DIY Christmas Gift Guide

DIY Christmas Gift Guide

When you’re a starving artist, you must rely on your craftiness to play Santa. Here are some DIY gift ideas from my personal ballin’ on a budget repertoire.

Coconut Sugar Scrub

This was a hit last year! All you have to do is mix coconut oil (I prefer the refined stuff, as it smells less coconutty) with white or brown sugar. Add some flavour in the form of spices or citrus. Gift to anyone who complains of dry skin or hippies who eschew traditional bath products. (Please note, when used in the shower, it will make the bathtub slippery. Definitely warn people about this or you might inadvertently give the gift of bruises).

Needle Crafts

If you can’t knit or crochet, don’t worry – there are still lots of crafty options available to you. A friend once gave me a pair of magic gloves (the cheap-o, stretchy kind) embellished with some felt shapes and buttons. She sewed the shapes on with a basic running stitch. The gloves are not only unique and pretty, they felt bits add some extra warmth. There’s also cross-stitch, the easiest of all embroidery (especially on plastic grids), and there are some amazing and hilariously irreverent patterns out there. Here’s a couple I made last year.

Baked Goods

Everyone loves cookies and muffins, and making them is way cheaper than buying (not to mention way healthier if you keep the sugar in check). Check out or for excellent recipes. And if you’re really pressed for time, just throw the dry ingredients in a nice-looking jar and add recipe and ribbons – violà, a DIY kit! Kids, inexperienced bakers and lazy people love it when you do the measuring for them.

Spice Selection

The perfect gift for 20-somethings who just moved out of their parents’ house, or friends who want to learn to cook. Grab a selection of spices from the bulk store (where you can get a dozen of the most-used ones for under 5 bucks) and then hit the dollar store for some shaker jars. Label and put in a container of some kind. Get bonus points by including recipes. Here’s a few I put together for a young vegan a few years back, including basic info on a variety of ways to cook vegetables.

Mix CDs

Yes, a blast from the past, but this one never gets old. Choose a theme (Party Time, Rockin’ Christmas Tunes, You Know You’re Old When) and make a list of songs. Check out the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, or head over to for inspiration. Take the time to put them in order, and cut & paste a fun cover with a handwritten track list. Even if the music fan in your life just rips it straight to their iTunes, they’ll think of you whenever that playlist comes on.

20141116_103642Sewing Projects

Have a sewing machine a some basic skill? Try these easy sewing projects.

Bow Belt

Shopping Bag

Vintage scarf top


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