The Student News Site of Jamesville DeWitt High School


The Student News Site of Jamesville DeWitt High School


The Student News Site of Jamesville DeWitt High School


10 Nearly Free Gifts for Your Friends & Family this Holiday Season

Photo Credit: Sophia Caputo (’24)

The Holidays can be a stressful time; so whether you’re a broke student or just trying to be more environmentally friendly, here are 10 easy do-it-yourself gift ideas for your loved ones this season.

1. Personalized Playlist

Materials: Spotifty/Apple Music/Amazon Music

Music is highly personal, so what better way to show you care than your very own mixtape? Combine genres, artists, or even make the order of song names spell out a secret message. To finish off, add a playlist cover from your camera roll or Pinterest. If you have Spotify print out the Spotify code to wrap, or for a little extra cash, you can go to Etsy or other websites that will burn a CD or vinyl for you.

2. Holiday Coupons

Materials: Paper

When it comes to the Holiday season there is nothing better than heartful acts of service. Wrap your acts of service as coupons. Cut out paper and add what service will be performed. Some examples include a hug, a night of babysitting, breakfast in bed, a back rub, a game night, or other household chores you don’t normally do. Add stickers, drawings, or expiration dates if you’re feeling it.

3. Scrapbooks

Materials: Printer, Notebook or Colored Paper, Tape or Glue, String

Nothing is more precious than memories. Once you’ve selected some special photos, you can use a home or library printer or send your photos off to Shutterfly, Walgreens, or Walmart to print them. Consider cutting them out and mapping out your layout in a notebook, authentic scrapbook, or follow a YouTube tutorial to make your own with cardstock. Add frames to your photos by cutting out colored paper to go underneath. Finish by decorating with stickers, drawings, and inside jokes.

4. Keychains

Materials: Jump Rings or Safety Pin, String

To put on a backpack, keys, or rearview mirror, keychains can be meaningful to anyone of your loved ones. Many variations can be made: make shrinky dink keychains by repurposing number 6 plastic, you can also use clay, bottle caps, a boondoggle, or beads to make a friendship bracelet keychain. Make sure to leave a hole to attach a jump ring or single attach a safety pin, or a paperclip as an alternative. 

5. Origami

Materials: Regular or Origami Paper, Scissors

Although not for everyone, the Japanese art of paper folding is not as labor intensive as you may think. Using colored paper, origami paper, or even looseleaf, look up a YouTube tutorial to follow along. Make sure you have enough paper for mistakes, and don’t get discouraged if it takes you a few tries, nobody is perfect! Draw on your paper before or after folding for a more personalized aesthetic, add fairy lights, tee lights, or a flashlight inside the paper to make it a lamp.

6. Handwritten Letter

Materials: Card or Paper, Envelope

An easy classic. Use your own neat handwriting or cursive and look up writing templates for examples. Don’t forget to ask meaningful questions about the other person and add details about your life. Add the date and sign your name. Include stickers or drawings to your envelope, and don’t forget to address the outside so you know who the letter is going to.

7. A Framed Picture

Materials: Cardstock or Paper, Tape or Glue, Printer, 

There’s nothing more that people love than a picture of their loved ones or of their loved ones and themselves! Find an appealing photo and print. Trim to your desired size, and use paper to make your own frame. Although cardstock works best, with enough tape or glue any paper will do. This YouTube video has a great tutorial if needed. Consider adding something on the back of the frame to make it standable, such as more paper, an old container, plastic silverware, or old markers. 

8. Ornaments

Materials: Paper or Plastic Bulbs or Pinecones, Paint or Glue, Glitter, Pipe cleaners

For those celebrating Christmas, ornaments are an easy, timeless gift, especially for parents or grandparents, but truly works for anyone that has a Christmas tree. Create your base by making a shape or origami out of paper, buying plastic bulbs at a craft store, or picking pine cones from a tree or your yard. If you choose paper or pinecones, add a pipe cleaner in the shape of a hook or circle so you can later attach it to the tree. Cover your base in paint or glue and cover in glitter. Make sure to clean up your mess and add your name and the year somewhere to the ornament for a personalized touch.

9. Ceramics

Materials: Air Dry Clay, Paint

Many things can be made out of clay: mugs, measuring cups, ashtrays, figurines, or even bowls. Use air dry clay to craft your design. Remember to attach pieces by “scoring” or drawing a bunch of marks and adding water to both sides. Let dry overnight, and paint in the morning. If you want to take it a step further you can even make your own paint out of household supplies. 

10. Body Scrub 

Materials: Coconut Oil, Brown Sugar or Sea Salt, Jar

The Holidays are stressful, so add some relief to your loved one’s routine with a homemade body scrub. Repurpose old mason jars or containers. Add ½ cup brown sugar or sea salt and ½ cup coconut oil and combine. Add essential oils for fragrance or honey for its antibacterial properties. Finish by decorating your container with colored paper or ribbons.

Other ideas:

  • Crochet/Sewing
  • Handmade Jewelry
  • Homemade Card Deck 
  • Hot Chocolate Kits
  • Jar of Reasons Why I Love You
  • Trail Mix
  • Reindeer Food
  • Handmade Crayons
  • Handmade Journal
  • Candles
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