4 Easy DIY Christmas Presents

The holiday season is here and the best part is picking out the perfect gift for someone and seeing their reaction when they open it. Shopping for presents with a college student’s wallet and final exam schedule can be tricky. One of the best solutions is DIY presents. Gifting a loved one something handmade can be meaningful and much less expensive than a store bought gift. Here are some of my favorite DIY Christmas presents.


1. Hanging Photos


This project is very easy and can be done in under an hour. I chose a picture of each of my dogs as well as my siblings to highlight as a Christmas present for my mom. I used wooden plaques each under $5 from Michaels, Mod Podge found for under $5 from Target, a hot glue gun, ribbon and three photos printed on normal printer paper. I simply traced the outline of the plaque around the photo, cut it out, and Mod Podged it onto the plaque using a foam paint brush. Adding a layer of Mod Podge on top of the photos strengthens the adhesion of the photos to the wood. Finally, I hot glued a circle of ribbon to each of the photos so my mom could hang all three on a wall together. This is a great gift to remind someone of some of your favorite memories together, and they can appreciate your gift every time they walk by it.


2. Meaningful Canvas


My Grandma recently moved from a ranch to the suburbs and has been missing her favorite cows. So, I decided to paint a cow on a canvas for her so in a way she can still have cows in her suburban home. I signed up to receive coupons emailed from Michaels, and always take advantage of the great deals on buying a set of canvases. The paint is also rather inexpensive, as well as the brushes.


3. Trendy Picture Frame


Whether it is your mom or a friend with a lot of empty spaces to fill in their apartment, gifting someone a meaningful picture provides them with a source of decoration. Trendy picture frames are extremely cheap and easy to make, and will make your loved ones happy to have a pre-framed photo ready to be set on their desk or on an end table. I used twine found for cheap and clothespins on sale from Michaels, to make a cute way to hang photos. Using clothespins always makes it easy for someone to interchange the photo in the frame. I used some cardstock scraps to make a little banner at the top, and hot glued the ends of the twine to the back of the wood pallet. The wood pallet is from Target and can be found for cheap at most craft stores.


4. Map Coasters


Map coasters are the perfect gifts for someone who loves traveling or has a happy place. I made these for my dad and brother, and included a map of one of my dad’s favorite places in Italy, and my brother’s college campus. All this present requires is some Mod Podge, a printer and inexpensive wood plaques from Michaels. I took a screenshot of the maps and printed them out, then simply Mod Podged the pictures onto the wood plaques using a foam paint brush. I then added a few layers of Mod Podge on top of the photo to make sure the photo was safely sealed.

The best season is upon us, don’t let Christmas present shopping stress you out and put a damper on your holiday spirit! Hopefully these ideas will get you started on some inexpensive, easy and meaningful presents for those you love.

All images are author’s own.