I had a repair man here fixing my washing machine, and as soon as he left I went shopping to get the materials I needed to make one. I already had the clear vase and rocks, but needed the male Beta fish and a Peace Plant. I had trouble finding a good plant, but finally found a gorgeous one at Home Depot. I got the fish at WalMart. They had quite a selection, most had beautiful colors. The males are the most vibrant, females are more bland in their coloring.
I think this would make a nice gift, but I would give a smaller one. Minimal care - occasionally add water, once a day add Beta food. I think after a while the fish gets all he needs from the roots and you can stop feeding. That will become apparent if/when he doesn't touch his food.
This photo is from the link I found with materials/directions on the web. I was going to add the link, but now I can't find it. It had great directions, so if you're interested, you'll have to Google for it yourself. I'm usually a good researcher, but this one stumped me when trying to find it again.
From Me and My Dog, Katie, have a great weekend, everyone! : )