My boyfriend is turning 17 in 4 days. I don't have money to spend, but I want to get him gifts he will love. Please help on different ideas and gifts.
In my experience boys of 17 are just larger versions of boys of 7 (and 77) So if you don't have much money the best thing to do is get as much fun value out of it as you can.
So go to the dollar store or toyshop and buy novelty items of stationary (if still in school), glow in the dark skeletons, a little basketball hoop, enough water pistols for him and his friends to have a giant water pistol fight. You know him so you can choose things he will like, but stick with the fun idea and he won't notice that you didn't spend much.
Remember when you were a kid and you always wanted huge packs of candies and snacks or only got them at Christmas, get those he will love them. The favorite thing I ever bought my son was a bubble gum machine, he was 18. (09/05/2010)
Homemade gift certificates are always nice, i.e. for a massage, a homemade dinner, dessert, movie night (or video night), cleaning his room, etc. Give him a booklet of 10 or even 12 (one a month).
Make him a video and upload it to YouTube; include footage and photos of your favorite moments.
If you have a little money, one of my favorite gifts is lottery tickets. A $1 ticket can potentially be worth thousands or even millions. I usually spend $5-$20 on a variety of scratch-off lotteries and then enclose them in a birthday card. Even if they are losers, many allow you to mail the cards in for another chance to win (read the back). And even if you don't win anything, you feel good about supporting various services, i.e. in NY, lottery money supports public education. Make sure he knows this so that he can feel good about the tickets.
Make a hidden surprise gift. For example, either bake a little cake or make soap with special surprises inside (making sure he doesn't eat the surprises by mistake!). The surprises could be coins, toys, stuff from a $1 store, etc., choose stuff that matters to him and make sure they're clean if you bake the cake (and make sure they don't melt, alternatively, you can make no-bake cheesecake). Make a video of him eating the cake, discovering each surprise.
Make him a teddy bear using old clothing. Maybe even a shirt of yours that he like so that it'll always remind him of you.
Buy him a used wig. (09/08/2010)
If you want to make soap, Google for recipes. The absolute easiest way to make soap is to simply take some normal soap pieces (chop up a bar into little pieces) and boil them in a little water until melted (and use a blender to speed things up). Add color and fragrance, if desired (you probably shouldn't use fragrance in a food blender). Mix well and pour the liquid into a mold (little cake molds are great). When it cools and starts to thicken, put in your little surprises.
If you're sexually active, and I'm just being realistic here, slip in an unopened condom. Write on a little love note with a waterproof Sharpie. Something as simple as your phone number would be perfect. Imagine his surprise upon discovering it when showering. My ex did this for Valentine's Day. And if you're not sexually active (Good for you!), write the note on the sealed waterproof plastic wrapper of a mint; something like, "Eat this and be ready to be kissed." Or simply write the note on something waterproof like wax paper.
Make the soap fancy by swirling in food coloring when it's thick. That'll give it a marble effect. You can even write in a message. When the soap solidifies, you can poke a hole in the corner and tie a ribbon or rope through it for hanging (Soap-on-a-Rope was popular in the 70s). That way, he can distinguish his special soap from the family soap (if you use the condom idea you surely don't want his family discovering the special surprise!). Remember that all the surprises are for him only, so the soap should only be for his use.
Finally, find or make a fancy box for the soaps. Wrap each soap in tissue paper before packaging. Since your boyfriend is a heterosexual male, make sure to use fragrances and colors that won't threaten his masculinity. If he's a sports fan, you can make nice sports wrapping by photocopying or printing a collage of images found on the web. Use this printout for wrapping. Heck, you can use any images, i.e. Star Wars, not just sports. (09/08/2010)
Take him to a movie that only a guy would really want to go to and buy his snacks. (10/13/2010)
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