By Teagan Burns
When the holiday season arrives, so do the worries about gift giving. As a college student, finding gifts at affordable prices can be difficult, especially when you have little to no money in your pocket. That’s why some great gift ideas for a person with no money can be homemade gifts.
Decorating mugs can be fun and personalized for each individual.
What you need:
-A single colored cup (white works best) get a cheap ceramic mug because too much glaze on a cup can prevent the cup and the sharpie from melding together. A good online store would be splendids.com, but I recommend going to good will or a dollar store.
-A sharpie marker (your choice in color). Some Sharpie colors do fade once baked, but BIC brand markers prove good results.
-An oven that can reach 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Instructions: You must clean the mug of any and oil residue because if there is oil on the mug when you draw on it, the sharpie won’t set. The recommended method is rubbing alcohol. Draw/write what you want to on the mug. I suggest sketching out what you want to do on a scrap piece of paper. After you finish, let the mug sit untouched for up to 24 hours. After letting it sit, place the mug in the oven and turn it on. Important: make sure the mug is in the oven before you turn it on so it can slowly heat along with the oven. This prevents cracking. Wait 30 minutes then turn the oven off, but do not remove the mug from the oven. If you try to remove the mug it might crack from the rapid temperature change. Once the oven has cooled and the mug is out, check to make sure the sharpie has set by taking a wet rag and running it over the sharpie. Hopefully, it will not wash off.
For more information, I suggest, visiting http://www.diyopolis.com/ to visit the article about DIY Sharpie Mugs.
I have a friend who lives in France, whom I write to every once in a while. A while back I got the idea to buy a journal and write messages to her on every page. I got a small journal with about 150-200 pages in it. For about four months I carried the journal around and wrote down thoughts, events, questions, I even sketched a bit in it. I also managed to get other friends of hers to write little messages in the book for her. When I went to send it to her the book had almost doubled in size due to the pictures that were stuffed in there and every page being filled. This is a great gift that can really bring someone to tears. My only word of advice is be prepared for shipping costs if you’re sending it across countries. I personally liked a simple leather black journal because it allowed me to decorate the front with a silver sharpie.
This is a way to get creative and inventive. A book safe is a craft that allows you to hide things within a book: a set of keys, some cash, maybe a wedding ring. It’s an opportunity to hide something away and know that it’s safe because who would look in a book?
What you need:
-A hardcover book. I suggest old/unwanted books.
-Glue of your choice (hot glue gun is good but not necessary).
-Felt (something to bind the pages together)
Instructions: First mark where you want to cut the book. I suggest leaving at least a one-inch border. After marking it, take the Exacto knife and carefully cut the section of paper out. Be careful with the knife, it’s very sharp. Make as deep a hole as you want. Recommended height is about an inch. Do not try and cut the hole in one take, cut about a fourth of an inch every time until you are satisfied with the result. Once the hole has been cut, glue the pages together by putting the glue on the sides of the newly cut square and place a piece of fabric on the sides of the cut out section. Finally hot glue the entire back cover of the book to the stack of pages (this makes it stable.)
This gift allows you to place something inside the safe, maybe a photo, or a piece of jewelry. Maybe a single rose and a small note with the words, “I love you.” The ideas are endless. For more information, I suggest the web address http://www.allfreecrafts.com/homemade-gifts/book-safe.shtml.
Hot Chocolate Jars:
A friend of mine got small glass jars and painted each one to represent the recipient’s personality. Afterwards, she put in hot chocolate mix
and small marshmallows.
What you need:
-Glass jars (your choice). I have a small 8 oz jar.
-Paint (I’ve been told that Porcelain 150 is very good because it’s dishwasher safe). Make sure you only paint the outside of the jar.
Instructions: You must clean the glass of residue, just like with the Sharpie Mugs. Once clean, paint what you want on it. After you finish, let it sit for a full day. Then place your glass in the oven and set the oven to 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Remember to turn off the oven after 30 minutes but do not remove the glass until the entire oven is cooled. Once you are sure your jar is completely ready then you can add the hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. You can buy the hot chocolate mix at any grocery store.
It sounds simple but cards can be one of the simplest and most amusing gifts to receive. When making cards, you don’t have to be the most artistically talented person. I have cards with detailed drawings on them, but I also have cards made with stick figures, and I love them all equally because I know someone made it specifically for me.
Homemade gifts allow people to express themselves. The gifts made are made with love and they are one of a kind. You can find plenty of other do it yourself gifts on pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/teags36/diy-gift-ideas/.