg, but this author’s personal experience can vouch for the great folks at Art-T-Shok – just drop them a line by email and let them help you out!

Deck the halls

Credit: Lee Campbell (@leecampbell) on Unsplash

Credit: Lee Campbell (@leecampbell) on Unsplash

It’s the perfect New Year’s present: a lovely wreath to hang onto one’s door, as if to say – “That’s how amazing my friends are!” And once you grasp the principles, it’s really not as difficult as it might seem. And there’s so many ways to make them, too!

Go down memory lane

If you love research, scrapbooking is the choice for you. It’ll certainly require a good bit of time and effort, but what a payoff! Pick out your favorite pictures of you and the giftee, highlight the things you admire about them, turn it into a calendar – or even showcase all the cringiest moments of their biography if that’s the kind of friendship you’ve got. It might seem a daunting task, but even basic scrapbooking can result in something very impressive.