Best affordable, homemade holiday gifts

Peyton Sims, Life & Arts General Reporter

As the last day of class steadily approaches, the communal holiday spirit continues to grow. For many people, the winter season is a joyful time of the year. However, the thought of exhausting wallets on holiday gifts for family and friends can cause a sense of dread.

Though an annual experience for many, there’s no need to start the new year off with empty pockets. In honor of the holidays, The Daily Texan compiled a list of homemade gifts that are not only thoughtful and cute, but also affordable.

Baked goods

What better way to keep the festive holiday spirit alive than gathering up some ingredients to bake? Anyone would love to receive a simple, thoughtful homemade dessert. Whether brownies made from a nostalgic family recipe or hand-cut sugar cookies shaped like Christmas trees or dreidels, food is undoubtedly the way to anyone’s heart.

A handwritten letter

Taking the time to write a letter to a friend or family member is one of the best ways to let someone know how much they’re valued. Before sealing the letter — potentially with a cute sticker — throw in some photos that capture happy shared memories. The only materials required are nice stationary and a pen.

A personalized painting

To the excitement of many, artistic talent isn’t required to make a homemade painting for someone — it’s always the thought that counts. Grab some paint brushes and a canvas and get ready to bring a one-of-a-kind art piece to life. Whether a watercolor painting of a family member’s pet or a colorful abstract drawing of a best friend’s favorite flower, anything meaningful will surely make someone’s holiday season.


What better gift is there than a homemade candle? Not only is this more affordable than buying one from a store, but it also includes a personal touch. To get started, either use an already burned candle or buy supplies — wax, aromatherapy scents, a candle wick and  a container like a mason jar — from a local craft store. This gift will garner consistent use while also acting as a constant reminder of friendship.

Photo album or scrapbook

When given an empty scrapbook and a pile of memory-filled photos, it won’t take long to put together a personalized gift. With a blank book or photo album, glue, scissors and maybe even some funky stickers, the possibilities are endless. When someone opens this gift and flips through the photographs and inevitably sweet handwritten notes, they’ll cherish it forever.