DIY gifts to save you big bucks this holiday season


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Americans plan to spend an average of $ 648 on gifts this year, according to the National Retail Federation – a considerable amount considering that, thanks to supply chain chaos, Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday are not. not as great as usual in terms of discounts. Consumers looking to use their money for other purposes – or just spending less in general – might consider tapping into their craftiness and tinkering with some holiday gifts.

If you’re worried that making your own gifts will cost more money and time than just ordering something from Amazon, fear not – we’ve spoken to some astute people to learn their favorite DIY gifts and how to create them quickly. . and at a lower cost.

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Scented candles

A collection of scented candles can cost hundreds of dollars. And even a large candle can cost up to $ 20 at the local mall. You don’t have to spend all of your hard-earned cash on fancy candles for the people on your list. You can make your own for around $ 7.50, estimated Johan Liebert, founder of DazzDeals.

“All you have to do is melt some soy wax and add your choice of essential oil to it,” Liebert said. A five-pack of these oils can cost you as little as $ 6 on Amazon. And a bag of candle wax will cost around $ 20. So you can make many candles for the price you would pay for one.

Here’s exactly what the process looks like, Liebert explained:

  • Melt the soy wax in a saucepan over low-medium heat.
  • Once melted, add 80-102 drops of your favorite essential oils. For the holiday season, you can use scents like cinnamon, pine, fig and chestnut.
  • The amount of essential oil you use depends on their potency.
  • The next step is to anchor the wicks to the bottom of a mason jar using a little wax.
  • Glue the wick vertically on a horizontal stick or pen.
  • Pour the melted wax into a mason jar.
  • Let sit until solid (about 1 hour).
  • Cut the wick to the desired length.

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Body Scrub with Sea Salt

A sea salt body scrub helps smooth skin, remove dead skin, improve circulation, and soothe dry skin – and it’s super easy to do according to Beauty Taming The Beast’s Alison Angold, who broke down the process.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A glass container
  • Sea salt
  • Sugar
  • Almond oil

“Just add a mixture of sea salt and sugar to a jar,” Angold said. “Add oil to soak gently through the sugar and salt. Stir to combine. Add a little oil on top. You can add a few drops of essential oils, if you have some on hand, to pleasantly scent the body scrub. Grapefruit is good for an uplifting aroma, lavender for soothing and relaxing. Make sure the lid is secure Add a label tied around the jar with colored tape.

Angold estimates the whole thing to cost around $ 8, but could be a lot cheaper if you already have some supplies at home. Sites like Goop sell these types of scrubs for around $ 40.

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Seed bombs

Seed bombs are small clusters densely filled with wildflower seeds. They are meant to bring a pop of color to urban areas where there isn’t a lot of landscaping detail. You can buy seed bombs for cheap from sites like Etsy – one listing boasted 25 seed bombs for $ 25. From there, all you need to do is dress them up a bit to make them perfect for presentation.

“Just buy ribbon, jars, and download free labels, if you like,” said Linda Smith
Owner of burlap + blue and all the nifty things. “Fill the jars with seed bombs, tie the labels with tape and that’s it. »The seeds are now ready to be planted! You can personalize your gift by writing the instructions by hand. (There aren’t many – find a spot with good soil and drop the bomb halfway, leaving the top uncovered.)

Smith estimates that you can DIY these thoughtful gifts for under $ 10, while stores will jack up the price to around $ 25 per jar.

The only downside is that this gift can be a bit better for warmer climates. If you are giving the seed bomb at the height of a cold winter, advise the recipient to keep the jar tightly closed and store the seeds in a dry, dark place until they are ready to go out. the world in the spring.

Of course, the seeds don’t need to be planted at all! They make a great decoration on their own.

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Succulent Plants Painted Mason Jar

“It’s always a safe bet to give succulents as a gift,” said Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors Digital Marketing. “This is because they require little maintenance and are almost self-sufficient. A large mason jar with beautiful colors painted on it makes the perfect DIY gift. Simply fill the pot with river stones, carefully place a succulent pot inside, then paint the outside with bright colors.

This gift shouldn’t cost you a lot to make. All you need are rocks – which you may be able to get for free – a mason jar and a small succulent plant that often cost less than a dollar at stores like Michaels. The biggest investment is paint, but even that you can get cheap results at craft stores.

You can find similar gifts on Amazon, but they’ll often cost you over $ 20 for just three plants.

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A jewelry frame organizer

“A jewelry frame organizer is a cute and quirky DIY gift for any fashion lover,” said Maria Juvakka, founder of Chic Pursuit. “It’s a lot cheaper than buying a jewelry organizer, and you can add personalized touches for your recipient.

“Start with a small picture frame that you find at a thrift store or put up around your house,” Juvakka said. “Take out the glass part and decorate the frame with a new coat of paint, beads, crystals or whatever your recipient might like. Then cut out a piece of wire mesh and attach it to the back of the frame. Place a piece of cloth or canvas over the wire mesh. Finally, add hooks for hanging necklaces and bracelets.

This giveaway should only cost a few dollars to make, whereas a new jewelry frame organizer costs at least $ 30 on Amazon.

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Pot pourri

“A pot of potpourri is an awesome and super easy to make DIY gift this holiday season,” said Dorothea Hudson, a DIYer at Expert Insurance Reviews. “You can find many items already around your house or even outside, so the cost will be minimal. But the special touch of a DIY potpourri means it all.

Here is what you will need to do:

“Find a jar first, preferably clear glass so you can see the ornate arrangement you’ll be making,” Hudson said. “Then you can find common ingredients that you might already have around the house, like cinnamon, cloves, oranges, lemons and apples. Slice the fruit. Place them on a metal cooking grid. Use your oven’s dehydration setting. This will cook the fruit slices until they are completely dry so that they retain a pleasant aroma, but remain preserved. Cloves and cinnamon won’t spoil.

Next, Hudson says to find pine cones outside for an anesthetic touch. You can clean them by soaking them and then letting them air dry. “Then you can bake them in the oven, which adds a nice touch as the sap will freeze up leaving a nice shine,” said Hudson.

Now is the time to mix the ingredients.

“Apples and cinnamon will go particularly well together, so be sure to sprinkle more cinnamon on the apples,” said Hudson. “Arrange the pine cones so that they are visible and place the dehydrated fruit slices against them evenly. “

DIYing this gift will certainly be a lot cheaper than buying pre-made potpourri, which Hudson says can range from $ 15 to $ 40, or even more, depending on the amount and specialty of the ingredients.

A canvas with your children’s handprints

“One of my favorite DIY gifts is a canvas with my children’s handprints,” said Michelle Keldgord, co-founder of BakingHow. “I strategically place their hands to look like a reindeer, Christmas tree, Santa Claus, or any holiday-inspired character or decoration. This one is very exciting for grandparents and other family members, and it costs around $ 3.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor and author based in Los Angeles to Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, The Atlantic, Vice and The New Yorker. She is a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, “Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray,” received rave reviews from Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and has been published in the US, UK, France and Russia – well let no one know what happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.


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