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Plan Ahead to Give Unique, Grown-Up Gifts

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DURHAM — One of the problems people have with buying gifts is they wait until the last minute, and then run to the mall and grab the first thing they see. If you start early, you can take your time and find some great gifts that are a little out of the ordinary.

WRAL's Holiday Shopping Blitz takes a look at gift ideas for adults. We found a number of unique gifts in different price ranges that are sure to please just about anyone on your gift list. Personalized CalendarsWe begin our shopping atKinko's. There are some great gift ideas inside that give all year long.

Take some of your favorite pictures and you can personalize a calendar. You can get a year at a glance or a photo a month. The price ranges from $4.95 to $29.95. Another bonus: Kinko's locations are open 24 hours. Paint-Your-Own PotteryIf you are a do-it-yourself kind of gift giver, or you are buying for one, there are many places that allow you to paint your own pottery.

At Durham's Glaze n' Blaze, you can handpaint a piece of pottery. Keep in mind it takes four days to get the glazed piece back, and it will run you anywhere from $10 to $35.

You can also purchase a gift certificate and let the recipient be the artist. Charting the StarsJust about everyone has been a little curious about astrology at one time or another. So how about a personalized astrology chart?

"It's a very ancient science," says holistic astrologer Annette Kraut. "It's kind of like herbalism. We don't know why herbs work, but if you trace them back, some of them have been used in similar ways for centuries. And astrology is a little that way."

At Durham's Earth and Spirit, they will tailor a chart specifically for you. Kraut says it can reveal a lot about you, like your vulnerabilities, strengths, needs and tendencies.

She says the chart is a tool to help lead your life. All you need is your birth date and birth place. If you happen to know your birth time that is even better. Prices vary between $60 and $90. Hand Crafted JewelryPlanning on giving jewelry? How about custom-made pieces? Joe Evans has been working with jewelry since he was eight years old, and he can make you just about anything. One of his customers had him craft a silver Romeo and Juliet ring costing $200.

"I do all the work myself. I do the casting. I do the fabricating. I do the setting. I mean I buy the material raw. I do everything from A to Z," says Evans.

All you have to do is come in with a drawing or picture of what you want, and Evans will take it from there.

The key to finding a unique gift is taking your time. Go into stores you have never been in before and browse. You just never know what you might find. Reporter: Lynda Loveland