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Affordable DIY gift ideas

Smooth over an argument, say happy birthday or tell a family member that you love them without spending a fortune by giving these easy and affordable DIY craft projects a go. Gift giving has never been so much fun!

DIY craft projects
Woman sewing

Have you just checked the calendar and realised you have an event to attend and no thank you gift to take? Or just been alerted on Facebook that the friend you’re about to catch up with is actually the birthday girl? Or maybe you’re just low on funds and in the mood to give a gift that’s a little different? Well, think outside the square with some fun craft DIY pressies. Whip these gifts together at low cost and maximum fun!

Sewing boxSewing box

Whether your gift recipient is a budding seamstress or is in desperate need of a home sewing kit, this on-the-go sewing box is ideal. Inspire her to pick up the needle and create something, or just offer some convenient tools for mending her own clothes.


  • A box with compartments — it can be plastic, metal, fabric or wood
  • Lining — you can use anything like patterned paper, cardboard, fabric or wrapper. Get creative and find some vintage gift cards or book covers
  • Measuring tape
  • Your own household scissors
  • A packet of needles
  • Spools of coloured thread
  • A few spare buttons — opt for generic colours and sizes that might come in handy (e.g. medium-sized black/white/silver)
  • Sewing scissors
  • A quick-unpick
  • Ribbon and bow


  1. Unpack all of the individual items except for the needles and set aside.
  2. Give the box a thorough clean. Measure the compartments and cut matching pieces out of the paper or fabric lining.
  3. Assemble the box by placing all of the coloured threads, buttons etc. together, and the needles in a separate compartment. You can include what you like in the sewing box, depending on the recipient’s taste and personality. For example, get wacky and find some great retro buttons or fabric dye to inspire them.
  4. Wrap with a giant ribbon and bow.

Gourmet gift box

This is a great gift for the men in your life! Show them how well you know their quirks and tastes by picking out an assortment of goodies they’ll love. (It doesn’t have to be food either — opt for unqiue additions like fishing gear, fitness aids or handyman tools.)


  • A box or basket of any material — try to find one that will have a second life after the gift (e.g. as a washing basket or a fishing box)
  • An assortment of fillers — think meat marinades, imported beer, chips and nuts for the BBQ lover; food colouring, sprinkles, patty cases and fondant for the baker; and chocolate, cake mix and pancake mix for the sweet tooth
  • Clear cellophane
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon


  1. This project is easy! Simply fill the box with your assorted goodies, being careful not to shake drink products around too much and layering the products in order of weight.
  2. Wrap up with a sheet of clear cellophane so the recipient can see through to the goodies without having to open it and secure with a ribbon.

Baking apronBBQ/baking apron

This is a fantastic gift for a BBQ-ing dad or a bake-aholic mum or friend. Choose the fabric to suit the person’s tastes and decorate accordingly. For example, a male might like plain black with perhaps a white or red fabric strip down the side, while a younger sister will love patterned fabric and shaped button detailing.


  • 1 m outer fabric — go with quirky patterns or plain, depending on the gift recipient’s taste
  • 1 m lining fabric — opt for a plain colour here
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing scissors
  • Needle and thread, or sewing machine is preferable
  • Pins
  • Embellishments such as ribbons or buttons, optional


  1. Measure the outer piece of fabric to approximately 1 m long x 30 cm wide, but these measurements will depend on the size of the apron wearer. Cut.
  2. Lie the cut fabric over the lining fabric and use it as a template. Cut the lining to match.
  3. Place right sides together and sew around three sides of the apron (approximately 1.5 cm hem), leaving one short end open.
  4. Turn the apron inside out so the right sides of the fabric are facing outwards. Fold the edges of the open side in to face each other (to avoid fraying), and sew along the edge to close.
  5. Cut two long and narrow pieces of the outer fabric (approximately 30 cm x 10 cm); these will be the ties that form a knot or bow at the back of the apron. Repeat step as outlined above, using this outer piece as a template for the lining fabric. With the right sides of the fabric together, sew around the three edges, leaving one edge open. Fold inside out then stitch the fourth edge closed.
  6. Pin one tie to each side of the apron (at the top) and secure with pins. Sew with the needle and thread (or sewing machine).
  7. Now you can decorate your apron as you wish — paint stripes, add a fabric pocket or sew on a cluster of buttons or a bow.

More diy fun

Craft projects to dress up a baby’s room
DIY bunting for your home
DIY lanterns

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