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8 Easy and Affordable DIY Christmas Gifts

Updated on October 22, 2015

Do It Yourself

DIY experiments are a lot of fun and they can also save you a lot of cash. Saving cash during the holiday season can be extremely helpful and it is often a necessity. Many people can't afford the gifts that they buy, so they charge them to their credit cards. Instead of doing that, why not try making gifts from home so that everyone can get something while you save money along the way?

DIY Scrubs

You have probably heard of this one before, but have you ever tried it? Traditionally, body scrubs can be pretty expensive (up to 25 dollars or more at some stores) but they can be cheap and easy to make. And if you think that people will not like them or use them, think again. Last year I received a home made body butter lotion for Christmas and it was one of my favorite gifts! It was so unique and amazing and the fact that I couldn't buy at the stores made it all the more precious.

If you decide to try this DIY scrub this holiday season, people will love it and they will appreciate the time that you put into it more than anything. All you really need is oil, essential oil, sugar or salt, and anything else you want to add! The thing about DIY scrubs is that they are so easy to invent and make. The fun part is experimenting with the recipes to see which one you like best. Here are some examples of the oils you can use: coconut oil, baby oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, avocado oil, and apricot oil. Really, you can use any type of natural oil. As far as essential oils go, you only want to use a few drops as they can be very powerful on the skin. Try lemon, rosemary, or lavender, or you can blend some of them to come up with your own scents. It doesn't matter whether you use sugar or salt, just experiment to see what it is you like the most. The ratio of your ingredients also depends on your preference, but remember to use essential oils sparingly. You can also add in other ingredients such as soothing cocoa butter, Aloe Vera, or bits of rose petals.


DIY Bookmarks

Know any bookworms aka people who love to read? These DIY felt bookmarks would be perfect for them (or anyone else). Anything that is made by hand is extremely thoughtful and it gives you the opportunity to personalize your gifts. If you know how to perform a basic stitch (or glue things together), you can easily make these bookmarks. Simply cut out a rectangular strip in the color you would like to use for the background and then cut out the shapes that you will need for the design from whichever colors you want to use. It is your vision, so be creative! Know someone who likes music? Create a violin and some musical notes! Use peoples' favorite animals and favorite colors and just have fun with it.

This does not only apply to bookmarks. You can do just about anything with felt and some thread. Click here for more ideas.



This may seem like another obvious gift, but you may be surprised at the quality of jewelry that you can make at an extremely affordable price. You don't have to tell people that you made it either, just let them think that you splurged when you really spent very little. There are a wide variety of beads to choose from at craft stores, so be creative and use colors and shapes that your friends and family members will like. You may want to start by using elastic string for bracelets, but you can easily work your way up to metal work.


Never underestimate the power of gifting food. It is something that people always use and enjoy and look forward to the next year, and it is completely affordable! When people think of gifting food for the holidays they usually think of fruit cakes and cookies. These are amazing options, but there are so many other ways you can use food to your advantage to save money. My grandmother makes amazing toffee and brownies that people fight over every year and they make wonderful gifts for friends and relatives. If there are any sweets that you make exceptionally well, people will come to prefer them over purchased gifts. You don't have to be a master chef either. My mother makes the traditional Nestle Toll House cookies exactly as the recipe on the package directs, however, people go crazy for them! She makes them every year as gifts and saves hundreds of dollars. Just buy cute little canisters or festive packaging at the dollar store to dress them up.

Giving food as gifts is not limited to sweets by any means. If there is anything that you make well you can give it is a gift and people will appreciate it. For example, I have an uncle who makes manicotti every year for everyone in the family (he sends everyone a frozen batch so that they can eat it whenever they like). This manicotti is to die for and it is quite possibly everyone's favorite gift of all! So, give it a try - it might be a hit!


Photo Gifts

If you are the crafty type, putting together a small photo album will be easy and fun for you. Even if you are not particularly crafty, why not give it a shot? There are tons of materials that you can use at any craft store to personalize and beatify your photo album that will make it easy for you to get creative. If you don't want to use multiple photos, try creating a personalized photo frame.

These kinds of gifts are thoughtful and close to the heart and they are the kinds of things that people will keep forever. For more inspiration on scrap-booking click here.



Ever receive flowers or bulbs for Christmas? They make beautiful gifts and you can give them absolutely free when you grow your own. This is something that you would have to start earlier in the year, but with proper preparation you can have flowers at your own disposal to give as holiday gifts. You can do this with any plants or herbs that you think would make great gifts. Try mini herb gardens in mini pots or jars, or planted poinsettias.

Even if you don't gift your live plants, you can use them to create other presents. For example, you can use dried flowers to make decorative wreathes or potpourri.


Makeup Bags

Makeup bags are generally small and therefore simple and quick to make. After all, who can't use a new makeup bag? They can get so dirty and caked with makeup, and every woman can make use of a new one every year. Even if someone is not going to use it for make up, small bags always come in handy. They can be used for travelling, pencils and pens, craft supplies, change...etc.

All you need to do is find some nice material, zippers or buttons (even drawstrings work), and needle and thread. These gifts may take a little more time, but they will save you a lot of money.


Home Made Cards

This one is similar to scrap-booking in that you will be getting creative with paper materials. Making your own cards shows more thought and effort, and it saves a lot of money. A good pairing for making your own cards is offering your services inside. If you cut hair, offer a free hair cut. If you are a painter, offer to help out on a paint job. If your friends or relatives have small children, offer to babysit. These are really the greatest gifts of all because they offer up services that people really need.

An alternative to that is including an invitation to dinner at your house or at a restaurant one evening. This allows you to spread out your Christmas expenses throughout the year, though it might not save you money (depending on your dining preferences). Own a cabin? Offer your friends to borrow it for a weekend. Anything you can offer makes a fabulous Christmas gift!


Happy Holidays and Happy Saving!


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    • Janellegems profile image


      2 years ago from United States

      These are some wonderful DIY ideas to give as Christmas gifts. Thanks for putting this together. This is a great saver for those without a lot of cash. Gifts made from the heart are the greatest.


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