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5 DIY and Budget Friendly Gifts for the Holidays

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Shopping for the holidays can be really difficult as a college student with a low budget. Gift hunting can be incredibly stressful and time consuming. Also, it is hard to figure out what each of your friends or family could even want. However, there are many DIY projects that can make perfect gifts for everyone while also maintaining a small budget. 

DIY gifts are a great way to put thought and personality into each gift. Everyone appreciates the time and effort it takes to make a uniquely crafted gift. It is also a great way to express your creativity and maybe even get into a newfound hobby!

Many craft stores like Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics offer weekly coupons and even special holiday deals for all your crafting needs. The best part about buying tools for craft projects is that they can be reused for more crafts which also helps to save money in the long run. There are different tutorials and guides for projects on the stores websites that make it easier to follow along.

  1. Wood Burned Cutting Board


For this project you’ll just need the woodburner tool, a wooden cutting board and assorted grit sandpaper. Lightly sand the board and use a pencil to draw a design on it. Then, use the woodburner tool to carve your design into the board. The tool can be reused and you can make designs on any piece of wood. This project would be great for customized name plates or storage crates too!

  1. Chunky Knit Blanket


For this cozy blanket project, you will need scissors, a large crochet hook and 5 skeins of large knit yarn. Michaels explains this project with a pattern, however it can be quite difficult to follow if this is your first time doing a crochet project. YouTube has a lot of great crochet tutorials that would be easier to follow along for this project. 

“Do It on a Dime” shows in a video tutorial how to make this same style blanket.

  1. Pour Painting Canvas

In this tutorial, you use a mix of pouring medium and paint colors of your choice to flow over the top of a canvas. You will need Liquitex pouring medium, paint, cups to separate each color, any size canvas of your choice and a mini strainer for the added effect. You will be mixing the pouring medium and paint together in different cups. You can either pour them separately or add multiple layers of colors in one cup to get a better swirled effect on the canvas. This is an easier paint project for those who find it hard to use paint brushes and has its own artistic look. 

  1. Beaded Wristlet


For this project, you will need key rings, a keychain, elastic cord, beads and pliers. If you choose to follow this exact project you will need more supplies for the handprint charm. However, this wristlet can be adjusted to any style for the person you are making it for by choosing the bead colors. Michaels also offers tons of singular charms that you can add onto the keychain to make it more personalized. 

  1. Boho Wall Hanging


For this beautiful home decor piece, you will need yarn, suede leather,  glue sticks with a hot glue gun, wooden beads and an embroidery hoop. To simplify this project, you can only use 1 embroidery hoop instead of 2. To achieve the ruffled yarn look you will wrap pieces around the bottom of the hoop and pull apart each strand of the yarn and cut all the same length. Next, you will use the leather to form a loop on top and add the wooden beads. This is a perfect hanging wall piece for anyone.

Although the holiday season can be stressful and hard to manage around the busiest time of year for college students, it can also be a great time to be creative. These DIY projects are sure to be great gifts for anyone and can be easily personalized while also maintaining a low budget. 

Emily Adorno

Kent State '23

Hi! I am Emily, a senior journalism major at Kent State. I love thrifting, music, and fashion.