12 Easy DIY Gifts Under $20

white spiral sketch pad on a while counter with craft materials
Inexpensive at-home creations to make both the gift and the experience of gifting that much more special.

Homemade Granola

Whip up a batch of homemade granola with key ingredients you know your giftee loves. Sprinkle old-fashioned oats, unrefined oils, dried fruit and nuts, salt, natural sweetener, and anything else on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and heat in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Once your granola is baked and cooled, add any meltable ingredients (we suggest chocolate chips, or for a healthier alternative–cacao nibs), funnel into a mason jar, and tie a string of twine around the lid. Remember to add a tag or sticker to the bottom of the jar and list off the ingredients you used so your recipient knows exactly what went into your yummy creation!


At-home spa kit

Create your own bath salts to soothe muscles and reduce inflammation with six parts coarse sea salt, three parts Epsom salts, and one part baking soda. To add a personal touch, mix in dried herbs (such as rosemary or mint), essential oils, or dried flower petals for a punch of colour. Package with a loofa, a soothing box of teaor a bottle of wine.


Dip-dye mugs

For a coffee addict or tea enthusiast, purchase plain white mugs at your local dollar store along with acrylic paint in the Pantone of your choice (we suggest choosing a colour you know they love or that reminds you of them). Tape a straight line around the cup and dip the bottom half in paint. Bake your mugs at the temperature the paint type calls for on a lined sheet pan and remove the tape once your pretty new mugs are dry.


Herb garden

Looking for a gift for the home chef who loves to eat local? Nothing gets closer to sourcing locally than picking herbs from your own garden! Head to your local garden centre to purchase ceramic pots and your giftee’s favourite herbs or seeds. For an added touch, paint the pots yourself in a speckled earthenware neutral, ombré variants of the same shade, or dip-dye the bottoms in a hue that matches your recipient’s kitchen.


Ready-to-mix sangria kit

Pick up a pretty glass pitcher at a thrift or antique shop. Fill the pitcher with fresh oranges and present it in a basket or box with a small bottle of brandy, a bottle of red or white wine, and some brown or white sugar in a small jar. Tie a handwritten recipe card to the end of a wooden spoon, and add to the pitcher (you can even paint the tip of the spoon with a non-toxic waterproof paint for an extra touch).


Microwavable heating pads

DIY heating pads are sure to offer the exercise addict in your life some much-needed sore muscle reliefSew a pouch out of a cozy material you have lying around, or use an existing fabric bag (jewelry or shoe bags are great for this). Fill with rice and your favourite essential oils for added comfort. Add a note with instructions to microwave the pouch on high for two minutes and apply wherever needed. If the pad loses heat, pop it in the microwave for another minute. Just make sure your fabric of choice is heat-resistant and free of plastics, metals or other fire hazards!


Aromatherapy spray

Purchase a glass spray bottle and some essential oils (we recommend lavender for relaxation or eucalyptus for invigoration). Fill your spray bottle almost to the top with water and gently drop in the essential oils, testing as you go to make sure the scent isn’t too overpowering. Make a handmade label out of washi tape, and wrap the corresponding dried aromatic to the top of the bottle with twine.


movie night in a box

Fill a box with your loved one’s favourite candy, a bag of popcorn kernels, gourmet popcorn toppinglike fresh rosemary or Himalayan salt, a bottle of wine, and a list of special movie recommendations organized by how you want them to feel (“For laughing then crying then laughing again–try About Time,” or “For forgetting your hard week, I loved Long Shot”). Bonus points if you make sure your recommendations are available on your giftee’s streaming service of choice, or offer to rent it for them on iTunes.


Stationery kit

Pick up a notebook, coloured pens, and a cute pencil case from your nearby Indigo. Neatly stack the items and fasten together with twine. For the added personal touch–include words of encouragement on a separate note or the first page of the notebook.


Personalized golf kit

Pick up some new tees and ballsand decorate using markers or waterproof paint. Not only will your golf lover always be able to find their equipment on the course, but they’ll have words of encouragement to make them smile mid-game. Golf can be a frustrating sport, so a pick-me-up never hurts!


Homemade chocolate bark

Melt a cup of high-quality chocolate chips in a microwave (be careful not to leave them in too long!) and pour onto a baking tray covered in aluminum foil. Sprinkle toppings such as sea salt, toffee, edible flowers, crushed nuts, or chili flakes on your melted chocolate and leave at room temperature until hardened. Break up your chocolate into large pieces and wrap in craft paper or a food-friendly bag. 


In-flight care package

This is the ultimate gift for travelers who live their life at 35,000 feet. In a small, suitcase-friendly bag: pack gum, earplugs, and your recipient’s favorite magazine or book. For a little added wellness, consider including a relaxing essential oil roll-on or luxurious eye mask. To make the care package all the more personal, attach a handwritten letter–to help them pass the time and feel at ease during their flight.  

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