Heather Wheeler | 

18 Easy DIY Gifts Under $15 for When You're on a Tight Budget

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If you’re looking for some easy homemade gifts under $15, you’ve come to the right place! Check out more home hacks for more tips to celebrate the holidays.

And for more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text SAVE to 57299. Or download the KCL app.


1. Create a personalized recipe plate with a permanent marker.

Create a personalized recipe plate with permanent marker.

Via Musely

Turn this gift into a family heirloom by sharing a special recipe with someone you love. Buy plates from the dollar store or a secondhand store, and write down recipes with a sharpie, then bake for 30 minutes at 150 degrees. You could also use a glass paint marker made specifically for writing on dishes. Glass paint markers are about $11.


2. Wrap yarn around a jar and spray paint it for a stylish candle holder.

It’s impressive what some clear jars, yarn, and spray paint can create. You can use any color of spray paint—just consider the season. This elegant candle holder is an inexpensive and great gift any time of the year.


3. Plant succulents in a mason jar.

Pick up some succulents, which are around $4 at stores like Kmart. Grab a mason jar, and paint the lower third for a dipped look. Then add some rocks and dirt before plopping in the succulent.

4. Fill a mason jar with a lemon sugar scrub.

This recipe is a cinch, and you probably already have most of the ingredients. Mix together some sugar, coconut oil, and essential oil for a cheap and out-of-this-world scrub that leaves anyone’s face, hair, and hands feeling soft and fresh.



5. Make coasters with old bottle caps.

If you’re a collector of bottle caps, this project is for you. Cut some corkboard into a circle — or a square, if that’s your thing. Then, glue on eight bottle caps. A man in your life will thank you.


6. Personalize a coffee mug with a sharpie.

Pick up white mugs from any craft store or Dollar Tree for very little, and use colored Sharpies to decorate—adding quotes and messages. Bake the mugs on a cookie tray for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

TIP: If you use regular Sharpies, avoid the dishwasher, as over time, your design will fade.


7. Or, give the gift of a glitter mug.

Follow Dollar Store Crafts’ instructions for dishwasher-safe mugs. You can buy everything for a dollar except the decoupage glue, which runs for $10, but shakes out to very little when you’re making multiple glitter mugs.


8. Build a gold pencil holder with recycled containers.

Here’s a project that retails for $48 but that you can do yourself for just $3. Gather some random cylindrical containers and glue the pieces to a board. Then use several coats of gold spray paint.


9. Make peppermint bath bombs.

Forgo the expensive bath bombs and make your own to give the friend who loves a relaxing bath. You’ll need a bath bomb mold which we found a 10-piece set for under $8, some epsom bath salts, peppermint essential oil, and a drop of food coloring (optional).

TIP: Over time, the bath bombs start to lose their food coloring hue, so don’t make these weeks in advance.


RELATED: Best Christmas Cookie Recipes of All Time


10. Create homemade lip gloss with just two ingredients.

Here’s a simple, quick, and cheap gift that will make any girl happy. Mix together petroleum jelly and some Whiston pearl dust which is an edible shimmer. Put it in a cosmetic container and gift it up. It’s that easy. Check out this set of 50 containers for $7.09.



11. Make hot chocolate ornaments.

Here’s an idea that’s like two gifts in one: when the hot chocolate is used up, the recipient is left with a pretty ornament. Find a food-safe plastic fillable ornament (get 10 for about $10) and fill it with instant hot cocoa, sprinkles, and small marshmallows.


12. Create a memory in a jar.

Turn a jar into a picture frame. Simply fill a jar with a picture and some trinkets you’ve picked up along the way, or laminate a photo and let that be the main feature. If your jar has a narrow opening, try putting items in with tweezers.


13. Make a teacup pincushion in five minutes.

You’re sew going to want to do this—and no sewing is required! Grab a piece of fabric, a teacup, some fiberfill, and an elastic hair band. This is a perfect gift for that person who loves sewing—and teacups.


14. Give the gift of pancakes.

Who doesn’t love pancakes? Try this Apple Cinnamon Pancake recipe. It’s enough to fill a quart-sized mason jar. While you’re at it, grab these free printable labels.


15. Add cowgirl cookie mix to a jar.

A delicious and stylish recipe gift any cookie connoisseur will eat up. Layer the ingredients in this order: flour, oats, M&M’s, chocolate chips, brown sugar, white sugar, and top with chopped pecans. Print free labels using card stock paper and attach them to the jar.


16. Turn a cheese grater into an earring holder.

Here’s a fun and refreshing way to reuse a cheese grater. All it takes is a spray paint job and some glued-on embellishments on the handle and bottom for some extra pizzazz.



17. Package some homemade bubble bath.

Nothing beats a good, wholesome, homemade bubble bath. It’s great for all ages—including those friends with toddlers who love bubbles. Print off some free labels then mix together baby oil, honey, hand soap or shampoo, and vanilla extract. Then, pour into plastic bottles—we found a two for $12.99 on Amazon.


18. Turn leftover juice lids into picture magnets.

Start collecting those metal juice and baby food lids. This is an easy project that involves some tracing, cutting, and gluing with Mod Podge for a thoughtful and creative gift using items you already have at home.




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