How-To: DIY Gift Ideas Under $20 (With a Twist)

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

How-To: DIY Gift Ideas Under $20 (With a Twist)

By Amanda Zarate

It’s Christmas time! Lights, family gatherings, candy cane scented candles, peppermint hot chocolate, Christmas songs, more lights, and of course, gifts. While you probably know just what to get your mom and dad, siblings, significant other and friends, have you ever thought about branching out a bit and giving gifts to people you don’t know?

Hear me out for a second.

December is a month where everyone slows down and people are generally more cheerful. This is a great opportunity to share the reason for the season, which is the greatest gift ever – Jesus. A simple kind gesture such as a hand made gift may just open the way for you to share why Christmas is so special to you.

In case you are thinking you need to recite a sermon, let’s make this simple. I’ll go first. A few years ago I was given the greatest gift of my life. I realized I was a sinner destined for hell, needed a Savior, and I received Jesus’ free gift of salvation and forgiveness for all my sins; Now I have the hope of heaven. This time of year I reflect on what Jesus did for the whole world and me because He loved us so much. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and you enjoy your gift. See, it’s easy!

As I give you a few ideas on DIY gifts that are under $20, please think of how God may use you to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those in your sphere of influence. I promise that giving gifts with the intention of sharing Christ will make gift giving a whole lot more exciting.

Mini Rosemary Trees

This gift would be perfect for that neighbor who is always outside tending to their garden. It’s easy to make and with proper care it can last all year.


  • Small potted rosemary topiary herb plant ($7.50 at Hobby Lobby)
  • Burlap sack ($1 each at Michaels)
  • Red Ribbon ($2 at Hobby Lobby)
  • 1” x 2” Card stock ($0.12 each at Hobby Lobby)


Place potted plant inside burlap sack. Write a nice message on the card stock and punch a hole in top. Thread the read ribbon through the hole of the card stock and tie around the burlap sack. You have a Mini Rosemary Christmas Tree!

Cookies in a Jar

This gift would be perfect for that co-worker or that single parent who could use a little reminder that they matter too. I am going to give you a specific recipe for my favorite chocolate chip walnut cookies, but you can use any recipe you like for brownies, cookies, cupcakes, or even bread.

Materials & Instructions:

  • 1 Quart mason jar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl and add to the bottom of the jar
  • Gently add chocolate chips (or red and green M&M’s for a pop of color)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • Add sugars one at a time into the mason jar on top of the chocolate chips

* (They will need to add 8 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 egg to the dry ingredients. Place tablespoon size dough balls on cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes at 350 degrees. Do not over bake! They look puffy and very pale but they will be delicious.)

  • Red ribbon
  • Card stock


For a personal touch, hand write the cookie recipe on the card stock and punch out a hole to thread the red ribbon through and attach it to the mason jar. You have a delicious gift!

Cozy Cup of Quiet

Now this gift is perfect for anyone! You can switch the coffee beans for tea or the socks for a scarf or the devotional for a Bible.


  • Coffee mug
  • Small bag of coffee beans
  • Pair of socks
  • Small flannel blanket
  • Devotional
  • Red ribbon


Place the bag of beans and socks inside the coffee mug. Wrap the blanket, devotional, and coffee mug with the red ribbon.

Merry Christmas!

Find out more about Amanda and Fighting For Me Inc. by visiting To pick up a copy of Amanda’s new book, click the direct link here!