I totally get it. Christmas is right around the corner and you are a broke college student with barely enough money for food this week, let alone Christmas presents for everyone on your list. If you’re like me, you get more excited about gift giving, then gift receiving during the holidays and spend lots of time trying to create the perfect present for all your friends and family. Lucky for you, I am pretty crafty myself and have complied a list of gift ideas that require almost no skill and limited funds!

1. Paint a Canvas

I know this sounds simple and basic but you would not believe how excited people get when they receive a handmade gift! If your craft skills are not A1 there are plenty of stencils online that you can print out and nobody has to know that you didn’t free hand it (;

If the person you are painting for is a big sports fan than their favorite team’s mascot is a great thing to paint (print that picture out online and get tracing!) for your spiritual friends, their favorite bible verse on a canvas is a great idea, and you can never go wrong with a well decorated monogram. The options are endless.

2. Fill a Coffee Mug or Basket

This is personally one of my favorites to do. If you are on a super tight budget you can buy a plain white mug from the dollar store, decorate it using different colored sharpies, then bake the mug in the oven and you’ve got a cute coffee mug to fill with nail polish, makeup, lotions, candy, socks, hair accessories, or any other trinkets you can find at the dollar store. For larger items, try using a basket or decorated box found at HomeGoods or Marshalls.

3. DIY Body Products

We would all love to have unlimited funds to be able to create a basket of Bath and Body Works products for every girl on our list, but in reality that is not going to happen. Instead, try searching Pinterest for recipes for DIY salt scrubs and bath bombs. There are endless amounts of different flavors and colors that require only a few ingredients from the grocery store. Here are the links for my personal favorites:

Bath bombs

Salt Scrub

Place your DIY goodies in a mason jar with a cute bow and you are good to go!

4. Coupon Books

Okay, so maybe I’m stretching it with this one, but when I was little and wanted to make Christmas presents for my parents I would create “Coupon Books” that were a big hit in my family and to this day my mom still might have some of them. All you need is paper and creative ideas- practically free! If anything, this is a comical gift and you never know when someone might try to redeem one. Here are some coupon ideas that are grander than what my 5 year old brain came up with the first time I made these.

  • 1 coupon for mowing the lawn
  • 1 coupon for a free ice cream cone
  • 1 coupon for doing all of the dishes
  • 1 coupon for cleaning the bathroom
  • 1 coupon for vacuuming the whole house
  • 1 coupon for a date night out
  • 1 coupon for a free hug
  • 1 coupon for cooking dinner

5. Mason Jar Sweet Treats

It’s the holiday season, lets eat! If you are a good baker, or can even manage making some killer boxed cookie mix, I guarantee people will not complain about a good sweet treat. Simply decorate a mason jar with a bow or sparkles and fill with your best dessert. Another idea is to give Mason Jars full of all of the ingredients for desserts like cookies, breads, cakes, and smores. Here are a few links for Mason Jar Dessert Recipes:




As cliché as it sounds, at the end of the day, it truly is the thought that counts. A sweet hand written note added to any gift is a great touch, and also remember it is all about how you wrap it! Cute bows, bags and pretty wrapping paper go a long way, and can make a less exciting gift look fabulous. Resist the urge to Black Friday shop and hit up a craft store!