Give a little green for Christmas with a DIY terrarium kit. Slip some small rocks (purchased or from outdoors) into a mason jar. Add a packet of seeds, a small bag of activated charcoal (available in pet stores), and a card with full instructions for assembly.
Add a quick personal touch to a coffee-lover’s stocking with porcelain markers (available in craft stores). Animals, chevrons, or a personal message will make this quick project a thoughtful gift. Bonus points for filling it with a favorite coffee or tea blend.
Seed bombing is fun even if you’re not a guerrilla gardener. If it’s too late to ship this Greenaid slingshot set in time for Christmas morning, check to see if there’s a seed ball vending machine near you. Many gardening stores sell seed balls year-round.
Slip a personalized dish towel in someone's stocking this season. Plain white cloth is transformed with acrylic paint, sponges for application, and a simple stencil—or you can paint freehand. It's easy to make your own stencils by cutting vinyl, or you can find them in craft stores.
Give 'Em a Hand
Got a handyman or woman in the family? It’s likely their hands could use a little protection from all that work around the house. A beeswax hand cream would be greatly appreciated. Beeswax protects skin from chapping and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
This small solar flashlight with hand crank from L.L. Bean is a perfect gift for anyone. Great for glove boxes, camping, or around the house, this light lasts two hours on a full charge.
Almost nothing beats hot chocolate during the long winter months. Sift cocoa powder, powdered sugar, dried milk, and a dash of cinnamon into a mason jar, and decorate this quick DIY gift with a gift ribbon.
Tools on a Chain
You never know where you’ll be when you need a tool. Give a keychain toolset to your loved ones—you can pick them up in most hardware stores.
A lavender sachet is easy to create and makes a room or a drawer smell nice. You can buy lavender in bulk at health food stores and slip it into an herb bag or sew it up in a muslin pouch.
If you’ve been promising your partner for months to fix the flickering light in the garage or the upstairs window that won’t open, here’s your chance to make good. Offer your loved one a fix-it IOU, and include a firm deadline. It’s probably a good idea, however, to add a little something to be enjoyed right now.
For more last-minute gift ideas, check out:
Wrap It Up! 10 DIY Ways to Bedeck Your Holiday Gifts
Weekend Projects: 10 DIY Gifts to Make and Give
Bob Vila's 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: For the DIY Dad
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!