Easy DIY Gifts

April 7th, 2017 - 9:35 AM

DIY gift ideas

It can be a bit overwhelming to have Mother’s Day, graduation ceremonies and Father’s Day all in a row, especially if you have multiple people to buy for. However, you don’t have to worry about finding and buying the perfect gifts — you can make them! We’ve gathered some easy DIY gift ideas so you can create the perfect personalized presents for your friends and family.

DIY gifts are a great way to give a personalized present.

Homemade Mother’s Day gifts

For a Mother’s Day present that mom will love, make her a heartfelt gift that’s she’s sure to cherish. Just choose the gift that fits your mom’s interests, gather your supplies and make a simple homemade Mother’s day gift.

Photo bracelet

There are many companies that can make personalized jewelry, but you can easily create a cute and trendy bracelet using Popsicle sticks, decoupage glue and some photos. This is a great gift for smaller children to give, but it will require a little online photo editing, so they’ll need adult supervision. Follow these directions from It’s Always Autumn to create a beautiful piece of keepsake jewelry.

Customized glasses

Take your favorite photo or artwork and create mom’s new favorite cup or glass.

  • Gather supplies: glass cup or wine glass, photo or artwork, decoupage glue, paint brush, scissors.
  • Trace the shape of the glass on the photo and cut it out.
  • Clean the bottom of the glass and then apply decoupage glue to it with a paint brush.
  • Place the photo on the bottom of the glass (facing up so you can see the image through the glass) and then apply another layer of decoupage glue to seal it.
  • Allow to dry for 24-48 hours. Hand wash only.
Decoupage a photo to the bottom of a glass for a great Mother's day gift.

Hand print flower pot

This is the perfect gift for a mom who loves flowers or enjoys gardening. Take a terra cotta flower pot and (using acrylic paint) let kids apply their hand prints or finger prints to the pot. If you want to personalize it even more, use a paint pen to write “Happy Mother’s Day” or “Your love helps me grow.” For an extra special touch, plant a flower in the finished container.

Flavored oils

If mom loves to cook, these homemade flavored cooking oils are sure to be a favorite Mother’s Day gift.

  • Gather supplies: glass containers, neutrally flavored oil (such as olive, peanut or grapeseed), flavoring items (dried pepper flakes, herbs, garlic, citrus peels, etc.). You’ll need enough oil to fill the containers and about ¼ to ½ cup of each flavoring.
  • Put the flavorings into a pot on the stove and top with oil. For herb flavorings, use fresh herbs. Garlic cloves should be peeled and left whole. Citrus peels should not include the bitter, white pith.
  • Bring the saucepan to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the oil and flavorings into the glass containers and seal.
  • You can create single flavor oils or blends, like basil garlic oil or chili lime oil.
Flavored oils are a simple homemade gift for mom.

DIY photo coasters

Similar to the glass project above, you can apply photos to tiles for custom coasters. While you could use pictures of the family, you could also use photos of the family dog, mom’s favorite vacation spot, or even pages from her favorite book for a unique twist. The directions from The Frugal Girls are easy to follow.

Father’s Day gift ideas

Forget ties and coffee mugs — make dad a DIY gift that he will proudly show off to his friends! Celebrate dad with any of these simple, creative ideas.

String art

One of the most popular items on artisan sites is string art. However, you don’t have to shell out a ton of money for a custom piece. They are actually pretty simple to create! This DIY gift takes a little time, but doesn’t require a lot of artistic talent or supplies.  With a piece of wood and some nails and string, you can make a piece of artwork for Dad to hang in his office or anywhere in the house. Create his favorite sports team’s logo, a hobby (like a fish or golf clubs), or just the word DAD. Hip and Simple has easy-to-follow directions for this homemade Father’s Day present.

Shaving cream

Give dad the gift of a smooth shave with this homemade shaving cream. Customize it with dad’s favorite scent (we used tea tree and eucalyptus) to create a cream he’s sure to love! Here’s how to make it:

  • Gather supplies: Shea butter, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, baking soda, a hand mixer, a small jar and your choice of essential oils
  • Melt ¼ cup of shea butter and ¼ cup of  coconut oil in a small saucepan
  • Add 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil and 5-10 drops of essential oil, stirring until combined
  • Pour the oils in a bowl and refrigerate until solid
  • Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • Use an electric hand mixer to whip the ingredients
  • Transfer the cream into a small jar
Homemade shaving cream is a creative Father's Day gift.

Picture frame with tools

Put a spin on the traditional framed photo idea by creating a unique picture frame. Take tools, like wrenches, for example, and glue them around a photo frame. For step-by-step instructions, check out Muchmore Creative.

Homemade checker board

Give dad a homemade checkerboard to make family game night more fun. Personalize it by creating game pieces with dad’s favorite thing — ideas include bottle caps, coins and poker chips.

  • Supplies: Paint, checker pieces, painter’s tape, paint pen, serving tray. Optional: a box or bag to hold the pieces.
  • Measure the tray and mark a square onto the tray.
  • Paint the entire square white.
  • Divide the length of the square by 8 (the checkerboard is 8 x 8 squares) and mark the squares using a pen or pencil and a ruler.
  • Paint the checkerboard pattern using a paint pen.
  • If you’re making a box to hold the pieces, you can paint and decorate it as well.
Make a checker board for Father's Day.

Action figure lamp

Any super hero loving dad would love getting this unique lamp for his desk or bedside table. Take all of his favorite characters and create a chic piece showing him that he’s your hero! Check thrift shops for used toys for this project. Since you’ll be painting the action figures, they don’t have to be pristine condition. Follow the directions from Gwyl.io for this easy DIY Father’s Day gift.

Graduation gift ideas

Whether your grad is finishing high school or college, these homemade gifts are great for their new phase of life. While a check in a card is always nice, putting a little effort into a custom gift can also show how much you care.

Office supplies basket

Who doesn’t love fresh office supplies? This is a great gift for a grad going to college or one starting a new job. Filling a jar with office supplies like pens, highlighters, sticky notes, and tape will prepare them for the work to come. For an added touch, make a unique chalkboard glass container with the DIY instructions from See Vanessa Craft.

Jewelry holder

Any ladies on your grad gift list will love having a chic place to put their jewelry. It’s compact, so it’s perfect for a dorm room or small apartment.

  • Gather supplies: three plates/bowls of various sizes (check thrift shops for unique plates!), two candlestick holders, paint, strong craft glue like E6000.
  • Paint the candlestick holders whatever color you desire.
  • Glue one candlestick holder to the inside bottom of the biggest plate. Then glue the next smallest plate on top.
  • Finish by gluing another candlestick holder to the inside bottom of that plate and topping it with the smallest plate or bowl.
  • Allow the glue to set before giving the gift.
Make your own graduation gift with plates and candlesticks - a jewelry holder.

TV tray ironing board

One helpful thing to give a new grad is a TV tray ironing board. Not only will it fit in their compact living quarters, but it will be practical when preparing for interviews and presentations. Choose a fabric that fits their taste to really customize this DIY gift. This is a great new-sew project using a TV tray, paint, some fabric and a staple gun. Love and Laundry includes a helpful tutorial for this project.  

Dry erase calendar

Help your grad stay organized with a wall planner! Just follow these easy steps:

  • Gather supplies: a large frame, decorative papers, markers, dry erase markers
  • Find a large frame and use decorative papers to create a planning center.  Consider include areas for each day of the week, a to-do list, and a shopping list. 
  • Once the planner is under glass, you can use a dry erase marker to write on top!
DIY gift idea for graduation - make a dry erase calendar with paper and a frame.

Looking for other DIY gift ideas?

If you haven’t quite found the perfect gift here, check out our other homemade gift ideas. Let us know if you have any questions about these projects. We’re always happy to help.