12 days of gift-mas 

DIY gifts to make on a small budget 


Photo by Peyton Sims

Here’s a list of 12 festive and easy gifts to make on a budget. 

Story by Mikayla Zverina, culture editor

All year you wish that the most wonderful time of the year would just go ahead and get here until it finally arrives. You are filled with joy until you realize you haven gotten Christmas gifts for anyone. That’s when panic sets in. Here’s a list of 12 festive and easy gifts to make on a budget. 

Hot chocolate kits

This gift is for the hot cocoa lover in your life. One way to make this kit with some Christmas flair is to make it an ornament. Take a clear, plastic ornament and fill it with your favorite hot chocolate mix and top it off with some mini marshmallows. Once the top is back on, add some ribbon and a name tag. Another way is to take a mug, which can be found at the Dollar Store, and put some decorative shredded paper crinkle in the bottom. You can either use the ornament previously mentioned or a goody bag and fill with the same ingredients. Place in the mug, add a few candy canes, and your friend will be singing the Polar Express hot chocolate song as they sip away. 

Baked goods

Baked goods as a gift? This is one of the easiest homemade presents, yet not a lot of people think about it. Bake some cookies, brownies, rice krispie treats or anything else you please, wrap it up in a goody bag, tie with ribbon, and let the gifting begin. 

Picture ornaments

 One of the most personalized gifts you can make that is also easy is a picture ornament. Print out your favorite picture and glue them inside a mason jar lid or place modge podge on the back of a picture and put it on a sliced piece of wood from a branch. Drill a hole for ribbon and write the year or a handwritten note on the back.

Impression ornaments

Moms are huge fans of these homemade impression ornaments. These ornaments can be made by taking 1 cup of salt,1 cup of flour and a ½ cup of water. Mix the ingredients and then knead into a dough. Next roll it out to about ½ an inch thickness, take a glass to use as a circle cookie cutter and press into the dough. Take a straw to poke a hole in the top to stick a ribbon through. Next, use one of your little siblings or your family’s pet to press an indention into the dough. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until it has hardened and take a paint pen to color in the impressions made by the paw or hand to make it stand out. Write the name of the pet or sibling at the top, put a ribbon through the hole and make mom smile with this personalized ornament that’ll be on the tree for many Christmases to come. 

Gardener’s gift set 

This gift set is absolutely perfect for your loved one who enjoys gardening in their free time. Find a new pair of gardening gloves and stuff them with packages of their favorite seeds or flower bulbs. Take a basket, put the gloves in, add a trowel and maybe a few small bags of fertilizer. This gift is so simple but will bring tons of joy to those invested in their garden. 

String art

This is a very simple craft that looks complex as a piece of wall art. Print out a picture that you want to use and find a piece of wood that is big enough for it. In about 1 centimeter intervals, hammer in a nail along the lines to create the design. Rip the paper off the wood and dispose of it. Take the color string you want to use and wrap around the nails in a continuous string to create the design you please. Tie it off in a knot when you are done, and it’s as simple as that.  

Sugar scrub

This simple three ingredient scrub will give people the gift of smooth, exfoliated skin. All you need is about 1 cup of sugar and ½ a cup of coconut oil or vegetable oil (olive oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, etc.). For a scented sugar scrub, add about 25 drops of essential oils, preferably peppermint or anything else that feels like Christmas, and for a little color, add 2-5 drops of food coloring of your choice. Once this is all mixed up, place it in small mason jars, tie some Christmas-themed ribbon around the lid and gift away. 

Teacup candles 

For those of you wanting to impress your friends or family with a more complex gift, this is your cup of tea. Start off with a cute tea cup which can be found at the dollar store and most thrift stores. You’re going to need essential oils, candle wicks, wooden skewers or pencils and 4 cups of soy wax. Create a double, if you don’t have one, by placing a smaller saucepan in a bigger pans filled with water. Place the wax in the smaller pan and begin to melt. Make sure to keep stirring. While this is melting, take your tea cup and hot glue a candle wick to the bottom. Take the top of the wick and wrap around the skewer or pencil and lay the pencil horizontally on top of the cup to make sure the wick doesn’t fall in. Once your wax is melted, add the essential oils and mix. Pour the wax into the cup and let dry. Trim the wick and add cute ribbons with name tags, and your tea cup candle is complete. 

Candy sleighs

Candy sleighs are simply the most creative yet easy-to-make gifts for the holidays. These can be made by lining two candy canes parallel to each other with the warble facing up. Round up some candy bars that just might happen to be their favorite and stack on top. Tie it together with some Christmas ribbon. These will really sleigh the holidays.  

Cozy blankets

Of course you can always buy fuzzy blankets for your loved ones, but why do that when you can make it yourself? Take 2 yards of two different fleece fabrics and lay on top of each other. Cut a 6 inch by 6 inch square in each corner, cut 6 inch long and 1 inch wide strips all along the border of the blanket. Tie the two strips together in a knot to connect the two fabrics. Give the gift of warmth and coziness with these homemade blankets. 

Oven mitt or slipper gift set 

An oven mitt gift set is perfect for the bakers in your life. Take a cute pair of oven mitts and stuff with handy kitchen utensils such as whisks, spatulas and wooden spoons. But you can’t forget about the people in your life who value rest and relaxation. Create a slipper gift set by stuffing slippers with spa items such as face masks, nail polish and maybe even a sleep mask. Have fun with these gift sets and personalize them as much as you would like. 

Personalized potted plant 

Are you thinking about what to get your plant-loving friend? The answer has been in front of you this whole time. Pick out a potted plant of your choice and find a plain pot for it to go in. Personalize the pot with paint pens, spray paint or really anything you desire. Your friend will appreciate it a lot more than you realize. 

All of these gifts can be made a little bit more personal with a handwritten note wishing the merriest of Christmases along with a heartfelt message. Christmas doesn’t have to be intimidating with these quick and easy DIY gifts.