How to Make Cheap Gifts Look Great

It’s that time of year again- Christmas. And you know what that means? Buying gifts for every person you’ve come in contact with just in case they got you something, even if you aren't close. It also means buying that perfect gift for your friends, family and significant others. Let’s face it; December in college is stressful enough, and it's only harder when you add buying gifts with your teeny tiny bank account to the weeks’ agenda. 


One of the best hacks I've learned when it comes to buying gifts for friends is buying gifts in bulk. Last Christmas, I bought a bulk pack of scrunchies, a bulk pack of assorted enamel pins, bulk stickers, and a 5-pack of fuzzy socks. I split it up between my three closest friends and a handful of other friends. 


Now, I could just throw the scrunchies, pins, and socks into bags and call it a day. Instead, I took the creative route. A few weeks prior, I had received a makeup package in two very cute boxes. I repainted the boxes and then made a makeshift third box. For the pins, I printed pictures out that were related to what the pin was (for example, I got someone an avocado pin, so I printed a picture of guacamole) and put it on thick cardstock, making a back that looked like it came from a store. For the socks, I pulled them from the pack and rolled them up to make them look nice and cute. 


For other gifts, I made little monogram tags from cardboard and tied the whole gift together with a ribbon made from leftover wrapping paper. 


Photo by Courtney White


I did this for all of the bulk stuff I got. When my friends opened them, they thought I spent a lot of money on it, not the $5 it cost in reality.


This year, I bought my Secret Santa a letter peg board, fluffy socks, and a Montclair State scrunchie. I opened the peg board and spelled out “Merry Christmas!” on it. I tucked the scrunchies around the socks and put it all in the box, which I put a cute sticky note on that said, “Open me :)”. I wrapped the whole thing in a piece of drawing paper, making sure all the edges were neatly folded. I spend a good portion of my time at school hemming dresses, pants and fixing other clothing, so used the extra fabric to wrap the box and made a reusable bow. I took markers to the paper and added trees, stars, and hearts.


By doing some simple DIY-ing and getting crafty with what you have, it’s easy to make the cheapest of gifts look nicer. Plus, it shows you took a little more care when putting them together!


Photo by Courtney White