3 Budget-Friendly DIY Holiday Gift Ideas 

Shanthi Appelo
Shanthi Appelo

| 3 min read

DIY gifts
The holiday season is a wonderful time to get together with loved ones, but it can also be a period of stress that can ultimately affect mental health. Financial pressure is among the highest on the list of holiday stressors. According to a Lending Tree poll, 13% of those surveyed are still paying off last year’s holiday bills, while 41% expect to go into debt this holiday season.
Whether the financial pressures are contributing to stress or finding a meaningful gift is difficult, we’ve got you covered with a few budget-friendly and thoughtful ideas:

Beeswax candles

Involving children in gift crafting can be a special way to connect. Costing $2 or less each, homemade candles can be rolled from varying colors of beeswax sheets. Found online or at local craft stores, beeswax sheets may be sold separately or as kits with wicks and other decorative elements.
Beeswax candles
Here’s what you need:
  • Beeswax sheets (1 8-by-16-inch sheet makes 2 candles)
  • Cotton string for the wick (8.5 inches long per candle)
  • Optional — holiday scented essential oils, such as bergamot, cinnamon, orange, or a combination of scents
  • Decoration, such as eucalyptus, twine, labels
Here’s what you do:
  1. Measure out the length of the wicks by measuring against the beeswax, allowing an extra half-inch. Trim accordingly.
  1. Optional — soak the wicks in a few drops of essential oils in a small ramekin. This will provide a nice scent when the candle is lit.
  1. Trim the beeswax sheet to 8 by 8 inches for a standard candle. If you are looking to fit the candle in a certain holder, use a candle that fits the holder as a guide to how thick to roll your candle.
  1. Place the wick along the edge and start rolling tightly. 
  1. Give as a set of 3, 5 or 7 for an attractive grouping. Dress candles with lace, tree stems or eucalyptus. Be sure decorations are removed before lighting the candle, as they may be highly flammable.

Spa scrub

You can never go wrong with a self-care gift. Children can help make these for a spa day with a parent. This cozy scrub of rose salt and sugar is made with just a few pantry staples along with rose petals and essential oils. 
spa scrub
Here’s what you need:
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 35 drops rose essential oils
  • 2 Tbsp. rose petals
Here’s what you do:
  1. Place coconut oil in a glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, until melted, but not hot.
  1. Add sugar, salt, essential oils and rose petals. Stir until well combined, then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes for the coconut oil to solidify.
  1. Mix one final time, then add the scrub to gift vessels such as mason jars.

Tea towel recipes

There’s nothing more heart-warming than a sentimental gift. Whether a family member is still with you or their memory lives on, handwritten recipes are special on their own. This gift idea features a handwritten recipe on a tea towel using the iron-on method found online or at local craft stores. Give to several family members if buying a big pack of tea towels, or to someone as a unique gift.
tea towels
Here’s what you need:
  • 1 cotton tea towel
  • 1 piece of iron-on paper
  • Handwritten recipe
  • Camera
  • Printer
Here’s what you do:
  1. Take a photo of the recipe. Note: Using a scanner phone application, such as Cam Scanner, can help straighten out the image and provide a nice contrast for printing the image.
  1. Upload photo to the computer in a Word document. Mirror the image so that it prints backward.
  1. Print and iron according to iron-on package instructions.
Photo credit: Shanthi Appelo

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