In D.I.Y., local.holidays, local.home,

Fun Holiday Gift + Craft Ideas {DIY}

Trying to pull together some last-minute decor or gifts for the holiday season??

{Of course, this has never happened to us… we’ve never, ever waited until the final moment to get working on something we had been putting off since Thanksgiving… 😉  …amiright?!}

Here are some holiday crafts you can throw together with most of the items being from the dollar store, and whatever else you might have lying around your house.  Ok, you miiiight have to take a quick trip to a local craft store, but you can totally squeeze it into your busy schedule.

Christmas Cookie Plate


I did this as a fun Christmas craft night with a group of college girls that I mentor — we met at Tifa Gelato, ordered some amazing treats, and then painted a few of these bad boys.  Here are the supplies needed:

  • Chargers (big decorative ‘plates’) — found these at my local craft store on sale for $1 each!
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paints (opaque, appropriate for glass and plastic — I chose the Martha Stewart brand, because she’s a boss craft lady)


This is pretty self-explanatory, but paint cool designs around the outside of the charger, let it dry completely, bake a ton of your favorite cookies, and give to a coworker, boss, or friend.

This also works great for bringing to a party, because it doubles as a hostess gift (plus, you don’t have to remember to track down your dish at the end of the night!).


*note: this plate is hand wash only, so be careful with it!

Gilded Candle Holders


Hayley and I made these last year, and they were such a big hit, I decided to make another batch!  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Glass votive holders (we got ours from the dollar store!)
  • Tape, twine, letter-shaped stickers, shape stickers, etc.
  • Gold spray paint — I prefer Valspar, but whatever you’ve got is great
  • A drop cloth — this can get messy!

Tape various designs onto the glass candle holders, or place stickers to add shapes and other designs.  The painters tape I had was too thick for what I wanted, so I used washi tape.  Last year, we used letter-shaped stickers to spell out holiday messages, such as {love} {peace} and {joy}.  On some, I wrapped twine around the glass for a stripey look.

dollar store craft ideas


Once the candle holders are designed, place them on a drop cloth and evenly spray a coat of gold spray paint.  This year, some of mine got gold spray paint on the inside, but it actually looked kinda cool!  If you don’t want this look, simply turn your candle holders upside down before spraying.

IMG_2685It is also super important to be drinking a beer before, after, and whilst crafting.  I would say that it makes for a better end product, but mostly it makes you not really care if you accidentally screw it up.IMG_2679

{not my best outfit… but hey, at least my socks matched today..?!  #priorities}

Peel the stickers and tape off carefully once they have mostly dried, which is supposed to be an hour, but I can usually never wait that long, so 30 minutes is about my max.  Toss in a votive, and you’ve got a great gift or some classy decor, that can be used all year ’round!IMG_2701

Countdown Chalkboard

Sometimes, the only thing keeping you going through one. more. work week. is counting down the days until your next vacay/event/holiday/weekend/insert-fun-thing-here.  We made a nice way to visualize the impending excitement by creating a chalkboard countdown, fully customize-able to match your next big thing.

Find a piece of wood (you can find this anywhere — I grabbed a piece from my husband’s scrap wood pile).  You want it to be pretty long, so you have plenty of room to write.  Mine is about 2 1/2 feet long.

Find your trusty paintbrush, and paint it on!  Put on a nice, thick coat of chalkboard paint on all surfaces of the piece of wood that you wish to chalkboard-ify (<<scientific term).

P.S. — don’t spend extra $$ buying chalkboard paint, make your own!  Our chalkboard paint recipe is originally featured here on our other easy chalkboard DIY project.  It is so easy, you will never again spend $8 on a tiny tub of chalkboard paint!

Take about 1 cup of black latex paint, flat finish, and add 2 Tbsp non-sanded tile grout.  Mix, breaking up any clumps. And, there you have it!

Once the paint dries, get some white paint and a smaller/thinner paintbrush.  Pencil out your letters first (widely spaced, so they aren’t crowded when you paint a thicker line), then paint over them with the white paint.  We wrote “days ’til” spaced on the left 3/4 of our board.

DIY countdown craftVERY IMPORTANT: resist the urge to immediately start copying that chalkboard art typography that you found on Pinterest while you were waiting for your paint to dry.  That is, of course, unless you want it up there semi-permanently.  You MUST condition the chalkboard surface before you start writing, or else you won’t be able to erase it completely!

To do this, take a piece of chalk, lay it on its side, and rub the chalk over the entiiiiire surface of the chalkboard.  Wipe off the chalkboard with a paper towel, repeat these steps one more time, and you are all ready to go!


Homemade Kahlua

Super easy and fun gift idea because who doesn’t love Kahlua — especially during the holidays?! There’s various recipes to choose from like this, so I suggest you google it and find which one suits you best! But basically you need:

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol (we used vodka)
  • Vanilla beans
  • Sugar
  • A big pot
  • Jars for packaging (we got mason jars from Smart & Final and tied twine and cute tags on them)



::: ::: :::

Hope this helps bring down the holiday cray-cray in your life [or, at least maybe it will distract you from it for a while!].  Spread some holiday cheer, get yo’ craft on, and don’t forget to think of all the lovely blessings in your life that you can celebrate — it’s not just about a fat guy in a red suit, people!

xx, Nicole {LL805}

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Posted on June 12, 2014

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1 Comment

  1. Ashten
    4 years ago

    Cali definitely wanted in on the decorating action!!


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