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Fun and Easy DIY Gifts that Suit Everyone’s Budgets

Fun and Easy DIY Gifts that Suit Everyone’s Budgets
Sarah Kloppenburg
Remember when you were eight and you made your parents a hand-turkey card for Thanksgiving? Let me guess, mom and dad probably still have that turkey stashed somewhere while the designer card, for which you paid $3.99, was tossed a week after their birthdays. Your parents don’t care that the turkey cost you next to nothing to make—it was the time you spent tracing your hand with a Crayola thick-tip marker (getting more ink on your hand than the paper) that means more to them than anything else.
You still have the ability to give gifts that people will value long past their tiny price tags. A hand-made gift, made with one person especially in mind, gives you the power of creating something with the person’s favorite colors, interests, or patterns.
Because of the personalization possibilities, the following DIY gifts are perfect for birthdays, sorority sister presents, and any other occasion you could possibly think of. Any supplies listed can be found in the craft section of Wal-Mart. These ideas for frugal and earth-friendly (no packaging, etc.) gift giving will serve you well in the future!
Picture Frames
Wal-Mart has a great selection of plain wooden frames in their craft section, and even the largest 5”x7” frames are less than $10. With $2.99 acrylic paint and $.99 paintbrush, you can make a cute and solid frame. For an antique look, take paper towels and wipe some of the paint off after applying a coat (the grain of the wood tends to look most natural). Round sponge brushes are inexpensive as well, and they make stenciling and polka dots very easy. Animal prints are extremely difficult to do by hand, but with a stencil, it only takes a few minutes!

You can always add a monogram, too! The easiest way is with a paint pen. Paint pens allow you to create details that are difficult with even the smallest paintbrush. For less than $10, you can have a totally adorable frame. If you take your time with the project it will be nearly impossible to realize it was hand painted! Throw in a picture of you and your bestie and she will surely love the gift without ever having to know you didn’t have to break your bank in the process.
These are just as easy to make as picture frames, not to mention totally cute and practical. Buy a wooden plaque— 18”x21” for a larger board, 12”x15” for a smaller one. Lightly draw a square in the lower 2/3 of the board leaving approximately 1.5” from the bottom, right, and left of the plaque—inside the square will be the chalkboard while outside of the square will be decorated using the same techniques described in the picture frame section.

To make the chalkboard part, buy chalk board paint and apply within the lines of the square. I would suggest painting on the chalkboard before adding designs, that way the dark chalkboard paint won’t ruin your cute design. For ideas on colors, patterns, or themes, check out the DIY sections of Pinterest or Etsy. Artists and bloggers post their work on those sites and offer great design ideas.
These are just some of the easiest and most affordable ideas. In the meantime, it would be in your best interest to invest in a glue gun for about $5.99—crafting is 100x easier with one—trust me. All of these supplies are affordable and readily available at your local Wal-Mart Superstore. Get together with friends to have a DIY craft party and you can even share supplies! Create gifts for other friends and family members to hold onto forever.

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