Fine, we’ll admit it: buying gifts is a lot easier than making them. But when your family’s on a budget, D, I, and Y will quickly become your three favorite letters during the holiday season. Sure, some projects require so much time and costly supplies that you might as well have just bought the damn thing, but that’s not always the case.
We went on the hunt for DIY gifts that 1) look store-bought, 2) don’t take a month-and-a-half to make, and 3) use cheap supplies, and we found a treasure trove of ideas. Whether you’re looking for something to give your best mom friend, techie brother, or travelin’ neighbors, we have an idea for you.
1. Twig Votive Candle Holders
If your mother-in-law’s the entertaining type, always looking for new ways to spice up her dining room table, then this gift is for her. A quick trip to The Dollar Store for a few votive holders and a walk through your backyard for some twigs is all the effort it’ll take to whip up these industrial-chic candle holders.
2. Leather Clutch
We’re not sure what’s better: the super-easy tutorial or the fact that we just found the perfect gift for all of our girlfriends. There’s nothing the style-savvy mama in your life won’t like about this clutch. Except, maybe, that you discovered it before she did.
3. Scrabble Coasters
We all have that one friend who seriously kicked our ass in Scrabble and will NEVER. LET US. FORGET IT. Show you’re the bigger person and give her these verbally-intoxicating coasters … and then challenge her to a rematch immediately.
4. Dino iPhone Tripod
For the family friend that will never really grow up — or put down his iPhone — we found this T-rex-eriffic tripod, a welcome addition to any office desk.
5. Map Cufflinks
Whether your uncle left his heart in San Francisco or New York City, these globally conscious cufflinks will add a memorable touch to his dull work suit.
6. Bacon Salt
Vegetarians, go ahead and skip to the next gift. Okay, now we can get real: Bacon makes everything better. If you have a friend who cooks by this mantra, this gift is for him.
7. Laptop Sleeve
We’re swooning over this DIY for two reasons: 1) it’s easy and cheap to make, and 2) it can be customized for any tech gadget (think Nook, iPad, Kindle, etc.) in any color-combo imaginable. The perfect gift for your co-worker who’s always hunting around the office for a spare laptop bag. (Hint hint.)
8.Gold Leaf Paper Mache Bowls
Is your sister the type of gal who enjoys the little (and pretty) things in life? Then this gift is just her bowl … er, cup … of tea. We still can’t believe the bowls are made from a balloon, newspaper, and Mod Podge. Mind = blown.
9. Cord Roll
Raise your hand if you hate airports. Exactly. There’s no one who wouldn’t appreciate a gift that makes their traveling experience a little bit better. Enter the cord roll, organizing lives since 1999.