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25 DIY Gifts Under $5

Nothing's quite as meaningful as a gift you make yourself!

Aaaaaand nothing's quite as inexpensive as a DIY gift either. Around the holidays, couldn't we all use as much help with our budget as we can get?

Despite what some people might think, making beautiful gifts that don't look homemade (read: don't look cheap) but still have that thoughtful, personal touch isn't difficult, and it doesn't have to be pricey. Best of all, you don't have to be a hard-core crafter to pull these looks off; just a quick trip to your local secondhand or dollar store and a few minutes are all you need!

While you're shopping, keep an eye out for the kinds of inexpensive items you can easily find at thrift or discount stores that are extremely versatile for making DIY gifts, such as:

  • Mason jars
  • Frames (with or without the glass)
  • Oversized sweaters and T-shirts
  • Classic game pieces (doesn't have to be the whole game)
  • Old books
  • Cork boards
  • Antique silverware (can be bent into things like jewelry or hooks for accessories)
  • Wooden cutting boards
  • Mismatched drawer pulls/knobs
  • Decorative plates
  • Candle sticks
  • Costume jewelry (or use old/broken jewelry you already have)

Depending on which projects you choose, common supplies you might need (but probably already have) could include:

  • Adhesives (glue, hot glue gun, crazy glue, Mod Podge, etc)
  • Scissors
  • Permanent markers
  • Drill/Screwdriver/Screws
  • Basic sewing notions
  • Paper
  • Paint/Stain (maybe left over from another DIY or home improvement project)

Once you're wandering the aisles of a secondhand store, just let your creativity run wild! If you need a few ideas to get you started, scroll down for some amazing, inspiring projects and tutorials!

Photograph by Better Homes and Gardens

A hollowed-out book makes a cute keepsake box, a great place for kids to hide tiny treasures or a clever spot to hide the remote control!

These dressy jewelry magnets could really add some glitz to someone's fridge (and to their grocery list)! Consider using other small items too; photos Mod Podged onto small tiles, clips from the office supply aisle or colorful bottle caps make great magnets, too!

Image via Live, Love DIY

This rustic yarn sign is just one beautiful example of the string art tutorials available; with variations in thread/twine/string, nail heads/screws/pins, word/image designs and frames, the possibilities are endless!

Image via Just Between Friends

Turn strips of fabric, lace or ribbon into charming bookmarks by attaching small brooches or single earrings to the ends.

Image via One Frugal Chick

Just some scrap fabric, uncooked rice and a super-easy straight stitch are all you need to show loved ones you care (and don't want them to get frostbite!) with these adorable handwarmers.

Image via Rae Ann Kelly

No more trying to check online recipes with food-covered hands—the cook of the castle will love this iPad holder made from a repurposed cutting board!

Image via The Idea Room

You can often find old mouse pads at secondhand stores, or new (but plain, boring) ones at discount stores. Make them stand out for the techie on your list with a personalized, painted design.

Image via Homie Oh My

Use a heart punch to highlight special words from an old book or dictionary and arrange them in a frame to send a special someone a special message.

Image via Cozy. Cottage. Cute.

Is there anything hotter than boots this year? Keep your favorite boot-lover warm with boot socks made from old sweaters!

Image via My Sister's Suitcase

Plain white mugs are (almost literally) a dime a dozen; pick up a few and turn them into something special with this monogrammed mug tutorial.

Image via Glued to My Crafts

Combine two things everyone loves by filling a trendy mason jar with the ingredients to make your favorite brownies—don't forget to include the recipe on the tag!

Image via Call Me Cupcake

These vintage trophy wine stoppers would be tops for the wine aficionado in your family; they'd also look great made with crystal drawer pulls or other fun trinkets.

Image via Country Living

Whip up some cute snow globes in no time flat; you can even customize them by substituting small toys, keepsakes or other items inside.

Image via Whipperberry

Pretty baubles require a pretty jewelry tray, like this one cleverly assembled from plates and candle sticks!

Image via Style Me Pretty

Love that project, but your giftee has more dishes than diamonds? You can use a plate and candle holder to create this dish soap stand instead!

Image via Natalme

If you're blessed with some basic sewing skills and know someone who loves coffee (HAHAHAHA WHO DOESN'T LOVE COFFEE?), these reversible coffee cup sleeves will have your holiday list wrapped up in no time. (via Crafty Staci)

Image via Crafty Staci

Second-hand stores are full of games people donated because a few missing parts made them unplayable; turn their trash into treasure by repurposing loose game pieces into something great like these Scrabble tile coasters!

Image via Gourmet Gab

No sewing skills required to be on-trend (and WAY under budget) with this T-shirt no-sew infinity scarf.

Image via Madigan Made

Or try this surprisingly no-sew recycled sweater scarf!

Image via Brit + Co

The lucky people on your list can beautify their bathrooms (or a shelf, a desk or pretty much anywhere, depending on what you put inside) with these pretty DIY storage jars.

Image via eighteen25

Frames are one of the easiest thrift items to find—from garage sales to Goodwill, they're everywhere, they're inexpensive, and they're just begging to be given new life ... maybe as a zigzagged-twine memo frame?

Image via Shanty 2 Chic

Make a plain dollar-store apron meaningful with your kids' handprints. This is also a great idea for a guy who likes to grill!

Image via Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home

With a few cheap and FREE supplies, you can quickly put together a fantastic paint chip calendar that's custom-matched to the recipient's décor!

Image via Maple and Magnolia

Using the same basic concept, you can create a smaller dry erase memo board with a pretty piece of patterned or lined paper inside a frame. Add magnets to the back and it would make a great reusable grocery list to stick on the fridge, or spot to jot notes and reminders inside a teen's locker.

Image via The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking

Haven't seen anything yet that quite fits the bill? This Year-Long Gift in a Frame is a thoughtful, simple gift for anyone on your list!

Image via eighteen25

So, what do you think. Feel like you can tackle some DIY gifts this year? Let us know in the comments if you have other thrifty DIY gift ideas to share!

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