DIY gift ideas for students

DIY gift basket. (Selena Singh)

Earlier this month, Ryerson Student Life brought back their #RUKind initiative in honour of World Kindness Day.

The initiative included giving away prizes to students such as gift cards for groceries, electronics, transit and more. Ryerson Student Life Programs also set up activities on campus to interact with students, where they had a gratitude lounge with greeting cards to give to people.

Just because the #RUKind initiative is over, that doesn’t mean people have to stop the good deeds. With the holidays right around the corner, The Ryersonian has come up with a couple of affordable DIY gifts ideas for students to give to their loved ones or strangers to brighten their day.

We asked Bailey Parnell, the digital marketing specialist for Ryerson Student Life what she thinks about continuing the good deeds after #RUKind concluded.

“While there are special times of year we shine a spotlight on kindness and love, these are things that should be practiced all year round,” said Parnell. “You may not be able to give money or carry out some of the large deeds we’ve seen throughout this campaign, but kindness extends to everyday interaction.”

It can often be difficult for students to come up with affordable gift ideas, especially around the holidays. With all of the expenses students have to worry about, giving anything can be a real struggle. 

“It can sometimes be hard to remember that kindness is not about how much money you spend,” said Parnell. “When we were kids, our parents told us how much they loved the macaroni necklaces we made for them in art class, and that sentiment doesn’t change because we’re getting older.”

DIY projects are perfect for students because most of the time you can find materials lying around the house, or from your local dollar store to create something.

“When someone makes you something, you know they spent time and really thought about you,” said Parnell. “People’s time and attention is much more valuable, and generally much harder to get.”

DIY gift basket guide
The best part about this gift basket is how easy it is to make and how creative you can get with it. All of these items were found at home, however depending what you decide to use for decorations and gifts, you could easily get away with spending under $25 for a gift basket like this.

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Materials used for the DIY gift basket. (Selena Singh)

For this basket, we used large mason jars that you can get at your local grocery story or arts supply store, if you don’t already have some lying around at home.

We chose to fill one with hot chocolate, one with tea bags and another with love notes and words of affirmation to brighten someone’s day. To decorate, we used holiday ribbons and materials found at home, but can also be purchased at the dollar store. You can also make baked goods, a meal, gift cards and more as gifts in the jars.

Mason jar gifts. (Courtesy Selena Singh)

These are the mason jar gifts that you can make. (Selena Singh)

The holiday greeting cards are simple to make and it’s easy to be creative with them. For these cards, we chose to do one “thank you” card with a built-in gift card slot to place a gift card of choice. We also did a simple card for inspiration, and a third open-faced card that lists ten things you love about the person you’re giving it to.

For these cards, we just used construction paper from home, and the same holiday ribbons and materials used for the mason jars.

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The greeting and thank you cards. (Selena Singh)

The actual basket itself was also found at home, which was decorated with holiday ribbon, wire and fake snow. We placed straw and wrapping paper in the basket to prop off the gifts for presentation.

Gift basket. (Courtesy Selena Singh)

The finished gift basket. (Courtesy Selena Singh)

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