3 Easy, Inexpensive, Customizable DIY Gifts to Make for Your BFF

OK, so, technically only two of these are beauty-related, but all three are definitely beautiful in their own ways.
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Publish date:
November 2, 2016
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DIY, crafts, memories, gift guide, BFFs, vanities

In terms of brick-and-mortar stores, there are three that I consider the most magical: craft stores, thrift stores, and beauty stores. Drop me off at any one of the above and I'll gladly peruse for hours, cycling through the aisles numerous times just in case I missed something good the first time around.

Because I love crafting and thrifting and beauty so much, I wanted to create a quick gift guide that incorporates all three elements. The idea: keep the crafts simple, fun, and inexpensive. Everything you see here costs under $15, and you don't have to be Martha Stewart levels of crafty to pull them off.

DIY Beauty Blooper Book

One of the best gifts you can give and get, in my opinion, is one that makes you remember just how special your relationships are. One easy way to do that: memory books. I hand these puppies out like candy for special events, holidays, birthdays, etc., and people love them.

For your BFFs, I propose a "beauty blooper book." The idea came to me when I realized just how much entertainment I got from photo shoot outtakes and behind-the-scenes beauty moments, including salon visits, face-masking, and general grooming. I used images of xoVain babes for this particular book, and the results were hilarious and amazing:

I made this one with the Chatbooks app, which is super-affordable and ridiculously easy to use. You literally just pull images from your phone or social media accounts and press "order." They're $8 for 30 pages, and you can upgrade to a hardcover for $5 more. Every additional 10 pages costs $1, up to 366 pages.

Another bonus: you can invite friends to contribute their own images to a book, which is convenient for weekend getaways, parties, or weddings — and then whoever's in the group can just order from the app. GENIUS.

A Vanity Clock

My former roommate put a small vanity clock in our bathroom, and my mind was blown. Gone were the days of habitually checking my phone for the time when I was getting ready, which was especially annoying if I was using it to watch a makeup tutorial. When she moved out this summer, I realized just how much I missed having it.

Solution: I made one myself. The clock above was an ugly maroon color when I got my hands on it, but I painted it a pretty blue and all felt right with the world.

You can find clocks like that at the craft or thrift store, and the paint was an 8-ounce sample from Home Depot that cost $4. It took me all of five minutes to paint it, and I used an old cosmetic brush to get the job done.

For an extra punch, I added some cute motivational stickers to the clock.


Framed Watercolor Painting

I am not at all gifted in the watercolor department, but this project is so straightforward that anyone can do it.

You need a thick piece of white or cream paper, a gold marker, a thrifted frame, broad paintbrush, and watercolor paints. I paid 50 cents for the paper, $2 for the marker, $3 for the frame, and the watercolor paints were borrowed from a friend. I did, however, see a watercolor set at Michaels for $5. If you don't have a brush, you can use an old cosmetic brush or pick one up for a couple bucks.

Start by painting broad strokes of pale colors in the center of your craft paper. I played around a little bit on spare paper just to get a feel for the paints since I'm not used to watercolor painting. Wait for it to dry, which shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.

Next, write your choice quote on top of the color. This is a very metallic, shimmery gold marker, so it's hard to photograph, but I assure you it looks gorgeous.

Since my frame was a different shape and size than my paper, I traced the frame backing and then cut it out.

There you have it! In retrospect, I might not have included the purple and pink on the bottom, or I would have chosen a longer quote! But I really like the way it turned out.

  • Are you into giving or gifting DIY?
  • What's the best DIY gift you've ever given or received?
  • Do you see yourself making one of these?