Illustration of holiday items
December 10, 2019
2 mins read

5 cheap DIY gifts for the holidays

It’s the holiday season! Time for cozy sweaters, gingerbread everything, and lots and lots of gift giving.

But between family, friends, and one too many Secret Santas, gifting can get complicated and expensive. That’s where DIY gifts come in.

I know what you’re thinking: DIY, really? Why would you give someone your Pinterest fails? But DIY doesn’t have to be super complicated, so it doesn’t always have to end with a fail!

Here are some suggestions for fun, easy, cheap DIY presents for all the people in your life:

Hand-designed mugs

A plain white mug is super cheap, and most people have sharpies or nail polish somewhere in their house already. A quick Google search will turn up lots of methods, but I’ve seen good results from these marbled mugs and the classic sharpie method.

Illustration of a mug sitting atop newspaper

Self-care kit

Favourite snacks, homemade face masks or bath bombs, eye masks, earplugs, cheap paperback books, a deck of cards...anything that might help a person take care of themselves and keep busy over the break!

Putting together a bunch of small, cheap, or homemade gifts in one care package is awesome, especially for friends who are going home or on a family vacation. Remembering what someone wants/needs, whether that’s a particular brand of lip balm or a much-loved author, shows your giftee that you pay attention to their unique quirks.

Snack in a jar

Everybody loves food gifts. With these, you put all the dry ingredients for a snack in a mason jar (or other cheap container or bag) and then attach instructions for how to prepare it.

It works for basically anything, including cookies, popcorn, and hot chocolate!

Illustration of three red jars

A meal

It doesn’t have to be fancy, but making someone food is sure to put a smile on their face.

My brothers and I used to struggle to figure out a gift that our parents would use and appreciate, but last year we decided to make them dinner. They sat on the couch and relaxed while we prepared everything. It made them really happy, even though it was simple!


Or a playlist on a flash drive, since it’s not 1987.

Most people like music, so put together a bunch of songs (some they know, some you think they might like) with your giftee in mind. It will show that you really thought about your relationship with that person. Extra brownie points if you decorate the flash drive.

Illustration of a blue mixtape

The holidays are a time for relaxation, so don’t let gift-giving stress you out! Simple gifts can make people happy, and something homemade always feels more personal.


Get out there and spread some love!