Debt-Free DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Debt Free Deals, Debt-Free University

There are no two ways about it: December is an expensive month. Fortunately, with some craft supplies and just a little bit of know how virtually anyone can pull off awesome seasonal savings by crafting up a storm, and creating unique holiday gifts for friends, family members, and coworkers.

I know, I know, it’s not December yet.

Guess what? The best way to save money over the holidays is to start purchasing and making gifts ASAP.

Don’t get stuck spending a whole bunch of money on a hectic last minute shopping spree: go home-made for the holidays. Check out these nifty diy gifties and start crafting!

1. Oh So Original Ornament Wreath

This ornament wreath is super cheap and easy to make. The best part about it? It doesn’t look cheap or easy to make at all once you’ve finished it.


What You Need:

  •  A Pool Noodle ($2 at Canadian Tire or Walmart- you may have to ask if any are in the back)
  • Ornaments ($3-$6 for a whole bunch at Dollarama, or use old ones)
  • Hot Glue Sticks ($2 at Dollarama for a pack of 12 or $10 for a 100 pack at Walmart)
  • A Glue Gun ($3-$6 at Walmart or Dollarama)

Click here for a quick tutorial on how to assemble this cool craft by Hometalk.

Total cost: about $6 to make (not including cost of glue gun which you can use time and time again)

Who to give it to: a Christmas crazy friend or family member who loves home decor.

2. Breathtaking Brownie Mix in a Jar

This quick gift is a timeless classic. Simply layer all of the dry ingredients for mouth watering brownies in a nice jar, add a decorative tag and gift away!


What you need: 

  • 1 1/4 Cups of Flour ($0.50)
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder ($0.10)
  • 1 Tsp Salt ($0.01)
  • 2/3 Cup of Cocoa ($1.20)
  • 2 1/4 Cups of White Sugar ($0.50)
  • optional: 1/2 Cup of Chopped Nuts ($1.00) or Chocolate Chips ($0.50)
  • A Jar ($0.50)
  • Tag and Thread ($0.10)

Click here for assembly instructions from All Recipes.

Total Cost: $2-$3 per jar depending on add-ins

Who to give it to: Someone with a sweet tooth and no time for baking from scratch or an awkward secret Santa that you know nothing about.

3. Nifty Arm Knit Infinity Scarf

Not only is this ultra chic scarf gorgeous, even a beginner can make it in as little as 20 minutes. Arm knitting is super quick and it requires no needles or additional materials, just you, your arms, some wool, and a little time.


What you need: 

  • Yarn ($4 and up at Walmart)

Click here for a quick tutorial by CICO Books.

Total Cost: $4

Who to give it to: your favourite fashionista.

4. Awe-Inspiring Infinity Bracelet

The infinity symbol is on a bit of a hot streak. If you go into local jewelry stores you can probably find an infinity bracelet for $20-$40, or you can make one for only a few dollars for an even more personalized gift.


What you need: 

  • S Hook ($1 for a pack at Home Depot, Rona or pretty well any hardware store)
  • Leather or Suede Cord ($8 for a giant pack at Michael’s, $2-$3 at Dollarama for a smaller pack)
  • Jump Rings ($3 for a pack of 85 at Michael’s)

Click here for a diy tutorial by The Sorry Girls.

Total Cost: $1-$2 per bracelet depending on how much cord you use.

Who to give it to: someone who you’ll hold dear until the end of time.

5. Easy DIY Journal/ Sketch Book

As an English major, I have a natural predisposition to obsessively hoaring journals and writing pads. Although I am a little finicky with what I choose to write on these ultra cute journals pass the test.


What you need:

  • Regular Printer Paper ($0.25 or less for the 7 sheets you need)
  • Crop-a-Dile Punch Tool ($10 at Walmart if you don’t have one- this is a hole making tool so you can try to make your own holes if money’s really tight)
  • String or Twine ($1 at Dollarama)
  • Paper Trimmer or Scissors ($2 at Dollarama)
  • Embellishments for the Cover (Stamps/ Ink available for $1 or less at Dollarama, or paint or draw your own)
  • Paper, Leather, Faux Leather, Oil Cloth or Fabric for Cover (free if you’re using left over material)

Click here for a how to guide by A Beautiful Mess

Total Cost: $1-$2 per journal, can be more depending on cover materials.

Who to give it to: your favourite literature lover.

6. Dashing DIY Bow Tie

This diy bow tie is a great gift for stylish fellows. Help him look perfect in holiday pictures and give him a one of a kind accessory that he won’t soon forget.

tie-809378_960_720What you need:

  • 1/4 Yard of Fabric (thrift it up for only a few cents per tie)
  • 1/4 Yard of Pellon 950F ShirTailor Interfacing (about $0.50 as Pellon is about $2/yard at most fabric stores)
  • Matching Thread (only a few cents for the amount you’ll use)

Click here for a tutorial guide by Sew Like My Mom.

Total Cost: $1 or less per tie (can be more depending on material)

Who to give it to: the classic gentleman on your list.

7. Super Sweet Sock Monkey

One of the many weird jobs I held down during my college days involved sewing sock monkeys and teaching children to sew them as well. I can say with great confidence that this craft is so easy that even a kid can do it (although they should be supervised and old enough be left with a needle and buttons if you are going to get a kid to help you).


What you need: 

  • Pair of Socks ($1-$5 … pro tip: check out Ardene to find really funky patterns)
  • Thread ($0.05)
  • Cotton or Polyester Stuffing ($0-$3, you can get this at Walmart or cut open cushions from Dollarama)
  • Buttons ($0.25)

Click here for a diy tutorial by Urban Threads.

Total Cost: $5 or less

Who to give it to: a young family member or young-at-heart friend, family member, or coworker.

8. Gorgeous Galaxy Bath Bomb

Avoid lineups at Lush and the mania of the mall by making your own diy bath bomb.


What you need:

  • Epsom Salt ($0.50 at Bulk Barn)
  • Lemon Juice ($0.10)
  • Baking Soda ($0.05)
  • Water (Free)
  • Food Coloring ($0.50)
  • Optional- Fragrance
  • Optional- Glitter Or Eye Shadow
  • Spray Bottle (use an old hairspray bottle to save)
  • Tupperware or a Plastic Easter Egg for a Mold
  • Bowl and Spoon for Mixing

Click here for a tutorial by Bustle.

Total Cost: $2 (can be way more especially if you use expensive eye shadow or fragrance… if you’re on a budget don’t use expensive eye shadow or fragrance)

Who to give it to: your favourite stress case or hard worker who really needs a home spa self care day.

Happy making!


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