7 D.I.Y. holiday gift ideas and events for the crafty gift-giver

Lyra Wiley

With the semester coming to an end, the holidays will be here sooner than expected.

On November 14, 2017, two friends bond over a gift. Brian Cebra gives a present to his friend Brynn Nelson. (Julia Bailey | Collegian)
The college student budget might not allow for extravagant presents, but this list of seven easy and budget-friendly gifts will help keep costs low and smiles high. There are plenty of places to find materials to make these DIY gifts, and a few in Fort Collins include JOANN Fabric and Craft, Who Gives a SCRAP, Hobby Lobby, Scrap 2 It and Michaels.
1. Homemade Spa Gift Basket – Gift baskets can get pretty pricey, especially in the realm of bath and body products. Although a DIY might take some time and patience, it can be wallet and skin friendly, allowing the gift receiver to smell and feel their best on a budget. All the products can be found at the nearest craft store, and essential oils can be found at King Soopers or Whole Foods. 
2. Pressed Flowers This gift is for those who appreciate natural and simple yet timeless decorations. It requires minimal work and minimal resources. All that is really needed is a small bouquet and a textbook lined with parchment paper to press the flowers with.Leave the flowers pressed down and undisturbed for a few days. 
3. Solid Perfume/Cologne – This is perfect for those who can’t get enough body spray and love to smell good. The ingredients are easy to find, but they might not be at a craft store. Jojoba oil and other essential oils can be found at Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary in Old Town. The oils can be mixed with beeswax, which can be found on Amazon.com.
4. Photo Pillows – Keeping a loved one at home at all times is now possible. A meaningful picture, pillow stuffing and an ink jet fabric sheet are the only things needed to make this gift. Materials can be found at JoAnn Fabric and Craft. 
5. Infused Olive Oils – This DIY gift is great for anyone who loves to try new things while cooking. The directions are straightforward and allow you to get creative. Simply add olive oil, and ingredients, mix over low heat, let cool, add to a bottle and refrigerate. The result is olive oil infused with personalized flavor choices, like rosemary, chili, garlic or lemon.
6. Beer Coasters – Dig through the recycling bin for this one! Repurposing leftover cardboard six-pack holders into coasters will impress house guests or anyone who loves beer. You can trace a 6 pack holder of a favorite beer into squares, cut and Mod-Podge felt pieces to the back. This gift is enough to add some character to any room in the house and also acts as an excuse to buy more beer.  
7. Arm-Knit Blanket – As the temperature drops outside, staying warm inside with a homemade blanket becomes increasingly tempting. A warm and fuzzy blanket doesn’t have to be store-bought, and all you need is an hour and a forearm. Don’t be intimidated by the knitting process, a YouTube tutorial is a perfect step-by-step guide.  

For those who aren’t confident enough to create DIY gifts on their own, fear not. The following locations provide events to create gifts and crafts with guided instructions and zero judgments.

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More DIY events are listed at downtownfortcollins.com.

  1. Who Gives a SCRAP – 125 W Drake Rd, Fort Collins 

Open craft sessions held on Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27 between 5 and 7:30 p.m. allow for those interested to bring in crafts or works in progress. The space provides some materials like glue, scissors and paper cutters. The craft store instructors will give advice and guidance. For more information and to sign up for a spot, visit their class listings page.

2. Wolverine Farm – 316 Willow St., Fort Collins 

At this unique event space, there will be a kid-friendly opportunity to make a “reindeer midnight munchies kit” Dec. 14, 5 – 6:30 p.m. The ticket includes Christmas music, hot chocolate, and Christmas treats. More information and a link to sign up can be found on their website.

3. Maxline Brewing – 2724 McClelland Dr #190, Fort Collins 

Enjoy a beer while crafting a hanging air plant terrarium Dec. 13, 6 – 8 p.m. This guided experience will also include terrarium materials, snacks and one drink in the ticket. Eventbrite offers more information and a chance to sign up. 

Lyra Wiley can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @lyra_wiley.