I’ve always loved shopping for gifts more than receiving them (well, almost). I guess it’s because I get both the twisted pleasure of shopping and the knowledge that I’m going to make somebody very happy.

Picking out the perfect gift for someone is like a puzzle — it has to fit just right. I’m a firm believer in personal, thoughtful gifts that reflect the receiver and the giver, while simultaneously saying something about their relationship. But more than all that, I’m also a firm believer in being cheap!

That being said, my gift guide is heavy on the sincerity (and DIY!) but light on the wallet.

1. Hand-Crocheted Scarf (Etsy, $32) 

I know $32 isn’t cheap, but I think it’s a perfectly reasonable price for something that’s handmade with love. That’s why Etsy is one of my go-to places for gift-shopping! Last year, I bought my boyfriend a custom tie clip and cufflinks after the mall’s selections bored me to tears. This year, a cozy scarf will make the perfect present for my mom. And, bonus: a lot Etsy sellers will make the package all pretty for you, so you don’t even have to wrap it! Seriously, go check out what they’ve got. (Confession: I already bought that scarf up there… I’m sorry, guys!!!)

2. D.I.Y. Cupcake Kit (Homemade, prices vary)

Bakeitpretty.com is the inspiration behind this idea, which is perfect for anybody who likes baking. Or eating! Find a cute little tin, lunchbox, or container of your choice and fill it with colorful cupcake liners and sprinkles and whatever baking tools your friends need! The best part about a gift like this is that your friend will repay you in cupcakes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, really.

3. Q&A a Day Five Year Journal (Modcloth $17)

This journal is unlike any other journal! First, it lasts for five years. And second, each day asks a new question (for example, “what was the last bad movie you watched?” or “what would you do with an extra hour in the day?”). So after the first year, you get to look back at all the stupid things you thought about when you were a year younger! I love quirky, fun gifts like this! If $17 seems a little steep for a journal, you could also pick up a plain one and fill in daily personalized questions yourself!

4. Infused Liquor (Homemade, prices vary)

Infused liquors and liqueurs are kind of like the grown-up Cupcake Kit. Find some cute jars, pick out your spirit of choice, and then think about the flavors your friend likes. Fruity? Spicy? Bacon?! You can even spread one 750ml bottle of alcohol into multiple jars for multiple people (which ends up being a relatively inexpensive gift). You could also infuse bitters for added cocktail-depth, or syrups for those who don’t drink. And the funnest part is making cute labels and gift tags that you can tie around the lid of the jar!

5. Topshop Message Rings (Topshop, 4 for $28)

For $28, four friends get a personalized ring. Each color has a different meaning: the coral color is protection, blue is vitality, green is spirituality, and the brownish one symbolizes inner peace. I like these rings because they’re pretty and not overly-showy, but each has a deeper meaning embedded into it.

6. Chill In The Garden Throw (Modcloth, $60)

Such a bright and happy blanket could make anyone forget that it’s freezing outside! And because I realize this is not an inexpensive throw, I would use it as an example to make a D.I.Y. version. You’d have the freedom to pick out the perfect fabric and size of the blanket. A tied blanket like this is incredibly easy to make, and requires no sewing!

Do you Lovelies have any other inexpensive, D.I.Y., or quirky gift ideas? Let’s hear them!

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