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Want to make your gifts extra special this year? Make them yourself! You don’t have to be a DIY master to create meaningful presents. Nothing says “happy holidays” like a homemade, heartfelt gift, so get in the spirit with these fabulous DIY ideas, from us to you!

“So Fancy” Quote Mug Set

What you need:

  • Oven
  • Rubbing alcohol or Goo Gone
  • Sharpie 6-pack in metallic (Any color Sharpie can be substituted – if you want to pay the added cost, you can use oil-based Sharpies)
  • 2 Plain white porcelain mugs

Instructions:

  1. Clean mugs fully to remove any and all residue. Remove the price label. Hint: rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover and Goo Gone easily remove the sticky stuff left from those pesky price tags.
  2. Decide on designs or quotes to put on the mugs. Make them a match set!
  3. Draw it out! You can use Q-tips to easily erase any little mistakes while the Sharpie ink is still fresh; just make sure you don’t leave any Sharpie where you don’t want it!
  4. Once you’ve finished, set each mug aside and let your designs dry for 24 hours.
  5. After the mugs have dried for 24 hours, it’s time to cook them! This allows the ink to set so that it won’t come off in the dishwasher after use. Start by placing them upright directly on the oven rack in a cold oven.
  6. Turn oven to 450° and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. DO NOT handle mugs immediately after baking. Turn off oven and let mugs cool completely before handling.
  8. After the first 15 minutes of cooling, open the oven slightly to give the mugs more air to breathe.
  9. Once fully cooled, your mugs are good to go!

 

Floral Monogram Frame

What you need:

  • Frame of your choice
  • Hot glue gun & glue sticks
  • Utility knife / boxcutter
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Plain, clean, semi-thick paper in any color
  • Faux flowers of your choice (Avoid flowers with huge petals unless you plan to fit a large frame)
  • Foam board

Instructions:

  1. Remove glass from frame and set aside – you will not need this. Set aside paper insert that comes in the frame – you will need this later!
  2. Remove flowers from stems. The trick is to cut the stems off as close to the petals as possible while keeping the flower intact.

  3. Set aside all flower petals in a bowl.
  4. Pick a letter and decide how you want it to look, then draw it on the foam board. For inspiration, experiment with some fonts for your letter on the computer. The simpler the type, the better; complicated fonts are more likely to be illegible once you’ve covered the letter with flowers.
  5. Once you’ve finished drawing the letter, use your utility knife and/or boxcutter to cut the letter out. Don’t worry if there are remnant pencil marks or if the edges of your letter aren’t perfect; these will barely be noticeable once you start attaching your flowers!
  6. Apply hot glue to the board and affix the flowers. Don’t apply the hot glue directly to the flowers unless you want to burn your fingers (trust us, you don’t – learn from our mistake!). Continue to add flowers until you’re happy with the overall appearance.
  7. Using the frame’s paper insert that you set aside and the clean blank paper that you have, trace the insert on your clean paper and cut the paper so that it is the appropriate size to fit the frame. You can then discard the original paper insert. Note: You really want to keep this paper clean because it will be the background of your monogram inside the frame!
  8. Apply glue to the back of your monogram letter and affix it to your now correctly sized clean background paper. Once the letter is secured to its background, you’re ready to put that blossoming beauty into its frame! Violà! Picture perfect!

 

Inked Monogram Frame

What you need:

  • Glass cleaner (Windex)
  • Black (or white) paint and paintbrush – the paint color depends on the darkness/lightness of chosen background pattern.
  • 1 Sheet of blank paper
  • Printer
  • Printed pattern of your choice on 8.5×11” sheet
  • Pencil
  • Frame of choice

Instructions:

  1. Clean the glass within the frame to get rid of residue/dust.
  2. Remove the standard paper insert from the frame and set aside for use later on!
  3. Pick and print a pattern on 8.5×11” paper that you want to use for the background.
  4. Pick the monogram style you want. Hint: If you want a fun, extravagant or simply more complicated lettering style and aren’t confident in your freehand drawing abilities, print out the letter and tape the paper to the back side of the glass. Then, paint directly on top of the glass using the printed letter as your guide (just like tracing!).
  5. As mentioned in the materials needed, the paint color you use depends on your background pattern. Black paint is the best option if your background pattern/graphic is light, whereas white is best for darker backgrounds. The key is to have contrast! We chose black paint because we have a lighter background.
  6. Remove the printed letter from the backside of glass (if applicable) and let paint dry completely.
  7. While paint is drying, turn your attention towards your background pattern! Remember, the key is to have contrast. Don’t be afraid to think out of the box when you’re considering what background to go with. There’s no reason the background has to be a plain color or a basic chevron pattern (don’t get us wrong; we love chevron). Your choice of a background really allows you to personalize your DIY present and make it unlike anything that exists already. We chose an aged print map of Boston (home to Her Campus HQ!).
  8. With the pattern finalized and printed out, use the frame’s original paper insert to trace out the area of pattern that will fit in your frame. Cut pattern to appropriate size.
  9. Put the dried painted glass back into the frame, then put the final pattern in behind it. You’re ready to go!

 

Pop, Fizz, Clink Trivet

What you need:

Instructions:

  1. Lay out all 16 champagne corks side by side. Because the height of champagne corks can vary significantly, identify the most common height in of corks and set aside the few that vary noticeably from the common height. Note that you can only make corks shorter, you cannot make them longer, so the majority height that you pick should be the height of the shortest cork.
  2. Using one of the shortest, common height corks, mark with a pen or sharpie on the longer cork the amount that needs to be trimmed in order to make that cork even. Note: in order for your trivet to show the cork bottoms (which is usually the unique part), you must trim the top side on all of your corks, as this is the side that will sit against the table surface.
  3. Using the serrated knife, trim off the marked portion of the cork on top of the cutting board. Repeat this step as needed.
  4. Decide how you’d like to arrange four corks in a row and then glue them together, applying a small bit of glue along the thickest part of the cork. Apply the next two corks in the same manner until you have a row of four connected corks. Repeat this process until you have four fully made rows.  
  5. Arrange your four rows in your desired order. If the bottoms of your corks have writing on them, you will want to make sure all writing is facing the same direction so your final result doesn’t have any upside-down pieces.
  6. Begin connecting your rows by gluing them together, one by one, until you have a 4 x 4 trivet.

 

Wine Some More Coasters

What you need:

  • Wine corks (8 per coaster) (if you don’t have these on hand you can order recycled wine corks off Amazon)
  • Hot glue gun / glue sticks
  • Pretty ribbon or twine for packaging final coasters as a set

Instructions:

  1. Lay out all your corks – you will need eight corks per coaster! Each coaster will have four sections, comprised of two corks. Plan out your coasters and the placement of each cork according to the pattern below.
  2. Once you have your layout, go ahead and begin by approaching the first row of each coaster first; you will need four corks for this.
  3. Glue the corks together as two separate pairs. One of these pairs will appear vertically, while the other will appear horizontally in the first row of the coaster. Apply glue to inside edge of the first pair of corks and turn the second pair to attach it horizontally. Repeat this for the second row of the coaster, but alternate the side on which you have the horizontal corks configured.

  4. Before you glue your rows together, make sure that you arrange them so a vertical pair is aligned with a horizontal pair; the opposite corners of the coaster should have the same cork orientation. Attach your two completed rows together to finalize the full coaster.

 

Spotted: His & Hers Glasses

What you need:

  • 2 or 4 stemless glass wine tumblers
  • Paper towel
  • Q-tips
  • 3-4 acrylic paints of your choice (three colors per tumbler recommended)
  • Oven
  • Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper

Instructions:

  1. Wash glasses thoroughly with warm water to remove any dust or residue. Allow glasses to dry thoroughly before beginning your project. You don’t want to paint on glass that’s streaky from not having fully dried!
  2. Choose your colors!
  3. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and lay your glasses upside down (you don’t want to paint anywhere near the rim of the glass).
  4. Using a Q-tip and color of your choice, begin dotting paint around the base of the glass until you have a nicely distributed first layer. Apply the first layer of dots to all glasses.
  5. Allow glasses to dry.
  6. Once your first dotted layers have dried, continue to add more and more dots to your glasses, stemming from the base of the glass and upward.  
  7. Let glasses dry completely for about an hour or two. Once dry, stand glasses upright on sheet pan and put into cold oven.
  8. Turn oven to 350° and bake for 30 minutes. This allows the paint to set so it won’t come off after use and washing.
  9. When finished, turn off oven and allow glasses to cool in oven for an hour before handling.

 

“When Life Gives You Lemons” Sugar Scrub

What you need:

  • 2.5 cups white sugar
  • 1 Cup olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • Mason jar

Instructions:

  1. Mix sugar and oil in a boil, stirring until well combined.
  2. Add lemon juice and continue to combine ingredients. You are aiming for a semi-wet exfoliant texture, as pictured above.
  3. Using a spoon, transfer the scrub into your mason jar. We recommend not filling the jars up fully, as oil leakage can occur if packed too tightly. Violà – an instantly amazing gift!

 

Cinna-Circle Candle

What you need:

  • Pillar candle
  • Fresh cinnamon sticks (can purchase at local grocery store in spice aisle)
  • Hot glue gun / glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Twine or decorative string of your choice

Instructions:

  1. Apply hot glue to side of cinnamon stick and affix cinnamon stick to the candle upright. Do not apply glue to candle directly!
  2. When first cinnamon stick is dry, go ahead and repeat with the second, affixing it comfortably next to the first cinnamon stick. Continue to do this until you have covered the entire outer layer of the candle.
  3. Make sure that all sticks are securely attached to the candle. If any fall off, re-glue as needed.
  4. Use twine or string of choice to further secure the cinnamon sticks in place and add the finishing touch!

 


As the Senior Designer, Kelsey is responsible for the conceptualization and design of solutions that support and strengthen Her Campus on all levels. While managing junior designers, Kelsey manages and oversees the creative needs of Her Campus’s 260+ chapters nationwide and abroad. Passionate about campaign ideation and finding innovative design solutions for brands, Kelsey works closely with the client services team to develop integrated marketing and native advertising campaigns for Her Campus clients such as Macy’s, UGG, Merck, Amtrak, Intel, TRESemmé and more. A 2012 college graduate, Kelsey passionately pursued English Literature, Creative Writing and Studio Art at Skidmore College. Born in and native to Massachusetts, Kelsey supplements creative jewelry design and metal smithing with a passion for fitness and Boston Bruins hockey. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_thornFollow her on Instagram: @kelsey_thorn
Kate is the Associate Editor of Her Campus. Before joining the staff full-time, Kate was the Campus Correspondent for the HC Skidmore College chapter as well as an editorial intern, Love editor, and national contributing writer for HC. In addition to her work with Her Campus, Kate has been a Sex & Love stringer and digital editorial intern for WomensHealthMag.com and an Inner Circle Trendspotter for MTV. Kate graduated from Skidmore College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. In her spare time, Kate is usually spotted writing fiction, playing tennis, reading pop culture blogs until her eyes hurt, baking cookies, or dreaming up her next travel adventure.
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