DIY Christmas gift ideas

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During the Christmas gift-giving season, abundance can become narrowed in scope to simply the quantity of gifts, rather than the quality of the meaning behind them.

Let us help you live more abundantly in meaning, while also saving you money, with these inexpensive, heartfelt, and homemade DIY Christmas gift ideas. While you won’t be hand-creating every aspect of each gift, there is a personalization and warmth to every one. Plus, all are perfect for children to help create, giving them the opportunity to put their love and special touch on a gift to give just from them.

DIY Jar gifts

Money (or gift card) – Let’s face it, sometimes money or a gift card is really all you can come up with for someone. Take this gift to a more personal level by making a money jar. Place the money or gift card into a protected space within the jar by using a cut cardboard tube or plastic baggie. Surround the main gift with favorite candies of the receiver, such as Skittles.

Salt or sugar scrubs – The beauty of these gifts are the simplicity, purity of ingredients and the versatility of scents. Perfect for someone who has sensitivities to commercially made products. All you need are coarse salt or granulated sugar, olive or coconut oil, and an essential oil of choice, such as peppermint or lavender. If you already have them, you can also use pure extracts, like vanilla. (Note: If using extracts, use more – about 1 tablespoon; if using essential oils, use less – about 6 drops.) To create, combine 1/2 cup oil, 1-1.5 cups salt or sugar and the appropriate amount of essential oil or extract. Mix well and place in the jar.

Sewing kit – Perfect for someone who has just gotten married or moved out on their own. Fill a jar with the most commonly used sewing notions. Items such as white thread, black thread, some buttons, and needles. Include a homemade pincushion (you can even attach it to the top of the jar).

Savings tip for jar gifts: Save on the cost of buying jars by repurposing empty grocery jars or bottles. For gifts that are going to be consumed anyway, mayonnaise jars or jelly jars do nicely. Remove all labels and decorate the lids by gluing on scrap pieces of fabric, a paper doily, or even just nice Christmas wrapping paper. For glass jars, you can add a pretty piece of fabric or a paper doily on the lid, secured with the lid ring. For all jar gifts, add some ribbon or twine and a nice tag.

DIY Ornament gifts

Dip mix ornaments – Dip mixes such as ranch, dill, and zesty Italian can be made using ingredients you probably already have on hand. The receiver simply blends the dip mix with sour cream and/or mayonnaise to use. Look online for dip mix recipes. Don’t forget to attach a tag explaining how blend the dip.

Memories ornaments – Use portions of a child’s drawing, photographs, ticket stubs, event programs, invitations, trinkets, beads, tassels… pretty much anything you can fit into the ornament. This idea is especially perfect for encapsulating the memories of significant events such as births, weddings, baby’s first year, graduations, and honoring a loved one. Carefully insert items, using other elements to help keep them in place. Suggestions for stabilizing elements are clean play sand, confetti, beads, tiny marbles, or pieces of material, like snippets of an outgrown favorite outfit or a special hair bow. If what you want to use is on thin or flimsy paper, strengthen it by gluing to stiffer card stock paper first.

Tips for ornament gifts: You can purchase clear glass or plastic ornaments in various shapes and sizes at most hobby and craft stores. One box of ornaments can easily be used to make multiple ornament gifts of different styles. Add a ribbon or bow to each and place snugly in a gift box for giving.

DIY “A few of your favorite things” box gifts

Ice cream lover’s box – Fill a box with snack size baggies of favorite ice cream toppings, such as crushed cookies, chopped nuts, mini marshmallows, and candies. Add a small stack of ice cream cones, placed in a cellophane bag, and jars of hot fudge and cherries. Embellish baggies and jars with ribbons or bows.

Movie lover’s box – Fill a box with a dressed up jar of popping corn, and baggies filled with movie treats such as gummy bears, chocolates, and mini cookies. Add a modest gift card for a movie rental at Red Box or your local rental store. If you want to make it a date night box for a couple with kids, include a “coupon” for free babysitting, redeemable with you.

Coffee lover’s box – Fill a box with a dressed up jar or bag of coffee, baggies of specialty cappuccino flavors, and festive homemade chocolate spoons. To create the spoons, you’ll need heavy duty plastic spoons, chocolate chips, and a small amount of toppings of choice, such as crushed candy cane, tiny marshmallows, or festive sugar sprinkles. First, carefully melt the chocolate in the microwave. Next, fill the bowl of each spoon by drizzling or very slowly pouring the chocolate. Gently shake spoon back and forth to until chocolate is smooth. Add toppings of choice and cool in the refrigerator to set. Once set, place each in a small cellophane bag and tie with a bow. If you want to make the box even more personalized, you can use both regular chocolate and white chocolate. Create the spoons as listed above, but leave a few without toppings. After hardening, melt white chocolate and carefully drizzle on something personal for the receiver. Place back in refrigerator for white chocolate to harden before packaging.

Box creating tips: Purchase larger packages of ingredients, then divide up to create numerous boxes for low cost.

Use a box with a lift off lid. That way, you can Christmas wrap the box “no rip” style. To do this, cover the lid top in paper, securing underneath, around the inside edges of the lid. Do the same with the bottom and sides of the box itself, wrapping so you secure the paper to the inside of the box. Be sure the lid wrapping is snug enough to not tear the paper when placing the lid on the box. Now simply add a ribbon or bow. When giving, the receiver lifts the lid to reveal the gift, rather than tearing all the paper off and having a logo-printed repurposed box.

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