The one rule attached to homemade gag gifts is that they must be funny. If you don't find humor in your own gag gifts, the recipient probably won't find any, either.
Creating Funny Gifts
Novelty gag gifts are popular with all age groups. Their popularity is due to the humor that's packed into each gift. Regardless of who makes the gift, one important rule must always be followed: homemade gag gifts are supposed to be quite ridiculous. The more ridiculous, the more knee-slapping humor they create. Some homemade gag gifts are so ridiculously funny they can be given to someone in the same circle of friends again and again, and still make everyone laugh hysterically.
One silly thing that can bring on the laughter is to layer the wrapping by placing a small box inside a larger box. Wrap up to 10 boxes in this manner. The box in the center needn't hold any more of a gift than a weather rock. Attach a note with the following message:
Weather rocks are great for determining the weather.
If the rock is wet, it's raining.
If the rock is dry and hot, the sun is shining.
If the rock is white, it's snowing.
If the rock is tipped over, it's windy.
Sometimes, though it really is a gag gift, it's the thought that counts. You can create a nice gift by using an empty glass jar to capture something your recipient would love to have seen, heard, felt or done in person. A glass jar can hold a favorite song by a favorite artist, sung at a concert he could not attend but which you did. It could also hold smog from a city he would have liked to visit, a refreshing mountain breeze, a baby's giggle, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or the scent of a favorite flower.
Obvious Novelty Gag Gifts
Some gag gifts have been around for a long time. If you're attending a retirement party, you can pretty much expect to see gag gifts that have something to do with aging. Anyone over the age of 50, now considered over the hill, probably will receive at least one pair of false teeth or a cane, even though it's obvious they do not need them. Older folks also seem to get a lot of gag gifts that surround their bodily functions, such as underwear with a fish tank filter taped on the back as a "flatulence filter," or a bag of beans with a note that says, "Bubble Bath: Eat beans 1 to 2 hours before bathing in hot water."
Another cute idea is to put a handful of straw in a plastic bag with a note that reads, "Straw hat; assembly required." Or how about a couple of batteries with a note that reads, "Toys not included."
For a birthday party gag gift, you could always write a funny poem that describes the person in exaggerated tones, or place a beat up toy car into a box along with a note that reads, "Was going to trade this clunker in for cash for your birthday gift; sorry I missed the deadline." If the recipient is allergic to pets, you could always give them a dust bunny in a sealed bottle.
Holiday Gag Gifts
If your family has reached a point where it's become too expensive to purchase gifts for everyone during the holidays, you may want to try gag gifts. A good holiday gag gift would be a snowman in a jar. Use a small jar with a screwed-on top. Fill the jar halfway with water, then drop in a couple of pieces of coal and a carrot.
Remember that gag gifts are given with the fondest of thoughts. The idea is to bring a smile to the person who's receiving the gift. Gag gifts should never hurt anyone's feelings. Make sure you do not give a gag gift to someone that reflects something the person is sensitive about.
Homemade friendship gifts are the type of gifts that have staying power.
A nicely decorated jar of homemade bath salts makes for lovely hostess gifts, office exchange gifts or even stocking stuffers for family members. Keep a few jars around for last minute gifts. Placed with a scented candle, a loofa and CD of relaxing music in a pretty gift bag, you have a great inexpensive gift for even close friends.