This post goes out to a very special reader. Thanks to Ivette for asking about DIY Christmas gifts and ways to save! If you’ve been around here a while, you know that it’s not so much my craftiness that gets me by in these situations, but more resourcefulness. Some of these DIYs were pat on the back efforts for me, and others were genuinely appreciated. If you have any ounce of craftiness in you, yours are likely to turn out beautiful.
DIY Photo Magnets
This one was really simple, and both grandmas love them and still have them on their fridge years later. The basic gist is you print images, stick them onto a special magnet you get from a craft store, and you’re done.
If you’re trying to make them for someone else, just switch out the “I <3 My Grandma” text for “World’s Best Teacher!” or “I <3 My Doctor.” Then make the rest pictures of your child. Brownie points if you have a couple pictures of your child with the person you’re gifting to. Full tutorial here.
DIY Pipe Cleaner and Pony Bead Ornaments
These are generally cuter if they’re made by the kids. A gift from the heart type thing that’s appropriate for any special person in your child’s life. But two years ago I, a grown adult, proved that I could make a beaded candy cane with a child-like attitude all day. And not in the way you think. Full tutorial here. Also included: reindeer ornaments.
DIY Winter Gear for the Kids
Crocheting’s pretty easy to pick up, especially if you use YouTube. A couple years ago I made hats for everyone, and a few pairs of mittens, too. Actually, I made some mittens for my adult family members in addition to the kiddos. How I did it here.
DIY Your Family Tree
One year, I had done a particularly large amount of genealogy. I printed the family tree, along with the supporting documents, and put it all together in a pretty binder. I sent one out to each family member, which was a considerable amount of people. But it was a hit, and cost per gift was pretty darn low. Those genealogy sites to help you do the research can cost a little bit of money, but right now, you can try Ancestry.com and get 14 Days free. If two weeks isn’t enough for you , it’s only $19.99/month after that, which is actually a pretty good deal for everything you get with them. I used them last year, and found out a huge amount about my husband’s family.
DIY Candles With What You’ve Already Got
Do you have candles that are burnt down as far as they’ll go? Odds are there’s still a good bit of usable wax in there. You already have it. It already smells good. Just melt it into a smaller container, and you’ve got a pretty awesome Christmas gift. Okay, it’s a little more involved than that. But not much.
DIY Place Cards
I made these for my wedding, but have had a lot of readers use them for those big holiday meals. You can find the free tutorial and printable here.
I haven’t tried a lot of DIY gifts in a while, though before my kid came along I did a year where everyone got a knitted something. One thing I do every year (which I stole from my cousins) is prepare a photo calendar for my parents and inlaws that is filled with the year’s family pictures. My parents’ includes pictures of my brothers and niece and nephew, my inlaws includes my SIL. We all so rarely print out the photos we email each other that hard copies (or gifts that include them) are always a hit.
We do that, too! I always wait for the 3 for 1 sale…2 for grandparents and 1 for me!
amazing diy projects…and not only for Christmas:P!!!
True! A lot of these are good for any time of year!
Love these! Especially the Candle one, I need to get on that ASAP.
It’s surprisingly simple… The longest part of the process is just letting them sit!
We sew ornaments & make jam/jelly to give to our friends on Christmas. Keeping it personal and frugal.
I would like to remind you to link up to Frugal Friday…. http://aspiredliving.net/2015/11/13/frugal-friday-week-4-2/
Have a great day.
That’s awesome. I have no idea how to make jelly! I’ll make my way over there… hoping it’s still open!
The genealogy binders are really cool! My dad is the youngest of 9 and I’ve been toying with the idea of collecting photos and making a calendar with a page for each “family” and like Christmas, Easter and our grandparents for the other 3 months… but I always think of it too late in the year.
They were super cool! I love that calendar idea, too. Shutterfly usually has a 3 for the price of one deal. It hasn’t happened yet this year, so if you collect those photos, you may still be able to hop on it!
I love the DIY gift ideas. I’m always looking for something unique that may also be appreciated by the recipient. I like the resourcefulness of using the leftover candle wax rather than just throwing it away. The kids and I are going to try to make scented pine cone Christmas ornaments. If nothing else, it will be fun to do 🙂
Every year, my sisters and cousins and I make a personalized calendar for our grandma that has all of our kids (her great-grandkids) as the pictures. She loves it and it’s basically free to do.
Last year, I didn’t have a ton of money to spend on my husband so I made him a personalized Monopoly game. I am decidedly uncrafty but thanks to the internet and a very long relationship (which gave me lots to draw on for the spaces and community chest and chance), I was able to make it work.
Haha yes the internet saves me, as well. I love the Monopoly idea! I’d probably regret the get out of jail free card, though. :p
You say you’re not very crafty, but I am much less so. I would not have the confidence to DIY a Christmas gift, but more power to you for taking it on!
My plan is to make as many Christmas gifts as possible this year. This is my list: http://creatingmykaleidoscope.com/2015/09/14/over-25-cheap-easy-diy-christmas-gifts-for-everyone-on-your-list/
The candles are a great idea. I’ve found the best way to get old wax out of the original candle is to stick it in the freezer for a few hours — then it will usually pop right out! I’ve never done it to save the wax before, though — just to save the container so I could use it for another purpose. Now I’ll have to save BOTH! Thanks for linking up on Frugal Fridays! 🙂
Sugar scrubs are surprisingly easy. The only real fuss is finding a container and, if desired, buying an essential oil for a scent.
I’ve always had fun with decoupage. I used to make Tim boxes for his Magic the Gathering stuff by printing out pictures from online art of the characters/cards, then trimmed them carefully and layered them on. Then slapped on some ModgePodge and… voila.
For a simpler one, find a funny or sentimental picture and then glue/decoupage it onto a small container or tin for a recipe card holder.
The photo magnets are a great idea!!! Love those!
Great job on your homemade gifts. I’m not very crafty, but my kids are. They made ornaments at school and all kinds of other stuff this year.
Pingback: 51 Tips to Have a Frugal Christmas Without Going Broke - Hope+Cents
Interesting list of DIY gofts, I love make and receive handmade gifts and this year i opted for natural handmade soaps, really really nice!!!