Arts & Culture

DIY: Stocking Stuffers for this Christmas

December can be a hectic time of the year, especially for college students. There is a lot to keep in mind: holiday parties, finals week and the highs and lows that come with spending the holiday season with your family. Soon enough, it’s time for the holidays. After gorging yourself on a Thanksgiving feast, the next thing you know, you’re packing for a month’s vacation for winter break.

On the first of the month, you might feel confident financially, but that panicky strapped-for-cash feeling only grows as the holiday season rolls on. You don’t have to make a hasty, last-minute Christmas card with folded parchment paper and Sharpie. Please don’t break out the waxy bags of gelt or rush to bake some kugel for Hanukkah. You don’t have to avoid your friends whom you avoided this holiday season. Instead, this year, demonstrate your craftsmanship and artisan skills with easy do-it-yourself stocking stuffers.

For your best friend:

Shot Glass: Plain clear shot glasses are super easy to find and decorate. I found mine at the Dollar Tree (where you can also find beer mugs that are fun to decorate). Find some cool stickers, use some puffy paint and customize it to your best friend. A glass paint marker is a great idea to color glassware. It’s incredibly easy to inspire an endless amount of creativity in decorating a glass.

Traveler Mug: Customize a coffee or tea traveler for your best friend! Many stores offer a travel mug or tumbler in which you can insert your photos and create a collage. If your friend is a tea drinker, fill the mug up with an assortment of different kinds of tea.

For your mom or sister:

Honey Sugar Bath Scrub: In a Mason jar, combine 1 ½ cup raw sugar, ½ cup honey and 1 cup of olive oil, stir until all ingredients are mixed together. Decorate your Mason jar or leave as is. This is a perfect gift of relaxation; you may find yourself wanting to make a personal batch.

Peppermint Lip Scrub: In a small jar combine 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract, 2 teaspoons honey and 1 teaspoon raw sugar for the perfect lip exfoliator. This can also be used as peppermint body scrub, just follow the Honey Sugar Bath Scrub directions and add 2 tablespoons of mint extract.

For your dad or brother:

Homemade Tie:

What you’ll need:
Sewing Needle
Old Tie

What you’ll do:

1) Lay out fabric and place old tie on top, cut out new tie following the shape of the old one.

2) Mimic all of the folds and stitching the old tie had. It seems difficult until you start doing it. I only made a few folds on each end and one long stitch down the middle of the tie.

3) Iron each fold and make sure it lines up before stitching.

Homemade Beef Jerky:

What you’ll need:

1/2 lb lean sirloin beef
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp of minced garlic
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

What you’ll do:

1) Cut your roast into thin slices and mix all ingredients in large bowl.

2) Place your beef slices in bowl, let marinate overnight in the fridge.

3) Place slices on baking sheet and roast at 175 degrees for 3 hours.

4) Turn meat and continue to bake for 1-2 more hours.

5) It is done when it is dry and flexible.

Follow Katie Wideman on Twitter @katiewideman

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Katie Wideman

Katie Wideman