Gift-giving is part of the holiday season, but not all gifts have to be purchased. In fact there is something to be said about creating gifts – they are meaningful, thoughtful, and let’s face it, can be less expensive. If you’re like us and looking for ways to save this holiday season, keep reading to find out about some budget-friendly gifts you can DIY (last-minute or otherwise) that your friends and family would love to receive!
- Gourmet Hot Chocolate Mix
This hot chocolate mix can be portioned into large jars and layered with mini chocolate chips, marshmallows, or crushed candy cane for an extra elegant presentation. Tie a ribbon around the jar and add a little gift tag and it’s done. Check out the recipe below from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
- 3 cups dry nonfat or whole milk powder
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ cups cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Working in batches, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until well combined. This recipe works best in a ratio of ⅓ cup mix to 1 cup milk of choice. Enjoy!
- Cookie Mix in a Jar
This DIY might be one of the easiest ones here! All you need is a gift tag, a 1-quart jar for the ingredients and you’re halfway there.
Cookie Mix Ingredients:
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Layer the ingredients above into a jar, packing the mix down as you go. Attach the directions below to the jar so the recipient knows how best to enjoy these cookies.
Preheat oven to 375° F. Beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter or margarine, 1 large egg, and 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until blended.
Add cookie mix and 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional); mix well, breaking up any clumps. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
- Personalized Mug
If you have children old enough to handle paint, you might want to let them try their hand at making one or two of these mugs for the family. All you need are some acrylic paint markers, plain mugs, and a little (or a lot of) imagination! You can write sayings, inside jokes, holiday puns, or just cute doodles.
Once you’ve finished your masterpieces, put the mugs on a tray and place them in the cool oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (with the mugs inside) and bake them for 30 minutes after the oven is done preheating. You can opt to seal the paint once it’s baked with some clear mod-podge or water-based varnish too, but make sure to tell your giftees not to place these in the dishwasher.
- Handmade Painting
Have you ever looked at a piece of modern art and thought “I could do that”? Well here’s your chance! Similar to the last DIY, you’ll need to get your creative cap on for this one. You can grab all your supplies from Dollar Tree to make a wonderful piece of contemporary art on a dime.
The best part about color theory is that once you have a few basic colors (white, black, red, blue, yellow) you can make any color you want! The sky’s the limit with these paintings, but check out this article from apartment therapy if you need some inspiration.
- Cocoa Bombs
These were an internet sensation last year and you can bet people will be on the hunt for more this year. These are a little more time-consuming than the rest of the recipes on this list but are so worth it in the end.
- Silicone sphere mold
- Chocolate (candy melts or chocolate chips)
- Hot cocoa mix
- Using a double boiler method, melt the amount of chocolate you’ll need for your mold. Make sure no water touches the chocolate, or it can seize up.
- Once the chocolate is melted, scoop it into your molds. Once they’re all filled you can use the back of a spoon to smooth out the insides. Turn them over and let the chocolate drip back into the bowl if you have a bit too much. You’ll want to work in thin layers to make sure they set all the way through.
- Let the chocolate set for 15 minutes in the fridge and then add another layer of chocolate on top of the last layer. Let it set in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the half-spheres from the mold. If the edges are rough, melt them down slightly on a warm plate.
- Fill half of the shells with hot cocoa mix and any other add-ins you’d like. Use the warm plate to slightly melt the rim of the other empty halves so that you can stick the two shell halves together to form a sphere.
- It’s time to decorate! Set the ball down in the mold and drizzle some more chocolate on top and add sprinkles or some crushed peppermint for that holiday touch. You can put these in a little box lined with parchment or a cellophane bag for gifting.
We hope this sparked some inspiration to help share a little bit of handmade love this holiday season. If you’re looking for more traditional gifts but still want to save money, we think you’ll love our other gift guides: 10 On-Budget Cozy Gift Ideas and The 10 Most Popular Toys of 2021. Happy holidays from all of us at Flipp!