10 DIY ideas for emergency Christmas gifts

9 days to Christmas and you have no idea what to gift your family and friends?

Jonathan Lim| December 16, 04:40 AM

Either you are fully prepared for Christmas with all your gifts nicely wrapped, or you are panicking because the only gifts you have are for yourself after your Amazon Black Friday spree.

Don’t fret, here’s a list of 10 DIY Christmas gifts you can make this season. It’s cheap, relatively easy to make and it has that personal touch to it.


1. Instagram Calendar

Instagram CalendarSource

We all know Instagram was probably the biggest iPhone app this year and it’s almost like a photo journal to many users. If you want to make an Instagram calendar for someone, why not pick 12 memorable pictures from their account and develop it from the nearest Kodak Express shop nearest to you?

It’s easy, personalized and it’s cheap (your only materials are paper, photos and some string to tie your calendar together). Instructions here.


2. iPhone case

iPhone caseSource

Remember how I said this list was cheap? It really is.

Go down to your local pasar malam, and buy yourself a clear iPhone case. This will probably cost you around $5. Now, go crazy designing the iPhone case. You can use markers, paint, nail polish, sequins, buttons, etc. Anything goes!


3. Chocolate bouquet

Chocolate bouquetSource

We are all guilty of making chocolate our go-to gift. I’m not saying chocolate is a bad gift (it’s awesome) but we can always spruce it up a little in the name of Christmas.

To make a chocolate bouquet, all you really have to do is to paste some ice cream sticks (easily obtained from your neighbourhood stationery shop or Popular) and stick them into a Styrofoam box (reuse your boxes when you dapao food!). It’s just like a flower bouquet, but ten times better because you can eat it.


4. A homemade body scrub

homemade body scrubSource

It’s lovely to receive one of Body Shop’s body care kits that are packed with more gels and creams you can possibly imagine. But they are also ridiculously expensive. However, visit to NTUC to buy some lemons, sugar, coconut oil and a jar can help you replicate those body scrubs for a quarter the price.


5. A snowman soft toy

Snowman soft toySource

Just because we don’t get snow here in sunny Singapore, doesn’t mean you can’t build your own snowman. All you need are some socks (you can buy them for really affordable prices at Giant), rice, some old clothes that you can cut up and any decorative items like buttons.

If you’re feeling generous, stuffing them with potpourri makes them great scent bags.


6. Instagram coasters

Instagram CoastersSource

Maybe you have a few extra Instagram shots after making a DIY Intragram calendar. With just a few pieces of cork and some glue, you can easily transform those photos into coasters with various Instagram pictures! You can easily find cork pieces from art shops such as Art Friend and Spotlight. Top tip: some cling wrap would be good to ensure the longevity of your prints.


7. Pencil holders

Pencil holderSource

And again, you’ve bought too much cork to make your Instagram coasters. Using the excess cork pieces, you can create a roll-up pencil holder! It also doubles as a great back-to-school gift. This pencil holder is easy to decorate because you can pin cute pictures onto the holder.


8. Cat-toe flats

cat toe flatsSource

This one’s for the ladies. Why not surprise someone with these adorable cat-toed shoes? Stop by any shop selling cheap flats (Rubi, Forever 21, etc.), buy a pair of simple flats and paint a cat on it using fabric paint. It’s fast and easy to do. Just remember to get the gift recipients’ shoe size right. Make sure they are not superstitious though, giving shoes are a big no-no for some people.


9. A DIY quirky tee shirt

DIY shirtSource

If you enjoy sewing, you can easily cut out a pocket from some fanciful material and sew it onto a plain white tee shirt. If you’re not adept at sewing, glue works too and this tutorial shows you how you can make a “No Sew Pocket Tee Shirt”.


10. Cupcakes in a jar

jar cupcakesSource

I can’t come up with a list of gifts and not include at least one baked item. Everyone appreciates and enjoys good food. You can add a little twist to the regular cupcakes you bake by slicing them horizontally and layering them in cute mason jars. You can find mason jars and baking ingredients at your local supermarkets. Decorate your jars as you wish and voila, you have a handy, quick DIY gift for yourself.

Armed with all these quick and easy DIY gift ideas, you have no reason to go empty-handed to a Christmas party! Happy crafting!


Still think you are in time to buy gifts for your loved ones? Here are 38 gifts under $15 which aren't lame.


Top image from here.

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