Timely DIY Christmas Gifts

Araya Jackson

Man oh man, where has the semester gone? It seems that every day is just running together and you barely have enough time to step back and take a breath.

The holiday season is already upon us. With that comes not only the stress of finals, but the pressure to get your friends special gifts they will actually enjoy.

When you combine your limited time with your college budget, you may find yourself in quite a bind with how the hell you’re going to pull any gift off.

Fear not, frantic souls. Do-it-yourself gifts are inexpensive, fairly fast, and pretty fun to make. The time you can commit to a gift will tell what you will be able to pull off. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking, and you can decide what your free time permits.

If you have a good bit of time to give: String art picture

What you will need:

  • small finishing nails
  • a piece of wood
  • bakers twine, yarn, or string
  • string art template, sized and printed
  • wood dye (optional)
  • hanging hardware (optional)

Hobby Lobby has a lot of plain wood in different shapes and sizes, perfect for crafts like this. You can also find wipe-on wood dye there, if you want a darker colored wood.

Home Depot or Lowe’s will have the finishing nails. You can get different color or different size nails, depending on what you are trying to make.

Start by looking up templates; popular designs are flowers, states, arrows or animals, but you can do practically anything. You can also draw your own design, making it more personal.

Lay the template over the wood and center it accordingly. Hammer the nails in along the outlines of the design (this is the hard part). You can do a lot of nails or just a few evenly spread out. When you finish, take off the template, and you are ready to start stringing.

Start at a corner and tie the string to the nails. You can do a random pattern and wrap around nails in any order, or you can have a system to it. Random patterns are the easiest. Just wrap from nail to nail, back and forth and over and over. You will be able to look at it and tell if you want more or less string in the areas.

Once you have wrapped the whole picture and it is as full as you want it, tie the end of the string to the last nail. If you bought hanging hardware, screw that into the back. It is also okay to leave it as just the wood, and it can be sat on counters or desks.

If you want, you can spray the string with hairspray to harden it.Ta-da! You have super cool wall art.

If you can only give a little time: Dot flower pot

What you will need:

  • Oil-based Sharpie (color your choice)
  • Letter stickers
  • Flower pot, bowl or some other ceramic holder
  • Flower, succulent, cactus
  • Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs (optional)

You can find really cool ceramic holders at Hobby Lobby and other craft stores. Gardening stores sell succulents and other small, manageable plants.

Place the letter stickers on your pot to spell a name or word. You could use some fun shape stickers for this part as well.

Use your sharpie to make dots all around the letters. Make the dots close together around the stickers, and fade them out as you get further away. You can use one color or have fun with a bunch of different colors.

Let the ink completely dry, then peel off the stickers. If there were any spots where the ink leaked or you messed up, use rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs to wipe it away.

Now take your plant and its soil out of the pot it is currently in, and place it into your new decorated pot. Wipe away any soil falling off, and be sure to water it. Just like that, you are done.

If you have no time at all: Reindeer beers

What you will need:

  • 6-pack of your friend’s favorite beer
  • Brown pipe cleaners
  • Goggly eyes
  • Small red pom-poms
  • Hot glue

Start with your friend’s favorite six pack. Take the brown pipe cleaner and wrap it around the tops of the bottles, then stick the ends up to start antlers.

Take small pieces to tie around the ends of the pipe cleaner, to make horns coming off the antlers.Then, hot glue on the goggly eyes and red pom-pom as a nose. It is that simple and anyone will love this cute idea.