Handmade from the heart


Do-it-yourself for the perfect gifts
text: Kellie Miller / image: Basil Sar


If you have a long to-do list and a small budget for Christmas gifts, giving homemade gifts is a thrifty option. They add a special touch that makes a gift more personal and they are simple to make. It shows that you took the time to put special effort into the gift and it also saves you money during the holidays. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Personalized mug: For this, all you need is a plain mug and some Sharpies. I picked up my mug from the Dollar Tree and got a pack of oil-based Sharpies from Michaels. You can draw a picture on it or write a quote, joke or message— something special between you and the gift receiver. It is simple and meaningful and perfect for anyone, whether it is for Grandma, your boyfriend or your boss.

  2. Peppermint hot cocoa jar: This is another super easy way to give a gift that is cute and delicious. All you need is a Mason jar, hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows and peppermint candies. I got the jar at Michaels for $1 and the edibles at Safeway for about $5. Fill your Mason jar a little more than halfway with the cocoa mix. Next, layer the jar with marshmallows and top it off with a layer of peppermint candies. Tie a ribbon around the lid for an extra touch.

  3. Make-up box: It is always convenient to have one place to store your make-up and this project lets you do that in a cute way. You will need a wooden box, tacky glue, paint, ribbon and coffee beans. I got all of these supplies at Michaels for a total of $10, except the coffee beans, which were already at home. First, paint the inside of the box. Next, spread tacky glue around the outside of the box (I spread it with a paintbrush so it was thin and even.) Wrap your ribbon around the outside and press down so it sticks with the tacky glue. Let it dry while you paint your coffee beans. Once everything is painted and glued dry, fill the box with the beans and now your make-up can stand up in the box.

  4. Wall art: Here is a simple way to add something personal to any room. You will need a canvas, letter stickers and spray paint. I got these supplies from Michaels for a total of $15. Find a quote, lyrics or any phrase meaningful to you and spell it out on the canvas using the stickers. Next, pick a spray paint color you like and spray the whole thing so that the letters and background match. Let it dry and you are done. Seeing a message from you in your loved one’s home is an easy reminder of you for them.


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