The holidays are upon us, and the spirit of gift-giving is in the air! Take matters into your own hands this season by trying these DIY crafts, all for $5 or less. They're easy and fun to make, while allowing you to re-purpose common items you may already have around the house. Soda Tab Bracelets - Total Cost: Free!
You only need two items to make these - soda tabs and some type of material to weave the tabs together. It can be ribbon, a strip cut from a T-shirt, clear elastic for a stretchy version, or even a strip cut from an old broken belt. Whichever you decide to use, it's likely these are things you may already have around the house. You can also collect soda tabs from friends or neighbors' recycling to help speed up the process! There are more advanced versions you can make as well if you have the time and patience. They make great party favors too!
Soda tabs "woven" together make cool bracelets.
Upcycled Magazine Photo Frame - Total Cost: $1+
Start with either an inexpensive picture frame from the dollar store, craft store, Goodwill, or one you might already have (or you can even use cardboard). Just make sure the frame border is flat and ideally a few inches wide. Collect at least 10 magazine pages and roll them up one at a time into tubes. (Here's a secret: use a skinny pen to help roll it!) Then, simply secure with clear tape. It's easier if you make at least 25 tubes in a row, then adhere them to the frame using Mod Podge. It adds nice contrast if you choose colorful magazine pages then insert a black and white photo. Or, instead of magazine pages, you could also use newspaper sheets. Have fun with it! You can make a ton of other crafts from upcycled magazines as well.
Vinyl Record Bowl - Total Cost: $1+
This is a quirky gift that's super easy to make. Start with an unplayable record (I bought a used, scratched record at Goodwill for less than $1), bake it, then mold it for a cool finished product. Note: this could be used for trinkets, wrapped candy, potted plants and more but should not be used to hold food. If you're especially crafty, you can take it a step further and paint it, or make other record bowl crafts.
Turn an old hit into a new hit with your friends and family.
Play Sand/Beach In a Jar - Total Cost: $5+
You may have seen the no-mess kinetic sand at Brookstone, which is super fun to play with and stays dry while molding, just like wet sand. You can make a similar version at home with Play Sand from a home improvement store such as Home Depot, plus corn starch. You can take the presentation of this gift up a notch by placing it into a jar, such as a clean pasta sauce jar with lid, and tossing some sea shells and coconut lip balm into the sand for added whimsy. Then draw a beach scene on the outside of the jar (use a paint pen that works on glass) and tie a mini shovel or beachy cocktail recipe (if for a recipient who's 21 years or older) around the lid to top it off. Or, instead of a beach theme, you could even add dinosaur figurines for more of an archaeology theme or miniature dump trucks and construction scenery. Get creative with it!
DIY Clock - Total Cost: $5+
All you need for this craft is a clock kit, batteries and something flat, such as a decorative paper plate. You could also gear it around a hobby the receiver likes, such as LEGOR or playing cards.
Here are some other ideas as well. What are your favorite DIY projects to give around the holidays?