15 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas For The Budget Shopper

Got a limited budget for holiday shopping this year? No worries, why don't you make your gifts?
PHOTO The Nerd's Wife via Pinterest

Homemade gifts are much more heartfelt because of the effort and thought you've put into handcrafting them. Surprise friends and family with these useful and oh-so cute gifts for less!

  1. Hot Cocoa Kit
    Give the gift of warmth in a cup with this DIY cocoa kit. Gather clear tubes, mason jars or even pipe bags similar to this and simply add store bought chocolate drink mix, some crushed peppermint candy and tiny marshmallows.

  2. Holiday Sharpie Mugs
    Perfect to pair with the hot cocoa mix; add in this mug with a personalized holiday design. Get a simple white mug, sharpies and a template for design; don’t forget to add in a message at the bottom or on the side of the mug.

  3. Homemade Hot Chocolate Spoon Treats
    Give a twist to baked goods by making a spoonful of holiday chocolate. Simply melt your fave chocolate and dip your spoon in, add drizzles of caramel or sprinkles to add a festive touch.

  4. Peppermint Sugar Scrub
    With just a few simple kitchen ingredients, you can whip up a batch of this minty concoction to keep skin smooth and moisturized. Perfect for gifting a lot of girlfriends!

  5. Mason Jar Snow Globes
    Your relatives and younger sibs will appreciate this adorable DIY, bring out a couple more mason jars and some store bought Christmas toys or décor. Glue it to the bottom of the lid, add glitter/sequins and then fill it up with water. Tip: Frozen figures will work best for this DIY.

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  6. Holiday Doggie Donut Pet Toy
    Your pets also deserve a present this Christmas! Try this simple DIY that makes use of socks rolled into donuts. Choose colorful designs in bright hues for a fun playtime with your fur baby!

  7. Hand Sewn Scented Satchels
    Start off with squares of colorful fabric, shear the sides and sew shut except for one edge. For the filling, you can soak fabric in fragrance oils or your fave perfume.

  8. DIY Coasters
    Thinking of what to give to teachers or officemates? Personalized cork coasters are a treat. This project utilizes cheap cork coasters and simple paint pens; you can even use acrylic paint and draw on cute patterns like polka dots or tribal stripes.

  9. Sunnies Cases
    Give your besties a cool sunglass case they can tote around in preparation for brighter days ahead. This pin shows you how to sew a simple case that’s cute to boot!

  10. Lip Balm
    Another present favorite, this pin shows you how to create a moisturizing lippie using household ingredients and kool aid as tint.

  11. Diary Printables
    Create a pad of stickers for your friend’s planner or diary; just click the pin for cute happy design or this link for green garden theme. These adorable designs will surely have them squeal in glee.

  12. Treasure Flash Drive
    This Christmas, share your fave music, movies and cute pins using a flash disk. Why not get even more creative and sneak in a dedication video for your recipient!

  13. DIY Purse
    Click this pin for an easy tutorial on how to create a simple purse using bright and fun fabric. Make one for yourself too!

  14. Cute Penguin Pillows
    Fill up your little sis’ room with cute penguin pillows as a surprise gift, this project involves no sewing and makes use of a hot glue gun and colorful felt cloth.

  15. Candy Cane Chocolate Lollies
    Giving sweets this Christmas is also a custom for many, try creating these choco peppermint lollies that fits in with the holiday theme using a pack of candy canes and some melted chocolate.

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About the author
Melanie Santiago
Intern, Contributing Writer
Frustrated painter and writer, Melanie also takes time to drop by and share the stories she comes across.

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First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.

The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.

There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.

Bea Alamis Just now

If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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