Christmas is right around the corner, and you know what that means: scrambling for last-minute gifts for your friends after you’ve accaccidentally spent your last 10 dollars on City Convenience or Uber. Now you’re begging your parents for a few dollars to last you until the holidays come around, but what will you do about presents? Here are seven cute DIY gifts you can make that won’t break the bank, but will still be loved by your friends:

Get your presents all wrapped up and ready this holiday season, all the while still saving your wallet. PHOTO VIA PEXEL.

Get your presents all wrapped up and ready this holiday season, all the while still saving your wallet. PHOTO VIA PEXEL.

Custom ceramic mug

Run over to the closest dollar store, grab a plain ceramic mug and a Sharpie marker (any color of your choice) and let your artistic juices flow. You can draw artsy doodles, the name/initials of the receiver or a little something for school spirit, such as the mascot or the name of their school. After you’re done, bake the mug in an oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, let it cool down and voilà — the perfect gift for the coffee or tea addict in your life! (Disclaimer: this DIY mug won’t be dishwasher-safe, so make sure your friend knows that they must wash it by hand.)


When it comes to constructing bookmarks, you have a whole world of possibilities at your fingertips. For a more classic approach, start by cutting a sliver out of a piece of construction paper (or durable scrapbook paper, if you have any). Then sift through some magazines and clip some of their favorite things, and paste them in a collage on the paper with your handy-dandy glue stick. Whether you’re making a one-of-a-kind bookmark or a themed set, this is a fabulous gift for your favorite bookworm!

Dry erase board

As college students, we’re expected to be disorganized and constantly stressed out, right? Not necessarily! With a DIY dry erase board, you can organize tomorrow’s to-do list, plan out your next party or simply express yourself by messing around and drawing whatever your heart desires! All you need is a picture frame of your liking and a cute piece of patterned scrapbook paper. Replace the picture inside the frame with the paper, grab some dry erase markers from Target and bam — an easy gift for the person who needs a bit of organization in their life.

52 things

The best part about this gift is that it can be whatever you want! Whether it’s 52 cute date ideas for your significant other, 52 things you love about your best friend or 52 recipes you think your parent should try out, this gift is sure to melt the heart of the receiver. All you need is a deck of cards, a hole puncher and some ribbon to tie the cards together. Grab some extra construction paper and scrapbook paper, and glue that onto the cards before writing on them for an added zeal.

Letter art

Wander around a thrift store for long enough and you’ll find anything, including leftover wooden letters in various sizes and colors. See if you can find the initials of that special someone you had in mind (or if you’re really lucky, you’ll find an entire word). Then grab some paints and express your creativity by painting the letters, either with simple patterns or intricate doodles — it’s a personalized gift that everyone is sure to love!

Tree ornaments

Like the bookmarks, you have a plethora of DIY tree ornament possibilities to choose from. Just scroll through Pinterest for a few minutes and you’ll find inspiration in every direction. My personal favorite is the jingle bell wreath ornament. Buy a packet of miniature jingle bells from Amazon and loop a piece of yarn through the bells. Tie the creation into a miniature wreath (because who doesn’t love tiny things?) and tie a festive ribbon around the knot so the ornament can be hung on a tree.

Jar of jokes

This gift may be the easiest of all when it comes to construction. All you need is a jar — it can be a mason jar you bought from Goodwill or even a freshly cleaned pickle jar you stole from the storage shelf at your house. Add some sheets of paper and you’re good to go! Cut the paper into small pieces and write down whatever jokes you like. They can be corny jokes, clever puns or cheesy pickup lines. This is a present that is sure to please that special jokester you hold dear to your heart.