6 Thoughtful DIY Gifts for Friends

Did you forget to buy a gift? Or does gift-shopping just stress you out? Don't worry—from, bath gels to calendars, here are homemade gifts that should do the trick. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Bubble Bath Gels

We love these incredible bath gels! Make some for yourself or give them out as gifts. (During the holidays, try scenting them with seasonal oils for a special treat.) In a small bowl, pour in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Bring three-quarters of a cup of water to a boil and pour over the gelatin, stirring until it’s fully dissolved. Then stir in a half cup of unscented liquid soap and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. For an extra twist, add a drop or two of food coloring. Pour the mixture into a storage container and refrigerate until the mixture is set. To use, place a tablespoon or so of the gel under running bathwater.

A Thoughtful and Thrifty Gift for a Bride-to-Be

Here’s a wonderful, one-of-a-kind gift for a bridal shower: Buy a blank hardcover book, add dividers, and create a family cookbook. Just ask the bride and groom’s families to provide their favorite treasured recipes.

Handmade Gift Soaps

Soaps never seem to lose their appeal as holiday gifts. They’re useful and don’t add clutter to people’s houses (something we’re always trying to avoid in ours). You can make your own by grating white, unscented soap it into a bowl with warm water. For color, add a few drops of food coloring appropriate for the holiday. Next, a drop or two of an essential oil (lavender or rose are lovely) then knead like pizza dough and make into little balls. As an alternative, use candy molds for fun shapes. Leave them to dry on wax paper for a day or so.

Housewarm with Houseplants

Clippings from a houseplant make great (and free!) housewarming presents. Cut your plant at the “knuckle” (or joint) section of the stem, then place in a cup of water until it grows roots. To present it, wrap the bottom in a wet paper towel and place in a plastic bag, tying it up with ribbon. Or plant in an old mug!

Fancy Journals

Stray beads and pieces of broken jewelry can be salvaged even if you’re not into making jewelry. All you need is hot-glue gun to add a personal touch to a plain journal. If you want to make a gift for a friend, use the beads to write the friend’s name on the front of the journal. Add glitter, sequins, and anything else that will make it extra-special.

Customized Calendars

Looking for an easy, heartfelt (but inexpensive) gift? How about a personalized calendar of your children’s artwork? Pick up free calendars distributed by local companies, then paste drawings or paintings from the past year on top of each month’s image. Your kids will feel proud of their work, and their grandparent, uncle, or godparent will love their new calendar.

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Photo by Shutterstock.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.

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