Amy Sedaris’ Tips for Unreturnable Gifts

Posted by on Dec 23, 2010

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Grand Central Publishing


If you’re facing that feeling of impending doom that comes with having no holiday gift to give on Christmas, luckily Amy Sedaris included a chapter in her new book, Simple Times, all about “Unreturnable Gift Giving.” Yep, that means making something so spot on for that special someone there’s no store in the world that would dare take it back (with or without receipt).

“Why go to the trouble of making a handmade gift?” wonders Amy in Simple Times. “Is it the fact that it’s much cheaper than buying something that a person actually wants? No, probably not. Does it have something to do with the fact that making a gift is a good way to get rid of the odds and ends you don’t have the energy to toss out? For argument’s sake, let’s say no. How about the idea that crafting a gift gives the illusion that you are 'artsy,' or doesn’t require you to leave the house to shop or is a good opportunity to practice doing something you are hoping one day you will be good enough at to turn a profit on? Some valid points, maybe, but the simple reason we are settling on is this: when you give something you made to someone, they know that you are giving to them a piece of you, and they understand you have presented them with you. Simple!” Here’s a short list of spot-on gifts for all of the special people in your life: mom, sis and your neighborhood nudist.

amy sedaris
Gift for Mom — Button and Buckle Book

Instructions: Gather all your mother’s random buttons and buckles. Sew the buttons and buckles onto 8 x 10-inch pieces of stiff cardboard and fasten the backs with a knot. Attach all the pages of cardboard together to make a book. Decorate the pages and the outside.

“I Can’t Find My Keys”

Attach an attractive bell onto Mother’s keys so when she is digging in her bag she will hear them.
Amy Sedaris
Gift for an Older Sister — Bandana Box

Instructions: Paint the inside and outside of a cigar box. Decorate as you wish. Fill with bandanas and handkerchiefs.
Amy Sedaris
Gifts for a Man You Are Dating Who Is at Least 18 Years Older Than You — Miss Egypt Shop Towel Holder

Instructions: Wrap a roll of blue shop towels in washcloths. Use a scouring pad for the hair and cut feet out of sandpaper. Draw on the pretty eyes. He won’t need anything else in his shop.

Gift for a Woman You Are Dating Who Is at Least 18 Years Younger Than You — Gingham Bottoms
What girl wouldn’t love a pair of gingham bottoms?

Gift for a Nudist — Seat Shield

Instructions: Make a doily or decorate a piece of washable fabric a nudist can carry wherever they go to use and sit on when visiting family and friends with nice couches.

Gifts for the Private Nurse — Personalized Hanky
(Note: So she won’t confuse it with one of yours.)

Gift for All Ages — Money Cans

Instructions: Cover cans with construction paper and felt. Turn them into your favorite characters.

Excerpted from Amy Sedaris’ Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, published by Grand Central / Hachette.

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