Apartment Living BlogDiy › 3 Creative Gift Ideas for the Non-Crafty Renter

With the holiday season officially upon us, the sprint to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list has also begun! While it may feel tempting to reach for a stack of gift cards and call your shopping done, ‘tis also the season for making each others’ days a little more merry and bright. Special packaging, personal touches and festive surprises can all make a generic gift feel extra special and holiday-worthy. Read on to see how easy it is to assemble thoughtful, creative and festive gifts just by using off-the-shelf items and only a few DIY skills!

To stock up on gifts, packaging and special touches in a single shopping trip, visit your local craft store. Wander the aisles with an open mind and fill your basket with a variety of holiday items, including boxes/bins/baskets, bows and ribbons, tissue and wrapping paper, ornaments, stickers and embellishments, holiday and baking supplies, and anything else that catches your eye. To easily assemble a cohesive and coordinated gift, select items around a theme, such as baking, spirits, candy, tree decorating, toys or even specific colors (all red, all green, all gold, etc.). Here are three ideas to get you started!

Sugar & Spice Cookie Bucket

The Christmas season is seemingly synonymous with cookies, so consider giving your neighbors or friends a quick and cute kit containing everything they’ll need to get baking! The key to this simple arrangement is keeping everything in a consistent color palette and loading items into charming canisters! Here, a brightly colored tin keeps basic kitchen items feeling festive rather than utilitarian.

Don’t hesitate to include some off-the-shelf cookie ingredients to complete the theme! Add a bit of charm by transferring sprinkles to rustic-looking jars labeled with simple letter stickers!

Use tissue paper to help layer items within a bin or basket to create a more interesting arrangement. Balance sizes and colors throughout, and consider including Grandma’s icing recipe for a personal touch!

Dressed-Up Spirits

Wine or spirits make a great gift for any occasion. Instead of tossing the bottle into a basic bag, add a few simple and creative touches to transform it into a unique and memorable gift!

Dress up a wine bottle by adding a pre-made bow and simple tree ornament. Choose an ornament with a basic holiday message, or select a personalized ornament your recipient will love!

Wine charms are a natural accompaniment to a bottle, and most hosts or hostesses can always use more! If you can’t find some you love, they are quite easy to make yourself!

These adorable tree light wine charms were made using a pack of miniature tree ornaments, basic jewelry rings (you can find them in any craft store!) and a pair of needle-nose pliers. Just bend the ring as shown with the pliers and hook on the ornament!

Package them up by punching holes in pretty paper and hooking each one on! Paired with a bottle of wine, you will surely be the hit of the party!

Surprise Inside Candy Jar

Colored candies, layered in a pretty jar and topped with a bow, are a simple and adorable gift you can assemble and hand out to coworkers, neighbors, friends and more. Candy jars are also a really fun way to package smaller gifts.

Start by finding a simple, clear jar and candies that come in a variety of holiday colors (you can use either wrapped or unwrapped candies!). Sort them by color (if desired) and then load them into the jar. As you fill the jar, slide a small gift (gift card, jewelry, money, keys, movie tickets, etc.) into the middle of the candy so it can’t be seen from the outside. Pack more candy around and on top of the gift, but leave it peeking out so your recipient will know it’s there!

If desired, decorate the jar’s lid with paint, stickers or decorative tape, and be sure to add a pretty bow and tag to finish it off!

What appears to be a simple jar of candy sure has a sweet surprise waiting inside!

This year, think beyond the basic gift card or bottle of wine and try something a little more creative! But don’t fret; giving thoughtful and creative gifts doesn’t have to require a ton of supplies, time or DIY skills. With some creative packaging and a unified color palette all done around a festive theme, you can pull together easy and inexpensive yet completely unique gifts anyone would love to receive!

Looking for more great gift ideas? Try out these three last-minute gift ideas, and be sure to check out our tips for wrapping up stunning gifts!


About :

Hi, I'm Megan...wife to a U.S. Marine and mom to a high-energy baby boy! We are a military family, moving into our 5th home in 8 years! I started this blog as a way to chronicle the various "homes I have made" over the years, as well as to be a resource for ideas, tips, and tricks for making any temporary space a cute, cozy and comfortable home! I hope you'll stay a minute, take a look around, introduce yourself, and hopefully...find something you like! Have a great day!

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  1. Love these ideas! These would also make great teacher gifts!
  2. John Donovan says:
    When living in a rented space, it’s often difficult to find the space for craft projects. These gift idea projects are easy and don’t take up a lot of space! People will love to receive these.

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