DIY Holiday Gifts

Odds are that your Christmas shopping has been kicked into high gear, but instead of encouraging you to spend a fortune on gift cards, clothes and the traditional bath set, we’ve come up with an alternative that will help you save money. Here are the DIY holiday gifts you can make on your own, while respecting your budget at the same time.

Thanks to novelty paper stores and the magic of Etsy, paper is hardly just a glorified writing platform. That said, it’s both creative and affordable to make custom prints for your friends or family members using a sheet of printed-paper and a basic frame that would normally cost a small fortune at craft or artisan fairs. You can easily use one sheet of paper for a monochromatic look, or you can make a collage using a few different (complimentary) prints for a unique one-of-a-kind gift. However, if you’re feeling especially generous, buy a set of three small frames, three different prints (that work alongside each other) and let your friend display them on the wall as part of a more elaborate wall art set-up. 

Teacup Candles
Most of us can agree that store-bought candles are a Christmas cop-out, but if you’re hoping to make something unique for a friend with an affinity for natural light, pick up the following: a vintage teacup and saucer set from Value Village or the Salvation Army (they usually go for about $2 or $3 each), a package of wicks and microwaveable wax. Before anything, clean out your cup, then attach the wick to its bottom before pouring the heated wax into your teacup to set. Both the wax and wicks can be picked up at a craft store like Michael’s, and if you’re apprehensive about the type of wax to get or the scented oils to choose, opt for a kit that will still clock in under budget.

Hot Chocolate Mix
Remember the cookie mix craze of the early 2000s and the jars full of cookie mix that were lost to sheer laziness? Luckily, an updated version of that DIY trend has established itself, so instead of urging your friends to try baking this season, encourage them to boil some water. All you need is a medium-sized glass jar, your favourite hot chocolate mix, a package of mini marshmallows and about a dozen crushed candy canes. Combine in the jar (or layer, if you’d rather), and top with a ribbon, and you’ve got the ideal gift for an office secret Santa or your neighbor. True, you’ll probably need to round this out if you’re gifting to a close friend, but that’s why the other two gift suggestions are listed above.

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Tags: budget-friendly, Christmas, DIY, do it yourself, gifts, Holiday 2011, homemade presents, making fits

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