The Best DIY Gifts of the Season

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart and the very next day…I was broke.

That’s right, Christmas shopping is around the corner and although the idea sounds nice, you know you’ll cringe when your card gets swiped. It’s nice getting gifts for your friends, but it also flattens out your wallet until it gets so thin you contemplate putting out the cookies and milk for her (my wallet’s gender is a girl, sorry not sorry).

In the jolly spirit of Christmas, here are some DIY gifts you can make for your friends that still show them some love. I’m sure they’d be jealous they didn’t think to do such a free, caring gift for you too.


1. The mailbox

Find a cute box or decorate a cardboard one with stickers and magazine cut-outs. Write 15-20 letters your friend can open throughout the school year, and place them within the box. On the envelope, write “OPEN WHEN…” and place the letter that corresponds inside. Here are some ideas:

  1. Open when you need motivation

  2. Open when you’re having an existential crisis

  3. Open when you’re feeling insecure

  4. Open when you need food (place a lollipop inside)


2. The visual journal

Find a notebook you have lying around and make a collage on every page. One can say, “You’re stunning” and another can say “Never give up!” On other pages, you can place one picture and write a couple of cute quotes underneath it. Try to fill up every page and if not, tear the others out! This kind of journal is cute to have around and serve as a reminder of your support.


3. The "read me"

Buy a cute glass vase or a mason jar from the dollar store.  You can choose the amount of slips you want to write, but try to go for at least 50 (the more you do the better). On each slip of paper, write a reason you love your friend or a memory you two shared! Fill the whole vase or jar, and then get some ribbon and tie a bow around the jar. You can also place candy throughout the jar and several candy canes on the side for decoration.


4. Tailgate apparel

We’re in college and cut-off sweatshirts and T-Shirts are essential game day wear. Order your friend’s college apparel online—cheap t-shirts from Amazon will do just the trick. Once they’re in front of you, grab a pair of scissors, find an online tutorial, and make your friend her own tailgate attire. Two to three t-shirts in different styles will be an amazing gift for your bff!


5. The ratchet scrapbook

This isn’t your ordinary scrapbook. This is a low-budget project. Find a spiral notebook, write in sharpie on the front “Schooled” or anything you feel is edgy and fun. Inside the notebook, place printed photos of your friend, any ugly screenshots you have of her, write her bad poems in pen and doodle on the side. Paste in any theatre tickets you still have from movies you’ve seen together, or any keepsakes. You can fill pages with printed out memes you’ve shared together or ones you think will make her laugh. On other pages, write jokes or riddles, funny memories you have of her, or even print out your funniest texts.


6. The mixtape

In so many old, romantic movies, the guy or girl would make their significant other a mixed tape. Why not show the same bond and sisterly love for your bestie? Make a separate playlist on Spotify for your friend and add songs that you think she’d love, songs you know she hates, best friend anthems, female anthems, or cute ones that remind you of her personality. When done, if you feel like really sealing the deal on this gift, write on a piece of paper the reason you chose each song. This could be a very meaningful, maybe funny, or touching—whatever you want it to be—kind of gift!


7. The mysterious goodies

Disclaimer: This gift idea does involve minimal spending! Get a bucket from the dollar store and  hit up every sale you know, place it inside the bucket. This can include the dollar store—put in a mini candle, a face mask, some soap, a lip gloss. You can probably find some of these in the house that you have yet to use (we’re desperate here).


8. The collage

Print out all your great photos with your friend and make a huge collage for her. You can add cute stickers on the sides and write her a sweet card about how all you want for Christmas is another year of amazing memories with her. You can make this collage on a cardboard platform or you can buy a huge picture frame from the dollar store.


9. The music video

These days, we all have funny, embarrassing, or cute videos on our phones of our best friends. Open up iMovie, put in that title slide a saying you both live by or an inside joke. Add a bumping song you know your friend loves and add an ending title slide. Make sure the video is at least more than three minutes! Add a card you wrote for her, with a candy cane taped to the top, and you are good to go!


10. The coupons

Make a booklet of coupons for your bestie. Samples of what to put inside are as follows:

  1. Movie night: Come on over and I’ll buy whatever movie you want off Demand! Popcorn’s on me.

  2. Spa treatment: Schedule an appointment with yours truly and I’ll do your nails!

  3. The Dunkin’ Donuts adventure. Are you in the mood for Dunkin’? Shoot me a text and I’ll buy you any donut you want!

  4. In the mood for a mall day? I’ll give you a ride and we can hit up the mall. Friends who shop together stay together.

  5. Am I being annoying? Here’s a coupon to give me and I’ll shut right up.

  6. Here is a free coupon for you to borrow whatever shirt of mine you want for the night.

Happy Holidays, collegiettes!