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Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Great Gifts

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Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Great Gifts

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Book Name: Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Great Gifts

Author: Marilee LeBon

Publisher: Alpha

ISBN: 0-02-864001-2

Cover: Paperback

# of Pages: 360

Illustrations: B & W photos

Experience Required: Varying levels of experience

Book Review

What I like best about Making Great Gifts is the wide variety of gift ideas laid out within its pages. The gifts don’t come only in the form of crafts to make but kits of materials combined for the purpose of the receiver making something on their own like a scrapbook, a College Survival Kit for a family member going off to school, recipes for food gifts and all the supplies for a Picnic in the Park. Amongst the many categories of gift giving opportunities included in this book are Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Spring (including Easter and Passover), Fall (Halloween and Thanksgiving), Birthdays, New Baby Gifts, Anniversaries, Gifts for Children of all Ages, Teacher Gifts, For Those Who Have Everything Gifts and On the Mend (gifts for sick friends).

Gift ideas are not all that makes up the vast amount of content in Making Great Gifts. Prior to the chapters on gifts for all the aforementioned occasions there are interesting chapters to explore on how to use the book, how to determine the perfect gift for someone, getting started by gathering the necessary materials and tools required for making the gift and last but not least, innovative ways to wrap the various types of gifts you will make or buy to celebrate a special occasion. In the introduction the author describes the contents of her book including what she calls Little Gifts of Information that I think are extremely helpful. These hints and tips boxes are called Present Pointers (extra ideas, variations and hints for making the crafts), Present Tense (explanations of tools and materials being used for a craft), Gifting Glitches (troubleshooting ideas the author wants to share about a craft) and The Gift of Knowledge (background on the holiday or occasion being celebrated). All this extra information makes this useful book a very interesting read as well as clarifying certain portions of the instructions to ensure success when making your gift.

Overall I like the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Great Gifts, especially that the patterns are included next to the craft instructions for the reader’s convenience but there are also some things I didn’t like. The photos of the gifts are all in black and white and when it comes to making crafts I prefer color photos to give you an idea of color schemes that might work or inspire you when doing the project yourself. Photos that would have been helpful to compare with your final product didn’t accompany some of the gift instructions.


  • Trivet – Kwanzaa gift ideas
  • Baked to Perfection – Puffy salt dough Christmas ornaments
  • All Dolled Up - Handmade Button Doll
  • Let It Snow! – Decorative Snowman Candy Dish
  • Star Light, Star Bright – Glittering Stars of David
  • Picture Pot – Growing Gift of Love
  • Hop this Way – Easter Bunny Sign
  • Halloween Hanging
  • Stained Glass Votive
  • Angels from Heaven – Baby Shower Favor
  • Love Bear – Unusual picture frame
  • Dough Cactus

Overall Rating:


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