DIY Gifts for the Holidays

As the holidays approach, many people have started thinking about holiday gifts for their friends and families. However, for many, times are tough and the thought of buying gifts can be overwhelming and stressful.

With the climate crisis also weighing on our shoulders, finding environmentally-friendly gift options is something that many are thinking about. So, I’ve done some brainstorming of gifts that don’t have to be expensive or necessarily wasteful, that you can make for your friends and family this holiday season.

1. Secret Santa

Okay, this isn’t a gift idea per se, but instead of getting gifts for all of your friends, roommates, family members, etc. try organizing a Secret Santa gift exchange. This eliminates some stress by only having to focus on giving a gift to one person instead of many, and getting everyone together to exchange gifts can still be a very fun and special experience!

2. Homemade candles


Image from Samuel Bryngelsson on Unsplash

Who doesn’t love a cozy candle, especially in the winter? A gift idea I’m going to be trying this year is making my own candles. The internet is filled with creative ideas, but for a basic candle you’ll only need:

  • A jar/container of some sort. Try using old jars that you would be recycling anyway — you’ll spend less money and be helping the environment!)
  • Some kind of wax (soy wax, beeswax, etc.). This can be found at stores like Michael’s and Walmart.
  • Candle wicks (or possibly just string… although you’ll want to do more research here to make sure this will work). You can find wicks at Michael’s or other craft stores.
  • Essential oils to add a scent (optional)
  • Food colouring/dye for colour (optional)

This would be a great homemade gift, and you can get really creative with the types of containers, scents, and colours you mix together.

3. Clay creations

Image from Grant Durr on Unsplash

Pick up some air-drying or oven-bake clay from craft stores like Michael’s or online, or if you happen to have access to real clay and a kiln, maybe that could be an option too!

You can use your creativity to make anything you like and paint it after. For my friend this year I will be attempting to make a little jewellery dish out of air-dry clay that she can keep her rings in.

4. Yummy treats

If you like cooking or baking up a storm, try making an edible gift! From cookies and cakes to homemade soups or even your own bread, try making something sweet or savoury that they can enjoy, or you can enjoy together. Food is a great opportunity to share your creativity in a festive and seasonal way.

5. Experiences

If you’re anything like me, you might much rather receive something that you can experience, rather than a physical “thing”. A night at the movies, tickets to a museum/art gallery/concert, or even a homemade coupon for an activity together like snowshoeing or a walk in the woods can be a really meaningful gift.

Additionally, this is a great option for cutting down on waste and consumption over the holidays, and offering a practical gift that you know will be used and enjoyed.

So, try to get creative, save some money, and help the planet over the holidays. The internet has so much more inspiration beyond what can be covered in a blog post, but hopefully this gets the ball rolling for you. Happy gifting!

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