DIY gifts that won’t break the bank or your back

The holiday season is upon us, which means you’re probably wigging out about which gifts to buy friends and family without having to spend New Years Eve living in a cardboard box. So you turn to Pinterest, thinking all those DIY options will save you money. Then you walk into Michael’s with a list as long as Santa’s beard and realize that you don’t have fat stacks to blow on fabric and glitter and burlap ribbon. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a few fun and cheap DIY gift ideas that almost anyone will love.

1. Grown-up Hot Chocolate Kit.

Grown-up Hot Chocolate

All you need is a cute jar, a few packets of instant hot cocoa, marshmallows and a little baby bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Fill half the jar with hot cocoa powder, the other half with marshmallows, decorate if you wish, and deliver the goodies to your friends. It’ll keep them warm in more ways than one. Plus hot chocolate is delicious.

2. Decorative Chalkboards.

Chalkboard Tray

All you need is a silver or gold tray with a pretty edge, chalkboard paint and chalk. You can find a tray just about anywhere – thrift stores have a ton of them. Score the paint and chalk at any Wal Mart for cheaps. Paint the center of the tray according to the paint’s instructions, leaving the lovely decorative edges of the tray untouched. Use the chalk to write a friendly message (“Merry Christmas, buddy!” or “You’re getting hella coal this year lol!”) and your gift is good to go! My roomie and I have had endless fun with chalkboard trays, so I’m an expert in this field. If you visited the fourth floor of Boaz anytime in 2011, you probably know what I’m talking about. We hung ours on the door so people could write messages, but they can be used as serving trays or just fun decoration.

3. Bread in a Bottle.

Bread in a Bottle

Who doesn’t love bread? Dummies, that’s who. And who doesn’t love that fresh-baked bread scent wafting through their kitchen? The Grinch (pre-heart growth), probably. Anyway, this gift is great because it’s easy to make and anyone will appreciate it. Get some milk bottles or canning jars from Target or a craft store and layer the ingredients for your favorite bread recipe inside them. These instructions will make a super yummy gift. Tie a little ribbon or string at the top of the bottle with a card attached, and voila! Food is presents!

4. Teacup Lights

Teacup Lights

This one is from Martha Stewart and it’s a little more complicated than the others. (Martha is such a try hard sometimes, ugh.) But it’s so cute. And what’s better than teacups and candles? Not a lot, except puppies. Use any old teacups you won’t be drinking from anymore, or hit up a thrift store for some that aren’t part of a set anymore. After that, you’ll need to pick up nested pans, partially burned candles, a candy/candle thermometer, tongs, new wicking, wick sustainers and wooden skewers. Stick with me, y’all. Think about how cute these will turn out to be. The instructions can be found on overachieving Martha’s website. After you’re done, you can scoff at your friends when they buy $30 candles from Anthropologie and say, “I could make these in my kitchen, suckers.”

Let us know if you try any of these, or if you’ve got any Pinterest alternative gifts of your own!

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