DIY Gifts That Don’t Suck

By: Lydia Reagan ~Feature Editor~


1The key to great gift giving is giving something that’s useful and meaningful at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent $5,000 or $5 on the gift, as long as it’s from the heart. Since we are college students, here are a few gift ideas that are easy to personalize and closer to the $5 price range.

5-Minute Lip Balm

Melt five tablespoons of coconut oil and five tablespoons of beeswax in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds. Add 12 drops of your favorite essential oil, pour it into a tin or a tube and voila! You’ve got homemade lip balm – a perfect present to keep those chapped lips at bay during the winter!

Christmas Baskets

Themed baskets (or whatever container you choose) are great to give to friends and family, and the supplies are easy to pick up at the dollar store. You could make a movie themed basket, a baking basket, a spa day or coffee… the possibilities are endless. And the labels are a great opportunity to break out some awesomely terrible puns.

Bleach t-shirts

Using a combination of one part bleach, two parts water, you can create custom tshirts by bleaching your design into the shirt. You can either create a design by drawing with the bleach mixture, or you can create a stencil and just spray the t-shirt with bleach, so the design is blocked out. It’s fun, it’s personal and it looks very cool.

Repurposed Mittens

If you have an old sweater lying around, you can create simple mittens out of it for a friend. Using your own hand as a template, you can cut out four mitten shapes. With two of the mitten pieces, place the right sides together and sew around the outside. Turn it inside out and you’ve got yourself a cozy mitten.


If you have something that you like making – paintings, baking, sewing, knitting or crochet – you can create awesome, personalized gifts out of them. They’re from the heart, and people love that you took the time to make something from scratch.


The new year is coming quickly, so a new calendar would be a great gift for anyone who’s a little more organized. You can put any kind of picture on this: a collage of photos, images from a favorite show or quotes. There are plenty of templates you can download for free online and customize however you want! It’s an easy way to add a personal touch to a useful tool..

Pet Presents

If your friend or loved one is a pet-owner, it’s never a bad idea to get a gift for his or her pet. Pet supplies can get expensive, and a lot of people love spoiling their pets. You could bake dog biscuits or make catnip toys for the furry friend. It will be appreciated, no matter what it is!