By: Olivia Mondaro

With Christmas right around the corner, students are finding themselves in the same predicament: how to give great gifts without spending a lot of money. Although candles and Tim Horton’s gift cards are always a great alternative to jewelry and expensive clothes, there is another way to wow your family and friends: homemade gifts. DIY is the new black, and it has something for everyone.

What is something that every mom, dad, aunt, or uncle lives off of? Coffee. And what do these lovely people need to drink their coffee? A mug. One great D.I.Y. gift is a personalized mug, which is super easy to make and affordable, because all the materials can be found at the Dollarstore. First you need to choose a mug — white is the best option because it allows colour to show clearly. Next, round up whatever permanent markers you have shoved in your desk drawers and start drawing. Once the ink is dry, bake it in the oven on medium heat for 30 minutes, and voila! A personalized gift that won’t go to waste.

Another great gift to complement the D.I.Y. mug is a jar of hot chocolate. This gift employs the same draw-and-bake method as the mug. Choose a jar of any shape or size, like a mason jar. Using permanent marker, draw either a name or a pretty pattern, and then bake it in the oven for 30 minutes. Once it has cooled, fill the jar with hot chocolate mix and any other ingredients that you love in your cocoa, like marshmallows, sprinkles, or pieces of candy cane. Wrap a ribbon around the top of the jar and you’ve got a fabulous addition to your fabulous mug!

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