Listen: I love Christmas.
The twinkly lights, the delicious food, the music that’s so rife with nostalgia — I love it all.
But what I don’t love is the rehab I have to put my budget through every January when the last of the eggnog wears off and I’m left to survey the bleak landscape that is my bank account.
But not this year.
This year I’m taking matters into my own hands — quite literally — by DIYing some of the Christmas gifts I’ll be giving to my friends and family.
And do you know where I’m starting?
With the Stocking stuffers.
Christmas gifts are a great way to give things that your friends and family have been wanting (or needing) anyway, but stocking stuffers? Those tend to just be packed with filler crap — the non-special stuff that’s just there to be there — and that filler crap adds up.
Not only will I save money by DIYing my own stocking stuffer gifts, but I’ll be giving unique, personalized, handmade gifts to the people I love — and that really jibes with my idea of the way Christmas should be celebrated.
So I’ve rounded up a list of awesome gift ideas that you (yes, you!) can DIY and use to stuff those stockings — without bogging the giftee down with random knick-knacks and junk.
9 Unique DIY Stocking Stuffers You Can Make At Home
Fire up the DIY station, folks. (And maybe make some more hot cocoa while you’re at it!)
DIY Beard Oil
If you’re friends with a lot of lumberjacks and hipsters, this easy DIY beard oil will be the way to go.
Bonus: you can make six different beard oils out of the materials included here — and you probably have some of the ingredients in your cabinet right now.
DIY Bath Bombs
These simple DIY bath bombs make your house smell incredible while you’re mixing them up and make such fun gifts.
Plus, once you have all the supplies, you can make dozens of them — and maybe even keep a few for yourself!
DIY Lip Scrub
Use this basic lip scrub recipe to create any color or flavor combination you can dream up (we’ll even get you started with a few ideas). Either way, this is a super easy, totally customizable gift you can make with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
A DIY Spa Day
While you’re at it (and because everyone likes to be pampered now and again), consider DIYing an entire “spa day” stocking using some of the ideas found here. There’s nothing better than a day of pampering — and who knows? Maybe the giftee will ask you to join them!
DIY Sweater Mittens
Including socks, hats and other cold weather gear in Christmas stockings is a great way to sneak in some necessities that look like gifts. There’s a great tutorial for DIY mittens here that you can follow to make your own fuzzy hand warmers from an old sweater!
A DIY To Show You Care
This DIY gift would be a great to give at any time, but would be a meaningful addition to a Christmas stocking, too. All you need are popsicle sticks and a jar, and you can give the gift of an uplifting and positive treasure trove of encouragement and inspiration.
You could also switch out the quotes and phrases for a list of chores, favors or special treats for the recipient to cash in over time. Sometimes the best gifts truly do come free (or at least nearly).
A miniature version of this DIY chalkboard sign could be propped up on a desk at work, attached to a magnet to create a handy place to jot down grocery items or given to a child with a pack of colorful chalk as a portable (and reusable!) drawing pad.
You might even have some odds and ends lying around the house that would be perfectly sized and ready for a new life as a chalkboard! (Think: coasters, small picture frames or even just scraps of wood.)
Snacks, Breads and Cookies
If you’re trying to forego the overpriced (and sugar-filled) Christmas candy aisle, grab an idea from the “Food and Drink” section here to make at home and sub in for those misshapen Reese’s trees. Bonus: There are tons of other great free gift ideas included in that list!
DIY Dog Toys and Treats
Don’t forget Fido! If your mom is like my mom, there’s a stocking for the dog. Skip the pricy toy aisle (they’ll be destroyed within minutes anyway) and make these DIY dog toys and treats instead. You can fill Scruffy’s stocking with things you probably already have on hand!
Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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