Just in Time: 10 Stocking Stuffers to Save the Day

So it’s almost Christmas, and you’ve still got some stockings that need filling. Here are 10 simple gifts—some you can make yourself—to brighten anyone's holiday.

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  1. Mini Greenhouse


    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.


  2. Mug Shot


    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.


  3. Bombs Away


    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.


  4. Tea Towels


    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.


  5. 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.


  6. Solar Power


    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.


  7. Hot Cocoa


    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.

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  8. 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.


  9. Kid Architect


    For the aspiring builder, Lego sets are a great gift—and some sets are small enough to fit inside a stocking. For the serious builder, consider the Lego Architecture Studio.


  10. Scented Gift


    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.


  11. DIY IOU


    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.


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