Shopping days are limited and the stores are packed. If you’re looking to check off your list (or need a quick add-on) check out these last minute DIY gift ideas:

RELATED READING :: Austin Experiences to Gift This Holiday Season

1. Salt Dough Ornaments
We are starting with an easy and old fashioned gift idea. You may remember creating your own salt dough ornaments as a child, too.

What you’ll need:
-2 Cups Flour (plus a little spare on the side to keep things from sticking)
-1 Cup of Salt
-3/4 a cup of water (plus a small bowl of water set to the side)
-Twine, String or Ribbon for hanging your ornament
-Rolling Pin
-Cookie cutters and/or butter knife
-Parchment Paper and baking pan
-Food coloring, gloves, clear acrylic spray (Optional)

Steps to make:
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl by hand, slowly add in the water to make a nice doughy consistency.

Add some flour to your workspace and to your rolling pin, then roll out a portion of the dough to about 1/4 of an inch thickness.

If you want to make a marbled effect, you can add small drops of different colored food coloring into your dough and mix it with gloved hands for a swirled pattern

Use your cookie cutters or knife to cut out the pattern you’d like your ornament to be in. Add a toothpick hole where you’d like to place the string to hang it. Arrange onto baking sheet.

Bake ornament low and slow at 220 degrees for 30 minutes. They’ll continue to dry out as they cool. Once they are cooled they can be sealed with clear acrylic spray

2. Homemade Bath Salts

A great way to treat yourself during the stress and hustle of the holidays is with a nice hot bath. This bath salt recipe is so easy to DIY, you’ll want to make extras for yourself! 

What you’ll need:

  • Bottles with lids
  • 3 cups of Epsom Salt
  • 1 cup of Rock Salt
  • 2 cups of Baking Soda
  • Essential Oils of choice (Lavender, Sandalwood and Jasmine are popular options)
  • food coloring (optional)

Steps to make:

Add the epsom salt, rock salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl. Divide out portion of the mixture if you want different scents/colors. Add 4-5 drops of essential oil to each portion of your batch. Add 1-2 drops of food coloring to each batch if you want to add a pop of color. Let dry for 24 hours before putting them into your jars with lids. Each bath should take approx. 1/4 a cup of bath salts. Enjoy!

3. Marbled High Ball Glasses

These glasses are so simple but look so classy! 

What you’ll need:

  • Highball glasses, or any clear drinking glass you’d prefer to substitute
  • Medium-sized Glass Bowl
  • 1-3 Nail polish colors of your choice
  • Nail polish remover
  • Waterproof sealer (Acrylic glossy spray is best)
  • Toothpick

Steps to make:

Clean your glasses with hot soapy water. Make sure they’re dry and lint free. Fill your bowl with water.

Drip a few drops of nail polish onto the surface of the water into whatever colored pattern you’d like. Use a toothpick to swirl the paint to your preferred look. 

Slowly dip the bottom of your glass into the bowl, avoiding creating an air pocket, then remove your glass back from the water slowly and flip it upside down to dry. You can use your nail polish remover to remove any designs you do not like and rewash the glass to try again. 

Once glasses are fully dry, use your waterproof sealer of choice to set the color. Hand washing will keep the design longer, but they should be top shelf dishwasher safe. 

4. Homemade Caramels

Salted Caramels that look pretty and take less than 10 minutes to make? Yes, Please! These make the sweetest last minute DIY gift!

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • cooking spray
  • large microwave safe bowl
  • cooking spray
  • 8 inch loaf pan

Steps to make:

Place the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, condensed milk and vanilla into the microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 7 minutes, stopping to stir in approx. 90 second intervals. 

Line an 8 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and coat the pan with cooking spray.

Pour the caramel into the prepared pan and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and let cool until firm.

Remove the slab of cooled caramel from the pan and cut into squares.

5. Pre-Shaving Oil

Need a gift idea for dad or your boyfriend? Maybe a teenage son? This 3 ingredient shave oil is a quick and easy way to create a person gift. 

What you’ll need:

  • Jars with lid 
  • 1 part grapeseed oil
  • 1 part olive oil
  • a few drops of essential oil (Cedarwood or Patchouli are great option for this!)

Steps to make:

This one is simple, you just mix the grapeseed oil and olive oil together and add in your essential oils and voilà, you’ve got a pre-shave oil ready to bottle!

PS. This oil can also be used for shaving your legs, it’s just a bit more slippery to use in a shower or tub!

6. Barbecue Rub Mix

What Texan doesn’t love BBQ? Make your own signature rub as a gift for friends or coworkers!

What you’ll need (Per a jar):

  • Clean small jar with lid
  • 2 tablesppons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 table spoons brown sugar, packed
  • Optional: Ground Coffee, Smoked Salt, Dry Mustard

Steps to make: 

Simply mix your ingredients together and bottle it! You can add smokes salt, coffee, or dry mustard to make the recipe a little more unique to you. I recommend taking small portions aside to experiment with adding in unique or custom ingredients to make it “just yours”.

Creating fun label stickers for your custom BBQ seasoning would be a nice touch!

Share your last minute DIY gift ideas in the comments!

Jacy Knoop-Troullier
Jacy is a Nebraska native, married to Sebastian Knoop-Troullier from Hamburg, Germany whom she met at a Renaissance Festival. She has two step kids, both teenagers, Katie and Kera, who are at Meridian I.B. World School. The family likes to travel, try new restaurants, volunteer at Pioneer Farms, and explore “haunted” locations. Jacy and Sebastian are in the process of growing their family and have been on their fertility journey since their 4th of July “Pandemic" wedding in 2020. When Jacy’s not busy trying to translate just exactly WHAT her husband is saying to his family on the phone in German, or trying to learn the latest TikTok trend to keep up with the teens, she’s a Travel Coordinator for the TV Show, “WALKER”. She’s also an avid traveler and photographer, and mini zoo curator with her family’s 2 Dogs (Apollo & Atlas), 3 Cats (Harmony, Lafayette & Jack), two Pet Rats (Scabbers & August), and Rescue Turtle, Günther.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here