Actually Free DIY Gift Ideas:

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1. Playlist

The most useful and romantic present my boyfriend ever gave me is the wonderful spotify “Mixtape” he made me. Combine songs you love and songs the receiver loves, along with some awesome new songs and BAM! Wonderfully sweet and useful present.


2. Recipe Book

This gift is versatile on how it can be created because it can be made with some small photoshop skills, or scrapbooking skills depending on what you prefer. Find out your receiver’s favorite foods and cooking skill levels, and look on pinterest for the best recipes to add to your special book. Throw in some family recipes, or make it all family recipes. Have a theme (Gourmet Dorm Meals? Best Hanukkah Desserts? 15 Different ways to make a tamale?) or pick personal things you think they’d love. The possibilities are endless.

Image via Live Laugh Rowe

3. Photo Album

While we have instagram now for easy storage, there’s something special about seeing your favorite or forgotten pictures all laid out on a physical book. A DIY book of colored paper or simply a digital album edited with notes and doodles will remind your receiver of the good memories you share with them.


4. Poetry

I promise, poems are not that bad to write! They can be as simple as a fun haiku about your receiver’s pet or a rhyme about a fun memory you guys share, such as when you destroyed them at Mario Kart and they still claim it was the controller’s fault.


5. Short Story

Writing a story can sound intimidating, but when using a story generator for the baseline, it can make a great free present, especially if you have the receiver as the protagonist. Honestly, the wackier the story, the funnier it is and easier it is to write. It’s easy to make this one special to the receiver. Make the setting their favorite video game world, the end goal something silly, like their favorite Starbucks drink, and the villain could be their cranky boss, or better yet, you!


6. Your Favorite Book

While the idea of giving up a book you love can be difficult to grasp, it’s also a nice gesture to give them something you actually place value in. Plus, the fact that it is your beloved story, not some random bought book, makes the gift even more special. Write a note on the inside on the book for them so it works as a card as well.

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7. A Love List

Make a digital list or fill up a mason jar with little notes of all the reasons you appreciate them. It’s a cute way to show them the things you love about them. They don’t really know the reasons you love them, so break it down on all the reasons on these cute gifts.


8. A Song

If you’re musically adept, learning how to play their favorite song, or better yet, creating a song for them, is an amazing gift that is surprisingly never given often. My friend sang an original song to her best friend to the beat of “Hey there Delilah” while playing her ukulele. The best friend still claims it’s the only gift to make her cry happy tears. If you can sing, or play an instrument, this might be the free DIY gift to give.


9. Food

This is a fairly popular DIY gift and for good reason! Who doesn’t love food? To spice it up, try making their favorite dinner and freeze it. This way, on nights they don’t want to cook, they can pop out the meal from the freezer and have a home cooked meal whenever.

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10. Letter

Writing a thoughtful or humorous letter to them is a straight shot to the heart as well. In the age of instant communication, slowing down and writing something for them shows something more special than a direct message can.


11. Video

Make a video for them! Reenact a favorite memory, make a photo slide video with music, create a compilation video of your videos of them, or say all the 101 reasons you love them. This one is quite open-ended so there are a million different ways to have fun with this one.


12. Design a 3D Printed Ornament

Use a free app, like 123D Design, to craft an ornament on your computer, then use resources such as the OU Innovation hub to get your item made for free!


13. Special Date

Look around for free events and places to take your receiver for a special day together. There’s nothing more valuable than the time you give. A date around OU campus could include a walk around the free Fred Jones Art Museum, or a night to the free movie showings at the Union. Looking at your local area’s website can give lots of great ideas on finding fun free dates. Bonus points if you bring sandwiches for a picnic! Adorable and budget friendly!

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