DIY Christmas gifts always seem like such a wonderful idea, don’t they?
We have this vision of cosy nights in as a family creating gorgeous handmade DIY Christmas gifts for everyone from friends to grandparents. And then when the kids are finally asleep whipping up unbelievably cute DIY Christmas presents for the kids themselves.
And we tell ourselves all those DIY Christmas gifts will be super cheap and really help us do Christmas on a budget this year.
Hmmmm …. we wish …
The problem is coming up to Christmas most of us are too tired and too stressed and let’s be honest too hopeless at most things crafty to conjure up any of the DIY Christmas gifts we see all over Pinterest.
And even if we whip something up that doesn’t look like the dog’s dinner without screaming blue murder at the kids, after forking out for craft materials our DIY Christmas gifts are anything but cheap!!!
But over the years I have discovered some genuinely cheap DIY Christmas gifts that are wonderfully easy to put together for the whole family even if like me you’re really not that crafty.
I’ve got a huge list of them for you here. There’s over 101 cheap DIY Christmas gift ideas on the list for kids from you and from kids to mom, dad, grandparents and teachers, plus DIY Christmas gifts for husbands, wives and partners and cute DIY Christmas stocking fillers.
Do check them out & save for later.
And for more inspiration do check out my other simple Christmas ideas.
101 Cheap DIY Christmas Gifts
1. DIY Christmas Jars
Filled mason jars can make adorable DIY Christmas gifts.
But don’t actually have to use fancy mason jars. Just save up all the empty jars you have in your kitchen. Give them a scrub to remove gungy labels and make pretty with any scraps of fabric or thread or yarn you have around the house.
Then fill them with any of these cheap Christmas gift ideas:
- Bath salts : make these super simple stress relieving bath salts. Or for something a little bit different – but still simple – add herbs to your bath salts …
- Jewellery making kit : a lovely idea for tweens & teens, simply take apart old broken necklaces, bracelets or earrings and fill a jar with the beads, chains & hooks plus any short leftover lengths of yarn, thread or ribbon. There’s a lovely example below – it’s for sale – but you could super simply do something similar cheaply …
- Crafting kit : an easy idea to customise for anyone from kids to grandma. Gather up leftover ribbons, buttons, beads, yarn, sparkles, bows, felt & fabric scraps for collage making fun. There’s some cool examples here …
- Finger knitting kit : finger knitting is fabulously addictive fun for kids. Just fill your jar with all sorts of ends of wool & yarn – ask knitting friends for decluttered bits – and add simple instructions.
- Pom pom making kit : or do a pom pom making version, including different sizes of cardboard ring with your yarn plus instructions …
- Mending kit : this might not sound exciting but a little jar of pins, needles, threads, buttons & tape measure – if you’ve got 3!! – from your sewing kit is a super handy stocking filler for college kids …
- Candy canes : if you need a batch of easy, cheap Christmas gifts for teachers or kids, bulk buy candy cane & pop in small jars with printed tags. It will have all the feel of a DIY gift with almost no effort!
- Homemade fudge : it is super easy to make Christmas fudge cheaply – you can do it in the microwave – and you only need one baking sheet’s worth to fill little jars for stocking fillers.
- Home made candies : you can also fill jars with simple DIY Christmas candies. Again smaller pretty jars will help keep the gifts cheap and affordable.
- Homemade bark : if you need something super simple to fill jars with try Christmas bark kids can easily help make. Be creative with toppings to stick to your budget.
- Gingerbread : mini gingerbreads are another super simple DIY Christmas gift in a jar for kids to give. Ask around or raid the kids play dough for mini cutters.
- Shortbread : or alternatively fill jars with yummy Christmas shortbreads you can make a big batch of for less than £3.
- Chocolates : if you’re not up to making Christmas candies or chocolates split a big cheap tin into jars with these DIY Christmas tags tied with yarn so everyone gets just those they love e.g. grandma gets nutty ones, kids get soft centres.
- Sweets : and for super cheap DIY stocking fillers just split bags of sweets into tiny jars with cute labels. Or if you’ve a little more time check out this simple idea which would make your gift just that bit more meaningful.
- Candied peel : if your family adore candied peel as much as mine make little stocking filler jars of your own homemade candied peel. It’s much cheaper than bought & much more delicious …
- Cookie mix : cookie mix jars are another super simple and quick cheap DIY Christmas gift idea which really can’t go wrong. To make it even easier you could use this cookie mix recipe that comes with a free printable recipe tag.
- Hot chocolate mix : hot chocolate mix jars are just as cheap and easy as a DIY Christmas gift and again I’ve got a recipe for you hear that comes with a lovely free printable recipe tag.
- Gardeners grow kit : for something a bit different you could make a gardener’s grow kit in a jar with a mix of bulbs, little paper wraps of seeds, homemade lolly stick plant labels, plus twists of twine. (See below for more gardening ideas). The example below is on sale but you could easily create your own with what you have.
- Dried lavender : if like me you’ve got lavender or any other herbs growing in the garden, you can literally just pop some dried lavender in old jars decorated with these free printable lavender labels.
- Lavender bag kit : or create a super quick lavender bag kit jar with pinking sheared circles of old fabric plus left over lengths of ribbon, thread or yarn plus some dried lavender.
- Jams, jellies & preserves : now I know the very thought of making a jam, jelly or preserve will have some of you running a mile but seriously they can be super simple DIY Christmas gifts and as I’ll show you further down, with just a few clever tricks, cheap as well.
2. DIY Gardening Gifts
With just a few clever tricks it is super easy to put together cheap DIY gardening gifts for the whole family even if you’re not remotely green fingered. The two big secrets are to start early in autumn and to work with what you’ve got.
- Mini herb garden : most herbs, especially the soft ones like mint, oregano & basil grow quickly & easily in water from cuttings. So take tiny cuttings from your own garden or a neighbours, root them in jars of water & then pot up in recycled pots or jars.
- Pots of daffodils : it’s easy to find 1kg of daffodil bulbs for less than a fiver. That will be 30 odd bulbs so divide between 10 little recycled pots and you’ll have 10 lovely DIY Christmas gifts at less than 50p each!!
- Pots of crocus : crocus bulbs again are super cheap and can be easily “forced” for Christmas. There’s a big guide to forcing different bulbs here which includes when to start them and how to grow them in both water and soil.
- Pots of hyacinth : hyacinth bulbs are more expensive at around a pound a bulb but just one in a lovely old jam jar or some such can make a beautiful DIY Christmas gift from kids to grandma or teachers.
- Pots of snowdrops : snowdrops are traditionally the flowers of light in the darkness at Candlemas after Christmas so can be a wonderfully joyful Christmas gift. They are best planted “in the green” rather than as bulbs so pick up plants just before Christmas. You can often get 20 or so pot free plants for under a tenner so with a couple of plants in a recycled pot you can have a lovely gift for less than a pound.
- Upcycled pots : if you do a quick kitchen declutter you’re almost bound to find old cups, glasses, jars, bowls, teapots etc that can make adorable plant pots for your Christmas bulbs.
- Wooden Spoon Plant Markers : whilst you’re decluttering the kitchen look out as well for surplus wooden spoons that the kids could decorate as plant markers. They’re the simplest thing but even expert gardeners are for ever forgetting what they planted!!!
- Painted Stone Plant Markers : in my experience kids love painting stones, so pick up some cool ones on the beach or in the woods & decorate them as plant markers for as cheap as cheap DIY Christmas gift for grandma or grandpa or any other gardener in the family. For easy inspiration check out these upcycled plant markers.
- Painted Clothes Peg Plant Markers: you could also upcycle old pegs which are super useful as can be easily attached to the plant themselves or a pot or stake.
- Wood Scrap Plant Markers : or if you’ve got any small scraps of wood around and have got decent handwriting, you could even just make a little bundle of these plant labels & tie them up with a scrap of ribbon as a stocking filler.
- Garden Flower Seeds : if you’ve got flowers in your garden with seed heads in autumn then why not gather them up on a dry day and after drying them out fully for a week or so, before packaging them up in little homemade envelopes the kids can decorate as a lovely free DIY Christmas gift or stocking filler for a gardening friend. Marigolds and Hollyhocks are easy to collect and I always gather up our Love In The Mist seeds as they will grow anywhere however they’re neglected.
- Pack of Poppy Seeds : poppies make wonderful splashes of colour in the garden all summer long and its super easy to gather up their seeds from wild seed heads and pop in little DIY envelope for a completely free Christmas gift or stocking filler.
- Wild Flower Seed Packets : you could also gather other wild flower seed heads to make little DIY packets of seeds. It’s a wonderful plant science project & cheap DIY Christmas gift all in one!!
- Sunflower Growing Kits : if you’ve grown a sunflower or know someone who has then collect up seeds and dry them out to make DIY sunflower growing kits for kids with a few seeds, a starter pot & simple instructions.
- Pumpkin Growing Kit : you can also save up seeds from your Halloween pumpkin to make simple pumpkin growing kit.
3. Simply Sewn Gifts
There are loads of beautiful hand sewn Christmas gift ideas on Pinterest but most of them are way beyond my sewing skills.
Never fear. If you or your kids can sew a straight line you can upcycle old fabrics from jeans, t-shirts, pyjamas, outgrown dresses, replaced curtains or old ripped sheets or duvet covers to make all sorts of simple DIY Christmas gifts for kids and from kids in less than an hour including …
- Sun Glasses Cases
- Coffee Cup Sleeves
- Cloth Tote Bags
- Or if you really don’t want to sew at all you and the kids can upcycle fabulously funky no sew tote bags out of old t-shirts.
- Cloth Napkins great for anyone in the family – including teens – trying to go zero waste.
- Button Bookmarks
- Handkerchiefs might not seem the most exciting DIY gift but as so many of us are trying to cut waste they are back in.
- Infinity Scarf
- Fabric Coasters
- Friendship Bracelets these are lovely for tweens to make for each other and are a lovely calming sensory activity for them to get hooked on.
- Super Hero Capes old t-shirts and sweatshirts can be transformed into these fab super hero capes without any sewing at all
- Sundresses even if you’ve never made clothes in your life, you seriously can whip up these lovely sundresses easily
- Dolls Dresses and you can use the same simple sundress technique to make super quick dresses for dolls
- Dolls Bed Linen an old worn out pillow case can be turned into cute bed linen for a a dolls cot
- Hair Bows : these cute no sew hair bows can be made by upcycling old hair clips
- Draw String Pouches : draw string pouches are wonderful for everything from kids collectables to little make up bags and jewellery stashes and you can easily upcycle them from old fleeces or other fabric using this super easy kid friendly tutorial.
- No Sew Scrunchies : sweet scrunchies make great little stocking fillers for girls of all ages and these no sew scrunchies can be made with just fabric scraps and elastic.
- No Sew Cushion Cover or for something a little more ambitious but still simple and needing no sewing skills try making these no sew cushion covers
- Old Tie Pouches : or upcycle old ties into these fabulous pouches for make up, jewellery, glasses, pens & more with just a few stitches and some old buttons.
4. DIY Gift Lessons
One of the most wonderful cheap DIY Christmas gifts we can give is ourself and our time and our special skills. Committing to hook up once a week for a little while to share a skill creates the space to truly connect with those we love.
Now this might seem easier if you’re super crafty and can pass on you skills in for example :
- Furniture Renovation etc
But loads of us have all sorts of other wonderful skills we can pass on including:
- Guitar Playing
- Car & Bike Maintenance
- Ice Skating
- Piano Playing
- Hair Styling
- Make Up Tutorials
Use this free Christmas coupon book printable to “package up” your gift.
We might feel embarrassed about offering these but clutter free experience gifts are massively popular right now though seriously expensive, so we may be able to offer family & friends something, they wouldn’t otherwise receive.
And more than anything these DIY Christmas gifts give our kids what so many of them crave right now, and that’s simply for us to slow down & enjoy spending time with them.
5. The Gift Of Time
The special gift of time isn’t just popular with kids. It is also a massive winner with parents of all ages. In our over-busy world many of us are crying out for “more time” so why not gift some of yours to someone who needs help whether its :
- Car valeting
- Or even the dreaded decluttering!!!
Again you could use a printable coupon book to package your gift.
We can also gift our time to put together those collections that so many of us love but never get round to compiling, whether it’s a:
- Photo album
- Digital photo album
- Family scrap book
- Or music playlist
DIY Christmas gifts like these can bring so much joy without costing us anything. By sacrificing our time for someone we love we’re actually giving something much more valuable.
6. Jam, Jelly & Preserves
Now I am sure many of you will run a mile at the very mention of jams, jellies and preserves but they really are super easy to make and can take less than 30 minutes. They can also be super cheap if you use foraged fall fruits or cheap seasonal ingredients in easy recipes like these :
- Blackberry jelly
- Crab apple jelly
- Sloe jelly
- Apple butter
- Damson jelly
- Elderberry Syrup
- Pickled Onions
We pick pounds and pounds of seasonal fruit every year, so can make gifts for nothing more than the price of some sugar. It tastes way better than shop bought so seriously frugal but seriously lovely.
For simple tips to start making your own preserves as gifts do check out Attainable Sustainable. There are loads of recipes that will help you make use of whatever you have easily and cheaply available.
7. Christmas Heirlooms
Now many of the things on this list might seem too small for a big gift for your family – although don’t under estimate the true value of your time – but if you’re on a really tight budget for Christmas the place to go looking for great cheap, DIY Christmas gifts is amongst all those wonderful things we have stashed away that if we’re honest have become forgotten clutter.
Root them out, repair them and give them some TLC and pass them onto someone you love who can enjoy them more. It could be any of these:
- An evening dress
- Gorgeous heels
- Vintage handbags & luggage
- Fountain pens
- Bikes & scooters
- Cutlery, glasses & china
- Furniture like a great chest of drawers or chair
- A sewing machine or other expensive tool they’ll really get use out of
- A bundle of well loved books simply tied up with ribbon
Or for kids any of those classic toys of yours your parents still have stashed away in a basement or attic like train sets, dolls houses, dolls prams, bricks, toy garages and forts, stilts, roller skates, basket ball nets etc.
Between you and me, I could have started a toy shop with all the old toys my parents were hoarding!! But with just a quick clean up they’re now enjoying a new lease of life with a new generation of kids. And somehow, those DIY Christmas gifts passed on down through the family better capture the true spirit of Christmas than the job-destroying junk our hard earned cash can so easily be wasted on.
So go on capture the real spirit of Christmas this year and give some of these simple, cheap DIY Christmas gifts to your kids, family and friends.
And for more simple homemade ideas for a lovelier Christmas on a budget do check out these other tips :
- 10 Simply Lovely Christmas Traditions
- 75 Fun Frugal Christmas Tips
- 7 Homemade Christmas Decorations
- 101 Clutter Free Christmas Gifts
- Best Homemade Christmas Candies
- Best Homemade Christmas Fudge
- Easy Homemade Christmas Cards
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