OK, so maybe your pockets are sore. Maybe this will be a holiday on a shoestring budget, and you’ve had it up to here with holiday gift guides that suggest you spend beaucoup bucks on a present.

Fair enough. I feel you.

It shouldn’t be about the price of the gift at all – it’s the THOUGHT that counts. And through the years, I’ve given some very thoughtful (and thrifty) gifts.

I’ve got some suggestions for you that could make amazing gifts for your best girlfriends, your sister, or even yourself! And NO you don’t need to be Susie Homemaker to make these gifts look amazing. I struggle to cut a straight line and I’m telling you, if I can do it – you can do it. AND you can do it for less than $25.

DIY idea #1
– repackaged drugstore beauty sets.

Sure, you can go to a department store and pick up a fancy cosmetic item that comes with a Gift With Purchase item to entice you. OR you can make your OWN cosmetics gift set/GWP for your girlfriends! Go to your nearest Walgreens/CVS/Target/Walmart/wherever, and buy a set of whatever your amiga LOVES or needs most. Of course you should look to see what’s BOGO or on sale that week, but my best suggestions are Milani’s Lip Flash pencils, Cover Girl Liquiline Blast pencils, or Sally Hansen nailpolishes. Choose four or five colors the recipient will LOVE and that look pretty together, and put them in a cool cloth pencil case or makeup bag. I’ve been doing a variation of this gift since I was a teen – if you buy eye pencils, tie them together with a pretty ribbon. And putting together cotton balls, polish remover, and other manicure products to go with your nailpolishes is a nice extra touch and takes your gift basket to the next level. Presentation is everything!

DIY idea #2 – Handpainted wooden keepsakes

Like to paint? I LOVE painting. It’s such a theraputic and enjoyable pastime. To make a cool DIY present that lets you exercise your painting skills, all you need to do is go to Michael’s, or your fave neighborhood craft store. There you’ll find a variety of wooden items you can paint or customize. This year I made my mom a specially hand decorated picture frame with a phrase she’s said to me since childhood, and I’m going to print out a favorite photo of us to go inside it. A handpainted wooden box is always a great way to go – you can paint the person’s name on it to make something extra unique. I’ve got one on my dresser, filled exclusively with black eyeliner pencils. a tray (like the one Michael’s features in the photo above), is always a great way to go – everyone needs one at some point, and the size of a wooden tray gives you a great canvas to express your artistic skills. (if all else fails, use a stencil!)

DIY idea #3 – Vintage frame earring holder

My husband helped me make this over the weekend, and I’m in LOVE. Why didn’t I try this sooner? SO incredibly easy. All you need is:

— a vintage frame, preferably wooden
— a small roll of screen, don’t get the finest screen there is. Go for the $5 roll with the big holes
— a pair of good, strong scissors
— a strong stapler (a staple gun would be even better. But we used a stapler from like, the seventies)
— thumbtacks and picture hanging wire, if the frame doesn’t come with it’s own hanging hardware on it

Cut screen to fit the opening of your vintage frame, with minimal overlap at the back. Remember, you gotta hang this bad boy. And it’s smart to do your cutting over newspapers, because little pieces of metal screen will wind up in your carpet otherwise.

Fold screen to fit. Make sure it fits taut over frame’s inside

Staple screen to inside of frame.

Use thumbtacks and picture hanging wire at top, back of frame to make a tight triangle of wire.

Hang on wall.

Hang earrings on your new DIY earring holder.

Whatcha think? So easy, right! Loved making this project and I’m so happy with the results.

I love crafts and trying out fun projects! Have you ever made or put together any cool holiday gifts? Let me know what you’re making at home!

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likeramona says:
December 17, 2010, 4:03 pm
LOOOOOOOOOVE the earring holder! i'm gifting this to me =)
Kandy says:
December 17, 2010, 4:04 pm
I absolutely LOVE the earring holder!!!!!! GREAT idea!!
CurlyChronicles says:
December 17, 2010, 4:06 pm
ooooh I definitely wanna make one, I love putting my pretty things on display and it'll take up so little space on a wall. Genius! :)
warrior11209 says:
December 17, 2010, 5:19 pm
Loving both ideas but I reallllllly love and need the earring holder. May just get the supplies this weekend and make one for myself. Thanks for the ideas
Shones says:
December 18, 2010, 9:08 am
I love these ideas! Keep 'em coming!
bella says:
December 18, 2010, 10:54 am
my pleasure, so happy to have inspired you! Go forth and be crafty!
thecurlstation says:
December 18, 2010, 11:59 am
OMG AFROBELLA I'M SO HAPPY AND MAD AT THE SAME TIME! I literally made a video tutorial on how to make a picture frame earring holder 3 weeks ago and have been working to edit it to put it on my youtube channel and here you go posting a darn picture frame earring holder!! AUGH! LOL...great minds think alike I guess! I'm happy to be in good creative company! I also am hosting a party at my house with a few girlfriends in January to teach them how to make one! I love the ideas by the way!
thecurlstation says:
December 18, 2010, 11:59 am
...oh and I'll be posting the video soon so, hopefully you can post it on the blog *smile*
peachy says:
December 19, 2010, 3:42 pm
The ear ring holder takes the cake ;) I know for a fact how cheap those materials are plus it's easy to make
cmc says:
December 20, 2010, 11:46 am
I <3 the earring holder.. A Xmas gift for ME :-)
Sharita says:
December 20, 2010, 2:29 pm
OMGoodness...I've gotta make the earring holder ASAP!!!...I'm running outta room here ;-) Thanks 4 the idea.
brooches pins says:
September 8, 2011, 9:25 pm
ooooh I definitely wanna make one, I love putting my pretty things on display and it’ll take up so little space on a wall. Genius!
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