Gift-giving can be stressful. Not to mention expensive. It's why having a few awesome DIY gift ideas up your sleeve for friends and loved ones can be so incredibly clutch in life.
The thing about DIY gifts — and DIY projects in general — is that there's a fine line between an absolutely amazing finished product and an end result that looks like a messy conglomerate of glitter and glue. I've always found that great DIY gifts come down to two basic things: knowing your limits as a craft maker and choosing projects that another person will genuinely like and use.
For example, I might know my friend will go absolutely crazy for monogramed, nautical-themed coasters, but because I'm not all that great with decorating, precision, or penmanship, I know that even my best attempt will probably look kind of shabby. Conversely, the idea of making a flower vase blinged out with glitter might seem kind of fun to make and is definitely something I can achieve with my limited artistic abilities, but it's not necessarily something any of my friends would actually ever want or use.
So the trick then becomes finding projects that will not only be genuinely appreciated, but will actually turn out well. If you're on the lookout for cost-efficient gifts that your friends will genuinely love, here are 11 DIY projects that definitely fit the bill.
1. Homemade Face And Body Scrubs
DIY face and body scrubs in mason jars are not only a genuinely great gift, but they can look incredibly pretty when constructed in the right way. You can also tailor the batch to your friend's favorite scents and ingredients.
2. Personalized Shot Glasses
These shot glasses are an awesome idea for a group of friends or for individuals. You can monogram a shot glass with a friend's initials, or use them to spell out an entire word or phrase (inside joke alert).
3. Instagram Coasters
I'm kind of obsessed with this idea, because not only is it incredibly thoughtful, but it's super easy for the non-crafty-inclined. Simply print out photos from Instagram or other social media sources and glue them onto card stock with a water-based sealant, like Mod Podge. Skip to 1:33 for the coaster-specific section of the video.
4. A Personalized Phone Case
Much like the personalized coasters, an iphone case covered with your friend's most treasured memories is another super thoughtful gift — and also not all that hard. You'll just need a plain phone case, Mod Podge, and the photos.
5. A Blinged-Out Case
This next one is for those who are a little more confident in their artistic capabilities, because it could definitely turn out like a pile of glue and glitter if you're not careful. However, if done well, this can be the absolutely perfect gift for a friend who loves bling.
6. DIY Perfume
Perfume can always be a risky gift since people are generally super particular about their signature scents. However, if you have a friend who you know is obsessed with a particular scent, like lilac, or peppermint, this could be the absolute perfect DIY gift. Just make sure you make it well in advance, as perfume needs about three weeks to mature in the bottle before it's usable!
7. Inside Joke Throw Pillow
Personalized throw pillows are awesome for little inside jokes or words specific to your friendship, and they're genuinely not as hard to make as they may appear. Skip to minute 1:00 of the above video and let the "Yas, Queen" pillow-making commence!
8. Homemade Temporary Tattoos
While most of us technical grown ups might not have any real use for a temporary tattoo, they can make the perfect gag gift for a close friend or group of friends. You can literally use any image you find online and just need some tattoo-transfer paper (easily found on Amazon).
9. Drugstore Beauty Box
OK, this one isn't technically 100 percent DIY since it entails makeup products bought from the store. However, it still can be incredibly personalized and cost effective, and definitely has a major DIY element since you'll be decorating the box. This is great for cheering up a friend who might have had a bad week and also makes a great thank you gift.
10. A Rubik's Cube Photo Frame
This is an AMAZING idea for the puzzle or retro-loving friend out there. It takes a little time (there's a lot of cutting and gluing), but the end result is more than worth it. Your friends will be obsessed.
11. Jarred Cookie Mix
This is a classic DIY gift that never gets old. It shows time and care, and also looks incredibly cute. This is also great for a friend who needs cheering up, or the person who already has everything (because who doesn't need cookies?).
DIY gifting is an awesome, super thoughtful alternative to gift cards or generic store-bought presents. Just be prepared for some extremely happy friends.