Do you need a classy DIY gift for friends or coworkers or neighbors? One that is budget-friendly (i.e. cheap) and can easily be made in bulk? Keep reading for a perfect for a handmade gift for Christmas, teacher appreciation, birthday – for any occasion and any season! Coordinating free printable tag available as well!
Cheap and Easy DIY Gifts (Only)
Teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, coworker gifts… it all seems like a good idea at the time, right? But once you’re in neck deep, you realize this may have been more than you anticipated.
Honestly, I love, love, love the idea of giving gifts, creating homemade gifts, and showering people with a little unexpected kindness and appreciation, especially around the holidays. But sometimes, it feels like a lot, even though it’s a truly beautiful gesture.
When I’m planning to do gifts in bulk, they need to check a few boxes because – time is money, right? If you’re going to spend a lot of both of those on DIY gifts, then maybe buying them instead is the way to go? Unless you just really love the creating process.
But if you are doing DIY gifts to be creative plus it helps to save a little money, especially when you have a lot of people you want to give to, then they need to not only be budget-friendly but easy.
I do believe these DIY mason jar luminaries fit the bill.
Why a DIY Mason Jar Luminary is a Great Homemade Gift Choice
This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosures for details.
1| Inexpensive Materials
When you’re creating this luminary, basically, you need jars, ribbons, twine or string, faux stems, plus a filler. This can be done very inexpensively in bulk.
You can purchase jars cheaply or even upcycle food jars that you have saved. Thrift stores often have them inexpensively as well. I used both half-pint and pint-sized jars.
Ribbon and String
With ribbon, baker’s twine, jute string, or raffia, you are using just a little bit for each jar, so a few spools of ribbon go a long way. Especially if you are doing them all exactly the same.
You can create several jars using a snip of a faux stem or green – and those are usually just a dollar or 2.
You can also buy tea lights or votives in bulk. I opted to put trail mix in my jars and then instruct the recipient to fill with their favorite fairy lights, tea lights or votives – so you can go either way with that.
See below for some needed supplies from Amazon!
2| Fast & Easy DIY Gift
You do not need any skill for this project. Like, zero. You can even get the kids involved in the project if you want – in the cutting and measuring ribbon, in the gluing, in filling the jars.
These do not take any time at all to make. I got about a dozen of them done in an hour. Depending how involved you want to get, you can complete them very quickly, which makes them an excellent last-minute gift idea. It’s also pretty mindless, requiring little concentration, so feel free to binge your favorite Netflix series while you create
3| Good for any Season
While I made these for Christmas gifts, I specifically chose ribbon and embellishments that weren’t just Christmas. They were neutral enough to be kept out either the rest of winter or all year. You can make them Christmassy with Christmas ribbons and greens if you choose. You can make them winter or spring – or really, depending on when you’re gifting them, you can make them for any season.
I love this choice because it’s not just a Christmas gift – it’s for any time of the year.
4| Classy Farmhouse Style
I love making handmade gifts, but I really try to make them so they don’t look handmade. I really think this has a unique, hand-crafted style without looking cheap or cheesy. It’s a trendy look that works well in all kinds of current home decor styles, such as farmhouse, rustic, boho, and even modern farmhouse. While homemade gifts get a bad rap sometimes, I think this one is of the sort that will be appreciated.
This really is a no brainer project, but I’ll spell out what I did. I also included a free printable tag, in case you want to use it for Christmas, as I did.
Creating and Assembling a DIY Luminary Jar
Once you get your jars, choose the ribbons you want. For most of them, I choose 2 ribbons to layer. You just need your bottom layer of ribbon to be wider than the top layer.
For my base layer, I typically chose burlap ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the jar to determine the length you need. Cut it just a little larger so you can glue it down with a hot glue gun. Do the same thing with the second layer of ribbon and glue on top of the first.
Then, grab your faux green embellishment and hold it in place. It should be directly opposite of the ribbon seam. I didn’t glue the stem down in case the recipient wants to change it out, but you can if you want.
I held the green stem in place and took a long piece of jute string or raffia (you can also use baker’s twine here as well) and wrapped it around several times, making sure my two ends met in the front, over the green stem.
Usually, I wrapped the string from back to front, and it usually ended up landing in the front so I could tie it off when I did it that way.
Then I tied a bow or even just a knot to secure it in place.
If it needed a dab of glue, I just added that, but mostly wrapping the string around 3 times – more or less – was plenty to secure it.
Then fill the jar with either trail mix, fairy lights, a tea light or a votive, and you’re good to go!
Other Options to Style Your Gift Mason Jar
1| Food Filler
If you want to put food in the jar instead of a light, that’s totally fine! You can use the jar how you like. It doesn’t need to be a luminary.
2| Jar Topper
If you want to be extra creative, you can put brown paper bag square or a cupcake topper of the top of the mason jar as well. I was going for a simple look and felt it looked too busy to add it to mine, but you certainly could do that, especially if you have a larger jar.
If you add your topper, just lay the square or cupcake liner centered over the top and tie it around the lid with jute string or baker’s twine.
3| Tag Option
If you want to add a gift tag, you can tie it with baker’s twine to the lid or the neck of the jar. I am including a “Glory to the Light of the World” free printable gift tag if you are giving it as a Christmas gift and want to stay with the light/candle theme. (Look for the box to fill out at the end of the post, to get your download!)
I just added a note on the back of the tag that said: “Fill the jar with fairy lights, a tea light or your favorite scented votive!”
Even if you are filling it with food or something else (and not candles), you can still use this tag.
Obviously, they can do whatever they want with the jar – but at least that shows the original intention and ties together the luminary theme.
(^^^Your tag will say “To:” and “From:” – not my family name, lol!)
For simplified steps, see below!
- Assorted Ribbon (at least 2 different widths that coordinate)
- String or Twine (jute string, raffia, baker's twine)
- Mason Jars (half pint or pint)
- Faux Green Stems
- Jar Filler (e.g. trail mix, fairy lights, tea lights, votives)
- Brown paper bag squares or cupcake liners for topper (optional)
- Snips to cut faux stems
- Hot glue gun/glue
1. Take widest ribbon and wrap around jar to measure length. Cut to just slightly larger than jar circumference and glue down.
2. Take next ribbon and follow above step, layering on top of the first ribbon..
3. Cut long piece of jute string or raffia, long enough to wrap around the jar 3-4 times and have room to tie a bow.
4. Snip green stem and hold to front of jar, directly opposite the back ribbon seam.
5. Take string and wrap around stem and jar 3-4 times, making sure the 2 ends land in the front of the stem. (Wrap string from back of jar to front.)
6. Tie a bow or knot to secure the stem. Add a dab of glue if needed.
7. Fill jar with chosen filler.
Tie brown paper square or cupcake liner over the top of the lid.
Tie a tag around the lid or neck of the jar.
This is super easy- and in my opinion, a very nice and classy DIY gift for family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, teachers, etc. Especially if they like farmhouse style. You really can choose any type of ribbon to make it any style – modern, boho, primitive – totally up to you!
More DIY Gift Ideas
If you like the idea of mason jar gifts or other kinds of handmade gifts, I have loads of ideas! Check them out below!
Download Your Free Printable Gift Tag Here!
If you want to grab the “Glory to the Light of the World” gift tag, fill out the box below! You’ll get a free PDF with 4 tags to a page! Include these gift tags with a homemade gift mason jar luminary – or feel free to use it on any Christmas gift this year!
If you create this DIY, I’d love to see it! Please tag me on Instagram @100affections or leave a comment on Pinterest!
More thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below!