Find great gifts to make for friends and family with little to no money.
Here’s a reality: Christmas presents cost money, which is an unfortunate oversight of the world. Another well known fact is that we college students severely lack that precious commodity called cash. Most family members don't expect you to go out and buy something for them, but it sure is nice to be able to give your loved ones something during the holidays.
The answer to this problem is simple — do it your damn self. Here are five gifts that anybody can make in a short time, no craftiness required.
1. Homemade coasters for your favorite drinker
These crafty coasters are as simple to make as they are cool. Just buy a six pack of your preferred beer and cut out the insignia on the cardboard container and attach it to a tile, which can be bought for less than $1.
You can also glue felt to the bottom of the coasters to avoid scratching anything you lay it on. The best part about this craft is that it comes with something to sip on while you work. Click the link for the full tutorial.
2. Mason Jar Prism Candle for the decorative one
A mason jar, glue and glass stones is all you need to put a nice twist on a candle holder. Mason jars are all the rage these days, so this gift is perfect for anyone in the family who likes to decorate their house. The stones distort the light and give off a surreal glow that is decidedly more satisfying than the glow of a regular candle.
You can also add your own personal touches, such as wrapping twine, tying a bow around the top or lightly painting some of the stones.
3. Personalized decorated mugs for the coffee drinker
Whether you can draw or not, this craft can make you look a lot more creative than you probably are. The only thing you need is a porcelain pen, which goes for about $8 so you can decorate a plain white coffee mug.
While there are plenty of examples or extremely detailed porcelain art you can find online, it never hurts to keep it simple. An easy design can look just as nice. You can also make the mug more personal by drawing something the recipient really enjoys. For example, you could draw a kitten on the mug and give it to your aunt who calls all nine of her cats her “children.”
There’s a few tips and tricks on how to perfect porcelain art in the link.
4. Record bowls for the music enthusiast
This particular craft has many redeeming qualities, including how incredibly simple they are to make and how cool they look. The best part, however, is that it’s completely free.
Grab one of your (or your grandpa's) old records that you (or grandpa) don’t want anymore and put it in the oven at 350 degrees over an oven safe bowl. After a few minutes, it will have softened enough to push into the bowl.
Once you let it cool, you’ll have an awesome new bowl to fill with all kinds of goodies. This might just be the gift that you end up keeping.
5. The jewelry/tie rack for the accessory lover
This is perfect for anyone who has extra wall space, and this craft will definitely impress the fam. Get a nice, sturdy piece of wood and drill in knobs of your choosing to hang up the assorted jewelry, keys, belts or ties.
If the knobs in the picture are a bit flashy for your taste, feel free to go for a more rustic look by going to your local hardware store and picking up different bits and pieces to attach. Any hardware store worth their metal will have coat hooks for doors that will work, and there should be plenty of other choices too. Pipe clamps are another good choice.
Don’t let the thought of going into a hardware store unarmed with knowledge of hardware scare you. Most workers have become used to customers coming in for DIY craft supplies since the rise of the mighty Pinterest.