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No money for gifts? DIY holiday present options

By Jana KaplanStaff Writer The holidays are meant to be a joyous time, so why should you feel the stresses of shopping retail when you could make presents for the ones you love? Do-It-Yourself holiday gifts are great for students on a college budget. Not only does it save you money, but the gifts also have meaning and thought behind them. (Plus you get brownie points over your siblings!) If you’re looking to save some cash and try DIY, try making a Scrabble ornament. All you need is a hot-glue gun, ribbon, a piece of white paper and Scrabble letters. Just glue the sides of any letters you want (your mom’s name, for example) to a shape cut out of paper. Then all you need to do is stick a piece of ribbon to the back and presto, you have an ornament! It’s a simple three-step project, and all can be bought at A.C. Moore for under $20. Another simple and cheap idea is a coupon book! What parent doesn’t love getting one free grocery trip or vacuum sweep? Just write down on a piece of paper (or colored paper if you’re feeling festive) a bunch of things you’d like to do for your parents or loved ones. If you’re feeling extra nice, make a coupon book by making multiple coupons and stapling one end of them together. No grandmother is going to resist a trip to the mall or a nice day with her grandchild. Even if you don’t think you have what it takes to be on “Extreme Couponers,” you can at least give it a shot for the holidays. Sophomore Stephanie Ross loves doing creative things for her family during the holiday season. Last year, she made her own calendar for her parents and her sister using the templates on Though it isn’t entirely DIY, you can put as much self-expression into it as you want. All you have to do is upload your selected photos and personalize. Stephanie loves Snapfish because “not only can you make calendars,” she said, “but you can also make photo books or even just print out photos for a reasonable price.” For $19.99 each, you can make your very own personalized calendar or photo book and have it shipped to you within a week of ordering. She also says that there are great deals on the site for the holiday season. The holidays are about being with the people you love, as well as getting and giving presents. College students struggle to afford the gifts they want to give their friends and family, but there’s no shame in making something yourself. It might not be the hundred-dollar golf clubs they were asking for, but your loved ones will love anything you make, even if it is on a college budget.

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