Ten easy DIY Christmas gifts

By Rachel Quinn and Lindsay Dymond

As Christmas approaches, people are scrambling to get the perfect gift for everyone on their list. After a long semester, money may be tight, so what is a savvy student to do? When it comes to holidays, it is the thought that counts. Check out these easy and thoughtful do-it-yourself gifts that are perfect for the people left on your list:


Pringles can cookies

To make the Pringles can cookie gift, being crafty is not a requirement. Take an empty Pringles can that has been cleaned out and wrap it in holiday wrapping paper. Fill it with cookies of your choice for easy and creative storage. The lid  also helps the cookies stay fresh and the hard can keeps the cookies from crumbling while being shipped to its destination.

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Birch candles

Birch candles are the perfect gift for your outdoorsy, nature-loving friends. Lucky for you, they are a simple craft and easy on your budget. Pick up a couple LED pillar candles from the dollar store and then head to a craft store for birch-patterned scrapbook paper, Mod Podge and a foam brush. You will need to cut the paper to the height of t he candles, then use the foam brush to apply Mod Podge on the back of the paper. Wrap the paper around the candle and apply a layer of Mod Podge to the outside seam for extra durability. After the glue has dried, the candles are ready for gifting. For an extra rustic look, tie twine around the middle of the candles.


Rice hand warmers

Winter-lovers may enjoy the snow, but no one likes it when their hands get cold. The rice hand warmers will keep hands cozy during the winter months. To make this DIY gift, cut out two pieces of fabric. Fleece is recommended. More experienced sewers may cut shapes, but for beginners, cut circles. Put the pieces of fabric on top of each other and sew them together, leaving a gap of about three-fourths of an inch. In this opening, fill the pocket with rice and sew the opening shut. Before venturing into the cold, the hand warmers are microwaved for 20 seconds. The rice holds heat for hours, keeping hands warm for those who hunt, snow blow or walk to campus.

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Sharpie mugs

This gift is perfect personalized gift for coffee and tea drinkers. Find a plain, boring mug at the dollar store that needs some sprucing up and while you are out, pick up a pack of Sharpies. To personalize the mug, write a quote or draw a pattern on it with the Sharpies. After you are satisfied wit the design, put the mug in the oven and set it to 425 degrees. Make sure the mug is in the oven while it preheats and when it reaches 425 degrees, allow it to bake for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off and leave the mug in the oven as it cools. This will allow a little more baking time and prevents the mug from cracking. Since you personalized the mug entirely, it can be given to anyone. Not only does someone receive a new mug, but they get one that is special.

DIY Cup gift Untitled-1
A personalized gift for coffee and tea drinkers are sharpie mugs with their monogram or just a nice message for those dreaded early hours. (Photo | Shannon Millard)


Cracked marble necklace

What do you get for a woman who has everything? Women love jewelry and this gift is perfect for moms, roommates or friends. Pick up some marbles from the dollar store and place them on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to a toasty 500 degree, then put the marbles in the oven for 20 minutes. In the meantime, have a bowl of ice water ready for when the timer goes off. After the marbles have been heated, put them directly into the ice water, which will make them crack on the inside. Use a little super glue to attach a bead cap and then string cording through. The necklace is one of a kind and is sure to impress without breaking the bank.

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Beer coasters

Are you struggling to find something to give the man in your life this holiday? Try these hand-crafted beer coasters made from recycled six-pack beer holders. Purchase ceramic tiles and self-adhesive felt pads from a home improvement store. Cut a square out of the beer holders to cover the tiles, ideally displaying the name of the beer. After fitting the cardboard squares, use a foam brush to apply a layer of Mod Podge to the tiles. Place the squares in the center of the tiles, smoothing out any air bubbles and let them dry. Next apply three to seven layers of Mod Podge on top of the cardboard and tiles. Only three layers are necessary if the coasters are also sprayed with craft sealer spray, which will make them water-resistant. Do this in a well-ventilated area and let dry for 24 hours to prevent sticking. After the coasters have dried completely, apply felt pads to the bottom corners of the tiles. Any beer-lover is sure to appreciate these one-of-a-kind coasters. If you like the coaster gift, but are looking for other patterns, try a wine box for avid wine drinkers, scrapbook paper or personal photos instead of beer patterns.

Beer Coasters
A great gift for men is a place to set down their beer, try these hand-crafted beer coasters made from recycled six-pack beer holders.


For a feminine touch try buying some scrapbooking paper and making your own girly coasters, a great gift for your roommate. (Photo | Shannon Millard)
For a feminine touch try buying some scrapbooking paper and making your own girly coasters, a great gift for your roommate. (Photo | Shannon Millard)

Cookie decorating kit

Decorating cookies is a holiday tradition for many. Gift this tradition by buying a tube of cookie dough and tying bows to the ends for decoration. Next take clear, hollow ornaments and fill them with cookie toppings. These toppings could include sprinkles, chocolate chips, crushed peppermint or colored sugar. This gift is perfect for a family with younger children, which will give them the freedom to decorate their own holiday cookies.

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Chalkboard tray

If you have someone in your life that is always hosting parties, thank them with a homemade chalkboard serving tray. This is possibly one of the simplest gifts, but it will get used over and over again. You will need to buy chalkboard paint and a foam brush from a craft store. There may be a tray laying around the house to use or it can be purchased for cheap at a dollar store or thrift store. Paint the surface of the tray with multiple coats of chalkboard paint, letting each coat dry before the next. Apply paint until there is a consistent black color. When the paint has dried, write a nice message on the tray and gift it with a pack of chalk.

Chalkboard Tray


Glitter candles

There is always a glamorous woman who is hard to shop for. These glitter candles may be just the right thing to bring sparkle to her home. Start by purchasing candles from the dollar store, glitter and spray adhesive from a craft store. Wrap the candle with paper and tape it, exposing the area you want to glitter. Use spray adhesive to cover the exposed area and sprinkle with glitter. Do this over a piece of paper so the glitter that falls can be collected and reused. Let the adhesive and glitter dry completely before removing the tape and paper.

Glitter Candles


DIY ornament

No one can have enough unique, hand-made ornaments on their Christmas tree, especially college students that are trying to start their own collection of bulbs. To make this gift, a glass ball ornament, hot glue gun, tweezers, fake snow and a mini pine tree is needed. It is easiest to put a dot of hot glue on the base of the tree and stick it inside the glass ball. Use the tweezers to make sure it is in the best position. Let the glue dry and add the fake snow. Place the top on the ornament and an ornament made with love is ready for gifting.

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With a foam ball, a mini cupcake, a red button and confetti you can make a cupcake ornament to give as a gift. (Photo | Shannon Millard)
With a foam ball, a mini cupcake, a red button and confetti you can make a cupcake ornament to give as a gift. (Photo | Shannon Millard)