12 DIY Christmas Gifts That’ll Make Your Loved Ones (and Your Budget) Happy

I grew up with a big family, which made it hard to buy everyone something nice at Christmas.

My gift options were to shop at the dollar store or “do it yourself.”

While the dollar store is by far the easier path, DIY gifts are a genuine labor of love. But you don’t have to be Martha Stewart or a contestant on “Making It” to explore the DIY route. It’s more about the gesture than making a perfectly crafted artisanal present. Your loved ones will likely appreciate a heartfelt and useful gift more than a store-bought one.

Plus, staying at home to make these gifts will save you from the impulse purchases shopping can bring.

12 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas to Try This Holiday Season

1. Photo Magnets

An assortment of wood cut outs lay next to modge moge.

These are so much fun to make, and there are dozens of ways to get the job done.  

Use precut wood shapes, tiles, glass stones or mason jar lids — all found at your local arts and crafts store — as your base. Use some Mod Podge (a glue-type sealant) to adhere your printed photos to the base. Once dry, glue magnet strips to the back of the base. Done.

Or, you can use adhesive magnetic sheets for bigger images. You can make hundreds of these personal DIY gifts and inexpensively give your friends and family all the feels.

2. Baked Goods

Chocolate chip cookies sit on a plate.

The fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Home-baked treats will do the trick.

Try making holiday-themed cookies with cookie cutters and decorations, or play with seasonal flavors like peppermint, ginger and chocolate.

Turn up the sweetness with some fudge, challenge yourself to whip up toffee or make a loaf of banana bread (my mother’s signature baked good).

Bake your goods in large batches and deliver them to family, friends and coworkers in reusable holiday tins, treat bags or Tupperware.

3. Family Cookbook

Covertly gather recipes from your family members and put them into a special family cookbook.

Ask family members to share their recipes or take notes next time someone whips up a casserole or batch of cookies. Maybe grandma has a box of handwritten recipes you can convert.

Create an accessible digital version online or assemble your own hard copy. Free and low-cost templates and software are available if you want to do it yourself.

The cookbook will be a treasured gift for generations to come. Just don’t tell anyone else what’s in the sauce, because we all know that’s a family secret.

4. Pickled Fruits and Veggies

Pickled vegetables make great Christmas presents.

Use a hot water bath to pickle fruits and vegetables. You can pickle anything from cucumbers, green beans and carrots to cauliflower and pears. Find out your relatives’ favorites and surprise them with a homemade jar — or five.

One minimal investment in canning equipment and the basic ingredients can yield enough to give something to everyone special in your life during the holidays. Go a step further and create your own cheeky product labels for the jars.

You might find a workshop in your city to teach you how. Follow our pickle tutorial or use herbs and vegetables from your garden to save on produce costs.

5. Framed Pictures

Love that photo of you and mom on vacation? What about the one of all your best friends together? Frame it.

Scope out affordable picture frames at thrift stores, dollar stores, Michael’s (it always has a coupon available) or another major retailer.  Or spruce up and decorate an old picture frame with buttons.

Once you know what size frame you have, get the highest-resolution copy of the picture and have it printed to size at a local photo processor (CVS, Walgreens, Walmart). Each print usually costs less than $ 1. Too many photos to narrow down? Assemble an entire photo album.

6. Ornaments

Commemorate the year with a homemade ornament using paper, glass, precut shapes or reusable everyday products like wine corks, popsicle sticks and bottle caps. Spend a Saturday and craft them all yourself, or get the kids or significant other involved.

Make cheeky ones using pictures of the kids or fur babies, or you can tailor them specifically to your home state or siblings. Start a tradition and create a new one every year.

7. Mason Jar Mixtures

A mason jar mixture is wrapped in ribbons.

Assemble an edible gift in a jar. Concoct your own specialty holiday recipe like salsa, dry soup mix, hot chocolate, snack mix, nuts and cookie ingredients. Shoot, you can even go the alcohol route and infuse vodka.

All you need is a case of Mason jars, your ingredients and a recipe tag. The tag should include ingredients and any baking instructions.

If it’s really good, you’ll have everyone excited for next year’s batch.

8. Kid Art

A child's art work hangs on the work desk of a person.

There’s nothing wrong with this kind of child labor. The rugrats get creative and you get cheap DIY Christmas gifts out of it. Win-win.

Gather non-toxic paints, glitter and large pieces of posterboard (paper, cardboard or canvas work, too) for the kiddos to craft their masterpiece upon. Let them go to town. Once it’s finished and dry, cut up the project into frameable pieces. Sign and date the bottom like a true artist.

Frame the pieces and give them out as gifts. I have the one my nieces made me in 2011 on my desk.

9. Coasters

Do your civic duty and save all tables from condensation rings by making DIY coasters for your friends and family. It’s a cheap and easy gift you can’t go wrong with, because everyone needs coasters, especially funky (or classy) homemade ones.  

Craft DIY coasters out of ceramic tiles, wood slices and pressed flowers, mason jar lids, popsicle sticks or fabric. The picture magnets mentioned above can double as coasters if you skip the magnetic strips.

Sets of four are standard, so put on some Netflix and settle into a project weekend.

10. Pressed Flowers

Pick wildflowers on a walk, or save flowers from a special occasion and use them to create a piece of art.

Press the flowers with a book or iron and display them between glass, on paper, as a bookmark or matted onto a candle holder or key ring. There are a surprising amount of pressed flower projects to try.

While the art of flower pressing takes time, the elegantly preserved souvenir will be worth it.

11. Homemade Spices

Homemade spices can make a great, affordable Christmas present.

Homemade spices, seasonings and extracts are an affordable and practical gift for the food lovers in your life.

Awaken your inner chef and concoct a spice combination that suits your personality or complements a slice of your favorite meat. Blend a piquant taco seasoning, dry rub or apple and pumpkin pie spice mixes.

Just don’t forget to add your own labels for that extra zing.

12. Knitted or Crocheted Goods

Homemade scarves, hats and gloves make for affordable Christmas presents.

My favorite handmade gifts over the years have been knit scarves and shawls my mother made.

Knitted and crocheted goods are truly one-of-a-kind gifts.  Something as simple as a hat, scarf or bag will carry sentiment forever. The only thing they really cost is time, which makes a finished product feel more valuable.

If you don’t want to make bulky sweaters and ill-fitted hats for people, try coasters, blankets or rugs. There are free patterns galore online.

Probably not a new hobby to take up 10 days before Christmas, though.

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s making mustard and pickled things as gifts for her friends and family this year. Read her full bio here or say hi on Twitter @StephBolling.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

The Penny Hoarder

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Sam's Club Membership Offer

Miranda Kerr: I’m happy with my mum body

OHMYGOSSIP — Miranda Kerr feels happy with her “mum bod”.
The 35-year-old model – who has sons Flynn, seven, and six-month-old Hart – has revealed she is content with her post-pregnancy figure.
She confessed: “I’ve got a mum bod and it’s fine!”
The Australian beauty – who married her second husband, the billionaire businessman Evan Spiegel, in 2017 – thinks it’s important that women don’t feel under pressure to lose their baby weight in sudden fashion.
Speaking to Marie Claire Australia, Miranda shared: “It’s really important as women that we’re gentle with ourselves and don’t feel like we have to snap back into shape after a baby.”
The Victoria’s Secret model is happy to bide her time to regain her pre-pregnancy figure.
In fact, Miranda admitted her body may not ever feel the same as it did before the arrival of her second child.
She said: “I don’t mind. It’s all part of it. I took nine months – well, 10 months – to grow a beautiful child and it might take 10 months to feel good in a swimsuit again. Or longer. Or never!”
Meanwhile, Orlando Bloom – Miranda’s first husband – is reportedly ready to “settle down” with Katy Perry.
The British actor – who is the father of Miranda’s son Flynn – is feeling “like a new person” and thinks he’s “matured” a lot since the first time they started dating in 2016.
A source recently explained: “He is ready to settle down with Katy.
“Being with Katy makes Orlando very happy.
“In the past, he seemed so scattered and unwilling to settle down. He is like a new person now and everyone is excited for him.”

Source: IconInsider.com
Find us also on Twitter @OHMYGOSSIP and @OHMYGOSSIP_USA

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

How to Choose to Be Happy

how to choose to be happy

Here’s a lifestyle question for today: For those of you who think there’s a “choice” component to happiness, what are your best tips on how to choose to be happy? For example, a friend of a friend recently shared this Facebook post about a 92-year-old, legally-blind woman moving into a nursing home, and I thought this part was fascinating:

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. “I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy. “Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.” “That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged, it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away, just for this time in my life.” (author unknown

Fabulous! I am definitely not a model of happiness — progress, not perfection, right? — but something I do personally is to only allow myself a set period of time to be angry in close personal relationships. With my husband, for example, I get three days to be actively angry about something (possibly in a passive way), and after that, I need to reassess and either a) let it go or b) take active steps to change whatever made me angry to start to move forward. It’s important to note that he’s a very mild, easygoing guy, and we don’t have a huge, strife-filled relationship — I just remember my grandmother in her 90s still angry and complaining about things my grandfather had done (or not done) when they were in their 20s. So I made an active choice when we decided to get married to not hold on to anger or disappointment like that or let myself wallow in it. But I suppose this story just illustrates another possibility for discussion: What IS happiness to you? Is it a “freedom from __” kind of situation (anger, anxiety, regret, sadness, stress), or something else — balance, ease, contentment? Progress, growth? (Here’s a question that’s sure to be a minefield, but I can’t stop myself from asking it: How can you be happy AND informed about politics and world events?)

So readers, let’s hear from you: How are you choosing to be happy? Do you keep a list of your accomplishments or praise to look through when you’re feeling down? Is happiness one of the main reasons you engage in self-care like meditation, exercise, social engagements, or alone time? For those of us who are happiness-challenged, what have you found success with? 

Stock photo via Stencil.

Further Reading on How to Choose to Be Happy

The post How to Choose to Be Happy appeared first on Corporette.com.

Corporette.com

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Happy Tamar Braxton Unveils Thigh Tattoo In Vacation Video While Trying To Lay Low With New Boyfriend

Baddie Tamar Braxton unveiled her impressive thigh tattoo while relaxing poolside wearing an amazing red bikini.

The diva shared a video where she is enjoying the sun and fans love the golden tan, wet hair, and flawless body.

Tamar was trying to be discreet but she accidentally revealed that she is on vacation with her sexy Nigerian boyfriend.

While Tamar is wearing a wig in this new clip, in a recent picture with her BFF, Malika Haqq, she showed off her hair growth with some cute waves.

Here is what she had said when she shaved her head: “I’m over feeling captive to a wig, weave, people, people’s comments & opinions hell…even my OWN feelings! WE can choose to stop these things from having the power and victory over us!! And for me, that starts TODAY.”

One fan told Tamar: “Come on hair! You Betta give the kids waves. Werk! I love me some Tamar! Cute so glad you let your hair grow back no shade you look good with or without it. Ok, thickums @tamarbraxton got sum thighs going on… somebody looks relaxed and totally unbothered. Let that glow shine miss lady!!!!””

Another commenter shared: “I see that hair is sprouting honey. Is that a little finger wave action going on? 😍 So sexy. Tamar you giving me Toni Braxton vibes with those finger waves! Lol, cute! Sooo loving your hair. At first, didn’t think I’d like it (though that doesn’t matter) but it’s so you!I’m the nosy mf that peep somebody in those shades.”

This person claimed: “Everybody is having a baby its time you give Logan a sibling I don’t want him growing up in this world alone. Yass to the finger waves. They Definitely should be a keeper. All you do is win win win no matter what @tamarbraxton I loved you since the first time I heard that end note on money can’t buy me love and you just keep giving me liiiiiiiiife.” Ok Tamar, show us what your natural looks like. They Definitely should be a keeper.”

Tamar looks happy at the moment and Vincent Herbert is still not ready to finalize the divorce.

Celebrity Insider

BEST DEAL UPDATE:

Grab A Tissue! Kindergarten Class Sings Happy Birthday To Hearing Impaired Custodian

 

Sometimes all you need is a heartwarming video to cheer you up. The world currently, excuse our language, sucks, and this video was the perfect antidote (for today).

Recorded at the Hickerson Elementary School in Tennessee, the video shows a kindergarten class singing happy birthday to the school’s hearing impaired custodian, James Anthony.

By the end of the performance, Anthony was overtaken with emotions… and so were we!

According to reports, he has worked in the school system for over 27 years with 15 spent at this elementary school.

Watch the full performance above.

HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE 

Entertainment – Black America Web

BEST DEAL UPDATE: