The gift I had most fun making is a modern take on the "mix tape." Who doesn't love mix tapes?!
I made these all the time. They are always a winning gift for countless reasons:
A) Sharing is good. Sharing music is better.
B) YOU create the 'album cover'.
C) Option to add personal notes, pics etc.
D) It's completely personalized.
E) You get a groovy new mix out of it!
and F) Mix tapes are cool.
Need: Music selection, ability to record music (doi), bits of scrap (ie. stickers, mag clippings, pics, fabric), scissors, some sort of adhesive, blank write-able discs...you get the picture.
Cost to me? About a buck.
Step 1: Play DJ
Are you of the itunes generation? This is comprable to exchanging music via 'mix tape'. DO NOT, I repeat, do NOT throw a mix together absentmindedly. It is not worth anyone's time nor ears.
Ok, so compile your list. I fancy itunes.
I recommend listening to your mix thoroughly before burning. Make sure the transitions are cool. Lead in and ending are apropos. You want this mix to be listened to!
Step 2: Cover Art, Baby
OK. Cut to size. Don't forget the back of the CD cover (if you're using a cover; you can do sleeves too).
Step 3: Mixed Media
Meanwhile, the disc is burning.
Step 4: Bits & Pieces
And viola, radical image to paste on the cover.
Step 5: Song Scribbles
I wrote the song list with artists with a regular ink pen.
This mix is for my bro, who is in his car a lot, so I had him cruising around in mind when I pulled the songs together.
The selection I hand-picked goes as follows:
Pacifics - Digable Planets
Rainfall - Nitin Sawnhey
Laughter - Josh Rouse
De Cara a la Pared - Lhasa de Sela
Be Thankful For What You Got - Massive Attack
Arrest Yourself - Hot Chip
Love Yourself - Blue Six
Honey (Only Child Dub) - Tosca vs. Only Child
Starlovers - Gus Gus
August Day Song - Bebel Gilberto
Sunny Road - Emiliana Torrini
Closing In - Imogen Heap
Serenade - Emiliana Torrini
Hoppipola - Sigur Ros
Step 6: Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Label the disc so your listener can easily identify his/her slammin' new mix. I like to use images, so I used an old sticker. No need to write anything on the disc.
I printed photos I took this past year to paste on the inside of the cover, and added a personal note.
Your personal touch is priceless.