Tuesday, December 13, 2011

22 DIY christmas gifts (nice not cheap!)


This holiday season, money is so tight for me.  Luckily i was born with extreme creativity! Today i'm gonna help you guys out with some DO-IT-YOURSELF ideas that I've thought of myself OR that I've found online in my struggling search to satisfy everyone this Christmas with my "homemade gifts",  

Bejeweling/decorating picture frames
This is such a great gift idea for family or friends.  I started off by going to A.C. Moore and looking through their picture frames.  I luckily found a set of 3 WHITE picture frames.  Finding them with the widest//biggest frame (for more decorating room) and preferably white.  The reason i chose white is because i glue rhinestones on mine, and i don't like the glue showing on the frame.  I also like the ability to paint the white frame any color that i may decide on.  The different supplies I use depend on who i'm making it for and what their style is.  I suggest you buying:
*E6000 GLUE
*Ribbons (thick and thin) different colors and patterns
*RHINESTONES (MICHAELS has the most inexpensive packages that I've seen-- they have a brand called JOLEE, that has 20-50 packs of rhinestones for $4.99.  They also have the "sticky" kind, which is great too.  They're about $2.49 for a pack of 50)
*STICKERS- Stickers help add some flare to the frame... They also save you from having to rhinestone the whole damn thing! The scrap-booking section in craft stores has tons of stickers! Although they're expensive, you only need about 2 stickers per frame to add to it without having to keep rhinestone-ing.  I pick my stickers depending on the rhinestone colors i used on the frame, and on what the friend or family member likes.  I've used flower, bird, Tinkerbell, mermaid, beach-y, and Disney stickers.  LAST BUT NOT LEAST- PLEASE PICK UP ALPHABET STICKERS (in scrapbook section) THERE ARE TONS OF FONTS, SIZES, AND COLORS.  THEY'RE USUALLY 3.95-5.95 PER PACKAGE BUT HAVE AROUND 4 OF EACH LETTER IN THE ALPHABET.  Putting words on the frame is such a cute and personal touch.  I've written out "best friends, Grandma, Partners in Crime, LOVEBIRDS, XOXO, Pixie Pals, Like Mother Like Daughter, and many more" on frames.  And also, it keeps away frojm having to bejewel a lot- as we all know that's quite a tedious project.
* PAINT - Acrillyc paint works, Enamel works as well as a tough-ER duty paint.
Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of a lot of the frames i've done- But I am currently working on one that i just finished bejeweling- and here's the picture.  
I started bejeweling this one, I plan on putting my "letter stickers" on the bottom and spelling out "Best Friends" at the top, i plan on scattering more jewels in between the corners.  On the sides I am putting "mirror chips" (2-3 on each side).
This is basically the same thing as the picture frame.  Decorate them the same way as you would the picture frame, with the same supplies.  I typically find my votive holders at the dollar store!! Add a candle, or even a plant for an extra touch.  Here's a picture of one that i made that i still have, like i said with the picture frames, I've given most of them away as gifts.
On this one, i wrapped a piece of leopard print duct tape around it.  I then wrapped a piece of pink ribbon around the bottom and found a way to twist the duct tape in the back so i could tape the ribbon down, rather than glue it.  I put the stickers on it and then bejeweled the top rim using my E6000 glue and alternated between pink and clear.

Buy a magnet strip (preferably with a sticky side).. Put your sticker, decorated index card, design, etc on the magnetic strip and cut around it- WALAAAA! You have a magnet! It's as easy as that.  Everybody needs magnets, and everyone uses them.  Its a great way to create a quick and personalized gift for ANYONE-- from family members, to friends, to special people.  An example of one i made: I went to Lowe's hardware- I got a bunch of paint color samples.  I cut a purple paint sample into a circle, placed jewels around it, and put a silver glitter cardboard "E" in the middle for my mother.  It looks so legit, like any other monogram magnet or accessory that you'd see in a nice boutique!

PINK COOKIES (Put in a cute plastic bag with pretty christmas ribbons for anyone girly)
 Forget Christmas cookies! These are the best.  It's a cute gift for any females you need to get a gift for.  Not only does it add a personalized touch by adding the pink, they're absolutely delicious! These will be a hit!

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter (softened; how to soften included in directions)
  • red food coloring gel - if you can magically find pink, go for it! But i doubt it!
  • 1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Soften hard butter in microwave at medium/half power for 30 seconds (pay attention: only            microwave until slightly soft, NOT melted) With a hand mixer, beat the butter until it's smooth (be careful not to make it "too soft".) Using a toothpick, add the food color gel one drop/dab at a time, mixing after each, until the desired pink color is achieved.

Add the dry cookie mix (do NOT add the other ingredients called for on the cookie mix package). Add the powdered sugar. Beat only until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Dough will be crumbly, not smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. (1-1/4" cookie scoop works well too.)

Bake in a preheated 325° F oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven when cookies are slightly brown around the edges and soft but not squishy in the center.

Cool cookies 1 - 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving. These aren't typical chocolate chip cookies. They aren't cakey -- instead, they are super sweet, slightly crunchy and a bit chewy. A sweet treat with coffee or milk!
With all different kinds of ideas, you can make the cutest ornaments.  Start by going to Target, Walmart, or probably even your local drugstore and pick up a package of "regular ball shaped ornaments" similar to the picture posted above.
Buy pebbles, they generally come in small and big sacks.  They sell them at the dollar store and at craft stores.  They range from $2.50-$6.99.

E600 GLUE, Tacky Glue (possibly), Superglue! Chose one!
I suggest using paints, rhinestones, sharpies, stickers and cardboard cutouts to decorate your ornament with.  Other than the pebbles.

  1. Above are some of the ideas i followed. From left to right, the first ornaments is wrapped with hemp, you could also try ribbon or string to add more color.  The middle photo- the B was done with sharpie and glitter.  The last, a stamp was used. 
  2.  I found them at this website

(If you package these cute, this is the best gift!)
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
Mini brown M&Ms
Regular-sized red M&Ms
*Preheat oven to 375°F.
*Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.
*In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.
*Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown. 
*Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer's antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose (or any other color... some of mine ended up with green noses. They might be South Pole reindeer.). 
*Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely. 
~~~~Makes about 40 reindeer cookies.~~~~


First of all, go and buy a frame that you like, and a piece of fabric to go inside the frame that matches the room your putting it in.

Find small sized chicken wire, line the inside of the frame with it.  Also buy the "S" hooks at your local hardware store.

Lay the cardboard that came with the frame over the freshly ironed fabric.  Secure the back of the cardboard and fabric together with packaging tape

It should then look like this!!!!!

Next, place the "s" hooks through into the chicken wire, hang your neclaces.  This is the cutest gift ever, it costs under $15 to make and it's adorable!  Look out Pottery Barn!

Very easy to make! This is perfect for any female.  Homemade beauty product for exfoliating
The fun part about this is the packaging.  Print labels with cute fonts and colored letters.  You could even decorate with rhinestones like how i do on picture frames and votive holders.  Appearance is everything so make it cute!!

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub{use as a hand scrub or body scrub}
2 Cups of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon of Sunflower, Safflower, or Vegetable Oil

Mix Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice together, making sure there are no lumps.

Add in oil and mix well. I like to use Sunflower Oil that can be found in most health food stores. Sunflower oil, like other oils, can retain moisture in the skin. {Safflower oil is very similar to the Sunflower} Alternately, you can use plain Vegetable Oil as well.
{I would omit using Olive Oil wth this one as the scent can be a little too powerful to mix with the warm scents of the pumpkin and brown sugar}

These keep well in a sealed, sanitized glass container for months.
Just keep out of direct sunlight; as you would store the oil itself.

I found this on pinterest.  The original blog it came from is HERE.
Paint color samples
Hole puncher
Lamp shade chandelier

1- Go to your local store where the sell paint. (Hardware stores or Walmart) Pick up a LOT LOT LOT of paint samples.  In the example above- she tried to keep the colors in a similar range.  

2- Cut holes out of the colors, In the blog that i got this from, the woman used a big shaped hole puncher.  Keep them separated by colors in little piles or saucers.  

3- Get a piece of thread and line it up to the backs of the circles.  Tape them to the piece of thread.  

 4- Start tying the strings to the chandelier lampshade base.  



This is an example.  You can find wall letters that are overpriced at stores like Pottery Barn, Kirkland's, or Kohl's.  But if you go in your local craft store.  They always have tons of them for as low as $5 each.  It's as easy as 1-2-3.  Paint them with acrillyc paints or spray paints.  I've embellished mine with ribbons, buttons, rhinestones, glitter, cardboard cutouts, etc.  I've sponge-painted, spray painted hot pink and put green circles all over it, Spray painted green and scattered rhinestones and glitter.  Use your imagination, the possibilities are endless! 

The original website that was linked to the recipe on pinterest is HERE.

  • -dried lavender buds
  • -regular oatmeal (enough to fill your jar)
  • -a food processor or coffee/spice grinder
  • -a sufficiently attractive jar
  • -a small square of fabric to cover the lid of the jar (optional)
  • -enough string to tie around top of jar (optional)
  • -a bit of paper to make a tag (optional)
Directions:Put some oatmeal and a itty bitty bit of lavender in whatever you are using to grind everything. You'll probably have to do several batches to fill your jar. (It's best to do small batches so that everything is well ground.)
Grind until the mixture is a fine powder.
Put the mixture into the jar and put the lid on
Cut out a square of fabric, sufficient to cover the lid of your jar.
Cut out a rectangle of paper to make a tag. Fold it in half and make a hole in the corner. Put directions on the inside to this effect: "Using warm water, form a paste. Spread on face and leave on for 10 minutes." On the front, put "Lavender Oatmeal Facial Mask".

This is the cutest gift for your goofy friend.  This can be given to a guy or girl.  It's cute, quick to make, and can be used for anything.

Buy a jar (they sell them in packages in the grocery store, individually at craft stores or dollar store).  With paint or a sharpie, draw a mustache and write "my stache" underneath it.  After the drawing dries, paint over it with a clear topcoat, acrillyc clear spray topcoat, or mod podge.

Scrabble Coaster set
Easy as 1-2-3, get scrabble pieces and glue them together into a square shape.  Get creative with the words you use.  Use superglue or E6000 glue to secure them together.  Make sure they're straight and give them time to dry.  After the pieces are glued together coat the top and sides with modpodge.  After you're finished and everything is dry... Place felt bottoms on the bottom 4 corners.
I would like to give marcymarcy (etsy store) for this great idea, the store doesn't have them for sale anymore but did before.. There are other cool things you can check out though!

Vera Bradley Necklaces

**Vera Bradley catalog
Chain link
Jump link
Mod podge
Wooden squares
Cheap brush (for mod podge)
Diamond glaze topcoat

**Use a Vera Bradley catalog.. Although you probably wouldn't get one before Christmas-- go to www.verabradley.com and request a catalog.  Hallmark stores that sell Vera Bradley usually have catalogs there if you want to go grab one (if they have one left).  Cut out the squares of  the patterns from the catalog.

Buy wooden squares (VERY small ones, like about 1 inch x 1 inch available at craft stores).  
Paint the wooden squares any color.  I would recommend doing black or a color that matches the pattern that you chose, You may need to do multiple coats.

After the paint is dry, modpodge the patterned square on top of the wooden square.
Drill (preferably) or poke a hole through the top middle, 
The blog that i originally got this from-- instructs to DIAMOND GLAZE over the modpodge and let sit over night
 put a "jump ring" through the drilled hole and attatch a chain through the "jump ring"
Your necklace is complete !

Cute patterned coasters
I found this great idea on we heart it, the original website that it was found at is HERE.
Make sure to check out her blog, there are so many cute DIY's.  I love it!

TILES (LOWE'S or any hardware store--AROUND 20 CENTS EACH)
Scrapbook paper- or any paper with design.  Or you could get index cards and color/paint your own design.
Felt pads for the bottom.

First of all measure your tile so you'll know what size squares of paper you'll need.
(The original says her tiles were 4.25"x4.25'' so she used 4x4" paper.)
Brush modpodge on the tile, then place the cut out square of paper on top --  Rub down on bubbles and Let dry for 15 minutes, do a few more coats letting each coat dry.
Modpodge over the paper and around the tile.
After mod podge has dried, enter a well ventilated area (preferably outdoors).  Spray the top of the tiles with clear acrillyc spray.  Let dry for 2-3 minutes then spray another coat.
Next, stick felt pads on the tile- one in each corner.  For assurance that the felt will stay, use superglue.
That's it! 20 minutes to a fabulous gift!
Here is the example they posted on the blog:

These necklaces are so desired right now.  Make all of your friends look good this Christmas with this simple DIY.  All you'll need is:
* a chain
* Ribbon
*Cute pins/brooches
*2 jump rings
* 1 clasp
* Pliers

1- First of all, take your ribbon (i'd leave it on the spool and only cut once weaving is done to prevent the ribbon from ending up being too short!!) Weave through the chain.  In the photo, she weaved through every link, you can also try doing every-other link.
2- After you finish weaving the ribbon through the chain, use your pliers to open each of the two jump rings, and secure one at either end of the necklace.  You can use your pliers to close one of the jump rings, but leave the other one open and attach the clasp to it. To keep the ribbon in place, I knotted each end onto the jump rings, and then trimmed the ribbon down.  Now, the last step is to pin your brooches on, and tie your bow in place!

3-  Play around with the neclace, the original crafter herself, even decided to weave another strand of beads through for a more dramatic look.  Sometimes if the brooches are heavy- you can't keep both of them on one side.  Playing around and seeing which options look best and feel the most comfortable is definitely a part of this craft!


This is the perfect gift for your boho-naturegirl friend.  All you need is scraps of an old t-shirt and about 15-20 minutes.  This craft is much more complicated to do the first time then it is the second and third time you do it.  This is a really fun DIY, there are a lot of instructions though.  I'm not going to sit here and try and explain it when it is so well done right here, at it's original place that it was posted.
What you'll need: T-shirt scraps (a fabric the size of a bandanna would work.)

I originally found this tutorial on pinterest.  Here's the blog that it came from.
Twirl and glue your rope, Knot and trim the ends, deck out with rhinestones, attach on your earring wire, and you have a beautiful pair of earrings!

Magnetic board
What you'll need:
Cookie sheets
magnetic strip
stickers, cardboard pieces, knick knacks
pink spray paint
clear top coat gloss spray (for metal)
Picture hanging strips
*Start off by spray painting your cookie sheet (make sure it's magnetic- it should be though, the majority of them are).  Spray paint with your favorite color in a WELL VENTILATED AREA, Make sure to let DRY!  Next spray a top coat of fast drying top coat gloss.  There are spray paints made especially for metal surfaces.
* To make the cookie sheet hardware free and give it the ability to hang up on the wall.  Use 3m picture hanging strips.  The strips are sticky and clip into eachother as easily as velcro.  Add a strip to each corner of the baking sheet.  Be careful in making sure the sheets are level before sticking them on the wall (If this is a gift, maybe include the strips and these directions on hanging to make it easier on the repentant.)  
Depending on who your making it for; choose paper scraps, stickers, buttons, fake flowers, and random knick knacks.  Buy a magnetic strip (usually one side is very sticky).  Place the items (stickers, buttons, whatever, etc.) on the magnet and cut around them.  Place around the magnetic board.

What you'll need:
piece of wood
sponge brush
dry non-sanded grout (purchased in huge tin at hardware store for $1.50)
Acrillyc craft paints (white black magenta -- apple barrel brand by plaid)
Measuring spoons and cups
Mixing cup or bowl
Paint brush or stick to stir

 Measure 1 1/2 teaspoons of the non-sanded grout and put in your mixing cup (this is very dusty, so please do this in a well-ventilated area).
Step 2) Pour in 1/4 cup of the Bright Magenta craft paint.
Step 3) Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of white acrylic craft paint.
Step 4)  Add 1/8 teaspoon black acrylic craft paint.
(see how the color is- you can usually tell which color you need more of)
Step 5) Stir for a few minutes with a cheap paint brush
Step 6) The consistency will be a little bit lumpy.  Sanded grout is really fine, once you start painting it on, it'll smooth out.  Apply it with a sand brush.
Step 7) You will need 1-3 coats depending on your base.  In the picture, she used a wooden base.  She primed with a Zinsser water-based-primer.
Step 8) To prime any chalkboard, Grab thhe piece of chalk and run it on it's side.  Rub the piece of chalk all over the ENTIRE board.  Erase completely and it should be write-able from now on.

ENJOY :) and don't forget to make one for yourself!
Want another color? That's fine- Get your color in a rich tone.  (EX. BLUE- royal blue).  Add white and black.  Add the same amount of your color choice as the bright pink listed in this recipe.

DIY "CHAN LUU'S" BRACELET.  SAME THING, INSTEAD OF $220, MAKE IT FOR $5.  Does that sound good or what?
I found this great idea on pinterest, the original website with the tutorial is right here.

.The pink bracelet is Chan Luu's that costs $220, The blue bracelet is the DIY that costs $5 or less to make!

**Cut the ribbon into 3 seperate pieces that are equal lengths.  The average bracelet size is about 7 inches, so you'll need the string a total of 29 inches if you want to be able to wrap it 4 times.
**Start by braiding about 6 inches and securing the end with a rubber band.  Anchor the other end with something heavy to hold it into place.
**Start braiding the beads by feeding the ball into the middle strand and then tightly braiding the other 2 strands around it.  Continue feeding the beads onto the middle strand until you run out.  OR UNTIL THERE'S ABOUT 6 INCHES OF RIBBON LEFT.
**Finish with another 6 inches or so of braiding.  Clamp te ends with ribbon fasteners or just tie it in a knot.
You can make a necklace, but i think the bracelets are the cutest!!

T-SHIRT TWISTED SCARFThe original blog that this came from onto pinterest.com is right here.You'll need:
2 XL T-shirts (craft store $3 each usually).
Thread and needle OR sewing machine

After you cut on the upper red dotted line, you'll have a circular loop of t-shirt fabric.  Cut a slit down each to make them 2 long strips.  Attatch the sides together and sew down.  You now have 2 long "tubed" strips of fabric.

Now that you have 2 long tubes ... This is what you do :)
And, there it is... Your beautiful scarf!


What are you giving for gifts this holiday season?? Have you made any really cool gifts in the past or this year? If you make any of the ones above, let me know how it turned out! Send pictures or upload them on your blog and i'll feature your blog with your "works of art"!!!

peace love and Ljay !!

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