By Tori McNeely, photo by Nicole Bayes-Fleming

As struggling students the only thing more stressful than exams is realizing you’ve got less than a month to get all that Christmas shopping done. But what if there was another way? What if you could skip the insanity that is the mall at this time of year? What if you didn’t need to break the bank on gifts?

If that sounds like the gift for you, here are 5 easy and inexpensive DIY gifts that will help you save this holiday season.

  1.     Dip Christmas Bulbs: This is the ideal gift for the foodie in your life! It’s exactly what it sounds like—small, hollow, plastic Christmas-like lightbulb ornaments filled with savoury chip dip mixes. The best part is the mixes are made of ingredients you’ve most likely already got lying around in your kitchen.
  1.     Personalized Mug (or shot glass): This is one DIY gift I’ve tried—and loved! Forget spending money you don’t need to on an overpriced mug. Instead, buy a cheap mug, pull out those old sharpies, and preheat your oven to 350˚. Follow the directions here and don’t forget to get creative. Try making a personalized shot glass too. Or even a wine glass!
  1.     Bath Bombs: We all have that one friend who is Lush-obsessed. Skip a trip to the mall by following these simple steps for creating your own bath bombs at home. After trying this recipe you’ll never want to buy another bath bomb again—for yourself or for anyone else. The best part is you get to completely curate the color and scent. In the spirit of Christmas, why not try making a green and red bath bomb with peppermint as the essential oil?
  1.     Beer Coasters: Put those empty beer boxes to use with this DIY gift idea. This is such a neat (and useful) gift that anyone would be happy to receive. You can even swap the beer boxes for personal pictures or inspiring quotes. This requires 5 simple supplies and barely any time at all.
  1.     Tea Wreath: Whether you’ve got a tea fanatic in your life, or you simply can’t decide what to get someone, you can’t go wrong with a tea wreath. Much like the beer coasters this DIY gift requires next to nothing. You can even make some substitutions to the supplies: exchange the hot glue for regular glue, and instead of clothespins (‘cause who has those lying around?) try paper clips.

Just because you’re broke, doesn’t mean your family and friends have to know it! With these DIY gifts, you’ll have everyone thinking you made that trip to Lush.

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