Handmade Holidays: Simple do-it-yourself gifts you can create in minutes


A hand painted ornament. Photo by Ezra Morales.

A hand painted ornament. Photo by Ezra Morales.

Are you on a budget but want to give your friends well thought out gifts? These ideas are not only charming and heartwarming, but easy to make and super affordable.

Hand-decorated ornaments

Buying clear plastic ornaments and painting them by hand is the essential homemade craft to give to all of your friends and family. All you need is some acrylic paint in holiday themed colors (or a package of paint pens if you’re feeling fancy), a bottle of glitter, and tacky glue. Once you get those, you have all the materials needed to make your delightful christmas tree adornment.

Approximate prices:

  • Clear ornaments ($0.29-$1.99)
  • Individual acrylic paints ($0.99-$1.99/bottle)
  • Paint pens ($8.00-$12.00)
  • Glitter ($0.99-$4.99/bottle)
  • Tacky glue ($1.29-$5.00)

Homemade and hand-decorated sugar cookies

Turn on the oven and warm up the house by baking some delicious homemade sugar cookies. Fill your kitchen with the luscious aroma of sweet sugar and icing. You can find any simple recipe for sugar cookies online. There are some that are so easy to try using basic ingredients that everyone has in their pantry. Then all you need is cookie cutters, a tube of icing, a cheap decorating tip, and a bottle of sprinkles to complete your edible holiday treats.

Approximate prices:

  • Cookie ingredients (free if you have them! If not approximate price in total would be $10-$15)
  • Cookie cutters ($0.99 each)
  • Icing ($1.99/tube)
  • Decorating tips ($0.99 each)
  • Sprinkles ($1.99-$3.99)

Pipe-cleaner wreath/picture frame

The most elementary level craft on the list; this project takes up about ten minutes of your time and is something extremely versatile. With pipe cleaners (and some hot glue or tacky glue) you can bend ‘em, cut ‘em, shape ‘em, break ‘em, braid ‘em, etc., and no one thing you create will be the same.

Approximate prices:

  • Holiday colored pipe cleaners pack ($4.99)
  • Tacky glue ($1.29-$5.00)
  • Hot glue gun ($5.00)
  • Hot glue sticks ($3.99-$5.99/package)