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12 Easy DIY Gifts That Cost Less Than $three to Make

A recipe box sits on a table with recipes on index cards sitting outside the box with spices and measuring spoons. This is a cheap DIY gift you can give someone for Christmas.


A easy however significant present is to put collectively a recipe field. Write your loved ones’s favourite recipes on index playing cards and wrap them in ribbon or put them in a recipe field. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

You don’t have to spend some huge cash to present somebody how a lot they imply to you.

We put collectively a listing of 12 straightforward DIY items you may make for $three or much less that may make somebody smile, present them you admire them and make them really feel particular.

And you may make the present much more private by packaging it in DIY present wrap that’s fancy however nonetheless frugal.

1. Instagram Photo Album

If your good friend or relative has an Instagram account, you’ll be able to take screenshots of a number of photographs off of their feed and print them at Walmart. If you utilize the Walmart Photo app, you’ll be able to print them at an in-store kiosk for about 10 cents every. Put them in a $1 photograph album from a greenback retailer.

This might be a terrific present for teenagers or school college students who might want to have precise photographs — and never simply digital ones — years down the highway.


You can create an album filled with your youngsters’ art work that may be given to grandparents. Use the Walmart app to print four×6 prints and purchase an album at a greenback retailer for $1. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

2. Kids’ Art Photo Album

Take photographs of your youngsters’ artwork — whether or not it’s artwork they not too long ago created in class or items you’ve saved through the years — and use the Walmart Photo app to print them at a value of about 10 cents every. Put them in a $1 photograph album from the greenback retailer. It’s an ideal present for grandparents.

three. Personalized Directional Signs 

A enjoyable, customized present is to create a set of directional indicators pointing to the particular person’s favourite locations. Identify the cities, cities, seashores, schools or different places which can be necessary to the particular person, after which lookup what number of miles away it’s from the particular person’s house.

Buy a bundle of 25 slender, pointed wood stakes from a spot like Walmart. The stakes price about $9.50, so in case you make 4 units of six indicators, it’ll price about $2.37 a set. Use paint or paint pens to write the names and distance of the landmarks on the stakes. They can then be individually mounted to an inside wall or nailed to a deck railing, a put up that holds a hammock, or fence put up.

four. Zen Sand Box 

These normally promote for $10 to $30, however you’ll be able to create a Zen sand field prepared for meditative raking at little price. Here’s what you want to make up to 10 Zen gardens:

A bag of easy aquarium sand: $5
Wooden forks for natural-looking “rakes”: $four.39 for 100
An smallish, empty field (like ones used for jewellery or tea baggage): Free
Popsicle sticks: 100 for $1.79 at Target
Rocks or shells present in your yard, the park or the seashore: Free

Here’s how to flip these supplies right into a Zen sand field:

Cut the popsicle sticks down to match the 4 sides of the field, and glue them to the skin of the field.
Add sand, rake, rocks and/or shells.
Tape the lid on very tightly so you’ll be able to wrap the field.  Put the sealed field right into a plastic bag, after which wrap it.

5. DIY Snow Globe

You could make a snow globe utilizing small trinkets. A small decoration can be utilized for a holiday-themed snow globe, or you may make a customized one utilizing favourite Lego characters, Polly Pocket dolls, or classic collectible figurines or tchotchkes discovered at a thrift retailer or yard sale.

You’ll additionally want to get some glycerin, which is what makes glitter fall slowly within the snow glove. Glycerin is a non-toxic, odorless and colorless alcoholic liquid normally present in animal fat and vegetable oils. It’s used as a pores and skin conditioner and will be discovered at drugstores for round $three for a small bottle.

Here’s how to make one:

Clean out an empty pickle jar, jelly jar or one other jar that’s related in dimension.
Glue the ornamental piece or items to the lid of the jar, and ensure they’re dried and safe earlier than shifting on to the subsequent step.
Fill the jar nearly filled with water. Make certain to measure how a lot water you’re placing within the jar since you’ll want to know for the subsequent step.
Add two to three teaspoons of glycerin per cup of water.
Add a couple of tablespoon of glitter.
Put superglue on the lid, then screw it on tightly.
Shake and luxuriate in!

A recipe box sits on a table with recipes on index cards sitting outside the box with spices and measuring spoons. This is a cheap DIY gift you can give someone for Christmas.
This Pioneer Woman Baking Recipe Box was bought from Walmart for $2.97 plus tax. Chris Zuppa / The Penny Hoarder

6. Family Recipe Box

You can do that digitally or you are able to do this the old style manner. If you’re choosing a digital model, create a file of favourite recipes, then write the title of the file on a card. If you’d like to have a bodily recipe field, you’ll be able to print out the recipes on playing cards or paper, and wrap up the gathering. Add some measuring spoons from the greenback retailer, which you will get for about $1. You may even personalize the spoons with paint pens.

7. Late Curfew

If you’ve got a young person, they’ll be thrilled to get a do-it-yourself “gift card” for an prolonged curfew on New Year’s Eve or the night time of their selecting. This present received’t price you something however perhaps just a few grey hairs.

eight. Late Bedtime

The identical goes for providing an elementary-aged son or daughter the prospect to keep up an hour or two previous bedtime.

9. Make Your Own Wreck This Journal

A sequence of intelligent journals referred to as Wreck This Journal is ideal for youths aged 5 to 10. Each web page has a immediate: depart a mark on the web page, rub dust on it, write your title along with your eyes closed, paint with espresso, or colour exterior the strains.

You could make you personal by shopping for a spiral pocket book on the greenback retailer and writing directions on every web page. Here are some prompts you can begin with that aren’t in Wreck This Journal:

Write your title as huge as you’ll be able to.
Write your title as small as you’ll be able to.
Crumple this web page up right into a ball and toss it into your trash can from no less than 10 toes away.
Draw an image of your own home throughout a snowstorm, rainstorm and heatwave.
Draw an image of a turkey along with your hand, tear it into eight items then tape it again collectively.
Paint on this web page with a paintbrush dipped in your canine’s water bowl.

You may even provide you with some prompts of your personal!

10. Custom Spotify Playlist

A custom playlist full of songs is loaded on an iPad on a Spotify playlist with ear buds on top of the playlist. This is a free gift you can give music lovers on Christmas.
You can create a customized Spotify playlist filled with songs as a free current for music lovers. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Create a customized Spotify playlist for music lovers or sentimental kinfolk in your record.

For the sentimental contact, embody songs from films or performs you noticed collectively, songs you danced to, songs you listened to lots within the automobile on a sure highway journey or songs with significant lyrics.

For the music buff, do a little analysis and assemble songs they’ve by no means heard however will take pleasure in primarily based on their most popular artists. Write the track record on a bit of paper and wrap. After they open their present, ask if you should use their cellphone for a couple of minutes so you’ll be able to create the playlist on their Spotify account for them.

11. Pick-Up Sticks

Collect 20 chopsticks over the subsequent month from Asian eating places to make your personal set of pickup sticks. Use Sharpies or paint pens to enhance them with patterns, phrases or names.

12. Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets 

OK, this isn’t precisely a DIY present, however it’s a simple one which doesn’t price lots. Three $1 tickets may find yourself being price much more, however even when they aren’t, it’s enjoyable to scratch and dream.

Katherine Snow Smith is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

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