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Easy DIY Projects for a Cheap Christmas

Christmas presents all wrapped up in red paper with ribbons

Copyright: Jess Connett

Jess Connett is a savvy (read: stingy) Christmas shopper – so here’s her pick of the best, easiest and cheapest DIY presents to please all the family.

Wow, Christmas is expensive. We’re all feeling the pinch at the moment, so when you’ve got a load of extra spending to do, it can feel a bit daunting. If you’ve still got last minute presents to get, here are some dead easy – and super cheap – DIYs to save the day on Christmas morning.

Little Bro

Know someone who’s crazy about Minecraft?

Chances are you do, as it’s the biggest selling computer game of all time. There’s loads of gimmicky Minecraft stuff you can buy – from cuddly ocelots to light-up torches and most of it’s expensive and frankly weird. But, luckily the internet has come to the rescue and provided free templates you can print off and turn into all kinds of amazing stuff.

Our favourite is a printable Minecraft Steve head – all you need is a printer, some glue and an old cardboard box, and suddenly your little sibling will be transformed into an invincible, zombie-slaying badass (until you make the paper creeper).

Make a Minecraft head from a printed image and a cardboard box

Big Bro

Got a big brother in need of some stylish head wear?

Bobble hats are a wardrobe staple and are actually mega easy to make – here’s a tutorial.

You’ll need an old jumper (think Primark sale, charity shop, or something in the wardrobe you haven’t worn for five years). Lay the jumper flat and cut out a bobble hat shape – but cut at least 1cm extra around the edge. Dust off your needle and thread, sew all the way around and turn the hat inside out to hide your stitching. The final task is to make a pompom out of some old wool – make a donut shape from card, wind the wool around, cut along the edge of the donut, loop the long ends around the middle and tie a knot. Remove the card and voila – a pom-pom. Sew it onto the hat and you’re done.

Make a hat out of an old jumper with a bit of sewing

How to make a pom pom, using a cardboard ring and some wool

Little Sis

Keeping a diary of your dreams, or having a little notebook for random thoughts is a really interesting thing to look back through – and the cuter the diary, the more likely you are to writing it (and that’s a fact, folks).

Making books sounds hard but it really isn’t: here’s a tutorial to prove it.

You’ll need some paper for the pages – out of an old notebook you’ve never used, or an ugly one from a charity shop. You’ll also need a strip of strong fabric to go along the spine of the book to hold all the pages together, and something like thick wallpaper for the covers. Line up all your pages, plus the front and back cover, and then clip it all so that nothing slips around. Coat the long edge of the paper with glue, and keep the clips on until it’s all dry. Then, glue a strip of fabric down the spine to reinforce it, and decorate it with your recipient’s favourite stuff.

Make a handmade book from old sheets of paper all glued together

Big Sis

Fashion-savvy big sisters can be difficult to buy for – they’re very particular about their style.

Steer clear of jewellery and clothes: a safe option is a customisable eye mask, to help catch some beauty sleep (even if it’s just on the bus to college). Here’s a tutorial

You’ll need fabric – something puffy, like from an old coat, is ideal. Cut it out using a template, and then attach some elastic to both sides. Depending on your skills, you can sew or glue – sewing will make the mask sturdier but it’ll take a bit longer. The final bit is decoration – pick something cute, cut it out and glue it down. Et voilà.

Make an eye-mask using old fabric, and decorate it with some big eyes


Mums are busy people, and at Christmas they are the busiest ever. Treat yo’ mama right, and get her a nice present or two – and if it’s handmade, it’ll definitely earn you bonus points.

This amazing scarf can be knitted with nothing but your hands – yeah, you read right. Watch the video to see how, in just 30 minutes, you can turn a ball of fluffy wool into the cosiest, most amazing scarf with nothing but a bit of knotting. Mind. Blown.

Knit a scarf without any needles - you just need your hands


So, this might be one for next year (unless you know someone having a really wild Christmas party), but next time you open a bottle with a cork in it, don’t let them throw it away: turn it into a cork board.

You’ll need a big flat surface to glue the corks onto – like chunky card or the wooden board from a picture frame. You can get cardboard boxes for free in shops if you ask, and picture frames often turn up in charity shops for pennies. Cut up the corks using a chopping board, and be careful as they’re pretty tough. Plan your pattern – herringbone looks really cool – and glue the corks down with PVA, making sure the surface you’re sticking them on isn’t dusty. Glue some string to the back so you can hang the board up, and pin up a giant picture of your triumphant face to it before you give it away.

Create a cool cork board using old wine corks and a picture frame

Have you had any spectacular DIY wins or Pinterest fails? Or got any other easy DIYs to share? Let us know what you’re making for Christmas, and send us your pics via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter