Until recently, the last time I made homemade holiday gifts was when I was in elementary school. Since then, DIY holiday endeavors have brought to mind childlike crafts that never come out quite as planned. Needless to say, DIY and chic were not terms I associated very closely. However, this year I discovered that DIY holiday presents have grown up. Thanks to social media (hey there, Pinterest and Instagram) there are now plenty of do-it-yourself holiday projects that are fun to make and even more enjoyable to receive. Most of us have a secret—or not-so-secret—love of crafting, so this year why not reconnect with the thrill and satisfaction of making the perfect gift with your own two hands? Plus, you’ll be able to avoid the stores, which at this point are packed with last-minute shoppers. Here are three chic DIY gifts that will leave your girlfriends going gaga!
Personalized Coffee Mug
What You’ll Need:
In winter, almost everyone loves curling up with a warm cup of cocoa, coffee, or tea. It’s even more enjoyable when you’re sipping from a great mug that puts a smile on your face. That’s why making custom coffee mugs for your friends is such a great idea. You can customize each mug, delivering just the right dose of inspiration, silliness, or sarcasm to get your friend through her morning. This technique from the blog Glued To My Crafts is great since you don’t need to worry about things getting messy with paints and brushes. Just order or pick up plain ceramic mugs and oil-based Sharpies (not the ones we see most often since those will wash off in the dishwasher). You can use stencils, or just draw whatever comes to you. When you’re done, make sure your kitchen is well ventilated and put the mugs in the oven at 350°F for half an hour. Then turn off the oven and leave the mugs inside until they’re cool. In just a few hours, you’ll have a great DIY gift that your friends will love!
Infused Olive Oil
What You’ll Need:
- Empty glass oil containers with caps
- High quality olive oil
- Spices and other infusing ingredients
- Ribbon, raffia, gift tags—anything you’d like to decorate your containers with
If your girlfriends have a taste for savory treats, consider making them infused olive oil, which can be used for cooking, dipping breads, or dressing salads. This chic twist on the classic holiday treat jar looks beautiful and is an unusual gift that most people will enjoy using. Plus, your friend might even invite you over for a great meal featuring the oil you gifted her. To get started, purchase a large container of high-quality olive oil. Simply pour oil into each of your selected containers, adding ingredients that have complimentary flavors. Rosemary, peppercorns, and sun-dried tomatoes will all look pretty in the packaging while delivering great flavor. Thyme, oregano, and sage are also popular options. Over time, the olive oil will pick up the flavors from the jar, giving it an extra level of sophistication. One note of caution: Be sure to only use dried herbs (nothing that contains water), to avoid bacteria growth.
What You’ll Need
- Decorative containers that seal tightly
- Sea salt and Epsom salts
- Essential oils or scent
- Baking soda
- Food coloring, if desired
If your friends are as busy as you are, they probably need time to relax. What better way to do that that in a luxurious bath? Gifting your friends bath salts will inspire them to take some time for themselves, which is exactly what most busy women need around the holidays—or at least first thing in the new year! To make your salts, combine one part baking soda, three parts Epsom salts, and six parts sea salts (according to Martha Stewart’s recipe). Add a few drops of fragrance and color (if desired) and mix it all together. For an especially festive take, layer different colored salts on top of each other in a clear jar. Just be sure to seal the container tightly to keep the salt from clumping before use. This year, save money and have fun by giving DIY gifts. Your friends—and your bank account—will love it!