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DIY Gift Ideas to Save You Money

Buying gifts for everyone in your life is one thing - what about birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, and everything in-between?

May 08, 2022 | Madison Foster

Flat lay view of Caucasian hands doing DIY soap crafts

Christmas season is a happy time for most – full of loved ones, holiday cheer, food, and presents! Buying gifts for everyone in your life is one thing - what about birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, and everything in-between? The constant barrage of obligatory presents, while well-intended, can become expensive quite fast.

One way to cut down on costs is to make some gifts at home. DIY gifts are not only great avenues for saving money - and sparing you from holiday shopping crowds - they’re thoughtful and oftentimes one-of-a kind. Not exactly the creative type? Fear not! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Spa kit

Everyone deserves some good relaxation. Homemade body scrubs, bath bombs, and body butter are all easy and inexpensive to make, plus you can personalize with the recipient’s favorite fragrances!

Plus, these are easier than you might think to make. The best part is that, from my personal experience, measured recipes aren’t usually necessary and you can have a little fun with it. Take the ingredients you want and mix until you reach the desired consistency! Here are some easy ideas to get you started:

Sugar scrub

  • Brown or white sugar
  • Olive, almond or coconut oil
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Essential oil of choice for fragrance

Mix until oils are partially absorbed into sugar and desired consistency is reached. Store in airtight container.

Body butter

  • Shea and/or coconut butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Essential oil of choice for fragrance

Melt everything down in a pot. As it's setting up, add essential oils and whip to desired consistency.

Bath bombs

  • Shaped mold of your choice
  • Epsom salt
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Food coloring, if desired

Mix equal parts epsom salt and baking soda. Slowly add lemon juice until you have a sticky, sandy consistency. Add food coloring if desired and place in mold. Wait for it to harden.

Love notes

Whether a sticky notepad of reasons you appreciate your parents or a jar full of reasons you fell for your significant other, words of appreciation for the important people in your life are guaranteed to be a hit.

Photos & artwork

Another inexpensive, thoughtful avenue is to display some of life’s best memories. You could do something as simple as printing out photos and framing them or placing them in an album. Level it up by sanding and staining or painting some wood and writing or drawing on it to make personalized wall art. If you’re not good at free hand there’s always stencils.


If you aren’t very artistically inclined or don’t have the resources to make something completely from scratch, buying something from a dollar store and making it your own is a great alternative. You could do something unique like sewing a distinctive pattern onto a placemat or melting candles down and placing them in molds to make fun shapes.

Cooked & baked goods

Who doesn’t like yummy treats? Not to mention eggs and flour are cheaper than any gift you can buy AND you don’t even have to wrap it. Find a recipe you like online and start warming up the oven.

Patchwork quilt

Do you have clothes, sheets, or towels that you no longer use? Consider cutting them up and turning them into a patchwork quilt. This is something your recipient can use for generations to come, not to mention it’s a sustainable option.

OMB and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decision.

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