14 People Share The Money-Saving DIY Gift They’re Making This Year

By | Monday, November 30, 2015


1. “My roommate is making us all scented candles, and they’re coming out really well. She got the recipe to make the wax off Pinterest, and then is giving them a personal touch by stuffing the wax with different fresh scents, like dried mint leaves.” — Rachel

2. “I’m making my best friend a homemade necklace by turning a coin into a dancer charm (because she’s a dancer). I put a faded quote over a picture of her dancing on the computer, then printed it out to size. Then I glued it onto a coin. I lacquered the whole thing with modge podge and attached the jewelry stuff to the back (the jewelry making kit I have is super simple — I just needed the clasp and black string that would go around her neck).” — Sara

3. “I’m making my group of friends sugar scrubs. I’ve done it before, and it’s SO easy. I’m usually crunched for time, because I work long hours, so I don’t like to go searching for ingredients. This is just sugar, coconut oil and lemon. Then you find cute jars to put it all in. You can find the recipe here. It’s perfect for dry skin in the winter.” — Jenn

4. “I organize a scavenger hunt for my family every year, which is a semi-DIY gift. I come from a big family, so we don’t do big presents for every single sibling and our parents. Instead, I’ll pick a day, and invite them to all meet in our family backyard. Then, I organize a scavenger hunt for everyone — they might find little gifts along the way, but for the most part, the gift is the hilarity of the treasure hunt itself.” — Anna

5. “Ornaments. My family has a day before the holidays when we all get together and make ornaments. It’s an old tradition, but we try to do it after Thanksgiving so that we are all around for it. I try to make one individualized ornament for each of my friends. It’s a great way to give everyone a little something even if we’re not close. It’s a Christmas-oriented gift, and of course I’m concious of the fact that it’s not everyone’s holiday — I made my friend a menorah ornament last year, and she thought it was hilarious.” — Emilie

6. “I’m known in my family for my truffle making SKILLS. I have my own secret recipe, but I also recommend the Barefoot Contessa’s. It’s a time consuming process, but they’re a huge hit. After you make them, all you have to do is buy a tin (I like to go for simple metal, I don’t love anything super holiday-ish or floral) and then fill the tin with about 10 truffles.” — Christopher

7. “I’m making my own coasters. I’ve done it a couple times before! I am finding classic prints on the computer (old Hollywood-type Marilyn Monroe images, some quotes, pictures with friends, witty e-cards) and printing them out. I got tiles and slabs of cork from Home Depot (it was less than $15 for eight slabs of cork and eight tiles). I glued the cork onto the tiles, and then I used modge podge paste to serve as an adhesive for the pictures and create a shiny glass-looking finish.” — Erin

8. “I’ve been brewing my own cider since the summer, and I’m finally getting somewhere on the recipe. This year, I’m bottling it for the first time and giving it out as gifts! I’m hoping people will serve it around their dinner table during the holidays. My girlfriend even helped me make personalized labels that we’re sticking on the bottles. It doesn’t look very professional, but it’ll taste delicious.” — Jake

9. “I painted my own picture frames this year. I originally just did it for myself, but my friends would come into my room and mention that they loved the picture frames, so I figured I’d spread the love for the holidays. I went to Michael’s and bought about ten frames (just plain white), and they were a few bucks each. Then I bought bold-colored paints (I keep some craft supplies around my house too) and decorated them all. I like this because it brings a DIY component to the classic picture frame gift.” — Patricia

10. “I’m in my early 20s and most of my friends don’t have ~ideal cooking spices~ for their kitchen. So, I’m doing something super simple (but also incredibly useful). I found small mason jars, and bought spices in bulk. Then, I filled the mason jars with spices and labeled them with a label maker. I’m giving everyone four spices: rosemary, turmeric, cinnamon, and thyme.” — Taylor

11. “I made a beer growler into a vase for a close friend this year. I did it without a glass cutter, so I have to say up-front that it perhaps wasn’t the safest operation in the world, and I would advise others to use a glass cutter. However, this is a great thing to do to make use of old alcohol bottles. I cut the glass (by following a tutorial) and then I sanded it down using regular sand paper. If you want to give someone the vase already filled, buy a fake flower (at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s) and put that in to show the gift-receiver how nice it will look.” — Liam

12. “I went in search of new hobbies this year, and found an amazing pottery studio. I live in North Carolina and found a pottery studio that is $70 for an annual membership (this is a huge, almost unheard of deal). Anyway, I’ve been making little pieces of pottery to give all of my friends and family this year. I made some personalized mugs, a couple of shot glasses, and some small bowls that they can use to hold their jewelry.” — Alex

13. “I’ve gotten really into arm knitting, which I learned from a YouTube tutorial. It took a while to learn, but now I can make a nice scarf in half an hour while watching Netflix. I’ve been giving them out for birthdays, and will be giving a few for the holidays as well. It’s perfect if you like big, chunky knit scarves. I’ve been making infinity scarves, and I experiment with different fabrics to make them thinner or thicker, depending on who I’m giving them to, and what they might like.” — Naomi

14. “In the past, I’ve hosted a ‘paint your own wine glass’ party for my friends as my gift to them. I buy inexpensive wine tumblers and paints. People can decorate them in whatever way they want, as opposed to being stuck with a winter wine glass they can only pull out around the holidays. This year, I’m letting one of my friends host instead, so I’ll actually have to get people different presents. It’s a fun way to bring people together, and once it’s over, I don’t have to stress about getting any of my friends a gift.” — Sanjana

Image via Pexels

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