Christmas DIY $10

10 Best Homemade Gifts Under $10

Christmas DIY $10

If you have more time than money this Holiday Season—or prefer to give and receive homemade gifts—here are ten of my best ideas that cost less than ten bucks. There are no rules here, only ideas to spark your creativity, links to products, and, additional help. (For your convenience, I have added links to most resources at the end of this post.)

Spa Set

Photo credit: My Crazy Blessed Life

Give all the stressed-out folks on your gift list the gift of relaxation. Make your bath products and then assemble them in a nice basket.

Place your spa products in individual bottles or small jars and decorate them with ribbons, labels, and embellishments. Add other items you can pick up at the drug store such as a washcloth, pumice stone, or loofah.

Bath Salts

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until fully combined and color is even.

Bath Oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon until combined.

Bubble Bath

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. That’s it—high-quality Bubble Bath.

Salt Scrub

Mix together Epsom salts and enough almond oil (better) or mineral oil (cheaper) to resemble very wet snow. Add essential or aromatherapy oil for fragrance and soap colorant if you desire. 

Family Cookbook

Gather up your family’s best-loved recipes and create a family cookbook, Then make copies of it for family members on your list.

To add illustrations to your family cookbook, scan old family photos of the person who is known for making the recipe to include on a particular page. Add a section for birthdays and addresses, too.

Need more help? There are sites such as CreateMyCookbook, that for a fee will help you create a beautifully bound cookbook.


Stepping Stone

Garden stepping stones are easy to make with a small amount of ready-mix concrete from the home improvement center. No need to buy expensive kits at craft stores, just look for a decorative mold to use.

To make a round stone use an old plastic 5-gallon bucket or similar. Coat with Vaseline before pouring in the ready-mix. When it has set the stone will slip out easily. Follow the instructions on the ready-mix bag.

Pour in about 1.5 inches of cement. When the consistency is right, have your child put in his footprints and/or handprints. Add the date if you wish. Decorate with various seashells, marbles, mosaic tiles, and so on.

Feeling more energetic? You’ll find a free complete expert-guided directive at This Page.

Coffee Lover’s Basket

Have a coffee lover on your list? Here are a few ideas to include in a gift basket for any java junkie.

Chocolate-dipped spoons

It’s so easy! Melt chocolate chips of your choice. Dip the spoon end of a plastic spoon into the chocolate. Allow to dry then wrap the chocolate end in cellophane and tie with ribbon.


Add a box of chocolate-dipped cookies or homemade biscotti.

Coffee Mixes

Caffè mocha

    • 1/4 cup instant coffee
    • 1/2 cup cocoa
    • 1/2 cup sugar

Café au Lait

    • 1/4 cup instant coffee
    • 1/2 cup dry milk
    • 1/2 cup sugar

Spiced Coffee

    • 1/4 cup instant coffee
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

For the mixes above, combine ingredients, then store in a tightly covered jar for up to 6 months. For each serving, place 2 teaspoons of mix in a cup. Fill with boiling water.

Grandparents’ Calendar

This gift is sure to be joyfully received by grandparents and other family members. Using the calendar template in your computer’s word processing program print out calendar months on 8.5 x 11 card stock. 

On the blank backsides decorate with your kids’ artwork, photos, poems, and clip art. Add birthdays marked on the appropriate dates and other memorable occasions, too.

Bring the finished pages to your local library to laminate (most libraries will allow you to use the laminating machine provided you bring your own materials) or quick copy store and bind them together. This is great for grandparents but can be modified for other friends and family.

No-Sew Fleece no sew fleece blanket

Choose polar fleece in an appropriate pattern, sports team, juvenile character, jungle print, plaid, solid, or another motif at a fabric or craft store when it’s on sale. 

Baby blankets require about 3/4 yards; you’ll want a yard or more for adults and older children. Because fleece is quite wide (58-60 inches is typical), one-yard makes a nice size blanket. Check Joann and Hobby Lobby for great selections and pricing. Then make sure you have the app for Joann store so you’ll have a coupon to get as much as 40% off a single cut of fleece at checkout.

You can make a heavier blanket by layering two fabric panels or a lighter-weight blanket using only one layer. Cut about 2.5-inch strips on the edges, then tie them together to add fringe. Polar fleece never frays, even with washing. Free printable instructions.

Cookie Jars

Layered to look like “sand art,” cookie mixes make the perfect gift for family, friends, and teachers. Layer the dry ingredients to make brownies or cookies in a one-quart, wide-mouth canning jar. Decorate the jar with ribbon and attach instructions.

Since people usually receive so many baked goodies this time of year, a treat to make at a later date is usually appreciated. Even if your recipients may not wish to bake them, the jar makes a great display piece for the kitchen.

Here’s just one of many recipes (not as pictured).

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 cups flour mixed together with 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. 

Layer ingredients in a one-quart size Mason jar in the order given (white sugar goes in first, so it becomes the bottom layer), pressing each layer firmly in place before adding the next. Measure carefully. Everything will fit if you diligently pack each layer tightly, particularly the brown sugar and flour. Use the end of a wooden spoon as a packing device.

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Preheat oven to 350 F. Empty jar into a large mixing bowl. Blend contents thoroughly. Add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine (not diet or tub variety), 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until completely blended. Shape into balls the size of walnuts and place 2-inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until just slightly golden. Do not overbake. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Remove to racks to finish cooling. These cookies will not firm up until completely cooled. Makes 2 1/2 dozen delicious cookies. Enjoy!


Art Frame

Purchase an inexpensive picture frame from a craft store or a department store like Target or Walmart. Have your child decorate the frame with acrylic paints, sequins, buttons and any other kind of creative thing kids love. Place a photo of your child inside the frame once it’s dry, and you have a great gift for a grandparent, friend, or another relative.

Read-Along Videos

Have your kids get dressed in pajamas, and cover one of their beds with stuffed animals. Set up the video camera on a tripod and record yourself reading bedtime stories to the kids and the animals. Not only do they get to read along with you, they get to see their cousins whenever they watch this storytime.


Old Family Photo Reproductions

Professionally duplicated venerable, heritage, family photos can be expensive. But you can do this yourself for very little and with extraordinary results.

Take the photo to your local quick print shop. No matter how this original photo appears (black and white, sepia tone), make copies of it on the self-serve color photocopying machine. You won’t believe the result. You will not be able to tell the copy from the original. And the cost? About two bucks for any size up to 8×10. It’s just the best gift and quick, too. 

Frame the photo appropriately and you cannot differentiate it from its original, even if it is printed on lightweight photocopy paper. Once placed into the frame with the backing board in place and glass on the front, you will not be able to detect that it is a photocopy. Be sure to give your recipient a written account of who is in the photo and other details you may know.


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9 replies
  1. Anita says:

    Good ideas.
    Cranberry White Chip Cookies are another tasty cookie-in-a-jar option that I’ve gotten positive feedback on.
    Layer the following in a quart jar:
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1 cup flour mixed with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, & 1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 cup quick oats
    1 scant cup white baking chips
    1 cup dried cranberries
    Instruction tag: Combine 1/2 cup soft butter, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add contents of the jar and mix well. Drop by tablespoon full onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on rack. Enjoy.

  2. Mary says:

    Be careful about adding food coloring to bath salts. You don’t want your friends and family to end up looking like Smurfs. Use soap coloring instead that you get off sites like Amazon.

  3. Donna G says:

    Last Christmas, I made a Photo cookbook for my adult children using all of our family favorites from over the years, along with photos of them growing up and my grandchildren. You would have thought I gave them gold! They continue to tell me how much they appreciate it. (I won’t be around forever but now they have cookbooks to pass on).

  4. Victoria Jacobs says:

    Hobby Lobby – No more 40% off coupons in the weekly ad. Just read the ad for what is on special, often at up to 50% off.

    Scrubs – try a sugar scrub using regular or fine sugar. It is less abrasive than salt and for my more mature and drier skin, it works better.

    For a really inexpensive item, save your empty cans. Clean them well and dry them. The spray paint outside and decorate with items or markers, or cover with bits of wall paper, fabric, or contact paper. Give them away with a few pencils or pens, or paper clips in, say, a tuna can.

  5. Linda D Radosevich says:

    I love your ideas for homemade gifts! Especially the ones involving the kiddos…my problem? MY kiddo lives in the Netherlands…and is 40 years old! 🙂


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