4 DIY gifts that can be created in less time than you spend driving to the mall

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By Chelsea Steinkamp
Green Right Now

Tis’ the season where children transform into angels for fear of being put on Santa’s naughty list and financial panic ensues in parents. But who said a quality gift could only come from the department store? This holiday season, we have compiled a fun list of DIY gifts even the least creative person can handle, trust us. Happy Crafting!

Christmas in a Jar –  it’s easy!

DIY: Handmade Christmas potpourri

When I think of Christmas, three things come to mind: indulging in mom’s sinfully delicious baking, cuddling up next to the fireplace sporting my oversized Grinch onesie (yes, I own a Grinch onesie), and the crisp, inviting smell of cinnamon and spices that fill my home. Christmas potpourri serves as the perfect present for friends, teachers, neighbors, or even yourself.

To make handmade potpourri is as far from laborious as it gets. The most tedious part of the project is gathering the ingredients — cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves, dried oranges — and after that it’s smooth holiday sailing.  We thought it would be cute to create a warning disclaimer to put on the back saying: “Warning: Opening Christmas in a jar may cause intense holiday cheer. Use with caution.”

We stumbled upon this crafty little do-dad on the Dandee Designs Blog. The blog contains the complete list of instructions as well as the link to print out the exact “Christmas in a Jar” labels. Click here!

Upcycled “tea” candles, also easy!

DIY: Upcycled Teacup Candle

Tell us that this candle does not look like it came straight out of the Anthropologie home section. The only difference is that you aren’t going to spend $35 for it. We were quite fond of the vintage style look of this teacup but if it’s not quite your giftee’s style, personalize it to make it their own- that’s the true beauty of DIY gifts. We found this simple, yet charming holiday treat on the gift guides section of The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy’s website.

This one’s extra eco-friendly because you are reusing an orphaned tea cup and reclaiming wax from old, partially used candles hanging around the house. You also can use soy wax for a cleaner-burning, non-petroleum-based candle. For the complete list of materials and directions to creating an upcycled teacup candle of your own, do click here.

A personalized gift that will make the recipient’s heart sing.

DIY: Rockin’ Vinyl Record Bowl

Okay, super random, but so flipping awesome! Take your giftee back to their righteous adolescent days by giving them their favorite record molded into a bowl! Surprisingly, this Rockin’ Vinyl Record Bowl requires the least amount of time to create than the gifts previously listed and is hands down the most impressive of them all. Now’s the time to start chatting with your giftee and casually ask what their first or favorite record was. Try something like this, “Gosh I just heard “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones and remembered that was my absolute first record! What was yours?” You can steal our corny approach or try something of your own but the point is to choose a record that will have sentimental value. For a step-by-step list of instructions and photos from CasaSugar.com on how to make a Rockin’ Vinyl Record Bowl click here.


Snow globes, where weather inside is always delightful…

Snow Globes that evoke the past

Here’s one that might be a tad more difficult, but with a terrific payoff.  These elegant, antique-like snow globes look as if they were plucked right out of the Victorian period.

As with the Christmas in a Jar, the difficult part is collecting the pieces. You will want a jar with a lid (a vintage one would be great), or find something at a craft store. Then add jewelry, figurines etc. Decide if you’re going for a timeless, sweet or kitschy look. Also at the craft store, you’ll need to pick an anti-rust sealant for metal parts (in the spray paint section), a clear-drying epoxy (vital as leaky snow globes are terminal), glitter and glycerin, which you add to the distilled water inside.

Get full instructions from Nicole, a Virginian living in London. Her Well Worn blog features classic and artful stuff.  These snow globes were created by Anthropologie, but doing it yourself with discards from second-hand stores would be even more eco-friendly. (We’re worried that watch inside snow globe #1 might have been repairable.)

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