DIY Gifts for the Holidays

By: Martha-Raye Adjei, University of Delaware Alumna 2013

The holidays are approaching and fall semester is quickly coming to a close. You’ve probably started to think about gifts for your family and friends this year, as finals are probably the first thing on your mind. Then there’s finances and making sure you don’t go overboard on your spending.

One way to manage your spending this holiday is to make your own gifts. DIY is fun and easy to personalize, which adds sentimental value for the person receiving them; it shows you took the time and effort to make something with your own hands rather than throwing something in a basket during all the shopping mall madness.

Give these a try!:

Perfume or Cologne

Check out’s guide for creating signature scents. Did you know that many of the ‘smells’ we all love so much largely come from essential oils, herbs and spices. You’ll want to think of the person you are giving it to, and decide what scents would suit them best. Is it pine for your outdoorsy brother, does your mom loves daisies? Decorate the bottle and add a personal message or monogram to finish this great gift idea.

Something Sweet

Edible gifts are always a hit. Take a mason jar, glass bottle, or paper/plastic bag and add the person’s favorite treats into it. Some ideas for the sweets include brownies, chocolates, gummy bears, lollipops or cookies. You can decorate the container to make it festive, painting them, drawing on them with permanent marker, or wrapping them in decorative paper. Some plastic bags come already decorated, or you can also buy little favor bags with drawstrings to put the sweets in.


Personalized Mug

Get some white mugs and a permanent sharpie- it’s time to decorate! You can write fun quotes, an inside joke or inspiring message, to name a few ideas. A special guy, best friend, or family member will love this personalized present! There’s so many DIY mug ideas you can find on Pinterest.


Something Cozy

‘Tis the season to cuddle, so a blanket or a pillow would be a welcomed gift. YouTube has a tutorial for a blanket as well as a basic pillow.

With your busy schedule as a student, preparing these simple and adorable gifts will get you in the holiday spirit and provide some much needed stress relief from finals. Speaking of finals, check out Emma’s article about yummy, winter snacks to keep you healthy and energized during exams– they’re perfect for another DIY gift idea too!

Happy Crafting!


Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!