DIY gift ideas that won’t break the bank

Discover creative, budget-friendly DIY Christmas gift ideas perfect for pals and family members. Learn to craft unique presents and manage finances with Cleo.

DIY Gift Ideas That Won't Break The Bank

Are you low-key dreading the holidays this year because you’re already living paycheck to paycheck? Say no more. It’s a stressful AF time for anyone knowing they need to shell out for gifts, traveling home and other Christmas-related expenses.

But who says you can't spread festive cheer without draining your wallet? DIY gifts are the answer to today’s rampant consumerism trends 💀 In a world where everything seems a tap away, taking the time to create something with your own hands adds an irreplaceable personal touch to your holiday giving.

Get the best of both worlds by unleashing your inner child with DIY gifts and saving money at the same time. With Cleo by your side, saving for the holidays has never been easier.

DIY or buy? The gift-giving dilemma

Between work, studying and a social life, the calendar is already busy enough - that’s what marketers rely on every holiday season.

But there's something inherently heartwarming about receiving a gift that someone has poured their time and heart into. We bet you remember when your bestie made a homemade card for your birthday.

Not to mention, literally nothing is that high quality anymore. Who wants to drop $100 on a polyester dress? 🤡 DIY gifts are super sustainable in comparison to store-bought options. Let’s step away from mass production and towards becoming a little more eco-friendly.

Not to mention, creating gifts allows for budget control and financial mindfulness - so you can create something truly special without the high price tag.

Budgeting for homemade gifts

Alright, let's get real about DIY gift ideas. It's not just about showing off your inner Martha Stewart - keeping your wallet from crying during the holidays is a priority, too. You're already juggling a zillion side gigs, and let's face it, your love affair with Amazon Prime isn't helping.

Plan like a boss

Before you start transforming into a DIY god or goddess, make a game plan. What do you need? Can you upcycle that weird vase from Aunt Linda? Planning ahead means you don't blow cash on stuff you don't need.

Set a spending limit

Yes, setting a budget is as fun as watching paint dry, but hear us out. Keep track of what you're spending on glitter and glue. Cleo's not just for show – use it to track those expenses like a pro.

Deals, deals, deals

Sniff out those deals like they're the last slice of pizza. Craft stores have sales all the time. Be the early bird who gets the worm, or in this case, the cheap yarn.

Quality over quantity

Don’t girlboss too close to the sun. You can't DIY for everyone unless you clone yourself, and science isn’t quite there yet. Focus on a few special pals. It’s the thought that counts, not the number of gifts.

Keep it simple

Some of the coolest gifts are the simplest. Ever heard of a handwritten letter? Vintage, we know. Or bake some cookies. Who doesn't like cookies?

It's all about making cool stuff without making your wallet weep. And hey, Cleo is here to help you keep those finances snuggly and warm, just like those socks you'll probably knit.

5 creative DIY gift ideas

So, you're ready to dive into the DIY deep end and show Santa how it's really done. Here are some killer frugal gift ideas that won’t have your bank account like 👁️👄👁️

Homemade jewelry (that doesn’t suck)

You know those beads and charms you've been hoarding since middle school? Time to put them to good use. Whip up some funky bracelets or earrings. YouTube is your best friend here.  

Go for that boho-chic or minimalist vibe, or channel your inner Swiftie with friendship bracelets. Who needs Tiffany’s when you've got talent and a hot glue gun?

Digital art, dahling

Not all of us can be Da Vinci, but hey, there's an app for that. Use digital tools to create personalized art. Think custom portraits, abstract designs, or even comic-style renditions of their pet. 

Print them on canvas, t-shirts, or even mugs. There are online services that print and ship directly to your (or their) door. It's art with a personal touch, minus the paint stains.

Beauty products

Whip up some homemade beauty treats. Lip balms, sugar scrubs, and even bath bombs. Natural, skin-loving ingredients are your best friends here. 

Essential oils for fragrance, coconut oil for moisture – you get the drill. Pinterest and Instagram are goldmines for recipes. Just make sure to test them out – no one wants a Christmas rash.

Upcycled home decor

Since when did we all get so excited about air fryers? Well, might as well lean into the grandma vibes and try your hand at pieces for your friends’ apartments. 

Give some old jars, frames, or fabric a new lease on life. Turn jars into chic vases, frames into trendy trays, and fabric into cool wall art. It's all about seeing the potential in the mundane. Plus, it's eco-friendly, and Mother Nature is totally into that.

Personalized recipe books

We all know someone whose idea of cooking is microwaving ramen. Help them out. Compile some foolproof recipes into a cute, handmade book. 

Decorate it, add some personal notes and maybe some funny cooking fails. It's thoughtful, helpful and might save them from another Taco Bell rampage.

Cleo’s your budgeting bestie 🎉

Cleo isn't just another pretty icon on your phone when you're knee-deep in DIY gift planning – she’s your secret weapon for nailing the budget game.

Cleo’s budgeting prowess is unmatched. Plug in your income, usual expenses, and DIY gift budget. The AI works its magic to predict how much you can safely spend on those homemade candles or knitted scarves without eating ramen for the rest of the month.

As for monthly bills? Never get blindsided again. Keep track of your regular bills (yeah, Netflix counts) and see how much dough you have left for your DIY endeavors. Cleo’s ready to help keep Impulse Purchase Land at bay. Set reminders to keep your essentials covered while freeing your mind to focus on more important things, like whether to use glitter or not (the answer is always yes).

Wonder where your money's sneaking off to? Cleo’s spending tracker takes note of every penny, showing you the sometimes-painful truth about your spending habits. Type ‘roast me’ to get the tea on your spending habits. Need a gentle reminder? Type ‘hype me’ instead and see what happens.

DIY and budget with Cleo

With this treasure trove of DIY gift ideas, you’re prepping for a crafty holiday season and gearing up for a financially stable new year. Grab your glue gun, fire up Cleo, and show the world (and your bank account) what you're made of.

Still have questions? Find answers below.
I'm new to DIY. How do I start without blowing my budget?
Are there easy DIY gifts that even I can't mess up?
How do I make sure I don't overspend on materials?
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