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Craft Ideas and DIY Gifts to Help You Save Money This Holiday Season

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The holidays are once again around the corner. With exceptional shortages occurring in many retail sectors, this may be the year to try something a little different when it comes to gift-giving. If you’re looking to surprise a loved one with something unique, save money, and have a little fun, you might consider a DIY gift.



DIY, or “do-it-yourself,” is when you make something with your own hands instead of buying an item outright. Anyone can DIY, whether you consider yourself a ‘crafty’ person or not.

DIY projects may be budget-friendly but will also take a little more time and effort. However, a DIY gift can be as elaborate or simple as you make it to be. Many will argue that it’s worth the effort, especially when you’re creating something that you know the recipient will love.

Not sure where to begin? I’ve compiled a few ideas to help you get started:



Create simple but unique gifts that bring joy in small packages!


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DIY gifting does not have to mean being crafty. You can easily put a smile on someone’s face by making their favorite treat or meal!

  • Cook or bake your giftee’s favorite dish or offer to make an entrée, side, or dessert for a holiday party you might be attending. Feel free to wrap or plate the (cooled) dish or baked goods in a fun way to play up the gift theme! Not only can this be a simple way to give a meaningful gift, after they’ve enjoyed it, it’s gone! No clutter, no fuss.
  • Prepare fun or festive cooking, baking, and drink mixtures in a jar or container. Add a cute label or tag, and voila! Some fun, easy ideas that go well with the season could be hot cocoa mix, jams or jellies, apple butter, soup mixes, or cookie mixes.
  • If you’re looking to create something unique, try your hand at making homemade marshmallows (to go with that hot cocoa mix!).



The below ideas are perfect for the aspiring-DIYer who might not be comfortable creating something from scratch, but still wants to make a unique gift! These will generally require purchasing premade items, and additional materials, to then customize to your liking.

  • Create a personalized coffee cup or soup bowl. Buy a plain mug or bowl and customize it with a hand-drawn pattern using paint markers (found at most craft and art stores). Fill the bowl or mug with cookies, soup ingredients, or your homemade hot cocoa and/or marshmallows. Tie a little gift tag on for the finishing touch!
  • A chalkboard mug is a fun, creative twist on an otherwise typical kitchen staple. Kick it up a notch by including a small pack of chalk sticks and some of their favorite bagged coffee or tea.
  • When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a thoughtfully curated gift basket. You can either make it themed (a basket for coffee aficionados, chocolate lovers, wine connoisseurs, and so on) or simply include a random selection of their favorite things. The baskets don’t necessarily have to consist of only perishable items, either—a basket for the aspiring artist with all the drawing essentials or a basket for the movie buff in your life, as examples, would make for fun gifts. The gift basket is also an opportune chance to do a little re-gifting; who doesn’t want to clear clutter and save money at the same time?


Gifts don’t always have to be costly and fancy. The lists above are a small sampling of so many ideas and options out there for DIY gifting. I recommend heading over to Pinterest for a plethora of ideas (and for an easy way to curate your favorites). For the holidays, birthdays, celebrations, or “just because”…your DIY options are endless!

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Diana Clarke

About Diana Clarke

Diana is a marketing specialist at VSECU, with a focus on graphic design for both digital and print materials. She grew up on Long Island, went to the Savannah College of Art & Design for her BFA and MFA, and now resides in a quaint log house in Hardwick, Vermont with her husband and dog. When not working and designing, Diana enjoys bicycling on the various trails around Vermont, hiking, gardening, snowshoeing, exploring the great outdoors, playing with her dog, and spending time at the family farm.
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