Gifts. Saving money, living frugally, and not spending excessively can be a struggle around this time of year. The societal expectations to give (and at all costs) are all over the place! Don't get deeper into debt (or back into debt) to give material objects to others.
The massive DIY holiday gift guide…
I'm going to be making all of the gifts I give this year so I thought I would share with you some of my favorite DIY's. I have about 20-25 people to give gifts to this year and my goal is to not spend over $30! Most of that $30 will be spent on supplies to make the gifts so I will be needing to make that money stretch as much as possible. Along with creating gifts I will be re-purposing items I already own to make new items, and some re-gifting will also be happening (re-gifting isn't bad it's just got a bad rap). Here are Wise Bread's rules on re-gifting.
Re-think how you relate to gift-giving and gift-receiving. Think about why these beliefs are held, and know that those old ideas no longer have to be true for you!
All the gift projects that have been selected for The Gift Guide are stylish items because being frugal doesn't mean you lose your love for pretty things.
Another thing to remember is that making gifts takes time so be sure to give yourself plenty of time if you go for the DIY route;)
DIY Gifts For Just About Anyone: Husbands/Friends/Siblings/Parents/In-Laws
♥ Oversized Knit Cowl If you have basic knitting skills you can do this one. Knit a scarf and then stitch the ends together. Depending on the color of yarn you chose it can be made to look masculine or feminine. Tip: make sure you make it large enough. For the cowl to be cute/usable it can't be too tight. Looks like this. Pro/amazing inspiration by Yokoo. And, a hipster t-shirt scarf is another option.
♥ Frech Press Cozy Round up some sweaters that aren't being used (or get one from the thrift store) and make a cozy for the coffee lovers. Stitch up the edges with embroidery floss so the edges don't fray and add some buttons. Have any of those extra buttons in your junk-drawer that come with clothes (I know I do)? This is a good chance to use them. Here is a how-to. Or, if you're an advanced knitter here's a guide on knitting one up yourself by Design*Sponge.
♥ Heart Map Art For the explorer in your life. Here's a how-to over at Apartment Therapy. (Thanks to Katharine for the lead on this one)
♥ Monogram Mug Round up some old mugs from the thrift store (do it on a 1/2 price day- Bonus!) and get yourself a Porcelaine pen (found in craft and/or art supply stores). The options are endless! Plus, it looks just like Anthropologie's super popular initial mugs. Here's a how-to by the amazing Design Mom. Pro/amazing inspiration.
DIY Gifts For The Little Ones
♥ Paint Swatch Heart Garland Whenever I'm in the hardware store and pass by the paint swatches those color swatches holler at me and I just want to create something with those card stock color samples! So much potential there! Make a colorful heart garland for your nieces, nephews, friends kids, your kids room. It would add cuteness anywhere. Here's a how-to. (Also, these could easy be cut by hand if you don't want to buy the cut-out stamp). Another super cute one. Wall art idea. Another cute one. More ideas for paint chips. And even more here. Super cute garland ideas here by Elsie (she's the grand master of DIY) over at A Beautiful Mess.
♥ Wood Blocks I love the idea of painting on wood blocks for kids. (Note: make sure the paints are non-toxic/child-safe) Pro/amazing inspiration.
♥ Bathtub Paints Made with cornstarch, food-coloring, and soap. This is an easy and inexpensive idea. The how-to. Put them in cute little plastic containers for gifting and they're good to go!
♥ A Tent What kid doesn't love a little hide-out? Here is a how-to for an A-frame tent, a pvc pipe kids hideout & Another tent idea.
DIY Gifts For Your Fashionable Friend, Sister, Sister-In-Law
♥ Glitter Shoes These are too cute! Find some shoes that are in good shape at the thrift store (and in the right size) get started. Here's the how-to by Mini Penny.
♥ Painted Vases Lovely. How-to by Sugar and Charm.
♥ Pillow Cases When I saw these on Oh Joy! I knew I wanted to make some as gifts. Find inexpensive (or thrifted) pillow cases and use fabric paint to apply your design. I like the polka-dots, and might do some with hearts too! Here's a template for the heart. Cut the design into freezer paper, iron the freezer paper onto the fabric (shiny side down) and then dab the fabric paint onto the desired area with a sponge brush (be sure to put something under the fabric so it doesn't bleed through to the other side. Follow the directions on the paint bottle for setting the paint. For the paint I'm using it simply says to let it dry and then iron on the reverse side for the specific fabric heat setting.
♥ A Detachable Collar One of these would spice up any outfit. Super versatile. How-to by Rookie Mag. And, a Peter Pan collar version.
♥ Also, check out P.S. I Made This For TONS of ideas.
DIY Gifts For Your Boss/Co-Workers
♥ Goodies in Jars For bosses a safe bet is giving food along with a thoughtful (and free) note. Baking goodies or giving one of these is a nice idea. I've actually received one of these as a gift one time and it was great to be able to make some sweets when the holidays were over and my sugar-levels were running low.
♥ Mini Bread Loafs It's easy to whip up a bunch of these, wrap in aluminum foil, and tie with twine or yarn. Here's a recipe for Apple Cinnamon bread. If you don't have the mini-loaf pans you could use a sheet cake pan and cut the loaves into the desired size.
BONUS: DIY Gift Tag and Label Printables
What are your favorite DIY gifts? Are you making any gifts this year? All, some or none?