Gift soup mix or sugar scrub from the heart this year.
Short on cash for buying presents? There's no need to dig into your savings or give out lumps of coal. These easy do-it-yourself gifts are perfect for friends, family, teachers, or co-workers. Don't worry about your homemade gifts looking like something a two-year-old made in preschool -- we've got instructions for creating gems that anyone would love to open.
Homemade Soup Mixes
There's nothing like a bowl of homemade soup to quell the winter blues. These six homemade soup mix recipes from Wholefully are vegan, gluten-free, and look gorgeous in a jar. Choose between Italian Barley, Split Pea, Coconut Curry, Five Bean, Chicken Noodle, or Spicy Black Bean. Print out a gift tag with cooking instructions for an extra-special touch.
Courtesy of Wholefully
Caramel Apple Butter
Got a lot of people on your list? You can make a huge batch of caramel apple butter in your slow cooker. Just divide it into jars, add colorful tags, and give them out to your recipients. The recipe uses fresh apples, brown sugar, caramel, and spices for a sweet treat your friends are sure to love. Get the instructions at It's Always Autumn.
It's easy to make your own sugar scrub with brown sugar, spices, and essential oils. They look good enough to eat when you package them in jars, and are great for dry skin in the winter time. There are a ton of recipes out there, but we especially love this Vanilla Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub from Happiness is Homemade and this Gingerbread Sugar Scrub from Southern Living.
Courtesy of Happiness is Homemade
Spice or Salt Rubs
Your friends will be well-prepared for grilling when you gift them this homemade Barbecue Spice Rub from Wholefully. It's vegan and gluten-free and you can make it in just 10 minutes. You can make a big batch and divide it into small jars so everyone can get a taste. Alternatively, check out these flavored salts from Country Living.
Glowing Photo Luminaries
Turn your family photos into glowing works of art with this simple project from Our Best Bites. You'll need a printer with some photo paper, double-sided tape, glass jars, and candles. Light up a candle inside the jar to illuminate the decorative photos.
Courtesy of Our Best Bites
Make Bars of Soap
Soap is a basic need that you can fulfill for your family and friends this Christmas. This is another idea you can make in a big batch and cut into bars to give out around the holidays. Check out this recipe for Creamy Goat Milk Soap from Soap Queen or this Peppermint Soap from Happiness is Homemade.
If you're really short on time, cash, or supplies, consider printing out personalized coupons offering services to your loved ones. You can give your significant other a coupon for a back massage or breakfast in bed, or give your mom a coupon for an at-home spa or shopping day.
Americans are expected to spend more than $720 billion on holiday gifts this year, an increase from last year. But that doesn't mean you have to harm your financial future by shelling out for presents. A homemade gift from the heart is a great way to cut costs. If you've got money left over in your budget, consider donating to charity this Christmas.
Do you have any ideas for DIY Christmas gifts? Let us know in the comments below.