Within an age of incredible mass production, it’s easy to forget about simplicity. Metal alloys and forms of plastics are used to engineer a variety of products, yet wood, one of the purest materials, is readily available and economically feasible. This season, go back to giving something simple and beautiful; give the gift of wood.
Save the Environment
Our impact on the environment has been a topic of conversation for some time. The release of carbon dioxide is thought to offset normal temperatures and damage the ozone layer. Wildfires and insect epidemics are other possible contributions to the problem yet wood helps curb carbon emissions. Wood is a building alternative, but also stores carbon, is naturally renewable, requires less energy and water to produce, and for many areas, can be grown, manufactured, and shipped locally.
Give Something Beautiful
Wood is extremely malleable, and when manipulated by experienced and skilled craftspeople, results in beautiful design. Most are familiar with a few woods used for furniture making and house construction, yet over 5,000 types are at the disposal of toy makers, architects, hobbyists, and others. Depending on the variety, wood’s exterior could be considered art. Different hues and tones are pleasing to view as wall art, sculptures, furniture, cabins, etc. Moreover, wood is easily painted different colors to adapt to one’s preferences, surrounding elements, room theme, etc. The Make Me Something Special website personalizes a range of wooden gifts.
Invest in Durability
Wood is resilient, a reason it’s a go-to resource for indoor and outdoor furniture, exterior walls, toys, etc. Why give a fragile gift when you can provide the receiver with something that will last for years. If extreme moisture is an issue, consider investing in outdoor furniture that is water resistant. A one year study found that Western Cedar resisted moisture considerably better than other woods. Lastly, some metals resist rust but are usually expensive, yet wood will never rust.
Make It Easy to Clean and Maintain
You don’t want to give a gift that will be harmful to the environment or be damaged by external forces. At the same time, you want to give something that is easily maintained. Wood is refreshingly easy to maintain considering how long it can take other materials to look like new. Experts have a number of suggestions regarding specific woods yet it seems that dishwashing detergent is among the simplest and easiest ways to clean wood. To start, add a drop of water to a cotton ball and a small amount of dishwashing detergent. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the wood. If you notice no damaging effects, clean the entire piece with the solution. Rather than soak the item, glaze over the exterior with a cotton swab or cloth before thoroughly drying.
Supplement the Gift with Polish
When confronted with the task of wood maintenance, one may consider asking an architect or builder, yet toy makers are excellent sources of information on the topic. One experienced toy maker swears by his own wood polish recipe of natural beeswax and jojoba oil.
If you’re up for supplementing the wood gift with homemade wood polish, here’s how to do it. The polish is one part beeswax and four parts oil. Fill a measuring device with one cup of oil. Add beeswax until the solution measures 1 and ¼ full. Heat the solution until the beeswax is melted (Use a microwave or stovetop.) Pour into a container and stir once every thirty minutes for a few hours. Once it’s fully cooled, you can rub it into wood furniture, toys, etc!
Set the Tone
Some will purchase wood furniture or wooden pieces as a gift. You may be anxious about how well something will be received given the established layout and color tone of a room. However, wood is versatile when it comes to fitting in with the rest of a room. Given the color, wood implements may supplement, accentuate, or contrast other colors in the room to create a unique interior design. For example, deep tones of chocolate and pecan wood nicely contrast with lighter tones, and when balanced well, really makes for a cozy and classy look. Wood really does make a great gift idea!
Give Something Old to Make New
If the gift recipient is a collector or likes to work with their hands, don’t dismiss how much they would like a piece of wood that needs to be restored. Depending on the state of the wood and the recipient’s experience, they can restore an item at home. However, restoration is not something any person can do without a bit of knowledge. For example, some novices will leave paint stripper on wooden items for too long, or rather than ‘strip’ away the paint, get too aggressive with a scraper and damage the underlying wood surface.