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10 DIY Gifts for Every Budget

10 Minute Read

Giving and receiving gifts are some of the most fun things about the Christmas season. But they can also make it stressful. Instead of falling for the pressure to buy that perfect gift for everyone on your list, give yourself permission to think differently.

Some of the best gifts you can give are simple, inexpensive do-it-yourself projects. And because DIY Christmas gifts require a little more thought and effort, they are often more meaningful to the person receiving them than a store-bought present.

Here are 10 easy and affordable DIY Christmas gifts you can give that are sure to be a hit!

10 DIY Christmas Gifts for Every Budget

1. Sugar Scrub

Winter celebrations are a time for warm hearts, but sometimes scaly skin can get the best of us. That’s why a moisturizing sugar scrub is a great DIY Christmas gift!

Items you’ll need:

Sugar
Extra virgin olive oil
Essential oil
Mason jar
Decorative spoon

Here’s how to do it:

Combine 2 ½ cups of sugar with 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Then add about 10–15 drops of your favorite essential oil to make it smell nice (depending on how strong you want it to smell).

When the scrub is finished, scoop it into mason jars and tie a cute dollar-store spoon to the lid. It’s a great DIY gift your friends can use all winter long!

2. Tied Fleece Blanket

What does everyone need during the winter time? Blankets! Believe it or not, you can make your own blankets for friends and family—no sewing skills required!

Items you’ll need:

1 ½ yards of printed fleece
1 ½ yards of solid-colored fleece
Scissors

Here’s how to do it:

Spread one layer of fleece out on the floor and place the other fleece directly on top of it. Whatever side faces out is the side you will see. Use the scissors to trim both pieces of fabric to the same size. Then, cut three-inch slits into both pieces of fabric at about one inch intervals (hold it together like a sandwich!). Do this around the entire outer edge of the square of fabric.

Now all you have to do is tie the top section to the bottom section. This will create several knots as you go around the blanket. We recommend double knotting it tight! Once you’re all done, toss the blanket into the wash with some fabric softener to make it extra cozy.

3. Decorative Mugs

Whether your warm beverage of choice is a piping hot spot of tea or cup of java, we’re all united by one thing: The need for a creative mug. So why not customize a mug for your friends and family? The decorating options are endless!

Items you’ll need:

Blank mug
Transfer paper
Pencil
Printer paper
Oil-based permanent markers (being oil-based is key for the mug to be dishwasher safe!)

Here’s how to do it:

First, pick a design for the mug. If you’re an artist, you can create a masterpiece! But if you’re a crafting novice, a simple witty quote might be all you need.

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If you have a specific design in mind, print it out. Tape the design to the transfer paper and tape the transfer paper to the mug. Using the pencil, trace over your design. This will transfer it to the mug.

Next, trace over that design on the mug with the oil-based permanent markers. Go slowly! This step will take a lot of patience. But don’t worry if you mess up—you can clean up any mistakes with soap and water. Let the design dry for 24 hours.

The next day, set the oven to 350 degrees and place the mugs upside down (so they won’t tip over) in the oven. Bake the mugs for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off, but leave the mugs inside to cool before removing them. The mugs are ready after they’ve cooled completely. Ta-da!

4. Creative Coasters

Items you’ll need:

Foam brush
Mod Podge
Ceramic tiles or old coasters
Clear craft sealant

Here’s how to do it:

Gather up some old coasters from your den or local thrift store, or swing by the hardware store to grab some ceramic tiles. Decide on the photos you want to use. Make sure to cut them to the appropriate size for your coaster. Use a foam brush to spread Mod Podge on the back on the photo and place it on the coaster or tile. Let it dry for about 30 minutes.

Then cover the photo and coaster/tile in a single layer of Mod Podge, and let it dry for an hour. Repeat this step two or three more times, spray it with sealant, and let it dry for at least 24 hours.

5. Dry-Erase Calendar

This is a fun and functional decoration for a kitchen or office. And it’s way more thoughtful than a run-of-the-mill calendar from the office supply store.

Items you’ll need:

Picture frame
Burlap, decorative fabric, or photo
Ribbon
Scrapbook letters

Here’s how to do it:

Design calendar squares out of ribbon and use scrapbook letters to mark the days of the week on your burlap, fabric or photo. Insert your completed design behind the glass of the picture frame.

Once the glass is back in place, your friend will be able to write the dates of each month in dry-erase marker. You can always make it a larger frame with smaller ribbon if you want more writing space too!

6. Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Who doesn’t love hot chocolate, anyway? This is a tasty way to share some warmth this Christmas.

Items you’ll need:

Chocolate chips
Wooden lollipop sticks
Assorted toppings (candy cane crumbs, sprinkles, marshmallows, etc.)
Ice cube tray
Saucepan or double broiler
Decorative plastic wrap

Here’s how to do it:

First, gather up your assorted toppings of choice. Place them in the bottom of the ice cube tray. Next, melt the chocolate in a double broiler. Don’t have one? No problem! Just take a sauce pan or pot and put a tiny amount of water in it. Let it simmer on low heat, then put the chocolate chips in a small, heat-proof mixing bowl on top of the saucepan. Keep stirring until the chocolate chips melt.

Once the chips have completely melted, pour the chocolate evenly into the ice cube tray. Add the wooden lollipop sticks into each ice cube square. Place the tray in the fridge to chill overnight. The next day, pop out each hot chocolate stick and wrap them individually in the plastic wrap. Voila!

7. Photo Collage

Oh, memories! Here’s the perfect way to tug at your parent’s heartstrings this Christmas. A photo collage will be a treasured gift for them and an easy way for you to make an affordable DIY Christmas gift.

Items you’ll need:

Photos
Photo frame
Double-sided tape

Here’s how to do it:

Sift through your camera roll on your phone and pick a few photos of you and the gift recipient. Order different-sized prints from your favorite photo printing company to bring your collage to life (make sure you check online for coupons!). Your local dollar store should also have a great mixture of nice frames for the collage. Once you have your pictures and frame, arrange them whatever way you like on the back of the frame with the tape. Tie a nice bow around it and boom, you’re all done!

8. Front Door Welcome Mat

You know those clever doormats everyone seems to have these days? You don’t have to pay a pretty penny for something people are just going to wipe their dirty shoes on. Make it yourself for at least half the cost. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time for this one!

Items you’ll need:

Plain doormat
Sponge paint brush
Black screen printing ink
Painter’s tape
Precision knife

Here’s how to do it:

First, hop on the computer and print out a catchy phrase in the perfect font. Stumped for ideas? You can’t go wrong with "Come Back With Tacos," "Shut the Front Door," or "You Shall Not Pass."

Now, lay painter’s tape across the mat. You want the tape to cover the mat and keep the paint from coming into contact with the entire mat. Lay your words out and figure out where you want the placement. Tip: Try to print one word per sheet of paper.

Take the precision knife and cut out the letters with the painter’s tape behind it (so that it looks like a stencil for you to fill in). Use the sponge brush and paint to start lightly dabbing to fill in the letters on the mat. You’ll want to do three coats.

Let it dry overnight and you’ll have a fun DIY gift waiting for you in the morning!

9. Food Dip Ornaments

It might sound crazy, but you can fill food-safe ornaments with dry ingredients for your favorite dips! Think dill, Italian, bacon, spicy chipotle, ranch—whatever dip your heart desires!

Items you’ll need:

Dip seasoning for your favorite recipes
Clear, clean, plastic, food-safe ornaments
Funnel
Foil

Here’s how to do it:

Grab those empty ornaments and fill them with some cheer! And by cheer, we mean your ingredients for a killer party dip. You’ll want to use a funnel for this part unless you like dry ranch dip all over your kitchen counters. Before you close the ornament, wrap a small piece of foil at the opening. Then place the ornament top back on. Be sure to include a recipe card with instructions on how to make each dip!

10. Box of Local Goodies

If you’ll be visiting family or friends out of town, this is a creative way to bring some of your local city flare to them. Make a cute box of little gifts from your hometown!

Items you’ll need:

Anything you want!

Here’s how to do it:

Grab some fun items that represent your city. Go around town and gather up sweet and savory treats that represent your city. Make sure you throw in some tourist items like a postcard, keychain or coffee mug. The only limit here is your imagination! Dress up your items in a gift basket or decorative box, and you’re good to go!

Have a Very Merry DIY Christmas

This Christmas, don’t go out and get just another thing to check off your list. Take the memorable and meaningful route instead! Use these ideas and run with them, or make up some of your own. There are limitless ways to add a personal touch with DIY Christmas gifts. Not to mention you’ll save money in the process!

Running short on time and can't go the DIY route for Christmas? Give them a digital stocking stuffer. Our audiobooks and eBooks are on sale now and make the perfect life-changing, last-minute Christmas gift!

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