Illustrations: Kim Wiens
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The holidays are right around the corner and most university students know what that means: knit sweaters, eggnog, cute Christmas ornaments, and stop motion animated specials playing around the clock on TV. And, if you’re like me, the financial burden of buying gifts slowly starting to creep up on you. To get you out of that mental funk, I come bearing fabulous and simple ideas that will help you win the hearts of friends and family without breaking the bank.

Peppermint hot chocolateWEB_FEA_DIY-Gift_Mason-Jar-Hot-Chocolate-Kim-Wiens

You will need:

-a Mason jar

-1/3 cup of powdered milk

-1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1/2 cup of chocolate chips

-1/2 cup of candy cane (crushed)

Extras: Marshmallows, peanut butter chips, toffee bits.

Directions (to prepare hot chocolate):

Step 1: Mix the coca, the sugar, and powdered milk together in a bowl.

Step 2: Pour the hot chocolate mix in the jar add the chocolate chips, your choice of extras, and the crushed candy cane.


Homemade snow globe

FEA_DIY-Gift-Mason-Jar-Snow-Globe-Kim-WiensYou will need:

-A mason jar


-Strong glue

-Glycerin (baby oil works just as well)

-An ornament (can be a tree, a miniature cabin, etc.)


Step 1: Glue your ornament of choice on the inside of the lid of the mason jar (let it dry for a good five minutes).

Step 2: Pour your glitter into the jar. Fill the jar with water and put around five drops of either glycerin or baby oil (just to make the glitter fall more gradually).

Step 3: Put the lid on. Turn the jar upside down and voilà!


Personalized mugs

WEB_FEA_DIY-Gift_Personalized-Mug-Kim-WiensYou will need:

-A white mug

-A sharpie (any colour)


Step 1: Draw a unique image and/or write a personalized message on the mug for the intended recipient. You can let your imagination run wild here.

Step 2: Bake the mug for 30 minutes at 350 °F (make sure you put it in while the oven is cold, not preheated, otherwise it may chip), then let it cool.


New set of kitchen utensils

WEB_FEA_DIY-Gift_Kitchen-Utensils_Kim-WiensYou will need:

-A variety of kitchen utensils (spatula, whisk, peeler, can opener, cookie cutters, etc.)

– An oven glove

-A ribbon


Step 1: Head to Dollarama and pick up all the items mentioned above.

Step 2: Place all these items inside the oven glove and, for a decorative touch, tie a ribbon around the middle.


Homemade bath bomb

WEB_FEA_DIY-Gift_Bath-Bomb-Kim-WiensYou will need:

-1 cup of baking soda

-1/2 cup of citric acid

-1/2 cup of Epsom salts

-1 tsp. of water

-2 tsp. of essential oil

-3 tsp. of olive oil

-food coloring (any colour you want)

-a bowl

-a whisk

-a jar

-a bath bomb mold (silicon cupcake molds from Dollarama will do)


Step 1: Put all your dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them evenly with your whisk.

Step 2: Add all your liquid ingredients in a jar and mix them together. Then add a small amount of your liquid mixture to your dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Mix until all the liquid has been absorbed by your dry ingredients. Continue adding small amounts of the liquid mixture until you’ve used it all up.

Step 3: Now it is time to put it in the mold. Press them into the mold firmly. Let it dry overnight. The next day they’re ready to be wrapped and gifted.