Checking your bank account during the holidays is a surefire way to demolish any warm fuzzies. But if you’re willing to get a little crafty, you can totally deck the halls without maxing your credit card. After all, some of the best gifts are the ones someone clearly put time and effort into.
So roll up your sleeves and channel your inner Martha Stewart—we’ve got plenty of easy, money-saving DIY gift ideas for everyone on your list. The best part? You’ll be able to make most of these in bulk, so you can be the generous gifter you’ve always wanted to be.
Yes, it’s served cold, but there’s still no better way to warm up and get in the holiday spirit than a glass of coquito. Coquito, which means “little coconut” in Spanish, is essentially Puerto Rican eggnog. It’s easy to make in big batches—just pour into upcycled bottles or mason jars, and use some festive ribbon to tie a cinnamon stick to the top.
This delicious-smelling scrub is ridiculously easy to make in bulk. The five-ingredient mixture includes exfoliating sugars and moisturizing coconut oil. Feel free to add a little drop of vanilla for an extra yummy scent, but you’ll probably end up licking it off the spoon as you make it.
Name a better smelling time of year—I’ll wait. Dropping ingredients like cinnamon, orange, pine, and cloves into a simmering pot will make your home smell like a winter wonderland. Click here for some suggestions for great scent combinations, ways to save while shopping for ingredients, and printable gift labels.
Everyone loves a gift you can eat, especially one that’s clearly homemade. Granola is one of the simplest and most customizable foods there is. Sure, it’s not typically low in sugar, but we’ve got plenty of better-for-you recipe ideas if you’re gifting a health nut.
All right, so these coffee gift boxes probably aren’t something you’d make in mega bulk, but you can’t deny they’re adorable! Toss some Keurig pods or a quality bag of joe in with a mug (you can never have too many coffee mugs, right?) and some eucalyptus or pine for added festivity.
If you want to take that coffee kit to the next level, these gold-dipped mugs are a great addition and also awesome on their own. Hit up your local secondhand shop or dollar store for some cheap white mugs, then give them a beautiful new life by adding snazzy gold paint. Hot tip: Painters’ tape makes this one doable for those of us prone to Pinterest-fails. ::Raises hand::
We weren’t all #blessed with an Italian grandmother who whips up batches of fresh basil pesto on the regular. But with a great recipe, a food processor, and some recycled jars, you too can give the gift of garlicky goodness.
Aside from fancy farmer’s markets, when do you get the chance to bottle your own spices? The holidays are the perfect opportunity to bust out a bunch of your favorite blends (like ranch mix and Italian or taco seasoning) at a fraction of the store-bought price. This site not only has recipe inspo but also provides free, printable tags.
According to Ohioans, there’s a difference between buckeyes and peanut butter balls (not much difference, but it’s a state treasure so we won’t argue). These little balls of chocolate and PB are melt-in-your-mouth good and so easy to make—just try not to eat the entire batch before wrapping them up.
These cute sugar cookie kits are an easy way to take a standard boxed cookie mix and make it gift worthy. Is it cheating? Maybe. But hey, when you’re trying to spread maximum holiday cheer, sometimes cutting corners is worth it. Scope out the dollar store for a wooden spoon and a holiday cookie cutter, and you’re good to go.
Looking for another use for all those essential oils you bought when you decided to practice more self-care? (How’s that going by the way?) Because a drop or two of essential oil goes a long way, these festive room spray mixtures are an affordable gift to make in bulk. You can find glass spray bottles for super cheap on Amazon.
Yet another gift suggestion that comes in a jar, we know. But this manicure kit idea is an awesome way to gift self-care and supply some things people typically hate buying on their own (cuticle pushers—fun!). Throw in a festive nail polish and some cotton ball snow to make these even more seasonally appropriate.
First things first: Not only are these created from cheap ingredients, but you can make these caramels in the microwave. Pop on a holiday movie, bust out a few batches, and boom—you now have gifts for all those people you didn’t expect presents from. Does it get any easier?
Who doesn’t love candles? Spare yourself the price tag of a bougie Anthropologie candle by using a DIY kit like this one from Amazon. Trust us: A few drops of essential oil or pine scent will make these smell as good as any $45 candle out there.
Still in search of the perfect present? We’ve got tons more gift ideas right here.
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Jamey Powell is Greatist’s associate fitness editor, as well as a NASM certified personal trainer, cycling instructor, yoga teacher, and triathlete. When she isn’t sweating, she’s usually eating or trying to pet someone’s dog. You can follow her antics on Instagram.