DIY gifts you still have time to make!

It happened again. With the stealth of a jungle cat, Christmas has come screaming out of the bushes ready to eat us alive. Or at the very least, have us eat ourselves to death. It’s a surprise every year. Christmas is months away and doesn’t need to be thought about at all, then without ANY sort of warning, it’s here demanding to be celebrated. And it’s kind of pushy about it quite frankly.  The calendar seems to be the last thing we look to when trying to figure out when Christmas is. Otherwise we’d all have a better sense of when it was coming. I happen to know it’s coming because a) I still don’t have any cookies made regardless of The Christmas Pledge and b) all of the television news anchors are being swallowed by Poinsettias.

There are a billion reasons why you might need a fast inexpensive present.  It could be for a handmade work gift exchange, or a hostess gift or you’re a starving student. Or a starving artist. Or you want to cheap out on gifts so you can have enough money left over for yourself to buy that really special blue cheese infused with red wine that runs about $35 for a small hunk.

Regardless of the reason I’ve gathered up all the gift ideas from The Art of Doing Stuff that I think can be done relatively inexpensively and quickly. Those are my fancy words. What’s I’d actually say is cheap and fast. Like a $10 hooker. I’m not sure why I turned to the flowery, official language. ‘Tis the season I guess.

If you’re looking for more take a look at my Pinterest Board “DIY Gift Ideas“. There are some great ones on there. Mind you. You don’t have to look right now. I mean Christmas is still a ways off. There’s lots of time for making presents and picking out gifts.

AHRGHHARRRRRRAGHHHHARGHHHH!!!!! Sorry for the outburst. I was just startled by a surprise jungle cat.


  1. Susan Townsend says:

    Karen, I just made the board butter with beeswax and mineral oil and OMG, I’m so happy with it! Thank you so much. Three work friends came over last month and we spent the day cutting and sanding cutting boards for Xmas presents. We did oil it with something from the local Gourmet Warehouse which had the same ingredients as your recipe, but this even even better and of course much cheaper. I’ve just finished packaging up 3 tins of the butter for Xmas presents for my fellow lady carpenters. Thanks again.

    • Karen says:

      That’s great Susan! I just finished up the last of mine and need to make more. I should make TWICE as much. I seem to have a lot of wood that needs buttering. That sounded dirty. Sorry ’bout that. :) ~ karen!

  2. Dagmar says:

    It’s actually funny that you included the jeans pen holder, because if I remember correctly you weren’t so fond of it when you first made it. And I loved it from day 1. I guess maybe you have learned to love it, too. Best wishes to everyone out there. Today in Toronto, we are getting our first big gust of snow and stormy weather. And as I sat to read this, out of the dusty snow I heard “Oh Canada” in the winter shadows. It was the strangest thing ever. Then I realized that it was the school about a mile down that was playing it exactly at 9am, but it is never so empty and quiet outside, so I have never heard it travel across their yard, as I did this morning. It felt so magical, especially while reading about your Christmas gifts to one and all.

  3. Cheryl says:

    Your birdfeeder DIY was the first post I ever read on your blog. Been coming back ever since! :)

  4. Laura says:

    I was actually thinking about your jeans pocket pen holder today… I think it’s a great gift! Gotta go find some jeans to cut up!

  5. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Wow girl..all the great ideas you have done..and I know you could list a lot more of these..You clever little minx you..LOL..

  6. Liz says:

    oh man, you have so many good ones!! I’m recalling the bird bath one and the fake grass table runner one fondly. The changes you’ve made on here are awesome! I hope you are enjoying it more :)

  7. Wendy W says:

    Bah Humbug! I was SO on top of things, then I got sick and my tree keeps falling over. I am too sick to fix it so hubby gets it upright but doesn’t fix the lights or decorations. I’ve decided to leave it that way until I am feeling better. Haven’t even started baking yet or wrapping gifts (thank gawd they are all purchased with the exception of a few stocking stuffers!). Holiday work party on Friday night which I was going to go buy something to wear as I’ve worn the same thing 3 years in a row, but got sick and couldn’t get out. Haven’t started doing cards…ugh! Was going to do a lot of those things on the weekend. Christmas will come (as it does every year) but we may have a messed up tree with store bought cookies and gifts in their original packages. Then I read Tracie’s post and think, who cares! We have each other. Very sorry for your loss, Tracie.

  8. Becci says:

    Love your ideas but I’m going with your tea towel apron. I had purchased the tea towels with the idea of making an apron but realized I wasn’t quite sure how to proceed. I knew I could count on you to help me out and sure enough you did, way back in 2011. Thanks.

  9. Wendy says:

    The pillow made out of car wash mitts is so funny. Cute. But also very funny. At first glance it looks like the very soft IKEA bathmats that I have in both bathrooms at my house. I guess those would work for a dog or floor cushion.
    Merry Christ-Mukkah!

  10. Tracie says:

    Wonderful ideas Karen. I’ve made two of the mirrored boxes, putting poinsettias inside, and have to say they looked spectacular!! A bit of a struggle (apparently I can’t spell finangaling), but worth every minute. Even I was impressed with myself. I lost my mom less than two weeks ago, and it’s really hard to do Christmas…but I know she would be so pissed at me if I didn’t try my damnest to do it up right. You help. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracie – I am so, so sorry about your mother. Sincerely, Karen.

      • Tracie says:

        Thank you Karen, and to the rest of you ladies who left such kind and thoughtful comments. I will do something special just for her, and of course, we will have wine…Cheers to all of you and your moms, and to the memories of them. And hugs right back…

    • Su says:

      Tracie – I am sorry for the loss of your mom….. holidays suck when a loved one passes so recently…. when my mom passed a number of years ago it helped me to do some of the holiday stuff she loved so much…. crying thru the memories – since she just LOVED Christmas, let us feel her around us. And red wine didn’t hurt either…. (hugs)

    • Nancy Blue Moon says:

      Tracie..I lost my Mom two weeks before Christmas many years ago..I know how hard it is but yes she would want you try your best to enjoy the holidays..especially if you have kids..Also Su is right..doing something special that she her a good thing..and just might bring a smile to your face..Hugs..

    • LazySusan says:

      So sorry for your loss, Tracie. One of the wonderful things about our memories, is that we are able to, at whim, call up those we’ve lost, and include them in whatever we want. Your loss is deep, but your mother’s love was deeper, and always will be. She’ll be with you for the rest of your life. I lost my mother in 1984, and she’s still with me all the time, in my heart and my thoughts. Just being able to see the love on her face as she smiled at me, in my mind’s eye, brings great comfort. I hope that thought also brings great comfort to you, over the coming weeks and years.

  11. Amy Lynn says:

    Ooh, I love those salt and pepper shakers! :)

  12. caryl hodgdon says:

    looking at this post was like looking through an album of old family photos-ah,the memories! Oh except that your DIY’s are better looking than my family. I’m glad you didn’t include the tabletop fireplace. That’s my go to this xmas and I’m taking the credit for it!!

  13. Joy says:

    I Always Love Your Ideas. I Might Make Some Of The Beeswax Food Wraps (And Keep Them For Myself). :)

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