With the holiday season upon us, I know how hard it is to find the perfect gift for your friends and family while sticking to a budget. Last year, our holiday funds were tight and so we couldn’t afford to buy gifts for our families — instead, we made handmade gifts for everyone! Here’s a list of my favorite projects from over the years that I believe would make perfect gifts for your friends and family. They are DIY projects that are inexpensive and easy to make, with each link detailing step-by-step instructions on how to complete them.
For your significant other:
365 Reasons Why I Love You
I’m a firm believer that you can never tell your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend that you love them enough. Why not give them a daily reminder that they are loved with this simple gift? All you need is a container, 365 slips of paper, and a pen to jot down large and small reasons why you love your significant other. Guys, pretty sure you’d win Husbands of the Year awards if you handed your wives one of these — just saying.
For the newlyweds:
Wine Cork Monogram
What’s a better way to celebrate a marriage than to offer a personalized wine cork monogram to the newlyweds? Purchase a wooden letter from your local craft store and use a glue gun to affix wine corks all over it — I guarantee you it’ll make a great statement in their home or on their mantel.
For the new homeowner:
House Number Wreath
Surprise your loved one with a handmade wreath for their new front door. To do so, buy a grapevine wreath, faux flowers, and a bow / ribbon of your choosing. Paint some wooden numbers from your local craft store and affix everything to the wreath using a glue gun. Welcome home!
For the kids:
Dinosaur Name Silhouettes
Using some canvases, craft paint, and a craft brush, you can create a one-of-a-kind art piece featuring your child’s name and their favorite animals. Simply trace letters and animal silhouettes onto sheets of printer paper, cut them out, trace them onto the canvases, and fill in the rest with a color of your choice. One of these would be perfect either above their bedroom door or their bed.
Baseball Table Lamp
Perfect for the little sports fan in your life! This doesn’t have to be limited to softball, either — add softballs, tennis balls, or hockey pucks — whatever will make your child’s room extra special to him or her. Buy a cheap table lamp and use a power drill to drill holes into the baseballs. Re-affix the electrical socket and you’ll be good to go!
Wouldn’t one of these be great as a headboard? Surprise your little sports fan with a personalized scoreboard for their bedroom or playroom. Simply sand and paint a large piece of plywood, use alphabetic stencils to add any messages, and save some areas for chalkboard paint to make this scoreboard come to life. To make an outdoor sign, roll on a few coats of polyurethane and you’ll be good to go.
For your friends:
Wall-Mounted Faux Succulent Planter
Buy a foam craft disc, some faux succulents, and a ribbon, and you’ll be all set to create a wall-mounted planter for a friend. Simply trim the stems from the succulents and stick them into the craft disc, then use a glue gun to adhere the ribbon around the edge of the foam. Mounting one of these is easy — since it’s foam, it can be pressed into a nail on the wall and won’t budge.
Monogrammed Slate Coasters
Most craft or home improvement stores will sell 4″ x 4″ pieces of slate. To make them special, use alphabetic stencils to paint your friend’s initials onto the slate, then seal it with two coats of polyurethane. Add felt backings to them and you’ve got yourself a great set of personalized coasters.
If you’ve got a power drill, you can make these candle holders in a snap. First, take three pieces of firewood and cut them down to size using a miter saw or hack saw. Sand them really well to remove any splinters. Purchase a 1 1/2″ drill bit and drill tealight candle-sized holes into the tops of each. Stain the candle holders with a stain of your choice and seal them with two coats of polyurethane. Glue gun some felt to the bottoms, add tealights, and surprise your friend with a gift that’d be perfect as a table centerpiece.
And finally, the best for last — these are some of my favorite gifts to offer to my friends and family, especially when you know how special their pets are to them. Stalk their Facebook account for a good profile view of their pet, then trace it onto a piece of printer paper. Cut it out and trace it again, but this time onto a canvas. Use a small paint brush and craft paint in their favorite color to fill in the background, and you’ll be all set to finish a piece of art that will surely make your friend smile.