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Last-Minute DIY Gift Ideas

Written by Ashley Palmer | December 21, 2011

Have you waited until the last minute to do your holiday shopping? You’re not alone. Avoid the mall rush and browse our list of cruelty-free DIY gifts instead. From easy keepsakes for grandma and grandpa to fun gifts that your favorite cuddly kitty will love, you’ll find something for everyone on your list here.

For parents and grandparents, place one of your favorite color photos in a mason jar and fill with olive oil to create a sepia tone and an instant memento.

For your special someone, put together a recipe book filled with his or her favorite vegan meals. You can use a binder, create a recipe box, or make your own booklet with cardboard, paper, and yarn. Tip: Browse and print from PETA’s recipe database to get started!

For your girlfriends, whip up a batch of rejuvenating bath salts, a refreshing coffee facial scrub, or soy candles in their favorite scent. Present these gifts in mason jars with handmade labels and personalized notes.

For the little boys and girls in your life, give the gift of color with DIY crayons! Simply place old and broken crayons on silicone baking sheets and melt, allowing the crayons to harden into funky color combos in kid-friendly shapes.

For your coworkers, whip up a quick batch of your favorite vegan holiday treat and present it in gift bags with festive ribbons and bows.

For the pampered pooch in your life, try your hand at baking some homemade dog treats. Flavors like mint, peanut butter, and carrot are definite crowd-pleasers among canines.

For those with fabulous felines, hang onto those cardboard boxes and construct your own recycled cat scratcher, which will have your kitty purring in no time.

What are you favorite budget- and animal-friendly DIY gifts? Share them with us in the comments below!

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  • Beana says:

    I mix equal parts epsom salts with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or grapeseed oil, to make a body scrub. a few drops of an essential oil makes it smell nice, and you can dress it up as a gift in a nice re-usable jar and a customized label.

  • Cindy says:

    Some very good ideas for projects – thanks so much.
    Another good one is suet for the birds. Mix 1 part veg shortening, 1 part white flour, 3 parts corn meal. Mix well and place in suet log or smear on tree trunk. Can put in cute containers as gifts for other wildlife junkies. Store in fridge until ready to use. Merry Christmas!

  • Camilla says:

    My 5-year-old wants to give the neighbours’ cats and dog Christmas presents.

    For the cats, we’ll find some feathers – and we’ll make some of those balls in cardboard:
    and some of those out of toilet paper rolls:
    Both are completely safe (no strings etc.) even if the cats are left alone with the toys.

    For our own cats, we’ll make this:
    With their new vegan kibbles (that they all love!), I am sure this toy will be a success.

    For the dog, we’ll take a walk to find some little branches for him to chew and wrap them in neutral nontoxic paper (in case the dog wants to unwrap his present by himself :o)).
    We’ll also make him some sugar-free vegan dog biscuits. I have a very good recipe, but I can’t link to it since I have no idea where I found it – so I’ll give it to you here:

    1/2 cup (1.2 dl) cornmeal
    6 tablespoons oil
    2 cups (4.7 dl) whole grain wheat flour
    2/3 cup (1.6 dl) water or vegetable broth
    Peanut butter – sugar-free

    Mix all ingredients, make a dough, roll it out and make biscuits.
    Bake the biscuits in the oven at 350° F (175° C) for 35-40 minutes.

    Merry vegan Christmas to everyone!

  • Niny says:

    I got this cute christmas stocking filled with cat toys for my baby Nora 😉 I made sure it was all cruelty free.