Holiday Gift Guide: DIY & Budget Friendly
Updated: Apr 16
As a new grad, the holidays can be a bit…pricey. So in order to combat that, I try to get a little creative with my gift-giving.
Do It Yourself Gifts
One skill that I use a ton with my gift-giving nowadays is embroidery. I’m able to purchase a basic tote bag, dish towel, pencil case, etc… and personalize it to the giftee with an embroidered accent. For example, I can embroider a quote that would make them smile, add their name or an image that suits them. For my sister’s housewarming gift, I embroidered some dish towels with cute cat illustrations (reminiscent of her own pet).
This tote bag was plain canvas which i picked up for $15. I embroidered one of my favourite artworks by Matisse on the front and it’ll be a great reusable option that I’m gifting my sister this season.
Another super easy DIY is creating your own holiday cards! For this, you need some blank card stock and a stamp + ink. I created my own stamps by carving a linocut block (which is a fairly easy printmaking technique!) but you could always just purchase a wooden stamp at the dollar store to DIY your own!
A lovely thing I did with my boyfriend last year was to make our own stockings. Instead of purchasing some in-store, we handstitched a simple stocking shape out of raw canvas (which you can get at an art supply store) and then painted on our designs! I opted to glue on some velvet bows which I had in my sewing box. It was a super fun activity to do together and we made a meaningful memory that we get reminded by every time we see our stockings!
I reserve thrifted gifts for people I know won’t get “weirded out” by it. My family, my boyfriend and some of my friends all appreciate the eco aspect of thrifting so if I ever see anything that suits them, I pick it up as a gift. Areas to look at are: homewares (like baskets or a mug), books, vinyls and occasionally I’ll check outerwear and scarves. This blouse by equipment was a lovely thrift score that I’ll be gifting this season!
Things like reusable totes, a great reusable travel mug or wool dryer balls (which I’m wrapping in this picture here). This is a great way to introduce someone to a more eco option especially if you consider something they often use! (for example, if you notice they always get a coffee in the morning - gift them a lovely travel mug that they can bring into their favourite cafe).
Giving food items or food baskets are awesome especially if you tailor the items to the recipient (for example giving gluten free baking ingredients, or a coffee shop gift card to a coffee addict!). This year, I picked up some locally made foods at a farmers market that I’m gifting to my dad. He loves spicy things so I got these chilli-spiced beans since they are a fun and unique snack that he can test out!
Since I do need to shop the sales in order to save money, I shop year-round for my gift-giving. This is especially handy when doing DIY and thrifted gifts because generally it requires more time to do the embroidery or to find something that would actually be a great gift!
Consider the Wrapping
I find that when something is wrapped beautifully, it is that much more special to open! Especially with DIY gifts, I try to wrap the items in cute and unique ways. For example, I place the earrings on polaroids (that didn’t quite develop as expected) -which saves them from going in the trash. An eco-option is finding a beautiful silk scarf at the thrift store and using that as the wrapping but also as part of the gift. I also tend to save any tissue paper or wrapping paper that I've received in order to wrap future presents.
What do you guys do to save money during the gift-giving season? Let me know in the comments below!