I think my very first crafting experience was in kindergarten. I made a bookmark for my Mom for Mother’s Day. Would you believe, I’m still making bookmarks? Aside from being non-gender-specific, they work up quickly and can be constructed with a variety of materials. I’ve used Fimo, clay, papers, fabrics, wires, beads, and even tree leaves. Mixed media works very well with bookmarks, and for the truly special person, you can also give them a book (something else you can buy at Goodwill).
There’s a thrift shop downtown that sells watches in bulk (like 10 to a plastic bag), and for awhile there (pre-New-Year’s-Resolution 2011) I was buying them often. So I have a pretty extensive collection of watches, some broken but others still working. Men’s watches work particularly well. Just remove the bands and return the metal band-holder rods back into their holes, and you’ve got the perfect setup for adding both the ribbon on top and the jump rings with your decorations on the bottom. This one was big enough to accommodate large charms from broken junk jewelry. Glass prisms from chandeliers make great bookmark charms (I find them mostly at yardsales, and one or two
chandeliers will supply you with enough prisms for the rest of your crafting life). Belts often have large charms and chain that work well on these. I frequently use black or white recycled ribbon, and the ring to keep the ribbon in place can be a large bead or anything with a hole (like a chain from a metal belt) …this one is actually plastic. Know that you’ll probably have to iron the ribbon once you’ve drawn it through the hole, and care should be taken with satin as it burns quickly.
You can make a dozen presents in a day with this craft, and I often do this and store them (and then promptly forget about them) for future use. It’s always a treat in my house to open a drawer or closet and see some unfamiliar box; then find something I had made and forgot about. It’s the wonderful thing about getting old. Everything seems new everyday. My house is like a little shop to me, waiting to be explored. Isn’t that the start of dementia?