It’s someone’s birthday, and the question looms: what to give as a present? If you’ve been friends with the person for a while, the struggle is real: coming up with yet another unique, creative gift, year after year, can be a royal pain in the you-know-what. So what do you do when another boring gift card just won’t cut it and you’re fresh out of ideas?

We got you. Here’s our list of 5 easy DIY birthday gifts, with an emphasis on the word easy.

No sewing, no decoupaging, no Martha Stewart-ing necessary. Promise! Here we go:

Idea #1: Framed quote

Friends always have special sayings, inside jokes, or quotes that have specific significance to them. Why not print one out, mat it, and frame it? None of this has to cost a lot, because you can use your own printer for the quote, mount in on a simple mat, and buy an inexpensive frame. (Pssst: Our very own team member Emily has an Etsy shop featuring her custom matte frames, that we think are super cute and affordable.)

Emily Salshutz Frames

Idea #2: Scrapbook

And here you thought scrapbooks were oh-so retro. Well, they sort of are in this digital age, but it’s certainly not a lost art. There is something really meaningful and special about putting together a scrapbook solely with one person in mind. Print out a few photos, buy some stickers, include a few mementos like ticket stubs or cards, and write a few notes that have special meaning to your friendship.

Idea #3: Photo coaster

Wait, we haven’t broken our promise — this project is easier than it might seem. If you can glue and spray, you can make photo coasters, which are just coasters with photos glued on them. Obviously you would choose photos that are meaningful to you and your friend. Here’s a simple tutorial for photo coasters that we found by searching online. There are usually only 4 or 5 steps, and the good news is that most of it is just waiting for the glue or acrylic spray to dry.

Idea #4: Animoto video

Not to sound like a broken record and all, but we think birthdays are always a great excuse for an Animoto video. It sure beats a paper card, and as a bonus, the recipient can hang on to it for…well, forever. We even have a few birthday specific video styles, like One Year Wiser and Birthday Gifts, that are super festive and cheery. Don’t forget about the different ways to package your video, so you have something tangible to give, if you want.

Idea #5: Journal decorated with washi tape

If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest, it’s hard not to come across a washi tape project or two (or three million). There’s a good reason why crafts using this Japanese decorative tape are so popular — the tape comes in virtually every size, shape, pattern, and color, and can be used to cover everything from furniture to smartphones. One easy gift idea is to buy a simple Moleskine notebook (or any kind of notebook/journal with a smooth, firm cover) and decorate it to your heart’s content. If you know your friend well, be sure to choose colors or patterns that suit their tastes. The example below was shared by Flickr user Saaleha Bamjee.

Washii Tape Journal

Think you’ll make a go of one of these ideas? We’d love to see how your gift turns out! Share a picture with us in the comments section below.

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