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If you’re here, that might mean it’s that dreaded time again: time to find a gift for a loved one or friend, for a special occasion, or any reason at all. But maybe you’re trying to find a gift for someone who has everything, maybe you want to add an extra personal touch to your gift, or maybe you just want to save a little money. DIY gifts are the perfect way to do this! With a little bit of research, time, and money, you can easily add hours of joy and surprise for your loved ones and friends!
Here, you’ll find a rundown on some of the top DIY gifts out there that are perfect for any person: from a budget-friendly gift to something more extravagant.
DIY Gift Ideas
The following are some great general gift ideas suitable for almost any occasion.
A mixtape is a compilation of your favorite songs by many artists, set to be played in sequence. It’s a great gift for anyone and is loved by many, and is especially beginner-friendly to create.
You can make the mixtape from personal songs or songs from the recipient’s favorite genre.
A playlist might work instead of this, but for sentimental value, burn the playlist to a CD, cassette tape, or even a thumb drive to give it that genuine feel. It doesn’t have to be music. You can include spoken word poems, famous speeches, memes, or any audio you want to share with the person.
If you are making a mixtape, give your recipient a handwritten insert with track titles and artists for the mixtape.
2. DIY Bath Bombs
This one can run the gamut from simple to extravagant, depending on how you make your bath bombs. There are hundreds of fantastic recipes available online, detailing bath bombs you can make in your kitchen with ingredients you can buy at the store. But, if you want to make a unique gift, go that extra mile and use aromatic oils and essential oils to create a piece of beauty!
Melt potpourri or oatmeal (or both!) in a double boiler. Add your oil (or oils!) of choice – this is where your scent comes in! Try lavender oil for relaxation or peppermint oil for a more stimulating experience. Mix the ingredients until they are fully combined.
3. Aspirin Tin w/ Note Card Holder Inside
A small, personal gift, giving someone a box of personal notes can be a really special way to show that you care. Additionally, it’s easy, considering that you have a lot to say to the person, that is. All you need to do is put your handwritten message on the card!
You can purchase the tin at your local dollar store or thrift store. You can find the base anywhere, but if you don’t have anything else handy, by any chance, a cardboard egg carton will suffice. Consider the size of the note cards you already use and make sure they work in the tin.
Print out some tags on paper and use a black permanent marker to write the person’s name for whom you are making your bookmark. Then cut off one end of your tag and fold it in half so that it is double-sided, with the other side facing up.
You can get fancy with this project by visiting your local craft store. Bookmarks might sound like a basic gift, but put some love into making them, and your recipient is sure to love them.
5. DIY Personalized Picture Frame
A personalized picture frame is a great gift idea! This one is especially beginner-friendly and will only take a few hours of your time.
You can make a frame out of wood, glass, or even paper. If you choose to go the paint route, consider adding something interesting to the frame for decoration. Be sure to include some pictures of family and friends so that you have relevant pictures that fit into your frame or which you can simply print out and put in.
6. Homemade Jewelry
Making your loved one jewelry might be more appropriate if you have jewelry-making experience, but either way, gifts of the heart are always welcome.
Make a trip to your local craft store (or favorite online store) for basic supplies, and then use sentimental items or other relevant components to make the jewelry out of things like coins, driftwood, or stones. You can buy beautiful beads from artisans online and arrange them into gorgeous configurations. Consider including a pendant or charm for added meaning if you are making a necklace.
Similar to making jewelry, making a keychain or lanyard can be as complex or simple as you want to make it. You can use premade jewelry chains or strips of fabric or leather. Bonus point if you use a sewing machine, but it isn’t necessary.
You can use ribbon, fabric, leather, or any other material from your stash that you think would make a great component for your lanyard. This is a great gift for any person because it doesn’t have to be something fancy.
8. Homemade Soaps Or Sugar Scrubs
Toiletries alchemists, it’s your time to shine! Making soaps, sugar scrubs, and lotions will not only save you money but also give you the chance to impress your friends with your latest DIY creations.
By making homemade soaps or sugar scrubs, you’ll have created your very own personalized gift in no time at all! What’s more, if the recipe calls for something that’s not exactly what you’re looking for, then experiment with some different combinations to get it just right. You may even want to add some food coloring or dried herbs for an extra-special touch that will make them stand out from the rest.
9. Homemade Food
Baking your loved one’s favorite pastry, dessert, or meal component is a fantastic way to extend some personal care into their life through your gift. However, it’s best to give them something less perishable, like bread or something frozen, so that their gift will keep from the time it’s given to when your recipient is ready to consume it.
Homemade food is especially useful if the recipient cannot cook for themselves (like for someone who is disabled), but it can also be a wonderful way to show your loved one how much you care about them.
For a great dessert or meal idea, you could bake some cookies, make a cake or pie, or even share a homemade gift basket with your loved one. Include some fruit and granola bars so that they can snack on the goodies immediately! Homemade food is the ultimate way to show your love and care to the special people in your life.
Note: there are many options for non-dairy/gluten/nut ingredients available at any store as well!
DIY Birthday Gifts
Build a unique birthday gift for someone special with these homemade ideas. Have no fear! There are many DIY options for the budget-challenged person. From paper gifts to kits, these ideas will save you some cash and make a great gift from your creative side.
Make their birthday one to remember by giving them something they can enjoy every day!
1. 365 Things I Love About You
Celebrate another year of your loved one’s life with a container of 365 notes, one for each day of the next year of their life, with compliments, memories, and heartfelt sentiments. This can be a lot of fun, but it does require some time commitment and organization on your part. First, make a list of some of the things you love and appreciate most about your recipient.
Then, every day, write down one of those things in a note or letter that you put into the jar for them (try writing down the memory or compliment and then put it inside the jar). If you have time, consider combining this idea with one of the other gifts on this list and make a scrapbook or photo album. Remember to keep adding pages so that your recipient has something new to read each day.
2. Personalized Calendar
Creating a personalized calendar with your favorite pictures is the best present you can give to someone. You can buy special paper, stickers, and markers to help make it look unique. Make sure to keep in mind if you want to do it on a traditional calendar or something more artistic.
Makes a statement and is easy enough for anyone to do. They can be found at most craft stores, including the dollar store. You can consider adding some pretty paper or ribbon if you want to dress it up a bit. Consider adding pictures of your loved one, making your calendar unique and more personal.
3. Homemade Gift Basket
With only a couple of hours and $10 to spend at Walmart or any other craft store, you can put together a lovely gift basket for any recipient that shows how much you care about them.
Simple gift baskets work well for individuals with low budgets and limited time.
4. Scratch-Off Ticket Birthday Card
These are so cute! You just make DIY scratch-off tickets and write a note on them. They’re perfect for someone you love and want to surprise this year.
Alternatively, you can use a real scratch-off ticket to personalize and incorporate into your birthday card. If the recipient is a kid, you can write them a note explaining how the scratch-off works and why you’re giving them this special gift.
Otherwise, you can just include the scratch-off in the card and let them find out what it says by scratching off the printed part. Either way, scratch-off cards are a good way to add some homemade creativity to your gift. Of course, if making your own, you’ll need to purchase scratch-off stickers with them.
5. Personalized Notebook, Journal, or Planner
Instead of giving someone a blank book of paper that they’ll fill themselves, give them a customized notebook they haven’t seen before. And don’t use a boring old-style, either: instead, think outside the box and choose something quirky like a pencil pouch or journal covered in reflective tape.
This is a simple gift that anyone can make with just a little bit of creativity. Also, it’s one that your recipient will use regularly, so they’ll notice your thoughtfulness every time they take it out of their bag.
You can find blank notebooks at the dollar store or go to a department store for more options. Use some stickers or your design to make it look super nice, and you’re done! If you want a more traditional notebook, try some pre-made designs on Etsy.
6. Terrarium Kit
Perfect for the plant lover in your life. You can create a self-assembly terrarium using potting soil, decorative rocks, sand, and another layered sediment. This is especially meaningful for apartment dwellers or people who want to get into gardening but don’t know where to start. The finished product will make a great gift for a loved one who has limited access to fresh air, like kids or people with allergies.
7. Homemade Hand Sanitizer
Using some rubbing alcohol and fragrance of your choice, you can easily create some hand sanitizer. You could even add in extra ingredients such as essential oils to add an extra fragrance or create a more moisturizing hand sanitizer. It’s a timely and useful gift, and the personal touch allows you to create exactly the product your loved one would use.
8. Friendship Bracelet
Celebrate your friendship with a DIY bracelet! Using simple materials like string and beads, create a great homemade birthday gift for someone important to you—a very simple (and cheap!) gift idea. For example, you can just make your friends a bracelet with some string and beads. If you include their name, it makes it more personalized, and you will feel a lot closer to them.
You’ll need to purchase the materials yourself, but you can use any type of string or yarn you like. For the beads, there are lots of different kinds available on Amazon that would work well for this type of project.
DIY Father’s Day Gifts
What could be more beautiful than giving someone something you have made yourself? This is one of the most simple fathers day gifts you can give, as well as one of the most thoughtful. The dads in your life are sure to be appreciative with any of the gifts outlined on this list.
1. Homemade Bar of Soap in a Mug
Masculine yet thoughtful, making your soap and presenting it in a fun mug is a great gift for the father or father figure in your life. Great for the holidays and any occasion, these soaps make a wonderfully thoughtful and useful gift. Easy to make, too!
2. Tin Can Lanterns
A great camping accessory and a way to recycle, create a homemade tin can lantern to be lit outdoors. Make sure you have the proper tools and safety equipment!
Simple and rustic, these lanterns are a great way to spend time with your dad, whether you’re making them for a father’s day DIY gift or an actual camping trip. Try them out!
3. Beer Popcorn
This may be the most perfect snack on earth. Not only does it taste like popcorn, but it also has beer flavorings inside! A fantastic addition to anyone’s man-cave. Make and give this a gift to your favorite beer lover.
4. Father’s Day Card Holder Frame
This one requires a Father’s Day Card, so make that a part of your gift or collaborate with someone else.
Another useful gift, you can get pretty creative with coasters. From paint and patterns to photographs, it’s easy to pick up a DIY coaster kit and put together something that will be meaningful to your dad.
6. Travel Pillow
It doesn’t take a ton of sewing skills to make one of these bad boys. So borrow a sewing machine and, armed with Middle-School Home Ec. knowledge, make something vital for the busy traveler in your life!
7. Money Origami
This is quite a creative way to give someone money. This one will take a little bit of practice, but pull up a Youtube video, and you’ll be a pro in no time.
DIY Christmas Ideas
1. DIY Christmas Ornaments
Let your creativity take you away! Use personal memorabilia or photographs to make that extra special touch, but if you have a particular skill (or your loved one has a particular interest), don’t be afraid to put that on display as well.
2. Christmas scented toiletries
Consider making some soaps, bath bombs, lip balms, and more for those you love, all in holiday-themed scents and colors. Gingerbread, peppermint, and hot cocoa are great seasonal scents that work wonderfully for these products.
3. Handmade Paper Christmas Wreath
This one might also require some Youtube binging, but coupled with some creative construction paper, you can truly make something striking.
4. Hot Cocoa Mix
Put your personal touch on one of the season’s staples by making a mix from scratch. Start with cocoa and work your way from there. Then, utilize an online recipe or trial and error to make that perfect combination of sugar, spice, and everything nice.
5. Christmas Card Holder
One of the most reliable occurrences of the holiday season is the oodles of Christmas cards given and received throughout. So streamline your organization and bolster your decorative skills by making a DIY Christmas card holder so you can put your precious cards on display.
6. Christmas Wish List
Design and print wish list templates for your family and friends. Bonus points if you review them and purchase them something they wish for!
DIY Valentines Gifts
1. DIY Valentines Day Card Holder
Got a heartbreaker in your life? Tell them you understand the struggle by making Valentine’s cardholders for them to display all their unrequited love letters.
2. Chocolate Heart Box Vase
Reuse and recycle one of those iconic heart-shaped chocolate boxes by repurposing them into functional and cute flower vases.
3. Heart-Shaped Button Wreath
Pick out some pretty pink, white, and red buttons, and weave them onto a heart-shaped wire scaffold. Makes a very cutesy keepsake to hang on a wall or door around the Valentine season.
4. Heart-shaped Key Bowl
Make a trip to a craft store and pick up some sculpting clay. It’s easy to make a small bowl out of this material, and with a bit of love it will turn out looking like something out of Cupid’s dreams.
5. Valentine’s Treats Bag
Goodies can sometimes speak louder than words, and what better way to show that special someone what they mean to you than giving them their favorite treats?
6. Coffee Mug Mixers
Melt some chocolate into plastic spoons and top with nuts, candy, or other garnishes. Great for stirring into coffee (or other hot beverages) to melt and flavor the drink.
7. Paper Flower Bouquet
It doesn’t take much origami expertise to learn how to fold and create beautiful flower bouquets out of pieces of pretty paper. Bonus: paper flowers never die.
8. Homemade Fortune Cookies
Tell your loved one that it’s in the stars to stay with you forever. You can get pretty creative with the actual cookie, using different flavors, food colorings, and garnishes.
Christmas Ornaments DIY
1. Gingerbread Ornaments
Make and decorate gingerbread cookies like you normally would, but make sure to punch a hole in the cookie before you bake it. That way, once it’s cooled and decorated, you can thread a ribbon through the hole and hang it on your tree.
2. Handmade Paper Chain
Maybe one of the easiest Christmas DIYs, out there. Cut a bunch of strips of paper. Make a loop out of one and staple (or tape) is closed. Thread the second piece of paper through the first loop and then make a loop out of that one too. Repeat as much as you’d like, or until your chain is to your liking.
3. Clothespin Ornament
Cheap and easy, utilize some wooden clothespins, paint, and glue to stick a dozen or so clothespins together in a circle.
4. Peppermint Stick Ornaments
Another easy one. Candy canes make great tree ornaments by already being shaped so conveniently to hang from a tree branch. Pair with some gingerbread ornaments for an edible tree spread!
5. Painted ball ornaments
Buy some plain white or clear ball ornaments, and paint them into whatever colors or designs uplift your holiday spirit. They’re a simple way to showcase your creativity, and craft something special that shows how much you care.
6. Felt Advent Calendar
Get some felt and start cutting! This fun fabric sticks to itself, so you don’t need to sew, although some glue might be helpful to keep the foundations together. Cut out a tree from the green felt, some ornaments out of different colors of felt, and one by one, put a felt ornament on the felt tree every day of December.
7. Painted Nut ornaments
Reminiscent of the Nutcracker, get some walnuts and other large nuts, and paint them up cheery and bright. Then stick a loop of string on them and hang them up!
8. Sugar Cookie Ornaments
You can really get creative with these. You’ve got gingerbread ornaments, and candy cane ornaments, so why not complete the look with some sugar cookie ornaments? They’re a simple way to add a little flair to your tree!