DIY Gifts_cover

Thoughtful and Easy DIY Holiday Gifts That Will Save You Money

View Slideshow
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 in 2020? 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: 35 Experiences Worth Giving This Holiday Season

Propagated Succulent
tania_wild/istockphoto

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

cactus in a burlap jar
Atiwat Studio/istockphoto
Teen Craft: Decorate a Candle Holder!
Teen Craft: Decorate a Candle Holder! by San José Public Library (CC BY-SA)
Canned Jam
EasyBuy4u/istockphoto
Homemade Kahlua
alpaksoy/istockphoto

Homemade Kahlua

Tutorial: Simply Notable

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. 

Bath Soak
kazmulka/istockphoto
Filled Glass Ornament
smiltena/istockphoto

Filled Glass Ornament

Tutorial: The Happy Housie

This would be a fun one to pull the kids into for a DIY project. Grab a set of glass ornaments, and fill them with whatever you want. Go classy with some fake snow and holiday greenery, or embracy the glitzy with some glue, glitter, etc. The tutorial has more fantastic inspiration.

Holiday Chocolate Bark
sveta_zarzamora/istockphoto

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.

Related: 25 Gifts Under $25 for Food Lovers

Dried Flower Bouquet
Malkovstock/istockphoto
Herbed Sachets
OLENA SAKHATSKA/istockphoto

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. 

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Fascinadora/istockphoto
Note Jar
anamariategzes/istockphoto

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.

Photo Scrapbook
Alina555/istockphoto

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.

Related: The Best Gifts for Photographers from Newbies to Pros

Mix Tape
Amazon

Mix Tape

Tutorial: Behance

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: 20 Cool and Creative Gifts for Music Lovers

banana bread
baranovskaya_olga/istockphoto

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. 

felt monsters
Annimei/istockphoto

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: 38 Great Gifts for Your Grandkids

Handmade Body Butter
IrinaBort/istockphoto

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.

Paint Swatch Bookmarks
Ekaterina79/istockphoto
Mulled Cider Sachets
Santje09/istockphoto

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.  

Homemade Candles
Plateresca/istockphoto
Homemade Dog Treats
rojoimages/istockphoto
Succulent plant in a handmade concrete planter
Studio Light and Shade/istockphoto
diy coasters
Veresovich/istockphoto

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. 

Related: Show Some Brotherly Love With These Great Gifts for Brothers

playing cards
Luca Rossatti/istockphoto
fortune cookies
jirkaejc/istockphoto
marble dish
EmRoseCarey/istockphoto

Marbled Clay Ring Dish

Tutorial: A Beautiful Mess

This idea will take a few more supplies and effort than others on this list — including a few colors of oven-bake clay — but the end result is pretty spectacular, and your friend or family member might have a hard time believing you did it yourself. 

colorful woven wall hanging
Photoboyko/istockphoto
cork craft
Amazon

Cork and Tee iPad Case

Tutorial: Creme de la Craft

You can pick up a roll of cork for around $10 for this project, then throw in an old T-shirt and some cheap crafting supplies to make a one-of-a-kind sleeve for their device. 

hexagon cork tiles
Amazon
kid drawing
RoJDesign/istockphoto