Ever get burned out on buying gifts for everyone on your list? It can add up fast if you're in a bigger family. It can also sometimes feel like the holidays get a little commercialized, with people forgetting that it's more about the family time and making memories than what you buy at the store. Never fear, I've rounded up 10 DIY gifts that all come in at $10 or less per gift. Bonus, most of them can be done in an afternoon. These are great for the holidays, birthdays, Mother's or Father's day... pretty much any time of the year. Read on and pick your project.
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Ten Gifts to Make Yourself
DIY Body Butter
This stuff is amazing on dry skin, and I like knowing what goes into the bath products I use. I scored big with the teachers the year I made body butter for end-of-the-year gifts. The supply company referenced in this Soap Queen body butter video and post is a little more than an hour away, so the kids and I took a pretty Sunday drive to pick up the ingredients that time. But they're easily shipped, and you might be able to find a similar store in your area. They've also got a ready-made kit for making lavender body butter that includes jars, labels, ingredients and instructions and works out to less than $9 per gift.
Bracelets / Jewelry
I'm not a pro at making jewelry. But I found the cutest studded leather strips at the local craft store, and puzzled out how to make the sample bracelet they had next to the supplies. Check out your local big box or local craft store and see what they have. Sometimes they even have free classes to help you get going. Check out this Sailor Knot video tutorial for inspiration. Whether you're using leather, paracord, pre-strung beads or another creative material, these are a great hand-made gift.
There's always a coupon to be found for Shutterfly, Vistaprint, or one of the other online photo services. You could even go through your local Costco photo center! This is a perfect gift for newlyweds, for new or not so new moms, grandparents and friends. Gather up your photos and call around to friends and family if you need more images. In no time you can put together a great gift that will mean the world to the person that receives it.
Decorated Mug or Glass
Whether it holds coffee, tea, mug cakes, or something a little stronger, your favorite person could always use a personalized mug or glass! Pick up some DecoArt Glass Paint Markers and a blank mug or glass. Check out big box stores, thrift stores or craft stores for the glassware. Then decorate with a cute saying ("Unicorns are my spirit animal") or a design (rainbow paw prints!). Let it sit overnight, and if you're using a sturdy piece, bake it according to the instructions on the markers. Voila! You've got a customized gift and markers that will help you make several more. You could even mix dry mug cake ingredients in a little bag tied with ribbon, adding instructions for a sweet snack.
I typically bake for our neighbors. Pick up some inexpensive holiday tins in the gift wrap area of your favorite store, then fill them with cookies and other treats. You can also find decorative mini loaf pans. My husband's grandmother doesn't bake much anymore and looks forward to the pumpkin bread we send each year. I wrap all the goodies up with some clear cellophane and put a big bow around the top.
I've also gifted home canned items - it's really not that hard, honest! Check out a reputable site like Ball for some helpful videos and how-to's. No need to buy a big water canner if you're canning for the first time - if you're doing small jelly jars, you can even use a nice, deep stock pot that you already have in your kitchen. (This is what a friend of mine does - they tell you how in the Ball canning books.) You might be surprised at how simple it is to make up some habanero pepper jelly (sweet/hot flavor & great on cream cheese with some crackers!), apple butter, etc. Just be sure to follow safe, tested directions from a reputable source like Ball... don't just wing it and risk people getting sick (or worse).
No, I don’t mean the kind you plant outside! A shrub is a homemade fruit and vinegar syrup for cocktails. You can also mix them with water or carbonated water for a delicious non-alcoholic drink. They’re incredibly easy to make! Jenny over at The Domestic Wildflower has some great recipes and resources, and suggested her Strawberry Pineapple Shrub recipe as an easy, good place to start.
(Fruit + Vinegar + Sugar) x Jar on the counter = Tasty Drinks!
Sew a Scarf
If you can sew a mostly straight seam on a machine, you can make a scarf. Cuddle fabric (that super soft stuff that feels like fur but isn't) or fleece work well for scarves. I've sewn up a bunch of them over the years, and they make fantastic gifts. Not only are they warm, but the ones made out of cuddle fabric (aka "minky") are so soft against your skin that I can't help but rub my cheek on my own scarf when I wear it. Seriously, I turn 3 years old again and go to my happy place, it's that soft.Cuddle fabric comes in 60-inch widths, so you can make four scarves out of the 84-inch length of fabric that you'll need. Use a coupon at the fabric store to save on the fabric cut. There are tons of colors and patterns to choose from, including solids, florals, zebra and more. Check out the Infinity Scarf instructions over at the Sew News blog.
Knit or Crochet a Hat
Back in January, 2016, I made a few kitty ear hats with pink yarn. I offered to make hats for my girls, who promptly requested purple and pink, respectively. Because what little girl DOESN'T want a kitty hat? These hats each came together in a day or two, and they wear them All. The. Time.I don't have the patience or the skill to knit, but crochet is an easy craft to learn. Check out the Red Heart yarn website for some tutorials, and check out the crochet kitty hat tutorial over where I found it, at the Persia Lou website. A ball of yarn is $6, and you can pick up a crochet hook for a few dollars at any craft or big box store. Making a hat for an adult? Do a quick search engine or Pinterest search for "easy crochet hat" and check out one of the many free patterns out there.
These things are so cute and easy, and you can really customize them for each person you give them to. These could be little beach scenes, it could be something to do with their college or favorite sports team, family photos.... The possibilities are endless.You'll need four 4x4" ceramic tile coasters (cheap at the home improvement store), some felt furniture pads for the "feet," Mod Podge, a foam brush, and whatever scrapbook paper or photos you've cut down to 4x4" squares to fit your tiles. Brush some Mod Podge on the coaster (all the way out to the edges), place one of your papers/photos on it, and let it dry for about 5 minutes. Then apply 3 more coats of Mod Podge over the top, waiting 15 minutes in between coats. Let these little guys dry completely, and then stick your little feet on the back, one at each corner. Wrap them up in a cute ribbon and you're done!
These are simple to sew but make quite an impact! The great thing about them is that you can make them as casual or as fancy as you want. We have some for every day use, and we also have some that we bring out for different holidays. Just pick up some fat quarter cuts of fabric at the local fabric or craft store, and follow the directions over in my mitered cloth napkin post. You can make them holiday themed, gift some springy prints at Easter, patriotic, or just pretty! Fat quarters will run you about a dollar each, so you could make napkins for eight or ten people and still be under your $10 limit! The person that gets these will think of you each time they use them.
There you have it! 10 DIY gifts for under $10 each. What will you make?