Updated: Aug 22, 2021
Whether you love gift giving or not, it's that time of year when almost everyone needs to start thinking of what they'll be giving their loved ones for the holidays. It's easy to shop online these days, but why not make your gifts extra meaningful? It's definitely the cheaper option, and we all know you could use a break from studying anyway.
So take a look at this list of simple diy gift ideas and hopefully you'll find inspiration for your holiday list this year.
1 - Propagate your own plants
No one can have too many plants. Whether their succulents or not, it's time we all start trying to propagate our plants. It's a cheap gift because the only things you might have to buy are small plastic pots and dirt, thangs that every local florist is bound to have. If you're not keen on asking your local florist how to propagate plants (though I'm sure that they would be happy to tell you), there are a million resources online explaining how to do it for every kind of plant. The basic method for non-succulents is to simply cut off a piece of your current plant, leave the base in shallow water till it grows roots, and replant it. Voila! Now you and your friend have matching plants. How cute and easy is that?
2 - Make them a playlist
Use the modern take on a mixed tape, and make your friend a playlist! It's free and as easy as finding out what music streaming service they use and creating a playlist on it with any kind of songs you think they'd like. There are lots of ways you could go about making it. You could make a playlist of every song that has been featured in their favourite vines & tiktoks. Or you could combine all of the most ridiluous songs you know for a playlist of absolute chaotic energy. Or you could make a playlist full of songs that simply remind you of them. Whatever kind of music you mix is up to you!
3 - Sew a knitting needle or paintbrush bag
Now this one takes a minute more to do but it's a practical gift that could last a long time if made right. If you've got a friend that's into painting, makeup, or knitting, then this is a perfect gift for them. There are plenty of step by step guide online where all you'd need are basic sewing supplies and your time. No fancy stitching or complicated patterns needed.
4 - Learn to make patches
Now this one is definitely more complicated, but if done right it's definitely worth the effort. You would need a few small things from your local craft store and it's definitely harder to learn, but the outcome would be fantastic. Using not much more than an embroidery hoop, a needle, and thread, you could make a patch for your friend in any shape & colour you'd want!
5 - Pre-mix a recipe
Sometimes making an entire recipe can be exhausting. Make that task a little easier for your friend by giving them the pre-mixed dry ingredients of their favourite recipe. Find a large glass jar (I like to re-use old pasta sauce jars or mason jars) and fill it with the dry ingredients of the recipe of your choice. Then write on a little card the names and quantities of wet ingredients that should go with it, and tie the card around the neck of the jar so that your friend will know how to finish the recipe. This works wonderfully for everything from pancakes, to cookies, to hot chocolate.
6 - Learn to make spelling bracelets
This may seem rather childish but the sentimentality of it stands in adulthood as well as it does in childhood. Simply buy some string from your local craft store and learn online how to knot a bracelet, keychain, or whatever, into saying whatever you'd like! You could spell out anything from their name, to an inside joke, to a swear word (cause why not?). A small and sweet gift that also gives you the chance to learn something new.
7 - Make them a candle
If you've got a bunch of burnt out candles with leftover wax at home, then this is the perfect gift to give a friend. The only things you'll need are containers to put the candles in (like reusing a small jar) and some wicks, which you can get cheap at your local craft store. You can even be creative and combine different everyday objects to make a uniquely smelling candle. For instance you could mix orange zest and pine needles, or mint leaves and coffee! With everyone working from home, who wouldn't enjoy a candle to make that home office a little more joyful?
8 - Hand written letter
This is an often underappreciated gift. It's so simple and yet could mean the world to the person you give it to. It's far more than a phone call. Because not only do you get to make it as personalized as you'd like, but it's also a physical object that will forever remind them of you. Besides, in what other context do you get to rant to a friend non-stop for pages on-end? This gift is especially practical if the person you intend to give it to lives far away. In an envelope you could also include pictures, doodles, and anything else you might want to share.
9 - Make them a crossword puzzle
If you have a friend that loves solving puzzles, writing them a personalized crossword puzzle would make their day. You could fill it up with inside jokes, personal facts, shared hobbies, and anything else! Make it as big or small as you want. To make it you could use a crossword generators online, or excel, or even draw it by hand! No matter how you make it I'm sure that they will highly enjoy solving it.
10 - Knit!
This one may seem obvious but it stands true. I don't know about you but I have always meant to learn to knit and now seems as good a time as any. Besides, I'm sure we all need a study break once in a while, so why not spend that time learning a new and incredibly useful skill? Knitting! Find some fluffy wool and knit your friends socks, hats, leg warmers, mitts, scarves, mug cozies, a small sweater for their hamster, or anything else you can think of. The possibilities are endless.
11 - Make them beeswax wraps
We've all seen them in store, but did you know that it's not that hard to make them at home? The concept is to essentially melt beeswax into a coton material of your choice. Find a step by step guide online and materials from you local eccentric grocery store, then get to work! It's a long lasting practical gift that any friend would appreciate.
12 - Baked goods
A classic! Everyone loves free baked goods at any time in their life. If you got into the bread making hype earlier this year then you could bake loaves for all your friends. If your friend has a strong sweet tooth then you could bake them cookies, brownies, cake, or whatever else. If you've got a ridiculous amount of frozen bananas in your freezer then maybe muffins or banana bread is calling your name. Whatever it is I can guarantee that baked goods will always be a crowd favourite.