A student contributor provides 5 do-it-yourself crafts for you gift this holiday season.
With a brutal pandemic winter looming ahead, and crowded stores filled with shoppers, finding a Christmas present proves to be a particularly difficult task this year. Not only do you have to look for something that conveys heartfelt affection, but also ensure it stays within your budget...all while maintaining a six-foot distance and trying to breathe through your mask. The solution: DIY presents! Not only do you get to create something personal, but spend time doing some relaxing crafts! Below are some ideas to help you get started. Project One: Homemade Scented Candle Candles have been long-known for their versatility in aesthetics as well as providing a pleasant aroma. As such, a scented candle is a must-have for creating that cozy feeling in your home and makes the perfect DIY gift! Below is the tutorial. Materials: • Small glass jar • Wick • Essential oils (whatever scent you prefer) • Soy wax flakes • Double boiler • Glue Instructions: 1.) Glue to wick to the bottom of your glass jar. Make sure it is long enough to stick out about one inch from the top of the jar. 2.) Melt the wax flakes in the double boiler. 3.) Once the wax has fully melted, add your desired essential oils. Cinnamon and fruity scents present a stronger aroma, whereas lavender can produce more subtle scents. Mix well. 4.) Once the wax has been prepared, carefully pour it into the glass jar. Ensure that your wick does not dip into the wax. 5.) Making sure the top of the wick stays afloat, allow 24 hours for the wax to settle. 6.) Then trim the wick to be at level with the jar. 6.) Now you have the perfect DIY present, or one to keep for yourself! Project Two: Bath Bombs Factory-manufactured bath bombs and soaks contain numerous potent chemicals and artificial fragrances that can be harmful to sensitive skin. This recipe for natural, homemade bath bombs makes the perfect holiday gift for anyone seeking to enjoy a pleasant and safe, warm bath! Materials: • 1 cup of baking soda • ½ cup of citric acid • ½ cup of sea salt or Epsom salt • ¾ cup of cornstarch • 2 tbsp of oil of your choice (For example, coconut oil.) • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 30-40 drops of essential oil of your choice • Round molds Instructions: 1.) Mix the essential oil, oil, and baking soda. 2.) Next, add the cornstarch, citric acid, and salt. Mix well. 3.) Ensure the mixture has a slightly stable consistency and does not easily crumble. 4.) Set the mixture into round molds, and let it dry for about 24 hours or until completely hardened. 5.) Once dry, store the balls in airtight containers and use them within a month. 6.) Enjoy gifting this homemade, natural batch of bath bombs! Project Three: Inspirational Quote Jar This inspirational quote jar makes an ideal gift for anyone who loves quotes! Heartfelt and easy to make, this jar is excellent to convey a sense of optimism and joy. Materials: • Medium-sized glass jar • Construction paper • Colorful markers • Stickers (optional) • Adhesive stencils • Acrylic paint • Paintbrush • Small bottle of Modge Podge • Ribbon Instructions: 1.) Cut the construction paper into tiny slips that contain inspirational quotes and sayings. Colorful markers can make the messages more uplifting! 2.) Clean the jar of any smudges or dirt. Then using an adhesive stencil of choice, attach it firmly to the glass, and use acrylic paint to fill in the design. 3.) Once the paint has dried, apply a thin layer of Modge Podge on the top to seal the design. 4.) On the rim of the jar, wound colorful ribbon to create a more homely look. 5.) Place the slips inside the jar. Make sure you have enough to fill the jar. 6.) If you want, add some stickers to create additional designs 7.) Your inspiration jar is now ready to gift! Project Four: Hot Chocolate Stirrers Make a set of ten hot chocolate stirrers to have the perfect gift for the chocolate or peppermint lover in your life! Materials: • Ten candy canes (Red peppermints are ideal, but you can use any flavor or color you prefer.) • Melted milk chocolate • Melted white chocolate • Sprinkles • Crushed peppermint • Paper bag or small decorate plastic bag • Ribbon Instructions: 1.) Prepare two small bowls of melted white chocolate and melted milk chocolate. 2.) Taking your candy cane, dip it about halfway into one of the bowls. 3.) Then, sprinkle some crushed peppermint or sprinkles onto the chocolate-cover section. 4.) Repeat the process for the rest of the candy canes. 5.) Place the canes into a decorative plastic bag and tie them with a colorful ribbon. 6.) Enjoy! Project Five: Winter Scene Snow Globe This handmade snow globe is the perfect gift to delight anyone! Create any scene you wish with a wide variety of figurines and some glycerin and distilled water. Materials: • Medium- sized glass jar, preferably with a globed shape. • Small packet of fake snowflakes or white tinsel glitter. • Small plastic figurines, such as Christmas trees or skaters. • Epoxy • Glycerin • Distilled water • Small fairy lights (optional) Instructions: 1.) Thoroughly clean the inside of your glass jar and remove any smudges or dirt. 2.) Next, fill the jar about ¾ of the way with distilled water, and add a small drop of glycerin. Avoid adding too much glycerin, otherwise, your water will become murky and too thick. 3.) Next, add about one-two tablespoons of white tinsel glitter or fake snow to the mixture. 4.) Taking the lid of the jar, use a small amount of epoxy to attach your preferred figurines to the lid. Avoid using normal glue as epoxy holds better in water. 5.) Carefully attach the lid to the jar, making sure it is completely sealed. 6.) If you want, wind a set of small fairy-lights around the rim of the jar to create a warm glow. 7.) Turn the jar upside down, and you have a beautiful handmade snow globe! I hope these ideas inspire you to undertake some of your own DIY projects and create something special for the loved ones in your life. Enjoy the holidays!