The holiday season can strike dread in the hearts of every student, with all those gifts to give and so little money and time for shopping! Fear not! Luckily, there are many great, affordable home-made gift ideas for students that are fun, easy and sure to delight your friends and family.
Make Your Own Soap
Making your own soap is so easy, you can do it in a dorm room, and you can get many gifts done all at once. All you need is a few ingredients available online or from any craft store and the common room microwave.
How to Make Your Own Soap
- Cut up a block of clear, unscented soap base such as glycerine or shea butter to melt in a glass bowl in your microwave.
- Stir and keep heating until it’s melted.
- Then, add a drop or two of essential oil for scent and a drop or two of colorant, and stir it in.
- You can even get creative and add some cool texture, such as oatmeal or flower petal.
- Pour the mix into fun soap molds, and let them sit for a day to set.
- Finally, just pop your soaps out of their molds, and package them up in pretty boxes, bags or paper.
Make Your Own Bath Bombs
There are lots of fun recipes online for making your own fizzy bath bombs, and these make great gifts and stocking stuffers.
How to Make Your Own Bath Bombs
- Start by mixing dry ingredients, such as baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch, and Epsom salts with small amounts of oil, such as coconut oil, and water.
- You’ll add a drop or two of essential oil for scent and colorant as well. You can add fun extras such as sugar flowers or soap flakes if you’re feeling creative.
- Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl, blend your liquids in a jar, and then add your blended liquids to your dry ingredients very, very slowly while you whisk continuously. The end result will look like wet sand and should clump together easily.
- Pour the mixture into silicone or plastic molds, pressing it in firmly.
- Then, leave your molds to set and dry, which could take up to a day or two.
- When they’re done, pop them out and package them up in a cellophane bag, so they stay dry!
Make Your Own Candles
Making your own candles is just as easy as making your own soaps, and you do pretty much the same thing. The only difference is in the ingredients. You can make different kinds of candles, such as pretty container candles or rolled beeswax candles.
How to Make Your Own Container Candles
For container candles, you’ll need paraffin or soy wax, essential oil, a wick, and a container. You can get all the things you need online or at a local craft shop. For containers, you can really use anything of any size, from a small glass Mason jar to a favourite mug.
- Begin by melting pellets of paraffin or soy wax in your microwave.
- You can add colorant and a drop or two of essential oil for scent.
- Next, fix the wick in place in your container with a small glue dot, melt your wax in the microwave, add your scent and color and pour. You’ll need to hold the wick in place for awhile, but a neat trick is to tie the wick around a pencil, allowing it to sit on top of the container before you add the wax.
- Then let the candle set, trim the wick to the right length, and package up your candle to present.
How to Make Your Own Beeswax Candles
You can also hand-roll beeswax candles for an even easier gift to make. You just buy pre-colored sheets of beeswax and some wicks.
- Secure the wick in place, and roll tightly.
- Let them set for a day or two in the open air, trim the wick and you’re good to go.
- Package up a few different colors like a bouquet, and you’ve got a pretty and all-natural gift!
Make Your Own Painted Plant Pots
If you like to paint, making your own painted plant pots can be a relaxing and pretty gift idea. Just buy any sized terracotta plant pots at a local nursery or plant store, some acrylic craft paints and brushes. All you need apart from that is a space to paint and your imagination. Paint the entire pot dark blue and add yellow stars for a night sky. Paint on a single sunflower or a bunch of grapes, or go bright and modern with a design of your own. The possibilities are limitless. You can gift empty plant pots, or add a plant!
Bonus tip: Paint small plant pots, and turn them into candles by combining this idea with the Make Your Own Container Candle idea. Just remember to block the hole in the bottom of the plant pot with a penny before pouring your wax.
Make Your Own Glass Terrariums
If you love plant life but aren’t gifted with a paintbrush, you can make your own glass terrariums. You just need some glass bowls or containers that are open at the top or come with a lid that opens, small stones or pebbles, a thin layer of activated charcoal, some potting soil, and plants, of course. All of these materials are available at craft shops and nurseries, and if you’re lucky, you can find the pebbles and stones on a nice nature walk in the country.
How to Make Your Own Glass Terrariums
- Add the pebbles as the bottom layer for good drainage.
- Then, add a very small amount of activated charcoal to keep the water fresh and to fight off bacteria.
- Next, add enough soil so your plants can take root, and add your plants. Make sure to pick small plants that will do well in a terrarium. Succulents and cacti are great choices, but note that they do better in an open container, rather than the high humidity of a terrarium with a closed top.
- Finally, decorate by distributing some pebbles or rocks between your plants.