DIY: Homemade Christmas gifts

Kendall Evans

Things are expensive, especially around the holidays when everyone is out buying gifts. As college students, we may not have that extra spending cash we’d like to buy gifts. A store-bought gift is nice, but a handmade one is even better.

Beer bottles into drinking glasses

Do you have any empty beer, wine or liquor bottles lying around after a fun weekend? Instead of throwing those bottles out, turn them into a creative and thoughtful gift by making them into glasses. The supplies needed are:

  • A clean bottle — screen printed bottles work best.
  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • Thick yarn
  • Lighter
  • Ice water in a sink
  • Gloves
  • Sandpaper

To start, grab the bottle you want to transform and make sure it is clean. Take the yarn and wrap it around the bottle. Wherever you place the yarn will be the spot where the bottle is cut. Once you have the yarn in the place you’d like, wrap it three times around the bottle, cut and tie it on. After the yarn is set, slide it off the bottle and soak it in the acetone. Soak the yarn for a minute or so, then place the string back on the bottle.

Next, prepare a sink full of cold water, adding ice would be helpful. Once the water is ready grab the lighter and the bottle. Hold the bottle sideways and light the yarn. You should hear a pop or cracking sound coming from the bottle. Let the yarn burn itself out. Once all the yarn has been burned away, stick the bottle in the cold water, which should cut the bottle.

Now you have the base of your glass but the edges are probably still too sharp to drink from. Grab some sandpaper and start to sand down the sharp and jagged edges to make them smooth. Gloves are recommended for this part to avoid cutting your hands and be mindful of glass dust while sanding the edges.

You now have a unique, handmade gift to give away or keep for yourself.


Photo Coasters

Cheap, personal and cute gifts to give to friends or family members are photo coasters. Instead of spending a fortune and custom ordering them, make them yourself and save a few bucks. All you need is:

  • A 4×4 tile
  • Felt
  • Fabric glue
  • A photo
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge brush
  • Clear acrylic spray

Before you start, make sure the picture you have fits the way you want it to on the tile. Once you know your picture is the size and shape you want it, take the picture off and spread a even coat of Mod Podge over the actual tile.

Immediately place the picture back on the tile. Once the picture is set, put another coat of Mod Podge over the picture and tile. The Mod Podge will dry clear, just make sure you put on an even coat. Leave the tile alone to allow the Mod Podge to dry completely.

Once the tile is dry, cut a piece of felt around the same size as the tile. Turn the tile over and by using the fabric glue, glue the felt onto the tile and allow that to dry.

To make your coaster waterproof, spray it with the clear acrylic spray.

There you have it. A custom photo coaster and a perfect gift.