DIY holiday gifts on a student budget

By Lwilliams
12/18/2014
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As if finals weren't stressful enough, now you have to deal with holiday shopping — and on a tight budget. If you’re still trying to find ways to help pay for college, or perhaps you chose studying over working this year, we’re here to help make the holidays a little more merry … and affordable. These DIY holiday gifts are great if you’re on a college student budget, and we have ideas for everyone from the Martha Stewarts to the “what’s a glue gun?” crafters. Projects are in order from “wow, that was super easy” to “crafting is my most favorite thing EVER!”

1. Make cookies

Amaze the cookie monsters in your life, found on blog.23snaps.com
Amaze the cookie monsters in your life, courtesy of blog.23snaps.com.

This is probably one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to send some holiday cheer. If you don’t feel confident in your cooking ability, you can always pop some pre-cut cookie dough in the oven. Or, if you’re willing to take on homemade baking, you should try these Chocolate Cayenne Crinkles from BudgetBytes.com to add some spice to your Christmas cookies. (Plus, at just $0.15 per cookie, they’re super affordable!) Want to go that extra mile to present your cookies? Check out this cookie basket made from a paper plate and ribbon.

 

2. Personalize a mug

Found on crafaholicsanonymous.net
Courtesy of crafaholicsanonymous.net.

This DIY gift is super inexpensive, and it lets your creativity shine. All you’ll need is a white mug (you can find them at the dollar store), some sharpies, and an oven. You can write a special message or — if you’re artistic enough — draw a fun picture. For step-by-step directions, we recommend this video to get you started.

 

3. Instagram = Instagift

Found on freepeople.com
Courtesy of freepeople.com.

Whether it’s your best friend or your mom, photos are a great, inexpensive gift idea. Plus, you probably already have some great shots on your Instagram account. Check out these fun DIY projects with Instagram photos, like handmade holiday cards, coasters, or even canvas wall art.

 

4. Bottle service

Found on etsystatic.com
Courtesy of etsystatic.com.

Holidays often mean holiday parties. If you find your place littered with empty bottles this time of year, why not put them to some good use? Make a set of glasses with yarn, nail polish remover, a lighter, and your favorite bottled beverage.

 

5. Light up the holidays

Found on theshabbycreekcottage.com
Courtesy of theshabbycreekcottage.com.

Don’t plan on selling your books from this semester? Here’s a great gift idea. This book lamp project requires a few tools, but it makes for a one-of-a-kind gift (so worth it). Get the project instructions here.

 

6. T-shirt quilt

Found on sewcaroline.com
Courtesy of sewcaroline.com.

This DIY project is one for the craft lovers. It will take some time to make, so be sure to plan ahead. It’s a great idea for those in Greek Life with tons of T-shirts and who may not know what to get that “sister who has everything.” If you feel up to the challenge, check out this tutorial.

Have some great gift ideas that are fun to make and inexpensive? Share them with us on Twitter or in the comment section below.

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