Holiday Gift Guide Life + Arts

DIY gift ideas for crafty, money-conscious students


With just a white mug and Sharpie pens, create a customized mug. | Rama Yousef


Choosing the right gift can be hard—especially when you want the gift to be meaningful and something that the recipient will like. Making a gift yourself is not only thoughtful, but fun as well. For anyone who wants to create a personalized gift and enjoys making crafts, a DIY gift is the way to go this holiday season.

  1. Sharpie Mug

Whether it’s coffee, tea or hot chocolate, ’tis the season for a warm drink. Everyone will be attached to their mugs to get through the cold weather. A Sharpie mug is a simple and inexpensive, but you can get as creative as you want with the drawings and words. Perhaps you can write a meaningful quote, inside joke, or a silly coffee pun like the one pictured.

Materials: white mug (you can get these at a dollar store) and sharpie markers (some suggest using oil based or paint sharpies).

Visit this link for instructions:

  1. Instagram Coasters

For your friends with a dorm or apartment, help keep their tables moisture free when they have people over by making these Instagram coasters. Use some of their favorite pictures that they’ve posted or liked and create a set of coasters.

Materials: 4 inch round, flat cork pieces, Modge Podge glue, cardstock paper, Instagram printouts and foam or felt mounting dots

Visit this link for instructions:

  1. Tablet/Laptop Case

Keeping a tablet or laptop safe and more easily portable is a must. A tablet or laptop case will be much appreciated gift for those who tote these devices around on a regular basis. Get creative with patterns and embellishments such as iron on patches, studs, or pins.

Materials: pleather fabric, acrylic paint, paint brush, painter’s tape, brads, buttons, needle and thread (or sewing machine)

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  1. Song Lyric Canvas Art

This canvas art piece is great for the friend who loves decorating their room, especially those who want to give their dorm room a more homey feeling. Choose lyrics from one of their favorite songs or one that brings up a lot of great memories.

Materials: paint by numbers painting or other painting, letter stickers, white paint (acrylic or spray)m paint brush, scissors

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  1. Paint by Numbers Pillow

If you’re a hardcore DIY fan, super artistic or like a challenge make a paint by numbers pillow case. An artsy friend will appreciate having a more interesting pillow to look at. Choose a relaxing landscape or any other interesting painting you come across.

Materials: paintbrushes; fabric marker/pen; paint pot strips; masking tape; paint-by-number guide; fabric paint; heavy weight cotton for pillow back; plain, light colored utility fabric for pillow front; poly-fil, scissors, coordinating thread, hand sewing needle

Visit this link for instructions:

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