8 DIY Gift Ideas For The Thrifty Girl

UPDATE: This post was originally published on December 4, 2013.
Is it just us, or has the whole gift-giving thing gotten out of control? Not only have there been commercials encouraging us to shop since September, it seems as though the list of people to buy for is starting to rival Santa's (cha-ching!). While going into debt is no way to start the New Year, you don't have to turn into a complete Scrooge either.
So, to help you out, Kelly Ryan O'Brien and Jill Badlotto of Chicago Blogger Network introduced us to eight crafty bloggers who graciously shared their favorite DIY gift ideas. Presents made with love and a glue gun? Talk about holiday fun!
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Photo: Courtesy of Peace Love Quinoa.
Citrus Sea Salt: Crista Lash of Peace Love Quinoa
"I enjoy giving useful presents that inspire people to create delicious food. This citrus sea salt is the gift that keeps giving, as it can be used in a variety of different recipes all year long."

2 cups sea salt
4 tbsp orange, lime, and lemon zest

1. Preheat your oven to 225-degrees.
2. Mix the two cups of coarse sea salt with four tablespoons of orange, lime, and lemon zest. Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
3. Place in the oven and bake for one-to-hours until the zest is dry. Turn once if possible.
4. Put the salt mixture in a food processor and pulse until evenly mixed. Pour the salt mixture in to a sealable jar and decorate.
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Photo: Courtesy of Bubby & Bean.
DIY Braided Leather Wrap Bracelets: Melissa Baswell Williams of Bubby & Bean
"These braided leather-wrap bracelets make great gifts because they're incredibly versatile. They can be paired with so many different clothing styles, they look chic on everyone, and they're affordable — you can make three of them for under $5!"

Leather, suede, or vinyl cord
Scissors, pliers, and a clamp
For each bracelet: 2 small pinch crimps, 2 jump rings, and a lobster clasp.

1. Cut a piece of cord long enough to wrap around your wrist three-to-four times.
2. Cut two more pieces of cord the same length as the first, so that you have three total.
3. Hold your three pieces of cord together at one end, making sure the ends are lined up.
4. Take one pinch crimp and place it over the ends. Squeeze it shut with your pliers to secure it in place.
5. Use your clamp (or a wrench) to hold the end of the pieces of cord to a table or shelf. This makes it easier (and faster!) to braid evenly.
5. Make a simple three-strand braid with your pieces of cord, all the way to the ends.
6. Take your unfinished braided bracelet and wrap it around your wrist to make sure that it fits around twice. Mark the end by holding it between your fingers. Add about half an inch to that, then cut off the excess.
7. Use a pinch crimp to secure the other end the same way you did earlier.
8. Use your pliers to open your jump rings, then attach one to each pinch crimp. Close one of the rings (again, using your pliers), and leave the other slightly open.
9. Slide your lobster clasp onto the open jump ring and close the ring with pliers.
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Photo: Courtesy of Whatever She's Got.
Rosemary Marcona Almonds: Chelsea Barriga of Whatever She's Got
"This time of year you get more than your fill of candies and cookies, so a savory treat is a great way to go. These are a great addition to cocktail hour — or a charcuterie and cheese platter!"

Salted Marcona almonds
2 tsp olive oil
Chopped rosemary
Mason jar
Holiday tag

1. Simply combine the marcona almonds, olive oil, and fresh chopped rosemary.
2. Package them in cute mason jars with twine and holiday tag for a rustic touch.
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Photo: Courtesy of Eat Your Heart Out.
Chocolate Covered Mango and Coconut: Stephie Swope of Eat Your Heart Out
"These chocolate-covered dried mango and coconut strips are the perfect treat to pull together at the last minute. Not to mention, they’re pretty (I just love how the freeze-dried strawberries add such a beautiful pop of color!), tasty, and much lighter than the super-rich chocolate desserts that most people are surrounded by this time of year."

Dried mango and coconut (or any dried fruit of choice)
Chocolate bars (or dipping chocolate) of choice

1. Melt chocolate and dip the ends of the dried fruit pieces into the chocolate.
2. Sprinkle with some crushed, freeze-dried strawberries.
3. Let the chocolate set in the refrigerator for 20-to-30 minutes before package them up and giving them out!
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Photo: Courtesy of Naked Canvas.
Mason Jar Snow Globe: Stephanie Hsieh of The Naked Canvas
"This DIY gift is a really simple way to add a darling touch to anyone's holiday decor. Because who doesn't love a good mason jar around the house?"

Mason jars
Miniature figurines such as pine trees, deer, and snowmen
White glitter
Spray adhesive
Hot glue gun

1. Spray pine trees with adhesive and sprinkle glitter over them. Let dry.
2. Unscrew the mason jar lid and arrange the figurines the way you'd like them.
3. Adhere the figurines to the lid with hot glue.
4. Fill the mason jar with white glitter. Screw the lid onto the mason jar and voilà!
Optional: Apply spray adhesive to the inside of the mason jar and sprinkle some glitter inside for a snowy effect.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sportanista.
Leather Wallet: Marija Krosnjar of Sportsanista
"Every sport enthusiast needs two hands — and one shouldn't be for your purse. Since there are so many rules and regulations around allowed bags in stadiums, I've tried to beat the system while still looking good and making a statement. This holiday season, make your friends a leather wallet that fits all their necessities with only a few steps. It's a DIY project every sports fan will covet."

Square-foot of leather
Pattern for the wallet. If you need it, email me!
Button stud screw back (I looked for this like I was searching for the Holy Grail, but I found it for you, don't worry!)
Leather hole punch
Heavy-duty scissors
Sharpie for tracing

1. Trace and cut the pattern.
2. Punch a hole in the bottom three panels.
3. Clasp the three pieces together.
4. Punch a hole in the top flap based on the size of the button stud.
5. Press the ends down so it lays flat.
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Photo: Courtesy of Erin of Color Me Styled.
Gold Polka Dot Wine Glasses: Sara Visser of Project Soiree.
"These DIY gold polka-dot wine glasses are the perfect gift for your girlfriend — along with a bottle of your favorite red wine."

Wine glasses
Gold glass paint
Paintbrush or round sponge stamp

1. Make sure the wine glasses are clean and free of dust or residue.
2. To paint the polka dots on the wine glass, use the end of the paintbrush or a round sponge stamp to ensure the dots are all the same size.
3. Paint the dots in a pattern around the wine glasses. Allow the paint to air dry for three weeks or so, as instructed by the manufacturer on the label of the paints.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sisters Marie.
"Mistletoes" Pedicure Kits: Kaitlyn and Lisa Fergus of Sisters Marie
"Not only did I actually want to try something I pinned on Pinterest, but I wanted a gift that allowed me to add a personal touch. We are blessed with so many material items, so the 'mistletoe' jars were meant to be a little closer to the heart — though my mom refuses to use hers yet because it's 'too cute to open!'"

Mason jars Computer compatible labels
rhinestones Chalkboard tags
Nail polish
Cotton balls
Toe separators
4-sided file
Any other pedicure necessity of choice

1. Create "mistletoe" labels for the top (with Adobe Illustrator), dot each "i" with a rhinestone (because who doesn't love a little sparkle?).
2. Create a chalkboard tag for each girl's name.
3. On the inside, include everything you need for a basic mani/pedi.