Easy DIY Holiday Gifts That Will Save You Money

DIY Gifts_cover


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
DIY Gifts_cover

The DIY Gift Guide

Looking to save a little money this year on gifts? Or just want to give something with more personal effort after everything that's happened the past couple of years? If you've got some extra time and inclination on your hands, plus a touch of crafting or culinary skill, these gift ideas will likely make both you and your recipient smile. Some ideas cost a bit for supplies; others you might be able to pull off with things you already have around the house. All will ultimately save you money. We've included a tutorial and/or recipe with each to help guide you through the steps. Happy DIY gifting!

Prices and availability are subject to change. 

Related: 38 Cheap or Free Family Traditions for the Holidays

Canned Jam
Propagated Succulent

Propagated Succulent

Tutorial: Succulents and Sunshine

Do you have some healthy succulents hanging around your house? It's super easy to propagate those to gift someone one of their own. All you need is a little patience, some appropriate potting soil, and something to put the little guy in once he's grown big enough to pot.

Related: The Best Gifts for Plant Lovers and Green Thumbs

Filled Glass Ornament
Bath Soak
Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Holiday Chocolate Bark

Holiday Chocolate Bark

Recipe: That Spicy Chick

Do you lean more culinary than crafty? How about a big batch of chocolate bark you can break into pieces and divide among your friends and family? We love this recipe because it's so pretty they almost won't want to eat it.

cactus in a burlap jar
Atiwat Studio/istockphoto

Hemp-Wrapped Planter

Tutorial: The Centsible Life

Speaking of something to toss a succulent in before you gift it, we love the earthy charm of this idea. All you'll need is a jar of some sort (which you probably already have lying around the house) and some hemp cord. You can get 200 feet of the latter on Amazon for around $14.

Teen Craft: Decorate a Candle Holder!
Teen Craft: Decorate a Candle Holder! by San José Public Library (CC BY-SA)
Homemade Kahlua

Homemade Kahlua

Recipe: Copy Me That

Did you know you could make this coffee liqueur at home? Sure, you'll have to pick up a few supplies — including some adorable bottles like these — but overall you'll save some dough and your loved ones will think fondly of you the next time they channel their inner Lebowski.

Herbed Sachets

Herbed Sachets

Tutorial: Crafts By Amanda

Grab a pack of sachets like these from Amazon and fill them with lovely-smelling dried flowers and herbs. Prime candidates include lavender, rosemary, mint, cloves, and more. The tutorial recommends some choices to use for specific purposes like warding off pests or aromatherapy.

Note Jar

A Happy Jar

Tutorial: Rendezvous

The inspiration for this one came from our Best Friends Gift Guide. Sure, you could buy it on Amazon, but it'll mean a whole lot more — not to mention cost less money — when it's handmade. All you need is a jar, some colored paper, and some heartfelt sentiments, inspirational quotes, or favorite memories.

Dried Flower Bouquet

Dried Flower Bouquet

Tutorial: Bloom This

If you don't mind spending some money on a few bouquets of flowers to dry out and some fancy ribbon (or even some simple twine), this can be a heartfelt and gorgeous gift.

Photo Scrapbook

A You-and-Me Photo Scrapbook

Tutorial: WikiHow

This is a great idea for close friends and family that goes a bit beyond a simple photo album. You can use pictures, sure, but think of other creative ways to give it more depth, like concert tickets or song lyrics.

Paint Swatch Bookmarks

Paint Swatch Bookmarks

Tutorial: Mama Miss

Few DIY gifts cost as little as this one. Head to your local home improvement store and pick up some paint swatches, then have fun with a hole puncher and some low-cost tassels or ribbon to create colorful, functional placeholders for your favorite bookworms.

Mix Tape

Mix Tape

Mix tapes used to be the ultimate DIY gift, and you only made them for people you truly cared about (or who you truly wanted to impress with your rad musical tastes). They still make a great gift, but if you're insistent that recording a bunch of songs to something as ancient as cassette tape is beyond your skills, Amazon offers a perfectly 21st-century way to get around that. If you want to get even more creative, use the tutorial above to create some stellar cover art.

Related: Cool and Creative Gifts for Music Lovers

banana bread

Homemade Bread

Recipe: Taste of Home

If you're comfortable with baking, put those skills to good use for a truly DIY gift that'll have their mouths watering. You can choose any recipe you want, of course, but we think this one — Banana Eggnog Bread — sounds pretty darn amazing.

Mulled Cider Sachets

Mulled Cider Sachets

Tutorial: Noble Pig

Why not give them a cup of something that tastes just like the holidays? Grab some cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and allspice, and throw all of it into a bouquet garni bag with instructions to steep in some apple cider.

felt monsters

Felt Monster

Video tutorial: Ventuno Art

Do you have a little one in your life that you need a DIY gift for? If you don't have the supplies for this gift on hand, getting them won't cost much. And the nice thing about making monsters? They can look like anything you want (or didn't intend to create), and kids will love them regardless.

Related: Great Gifts for Your Grandkids

Homemade Candles
Handmade Body Butter

Handmade Body Butter

Video tutorial: Better Shea Butter

Grab a base for your cream from the Better Shea Butter Amazon store, and go to town adding whatever scents, oils, and other ingredients you want. The tutorial is for a whipped mango body butter, but your results are limited only by your own creativity.

playing cards
Luca Rossatti/istockphoto
Homemade Dog Treats
Cork Hexagon Amazon
fortune cookies
kid drawing
colorful woven wall hanging
diy coasters

Polaroid Photo Coasters

Tutorial: Dark Room & Dearly

Just like you can pick up paint swatches for nothing at the hardware store, you can also usually pick up some tile samples for free too. And then, using this tutorial, you can make a set of coasters using photos of your nearest and dearest that look just like old-school Polaroids.