DIY Holiday Gifts to Make for Your Friends

Christmas is for giving, and nothing beats giving a homemade gift!


If you are anything like me, you have probably been thinking about trying your hand at DIY presents this holiday season. I compiled a list of some different DIY gifts that are perfect for anyone on your Christmas list! Whether it be Christmas crafts, homemade jewelry, bath and body products, or even just quirky knick-knacks, there’s something for everyone! Do it yourself this year, and have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Photo by Cat S.

Simply Christmas

Hot Chocolate Kit

I love hot chocolate, so this adorable kit seemed perfect to me! Although I only put marshmallows and mix in my tester kit, there are so many awesome possibilities when it comes to filling these! Some other options include peppermints, chocolate chips, M&M's, mini marshmallows, caramel candy, cinnamon, crushed Oreos, Reese’s Pieces, or whatever else you can come up with!

For the containers, I used quarter tubes from a craft store. They are super cute, but they were smaller than I envisioned. Walmart has longer craft tubes that are sold in a pack of 10, and are about $1.70 each. The quarter tubes came in a pack of 5 and were only $0.70 each. It just  depends on how many people you plan to give these to, and how many different fillers you want to include.

Ornaments

In my search for DIY ornaments, I found this blog with instructions on how to make beautiful paint dripped and swirled ornaments. I attempted to make these, but was sadly unsuccessful. I used a slightly thicker acrylic paint, so it didn’t move as well as cheaper craft paint would have.

I still recommend making these for your friends! You can even personalize them by writing their name or favorite quote on the outside! If the paint seems too messy, here are some other unique DIY ornament ideas! 

Photo by Cat S.

Snow Globes

With a sealable jar, water, glitter, hot glue, and objects of your choosing, you can make a gorgeous winter wonderland to give your friends! For this gift though, I do have some extra tips. Make sure your jar closes really well —like really, really well. While it may be pretty in the jar, this sparkly water would not be all that pretty on your floor. Trust me.

If you are worried about it not staying sealed, feel free to hot glue the top on. Just make sure to only glue it on when you are absolutely positive you don’t want to change anything inside! This blog makes a great point about testing what you plan to put in the snow globe beforehand by leaving it in a bowl of water for a couple hours. If the water is still totally clear, and your figures look the same, they are probably good to go.

If you want to make your “snow” fall more slowly, adding glycerin to your water should do the trick, although in my snow globe, this step wasn’t necessary. Make sure that you only glue the figures around the center of the lid! Otherwise, you will be unable to close your snow globe.

You may also want to consider raising up your figures from the lid so they can be more central in the snowglobe, depending on what you want to put inside. Be creative, and make them personal! While the classic tree or snowman is super cute, personalized gifts are just more fun! Find out your friend’s favorite animals, colors or quotes and incorporate them in the snow globe!


Homemade Jewelry:

Gold Bracelets

For your more minimalist friends, these delicate gold bracelets are a wonderful and elegant gift. Once you decide on a chain and attach your clasp, you can go in any direction you please. Find your favorite beads or charms and let your creativity take over!

Photo by Cat S.

Bird Egg Necklace

This gift seemed a little odd at first, but ended up being really fun and easy to make. It’s also pretty cute, if I don’t say so myself. By using pearls or glass beads, you can make your own little nest with some simple wire wrapping. This is the tutorial I used, but there are a lot of different ways to approach these. So if you want to do something a little different, go for it!

Rings

DIY rings are a more personal gift. They are also super simple to make. Just get some ring blanks, and add whatever you want! You can attach beads, buttons, geodes or gems depending on what your friends like. Grab some glue and ring blanks, and just have fun!


Bath and Body Products:

Bath Bombs

This fantastic fizzy fad is the perfect gift to help your friends relax! You can make this gift even more special by creating your own! Making a bath bomb only requires a few things you probably already have plus some other easy-to-find ingredients like Epsom salt, food coloring, citric acid, essential oil and a circular mold.

Using the essential oil and food coloring, you can make as many different scents and colors as you’d like. Keep in mind that these colors will mix together in the bath so even though a rainbow bath bomb may look pretty, it could create some crazy colored bath water. Check out this video tutorial to get started!

Photo by Cat S.

Sugar Scrub

This gift is handy to have and cheap to make! Sugar scrubs are great for your face, your feet, and anywhere in between! Most of the ingredients are inexpensive when bought in bulk, like sugar and carrier oils. I used coconut oil, but other types would work as well. Essential oil can be expensive, but it goes a long way. When adding the essential oil, a couple of drops should be sufficient to make a whole jar smell phenomenal.

For this scrub, I went with a 2-to-1/3 ratio of sugar to oil, but anywhere between ¼ cup to 1 cup of oil works, depending on preference. I used red food coloring and mint essential oil to make a cute candy cane inspired scrub! There are tons of options for scent and color combinations, just check out what different essential oils you can find.

I would recommend keeping these in your fridge to keep them fresh and away from any creepy critters. Unfortunately, the oil I bought was meant to be used in candles, and although the scrub smelled great, it was technically kind of toxic. I couldn’t use it on my skin. Sad face. So make sure that the essential oil you purchase is okay to use on your skin!  Happy scrubbing!

Lip Balm

This is another great body product you can make at home to give your friends or family. With essential oil, beeswax, and carrier oil, the possibilities are endless. Flavors, colors, herbs, glitter or petals —the world is yours when it comes to making your balm unique and functional. For inspiration, check out these recipes!


Photo by Cat S.

Quirky Knick-Knacks:

Yarn Letters

This gift makes a great accent for any dorm room or apartment! For the base, I used a precut wooden letter from a craft store, but paper mache letters work as well. All you need from that point is yarn, and a couple dabs of hot glue!

Each letter presents its own challenges wrapping-wise, and should be planned for ahead of time. For the M, I wrapped horizontally first to cover the sides so the top layer would be vertically oriented, but this varies for every letter! This DIY gift is perfect for making an AU, a monogram, or even Greek letters!

Glitter Vase

This glitter vase makes a gorgeous centerpiece and a beautiful gift for anyone! Unfortunately, my attempt turned into a “what not to do”. An even layer of Modge Podge is required to achieve this masterpiece. Light shines through beautifully, but if the Modge Podge is uneven, the thicker areas are blatantly obvious.

This vase can still look amazing with flowers or lights placed inside! If you use real flowers, make sure to put a smaller vase inside, as it won’t handle water well. Check out the full directions here!

Personalized Mug

I LOVE mugs. They are one of my favorite things to give and receive, especially when they are personalized. I read about Sharpie mugs, but they can be ruined in the dishwasher. So, I recommend using PaintedByMe paint markers instead! Once you bake the finished mug, your writing is dishwasher safe!

This means your personalization will last, and you won’t give your friends extra work by making them hand wash their gift. Whether you decorate them with a quote, a cute design or even a drawing of their favorite cartoon, your friends will love this personalized gift!

I hope you enjoy making these gifts as much as I did. Getting crafty is such a good way to have fun while also making something personal to give to friends and family. They will also appreciate the time and effort you put into their gifts! If you have any other DIY ideas, comment them down below! Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good finals week!

Be well, Auburn.


Photography: Cat S.

Michelle is a Disney and Pixar enthusiast majoring in graphic design and minoring in women’s studies and creative writing. She loves music, literature, visual art, and pretty much any other type of art you can think of. You’ll most likely find her drawing, singing, baking, painting, watching a Disney movie or drawing some more.  

Originally entering Auburn as a nutrition major, Michelle still is passionate about health and wellness. She enjoys writing articles for Be Well about healthy recipes, crafts, Disney, some maybe not-so-healthy recipes, and more. 

If you couldn’t tell, she also just really, really loves Disney.