Easy and Inexpensive DIY Gift Ideas on a Budget

Shannon Quinn - May 15, 2022

Sometimes, buying gifts for friends and family can be difficult. There are so many options out there, so it can be hard to choose that perfect present for the one you love. Have you considered DIY? Making a present yourself puts a personal touch on the gift, and it makes the experience so much more special. And in a lot of scenarios, it can also be cheaper than buying something from the store.

A bangle bracelet make out of wire. Credit: Happy Hour Projects

50. Wire Wrapped Heart Bangle

Jewelry is a classic gift idea, especially if you’re looking to find something for a woman in your life. However, jewelry is notoriously expensive, especially if you start looking at precious metals and stones. A great alternative to this would be this DIY wire heart bangle bracelet. At first glance, you would never even know that this bracelet was handmade. All you need to get started is silver plated copper wire, nylon jaw and round nose jewelry pliers, as well as wire cutters. To see the full tutorial, check out Happy Hour Projects.

A very cute crocheted cup cozy. Credit: 1 dog woof

49. Basketweave Crochet Cup Cozy 

Do you have someone in your life who can’t get through the day without buying their cup of coffee? Then you just might want to make this adorable basketweave crochet cup cozy. Obviously, this gift idea only works if you have some experience knowing how to crochet, first. For the full tutorial and materials list, check out the blog 1 Dog Woof.

A clever DIY canvas tool apron. Credit: The Merry Thought

48. Canvas Tool Apron

If you have a friend who’s handy with DIY projects of their very own, you might want to consider making them a canvas tool apron. This is perfect for someone you know if about to embark on a big project like rehabbing their house. They want to do a lot of work, but they might not necessarily have all of the tools and accessories ready at their disposal, like a tool belt. To see more on how to make this, check out the blog The Merry Thought.

Learn how to make your own orange bitters for cocktails at home. Credit: Lovely Indeed

47. Orange Bitters

Does your friend love cocktails? Then a clever gift to give them would be a bottle of homemade orange bitters. This way, they can make an Old Fashioned knowing that their bestie worked hard to make it happen. If you have enough ingredients to make multiple bottles, this might also be a great party favor for your guests if you have any kind of party. For instructions on how to make orange bitters, check out Lovely Indeed.

An adorable clutch that’s simple and easy to make. Credit: The Inspiration Board

46. A Simple Clutch

Ladies, who doesn’t love a little clutch? These bags are very useful to hold your belongings, especially if you travel. It can also be great for anyone who has a large purse, but they need or organize their things to make things easier to find. Just keep in mind that you need to have some basic sewing machine skills if you want to create this. To find instructions on how to make this, check out The Inspiration Board.

Continue to reuse your soap dispenser with this clever mason jar craft. Credit: Creative Green Living

45. Foaming Hand Soap Pump Mason Jar

Foaming hand soap is one of the most popular items you can buy at stores like Bath and Body Works. However, at the average price of about $7 per bottle, it can quickly get very pricey to equip every bathroom in your house stocked with foaming bath soap. That’s where this mason jar hand pump comes in. Once you have one of these bottles, it’s just a matter of refilling it every time you need foaming soap. This is a great thing to make for yourself, or to give as a gift to a friend. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Creative Green Living.

Make gifts for everyone in your life with these hand painted earrings. Credit: The Crafted Sparrow

44. Painted Earrings

If you have a friend who loves to wear big, dangly earrings, this next project is for you. With just a few wooden beads and wire, you can make these hand painted earrings for friends and family. Once you have the supplies on-hand, it should be easy for you to make multiple pairs of these earrings. This could be perfect to give away as a party favor, or to all of your friends at Christmas time. It might also be great for Mother’s Day and birthdays. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out The Crafted Sparrow.

Home made hand soaps are a great gift to give almost anyone in your life. Credit: I Heart Naptime

43. Homemade Hand Soaps

Everyone uses soap. (At least, they should!) So when you get a really great-smelling bar, it’s always appreciated. Learning how to make soap can be great for gifts, because it gives you endless possibilities on the shapes, sizes, and scents of what you can make. Bonus points if you create cute packaging to cover your hand-made soaps, too! If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out The Inspiration Board.

Peppermint bath salts are a refreshing gift to give someone who loves to soak. Credit: A Pumpkin and a Princess

42. Peppermint Bath Salts

Do you have a friend who likes to take long, hot baths? Then you might want to consider giving them a jar full of bath salts. These are easy to make in any scent and color that you’d like. But if you’re giving a gift around the holiday season, it may be a clever idea to make a red and white striped peppermint bath salt jar. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Homemade Peppermint Bath Salts.

This fabric basket is quick and easy to make. Credit: Flamingo Toes

41. Easy Fabric Basket

Almost everyone (especially crafters) needs more storage options. So this easy fabric basket is a really cute idea to give someone to carry just about everything, including yarn like in the photo seen above. Just keep in mind that this is a fabric basket, so it won’t hold anything heavy. You might be imagining a canvas tote bag, but this would actually be more fragile than that.  If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Flamingo Toes.

Make delicious hot chocolate with these cute tubes. Credit: Hoosier Homemade

40. Cocoa Kit Mugs

Who doesn’t love to have a cup of hot cocoa around the holidays? These little plastic tubes are filled with cocoa mix, peppermints, marshmallows, and candy that can all be mixed in for a perfect cup of sugary brew. This might be precious if you had all of the tubes inside of a mug to give to someone, or gather them all together with a piece of ribbon. It could be a really inexpensive gift to give to coworkers, teachers, and more. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Hoosier Homemade.

Make your own hand warmers for friends and family. Credit: The Inspiration Board

39. Hand Warmers

If you know someone who is forced to attend their kid’s football games out in the cold, consider this next gift for them. They are adorable and easy to make hand warmers if you know how to sew. Once you have all of the supplies together, it’s easy to make a lot of these to give to teachers, coworkers, friends, and more. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out The Inspiration Board.

Give your friends some of your favorite dip mixes in these ornaments. Credit: Sprinkle Some Fun

38. Dip Mix Ornaments

Do you have a dry dip mix recipe that your friends rave about? Then this is your chance to give everyone a sampling of something that can be mixed in with sour cream. The idea is to pour the mixture into an empty ornament and screw the top back on. Hopefully you can find a plastic version of these at your local craft store! If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Sprinkle Some Fun.

An adorable DIY notebook project. Credit: Mod Podge Rocks Blog

37. DIY Notebook

Notebooks are always useful to have, even in the modern age of cellphones and computers. We always need to jot down some notes about appointments or to-do lists. So making a DIY notebook for a friend might be a great idea. This would also make a great craft to do with kids, a classroom, or a boy scout or girl scout troop to do together. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Mod Podge Rocks Blog.

Handmade lavender sachets smell amazing and make great gifts. Credit: Kenarry

36. Handmade Lavender Sachets

Everyone loves to freshen up the scent of their homes in any way possible. Lavender is known to be relaxing, and it helps people to fall asleep at night. So by giving a sachet filled with dried lavender, it’s like you’re wishing your friends to have sweet dreams. If you know how to sew, this is a very easy project. It might also be a great gift to start learning how to sew, since it’s just a bunch of straight lines to make the sachets. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Kenarry.

Use cookie cutters to make clever candle shapes. Credit: Pop Sugar

35. Cookie Cutter Candles

Do you have a massive cookie cutter collection that you’ve collected over the years? It might be time for you to repurpose what you use them for. Cookie cutters actually make great molds for candles. Once you get good with experimenting with scented oils and colors, the possibilities are endless when it comes to making handmade candles for your friends. Since these are such small candles, it would make a great holiday gift for friends, family, and acquaintances. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out PopSugar.

This caramel apple butter recipe can be made in the crockpot. Credit: It’s Always Autumn

34. Crockpot Caramel Apple Butter

Once you’ve tasted caramel apple butter, you’ll never want to go back to making boring old jam again. This is an easy recipe to make in your crockpot, and it’s enough to scoop up several jars to give away to your friends as gifts. It would be great during the holidays, but you can also give this away at any time of the year, including Mother’s Day. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out It’s Always Autumn.

An adorable multi-tiered succulent planter. Credit: Craft Berry Bush

33. Succulent Planter

A classic gift to give people is a nice plant. Since succulents are all the rage nowadays, it makes sense that you might want to consider a succulent planter. Most plant nurseries and places like Home Depot sell pots of succulents already. But this three-tiered planter was made by gluing together three Dollar Tree bowls together to make something extra fancy. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Craft Berry Bush.

A clever gift to create is the pop-up photo box. Credit: The DIY Village

32. Pop-Up Photo Box

Soak in all of the beautiful memories with this sentimental pop-up-photo box. This seems like the perfect gift to give someone for their anniversary. But you don’t necessarily have to restrict yourself to wedding photos. The pop-up photo box can have pictures of anything- from your Instagram feed to pics of your pup. Get creative, and see where the project takes you. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out The DIY Village.

Mason jar lid magnets is a great craft to make for Mother’s Day. Credit: Unoriginal Mom

31. Mason Jar Lid Magnets

Check out these adorable mason jar lid magnets! It’s perfect for family photos of the kids. Rather than giving this as a gift to your friends, this next project might be a perfect craft to do with your kids to give to their mom for Mother’s Day. You could collect the tops of jars to recycle them for this project. Or, you could go to Walmart and buy a pack of Mason Jar lids. (They come in both metal and white plastic.) If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Unoriginal Mom.

Dried flowers look amazing when hung on the wall. Credit: Better Homes and Gardens

30. Dried Flower Shadowbox Art

Dried flowers are truly beautiful, no matter what you decide to do with them. But as you can see from the photo above, sometimes dried flowers can look truly epic with what you can manage to do with a blank canvas and a shadowbox picture frame. Sometimes, you can make an entire gallery wall like the one you see above. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Better Homes and Gardens.

It’s easy to make one of these DIY sunglasses cases. Credit: Burda Style

29. Glasses Case

No one likes it when their sunglasses get all scratched up, and yet so few of us bother to buy cases. And even if your friend has a case for one pair, they’re likely to have multiples that need protection. These glasses cases are adorable, and easy to make if you know how to sew. IT could be a great holiday or birthday gift. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Burda Style.

Little girls would love one of these sequin bracelets. Credit: Pottery Barn

28. Sequin Bracelets

Check out these adorable sequin bracelets. This would be a great craft to make with your daughter, and she could make gifts for her friends. All you need are bangles, sequins, and glue to get this project started. Get creative with the colors and shapes that you make on the bracelets, and it can be a truly unique project in the end. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Pottery Barn.

Make you friends a handmade kitchen apron. Credit: Creative Green Living

27. Apron

If you know someone who likes to cook, making them a custom apron would be a great gift. The great thing about this is that you can choose any fabric that you like. It can be made to match the holidays, or it could match any season of the year that you plan on giving the gift. If you know how to sew, this is actually very easy to make. You may even be able to make more than one for the women in your life.  If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Creative Green Living.

This mason jar pin cushion is a clever gift to give someone who sews and crafts often. Credit: Crazy Wonderful

26. Mason Jar Pin Cushion

Do you know someone who likes to sew?  These mason jar pin cushion projects might just be the perfect little DIY for you or your children to make. All you need is a mason jar, the homemade pincushion, and a hot glue gun to attach it all together. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Crazy Wonderful.

It’s always a good idea to give a gift based on someone’s birth stone. Credit: Creative Green Living

25. Birthstone Bracelet

Everyone has a birthstone oh, and it’s a popular gift choice for you to give them a piece of jewelry that matches. However, it can get expensive if you pay for real gold and gems. This is an adorable alternative to giving someone beads that look like their birthstone without actually paying an arm and a leg. Just don’t give this for an anniversary present, or you might get a bad reaction from your loved one, no matter how thoughtful the DIY may be! If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Creative Green Living

Transform a placemat into a clutch. Credit: Lil Blue Boo

24. The Placemat Clutch

This next project is an easy upcycle for you to take an existing placemat and turn it into a clutch. If you search at your local thrift store, it’s likely that you’ll find some fabric placemats that you can use to make this project. Another option is that you can buy brand new place mats in a pack from somewhere like Target or Walmart. This way, you can give the same gift to multiple people. It takes minimal sewing skills for you to make this, so it’s great for anyone who considers themselves to be a beginner at sewing. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Lil Blue Boo.

Learn how to make this adorable ceramic jewelry dish. Credit: Creative Green Living

23. Jewelry Dish

Normally, if you wanted to make something ceramic, you’d have to get it fired in a kiln. But if you buy a small pack of oven bake clay, you can make fun projects like this jewelry dish. All she did was create a small piece of clay and lay it down onto a 3D pattern to get the leaf textures you see above. Then she used a circular cookie cutter to make sure the small plate was even. Once it was baked in the oven, it became an adorable little jewelry dish that’s perfect for holding rings while you do the dishes. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Creative Green Living.

These bird nest necklaces are easy to make. Credit: Sara Hortega

22. Bird Nest Necklace

This next idea is perfect for Mother’s Day. Using wire, you make small nests that hold different beads inside. It would be perfect if you found these that were the same color as the children’s birthstones. Each mother could have a little nest with all of her children inside of it as a representation of her family. All you need to do this project is jewelry pliers, wire, a chain, and a few other products that you can find at your local craft store. Once you have the items available to you, you can make multiple necklaces for all of the mothers in your life.  If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Sara Hortega.

Painting wooden kitchen utensils in an ombre color makes for a great gift idea. Credit: Lydi Out Loud

21. Ombre Kitchen Utensils 

If you want a truly simple project to make for someone, this next one is it. It’s simply a pack of wooden kitchen utensils where the handles have been painted blue. The colors get gradually lighter with each piece, which gives an ombre effect. All of them are wrapped together with a ribbon. This might be a good gift to give to someone as a housewarming present, when they’re most likely looking to gather new utensils for the kitchen. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Lydia Out Loud.

Print your favorite quotes on a pillow case to give as a gift. Credit: Inspired by This

20. Quote Pillow

Everyone has a favorite quote, and your friends surely do, too. Making them a pillowcase with their favorite quote just might be the gift they need in their life. It’s truly a thoughtful personalized gift to give for your birthday or the holidays. And it’s easier to make than you might imagine! If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Inspired by This.

You don’t need to learn how to sew in order to make this rainbow hot pad. Credit: Paper N Stitch

19. No Sew Hot Pads 

All you need for this DIY project is upholstery cord, and some colorful dye to dip it in. Once the sections of the cord have been dyed and left out to dry, twist up the corn together into a little circular pad like the one you see above. Secondly, use an iron to hot press so that it all sticks together into one hot pad with no sewing required. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Paper N Stitch Blog.

This DIY iPad holder is a clever gift to give someone to look up recipes in the kitchen. Credit: The Idea Room

18. DIY iPad Holder

For anyone who knows how to cook, you already know the frustration of trying to read a recipe while you’re balancing so much else in the kitchen. If you don’t already have an iPad stand, it can be a nightmare of trying to prop it up on something without getting it dirty. This beautiful iPad holder is made out of a cutting board, which is just perfect for a kitchen setting. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out The Idea Room.

Pieces of concrete are used as colorful and cute paint splatter book ends. Credit: A Beautiful Mess

17. Splatter Painted Concrete Sphere Bookends

Interested in trying out concrete casting? This project is relatively easy, since you’re using two bowls to cast spheres out of concrete. Once they have dried, you can paint them and then use extra splatter to give them a fun texture. And voila! You have beautiful, easy DIY bookends to give to a friend, or use in your own home. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out A Beautiful Mess.

Have an old sweater to get rid of? Turn it into a wine bottle sleeve. Credit: That’s What Che Said

16. Sweater Sleeve Wine Bottle

Do you have any sweaters leftover that you’re thinking about donating to the thrift store? Set them aside, because you just might want to do this DIY project. These sweater sleeves make adorable wine bottle covers to give as gifts during the holiday season. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out That’s What Che Said.

Upcycle old clothing with this no-sew t-shirt scarf. Credit: Tidy Mom

15. No Sew T-Shirt Scarf

Believe it or not, you can make this scarf out of an old t-shirt with no sewing required whatsoever. It’s perfect if you were already planning to donate your old clothes to the thrift store anyway, and you wanted a project to upcycle something to give a friend. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Tidy Mom.

Get a little bling in your life with this gold mouse pad. Credit: Homey Oh My

14. Gold Mouse Pad

Do you know someone who needs a little bit more bling in their life? They might enjoy this DIY gold mouse pad. All you need to make it are a black mousepad, painter’s tape, and gold spray paint. You need a lot of patience to make the pattern, but the end result is truly stunning. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Homey Oh My.

Personalized wooden hangers are a great gift to give someone for a house warming gift. Credit: Driven by Decor

13. Personalized Wood Hangers 

Whether you’re giving this as a gift or using it in your own home, personalized wooden hangers can help your guests feel welcomed. All you need to do this project is wooden hangers (which are cheapest at Ikea), rub-on letters or a Cricut machine to make personalized decals, ribbon, and a pair of scissors. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Driven by Decor.

Kyber crystal necklaces look amazing and make great gifts for friends. Credit: Creative Green Living

12. Kyber Crystal Necklace

Many of you out there may be wondering, what the heck is a Kyber crystal? But fans of the Star Wars universe already know. This DIY is a fun way to make a fake crystal out of a glue stick, and wrap it in a wire to make a necklace. It could be something truly fun to do with your kids, especially if they like Star Wars. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Creative Green Living.

This scalloped sunglasses case makes for an easy sewing project. Credit: Positively Splendid

11. Scalloped Sunglasses Case

Most people have multiple pairs of sunglasses, and can always use another case to help protect them. This scalloped sunglasses case is easy to make, especially if you already know how to sew. It would be great to give away for the holiday season, a birthday, or even Mother’s Day. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make this, check out Positively Splendid.

DIY infused oils for cooking. Credit: Just Putzing Around the Kitchen

10. A Set of Infused Olive Oils

If you’ve ever visited one of those fancy kitchen stores in the mall, you may be familiar with the concept of infused oils. These are just olive oil that have been infused with other flavors from garlic, chili flakes, rosemary, lemon, and more. It’s actually very easy to make your own bottles of these to give to friends and family.  They will appreciate you every time they cook a delicious meal with these infused oils. If you want to see a tutorial on how to make this, check out Just Putzing Around the Kitchen.

A DIY personalized Guess Who board game. Credit: Almost Makes Perfect

9. Personalized Guess Who Game

Have you ever played the board game “Guess Who”? This is a game where you are trying to guess which person the other player has on their card. You can ask questions like “Are they a woman? Do they have blonde hair?” Etc. etc. By process of elimination, you can guess who the other person is. This idea is to replace all of the images with pictures of family and friends. It would make the game a lot more fun and interesting this way, plus it’s a stellar DIY gift idea. If you want to see a tutorial on how to make this, check out Almost Makes Perfect.

A jar filled with cookie making ingredients. Credit: Sugar Spun Run

8. Cookie Mix in a Jar

Everyone loves to have freshly baked cookies around the holidays, but not everyone can be bothered to make them. This is a great way to help your friends and family by doing half the work for them. The idea behind these jars is that all of the dry ingredients are included. All they need to do is add the wet ingredients like butter, vanilla extract, and eggs to the mixture. Adding holiday colored M&M’s is also a great touch, because it makes the jar look more festive. IF you want to see a tutorial on how to make this, check out Sugar Spun Run.

These necklaces look like they were bought straight out of a boutique. Credit: The Lovely Drawer

7. Tube Bead Necklace

This next gift looks far more expensive than it actually is- a tube bead necklace. These are made out of fimo, which are baked in the oven to take their shape. A bit of gold spray paint on top makes it look as if it was actually dipped in gold. Your friends and family will seriously be impressed that you made these, because it looks like something straight out of a boutique. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make these, check out The Lovely Drawer.

This bag has everything your kids could need to make a fort at home. Credit: A Modern Homestead

6. Deluxe Fort Making Kit

When you were a kid, you probably made forts out of blankets and furniture around your parent’s house. This gift idea takes it to the next level. It’s a handmade “Deluxe Fort Making Kit” filled with sheets, suction cups, clothes pins, ropes, and even a flashlight to get ready for a perfect day of fort making. If you want to learn how to make this yourself, check out the tutorial on A Modern Homestead.

a variety of different cocktail mix options for your friends to try. Credit: Something Turquoise

5. Cocktail Party in a Jar

If you and your friends love to drink together, a great DIY idea is to give them a cocktail in a jar. This is exactly what it sounds like. Just grab a mason jar, add a can of their favorite soda, and attach a mini bottle of liquor. Once you buy a box of mason jars, you can make at least 10 of these to give away to friends. They cost an average of $10 each, depending on the prices of drinks in your local area. If you want to see a tutorial on how to make these, check out Something Turquoise.

These trendy macrame plant holders have been in style since the 1970’s, and they keep going strong. Credit: Hey Lila Hey

4. Macrame Plant Holders

Macrame is all the rage lately, and it looks great in almost any home. There are plenty of DIY kits online that help you make hangers, or you can buy supplies and follow a tutorial online, like this one by Hey Lila Hey. Whether your friend is a newbie plant parent or a seasoned expert, they should appreciate getting this. Bonus points if you include the pot, too. They need somewhere to put their new baby plant.

Once you learn how to etch, you can get it done on any glass surface. Credit: Etsy

3. Etched Wine Glasses

Want to give your friends something truly elegant? Etched wine glasses can be had for as much as $20 apiece, but it’s much more affordable if you learn how to do it yourself. This next project is only possible if you have a cutting machine at your disposal. But it’s actually a lot easier to make than you would imagine. Check out this tutorial from The Pinning Mama if you want to see how to make these on your own.

An adorable idea is to create a snow globe on top of a jar lid. Credit: Smart Schoolhouse

2. DIY Snow Globe Jars

Around the holiday season, it’s a good idea to give friends and family jars full of treats. This could be hot cocoa mix, candy, and so much more. But why not make the jar a bit more creative than your standard Mason jar with ribbon? This idea from Smart School House creates snow globes on top of the jar lids. These are an adorable gift that doubles as holiday decor, and your friends and reuse them year after year.


Adorable crystal wine stoppers are a great gift for your bestie. Credit: Creative Fashion Blog

1. Crystal Wine Stopper

Crystals are all the rage nowadays. So if you have a friend who loves to collect crystals and drink wine, this gift is for them. It’s actually really easy to make, too. All you need is a crystal, a cork wine stopper, and E6000 Adhesive glue. The end result looks like something you might find for sale in a high-end boutique. If you want to see the tutorial on how to make these, check out Creative Fashion Blog.