Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” more than spending time making the perfect gift for your BFF instead of buying it. We’re not saying that there’s anything wrong with buying a gift, but DIYing your gifts lets you add a personal touch – and can also seriously help if you’re on a budget! Looking for DIY inspiration? Here’s our guide on what to DIY for any and all your friends -any time of the year!
For your BFF since pre-K
The friend you’ve had since diapers deserves a gift that matches your years of friendship, and what better way to celebrate old memories than to showcase them? Instead of a standard picture frame, find a shadowbox frame with a glass front and arrange old movie tickets, candid photos, and souvenirs from over the years inside. Not only is it a great, heartfelt gift – but it really is that easy to arrange!
Pottery Barn Shadow Box, $89.99
For the budding chef
Gift the high-class, artisanal ingredients that your foodie deserves by making the basics for him (or her). Yes, this DIY vanilla extract takes some time to make, but the ease of the process makes it totally worth it. For an extra flourish, you can DIY an old glass bottle to have a glittery, holiday-worthy finish!
Recipe via [eafl id=17685 name=”” text=”This set”]
Homemade Vanilla Extract
3 to 5 vanilla beans
8 ounces alcohol such as vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum
→ General Rule of Thumb: Use 3 to 5 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol and multiply accordingly if making more extract.
New bottle(s) for packaging (optional)
Small funnel (optional)
Coffee filter (optional)
- Split the vanilla beans: Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. If you like, you can leave an inch connected at the end of the bean for an attractive presentation. You can also chop the beans into smaller pieces if necessary to fit in your jar or bottle.
- Place the vanilla beans in a jar and cover with alcohol: Place the vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle. Cover them with alcohol, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover the jar or bottle and give it a good shake.
- Infuse for at least one month: Store the jar or bottle of vanilla beans in a cool, dark place for at least one month, shaking it from time to time. Taste the extract and let it infuse longer if you want a stronger flavor.
- Strain it if you like: You may wish to remove the vanilla pods and decant the extract into a pretty bottle. The little flecks of seeds can be a nice touch, but if you want a clear extract you can strain them out using a coffee filter.
- Or leave the pods in the extract: You can also leave the beans in the alcohol and top off the bottle as you use the extract. Eventually all the flavor will be extracted from the original vanilla beans, so you can periodically add fresh beans as well as leftover pods that you’ve scraped for other recipes.
→ Uses for spent pods. You can also make good use of the spent vanilla pods by drying them and then making vanilla sugar or flavored salt.
For the Fashionista
For your super stylish friend who seems to have everything, a pair of bedazzled heels are the ultimate DIY fashion gift. Not only are they easy to make, but even if she doesn’t wear them, they make a gorgeous decor item.
For your work spouse
The wires for an iPad, work phone, personal phone, headphones, and other work-related electronics pile up unexpectedly. Help your work bestie stay organized with a [eafl id=17678 name=”” text=”DIY cord organizer”]. Not only can you color-coordinate them to match the device it’s for, but using faux leather gives this simple DIY an extra luxe feel. You might find yourself making a set for you with the supplies you have left over!
For the beauty maven
She has earned Sephora VIB status ten times over and sometimes it feels like there isn’t a beauty product she doesn’t already own. But what she doesn’t already have is a DIY exfoliating scrub from made by you! Check out our list of DIY scrubs that smell delicious and are easy to make.
For the environmentalist
For the friend who is Mother Earth personified, her own environment to take care of will go a long way. Store-bought terrariums can run up to hundreds of dollars (which is crazy!), so your wallet will thank you for [eafl id=17681 name=”” text=”DIYing one instead.”]. The supplies are incredibly easy to get and are just as easy to assemble.
For your Netflix-and-chill partner
Whether its Netflix and chilling or “Netflix” and “chilling,” we all have a couch buddy to hang with. What better way to support your buddy’s viewing habits than with a [eafl id=17684 name=”” text=”DIY pillow”]? Upcycling an old sweater for this craft will give it an especially cozy feel – just be sure that you don’t accidentally regift something given to you!
For the hostess
A hostess gift is one thing, but a gift for a friend who loves hosting events is something else altogether. [eafl id=17685 name=”” text=”This set”] of drinking glasses look more expensive than it is to make and are perfect for serving homemade cocktails. Did somebody ask for another glass of eggnog? We think so.