How to Give a Mini-Retreat to a Friend

Have a friend who needs a mini-retreat? Here's how you can put together a mini creative retreat for her that she'll love. Makes the perfect best friend gift! :)

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Learn how to give a mini-retreat to a friend (basically the best gift ever!)

One of my favorite gifts to give is a mini-retreat in a box. You can mail it or hand it over to your friend for her birthday (or whenever.) I know I’m biased because I love creative retreats but long before I wrote my book about retreats, I was making these boxes of goodness for friends.

And one particular friend (you know who you are) has been sending these amazing retreats-in-a-box to me for several years too. They’re basically the best thing ever.

But before we get started, let me define the word, “retreat” for you. The reason being, it will help expand your thinking as you brainstorm a gift for your own best friend.

A retreat is any amount of time you use to explore your creativity.

Any. Amount. Of. Time.

This means a new mama can flip through a cookbook and be inspired and call that creative retreat time.

That means a receptionist can slip off to her car at lunch time to knit a scarf and call that a creative retreat.

Lunch breaks, nap times, evenings after the kids fall asleep, early mornings before the roommates wake up . . . they all qualify as great times to sneak in creative retreats.

And those creative times matter because they build you up, remind you who you are, and make you feel better too. Honestly, how many of us have felt awesome after some good old fashioned creative time?

So . . . how to give a friend a mini-retreat?

First, answer the questions below:

  1. What’s her favorite treat to eat?
  2. What’s her favorite treat to drink?
  3. What creative activities does she like to do?
  4. What would be a fun craft or project she would enjoy that’s different? One that’s super simple is best.
  5. What are some words of encouragement that you think she needs to hear?

Your answers will inform what you buy or make for your friend’s creative retreat box. For instance . . .

Maybe she loves chocolate covered raisins. (They’re full of antioxidants, right? haha) Buy them in bulk, pour them into a clear bag, and then wrap them with washi tape. Too cute.

Have a friend who needs a mini-retreat? Here's how you can put together a mini creative retreat for her that she'll love. Makes the perfect best friend gift! :)

Maybe she’s a tea drinker and a gift of several tea bags and homemade fruit sugar would be perfect for her. You could also buy her a packet of individual hot chocolate (or mix up a batch—this recipe is my favorite.)

Have a friend who needs a mini-retreat? Here's how you can put together a mini creative retreat for her that she'll love. Makes the perfect best friend gift! :)

If she likes to sketch, pick up a few pens for her. Or a new sketchbook. With the coloring book craze going on (as I write this), there are so many cool pens out there right now.

Don’t feel like you have to buy all the supplies for a particular creative interest she has—just pick up one or two things that are fun. A couple rolls of washi tape. A set of watercolor pencils. A tiny watercolor notebook that she can stash in her purse.

On a side note, I made the note card that’s pictured below by simply dipping a blank card into blobs of acrylic paint. I had squirted paint into my art journal and had way too much so used a few cards to carefully use up the extra paint. I love how they ended up so textured—gorgeous! :)

Have a friend who needs a mini-retreat? Here's how you can put together a mini creative retreat for her that she'll love. Makes the perfect best friend gift! :)

Find a simple craft kit or project that your friend could put together in an hour or so. I recently bought an Ojo de Dios kit that was so much fun to play with. Quick win projects are really nice to do on a mini-retreat. Yes, it’s nice to work on the slow burn projects too, but I’m all for early successes when you’re first starting on your creative retreat journey. :)

Have a friend who needs a mini-retreat? Here's how you can put together a mini creative retreat for her that she'll love. Makes the perfect best friend gift! :)

Finally, tuck in a note of encouragement for your friend. You know what she needs to hear right now. You might add some quotes that you know she’ll love or whatever you’d like. Handwritten notes are the best, don’t you think?

Have a friend who needs a mini-retreat? Here's how you can put together a mini creative retreat for her that she'll love. Makes the perfect best friend gift! :)

And yes, you could also tuck in my creative retreat book, though you certainly don’t have to. :) I love finding creativity books for friends that I know will give them a little extra spark. (Art stores usually stock books like these at the front of the store.)

I hope you have fun making a mini-retreat for your friend! You’re going to make her day, I just know it! Oh, and P.S. you can totally make one of these for yourself too. I won’t tell. :)

Have a lovely {and creative} day!

2 thoughts on “How to Give a Mini-Retreat to a Friend

  1. I love this idea. What would you include if the friend likes to cook? Would the creative retreat spark ideas for her around that as well? Thanks!

    1. Sorry for my late response, Erika! Yes, a creative retreat would absolutely work for a friend who likes to cook. A couple of ideas come to mind . . . some stores like Williams Sonoma offer free (or inexpensive) cooking lessons that you could gift her. (You could also come along for a friend retreat!) If you know the kinds of things your friend likes to make, you can buy some of the items or ingredients for her to get started. For example, if she’s a baker you could purchase fancy sprinkles for cookies, silicone cupcake cups, or a great cookie cookbook. Hope this helps! :)

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