Do-It-Yourself Christmas Gifts to Save Money

What to do? The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and you’re flat broke. Even so, you can’t possibly show up to the party without a gift. Relax! Some of the most treasured gifts start out as simple household items. By making the present yourself, you and your one-of-a-kind creation will soon be the talk of the holiday season.

Bottle Cap Frame Art

From About.com’s Sherri Osborn

Materials:

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  • Metal Bottle Caps
  • Paint
  • Clear Acrylic Spray
  • Miscellaneous Pictures, Letters, or Stickers
  • Double-Sided Tape or Adhesive
  • Strong Glue
  • Paint Brush
  • Scissors

Instructions:

To decorate your bottle caps, think about what picture you will be putting in the frame. If it is a picture of you and a friend, consider using 7 bottle caps to spell out the word FRIENDS (one letter per cap). If it is a picture of a pet, you can spell out its name, or use small pictures of items related to your pet such as dog bones, a mouse, etc.

You can start out by painting your bottle caps. Once the paint is dry, you can seal the paint using the acrylic spray sealer. This is a good idea if your finished project may be in contact with any moisture, plus it can add a nice shine to your painted surface. Of course, if you prefer, you can leave your bottle caps unpainted.

While the paint/acrylic sealer is drying, find the letters or pictures you will use to embellish your bottle caps. Your best options are to use magazine pictures or stickers. You can use photos or pictures printed from a computer, but you should get copies made of these because your printer ink may run. Cut your pictures down so they are a small circle which can fit into the bottle cap. Use double-sided tape or adhesive to secure these inside the cap.

Once your newly-embellished bottle caps are dry, you can glue them onto your frame in whatever positions you like.

Paper Plate Clock

paper plate clock

From Momtastic.com’s Liz Stanley

You can make a clock out of anything flat through which you can cut a hole – even a decorative paper plate. The plate can be the fancy kind from a party store that has a preprinted design, or it can be a white plate that your children decorate with paints, markers and pens – perfect for Grandma.

Materials:

  • Paper Plate
  • Clock kit
  • Pen
  • Velcro

Instructions:

Using your pen, mark the center of the plate with a circle and carefully poke a small hole through. Take the back of the clock piece and stick it through the small hole so that the metal part is pushed all the way in.

Each clock kit has a slightly different setup. Most come with instructions if you’re unfamiliar with how to use them. Once the mechanism is assembled, add the hands, one at a time. Don’t forget to add the battery into the back. Attach any hook or notch that comes with the kit, allowing the clock to hang on its own. Since it will be very lightweight, a strip of Velcro on the back of the clock and one for the wall will allow it to hang perfectly.

Hair Comb

hair comb

From Lemonjitters.com

Materials:

  • Hair Combs from local discount store
  • Embroiderly Floss

Instructions:

Wrap the embroidery floss around the comb using a V-shape pattern. No glue is necessary – just tuck the ends under the next color and tie off the last piece.

Tub Teas

tub teas

From Marthastewart.com

Materials:

  • Heat-sealable tea bags
  • Lavender buds
  • Chamomile buds
  • Peppermint leaves
  • Dried organic lemon verbena

Instructions:

Fill heat-sealable tea bags (perfect for one bath) with 1/4 cup lemon verbena, lavender, peppermint, or chamomile. For small bags, top 5 1/4-inch starched muslin circles with 1 tablespoon of botanicals; tie with waxed twine. Giving a few bags sin each scent allows bathers to customize their baths.

Shoe Box Gift Box

gift box

From about.com’s Sherri Osborn

Materials:

  • Shoe Box or Any Box With a Lid
  • Mirror
  • Card Stock
  • Paint
  • Crayons or Marker
  • Craft Glue
  • Paint Brush
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Start off by painting the outside of the box. Let the paint dry. You can then decorate the box using other items if you like. You can add stickers, glue on ribbon, or personalize it any other way you like.

Make a sign using the card stock and crayons or markers. The sign should read: “The person pictured here is one of the most special gifts in my life”. You can change the wording to suit the person you are giving this gift to if you like. Trim this sign so it fits into the box.

Open the box and glue a small mirror onto the bottom of the box. You want to be able to see into the mirror when you look in the box. You also need to glue the sign onto the bottom of the box. Let the glue dry.

Your “favorite thing” gift is now ready to wrap and give.

Knotty and Nice Bags

knotty or nice bags

From Marthastewart.com

Materials:

  • For Bangle Bag and Waist Pack: 22-inch scarf
  • For Knotted Bag: 32-inch scarf
  • For Waist Pack: Two belt loops
  • For Bangle Bag: 2 bangles

Instructions:

Lay the scarf face up. Slip two adjacent corners through a bangle from the front, and pull the ends out to opposite sides. Wrap the corners around to the front of the bangle, and tie the corners in a square knot (right over left, left over right). Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the other side of the scarf and a second bangle. Tuck billows inward, and pull on the scarf to “inflate” it. Lay the scarf facedown. Pull one of the corners through one hand to create a tail about one-third the length of the side; tie a knot. Repeat the same tail-knotting on the scarf’s other three corners. For handles, tie the upper two tails together in a square knot (right over left, left over right); repeat with the lower two tails. Hold scarf, face in, between two belt loops. Thread left corner through left loop, and right corner through right loop. Tie the dangling corner on the left side to the belt-looped corner above it in a square knot. Repeat on the right side.

DIY Bath Salts

bath salts

From About.com’s Sherri Osborn

Materials:

  • Bottle or Jar
  • Epsom Salts
  • Food Coloring
  • Perfume or Essential Oil

Instructions:

Measure out enough Epsom salts to fit in your bottle or jar. Combine the salts with food coloring. Mix it well so the color is even. Add your perfume or essential oil and mix again. Spread the mixture out on a sheet of wax paper to dry for a couple of hours. Once it is completely dry, put it in the bottle or jar.

While the bath salts can be used right away, the perfume or essential oil will blend better with the salt if it is allowed to set in the jar for a few weeks.

What’s the best DIY gift you’ve ever received?

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by on December 1st, 2015