When I am shopping and I see a good price on something ordinary like a notebook or journal, I like to pick them up for future altering. Last year at this time I decided to make myself a Christmas book that I could keep track of cards & gifts. I usually have lists laying somewhere but don't always find them in time to keep me from making an OOPS like last Christmas when I gave 1 son John Deere ornaments and his wife said something like "you gave us those last year too". I could have sworn I gave them to a different son so guess I'm not trusting my memory anymore and now writing it all down. It was pretty easy to cover the book with Xmas paper, add some embellishments and pretty ribbons. It even has a spot for its own pretty red glitter pen.
The other gift I made was this pretty clipboard that came plain for $1 but now that it is all prettied up you would never guess that. I gave it to my ex-boss at Lands End where I worked last year up to Christmas. I know sometimes the ordinary chores don't seem so bad when you have something pretty to help you along! Now I just need to make myself one!