1, For major bang minus a lot of bucks, turn your favourite snapshots into fridge magnets with easy-to-use magnet sheets with an adhesive surface ( Lewiscraft , 2 Bloor West, 416-923-7055, and others, $3).
2, If girls dominate your gift list, scented bath stuff always pleases. Keep your costs down and take matters into your own hands with the Fizzy Bath Bomb Kit ( Soapscope , 297 Roncesvalles, 416-536-0719, and other, $35). It includes all the tools and ingredients you need to make 20 large effervescent balls. Use up leftover essential oils (Soapscope, starting at $13) by adding them to plain Epsom salts from the drugstore for fancy aromatherapy bath salts.
3, Clever packaging never hurt, and this DIY Knitting Kit ( Red Pegasus , 628 College, 416-536-3872, $25) by Parcel, will inspire you to get those needles clicking. You get enough yarn to make either a skinny tie, a pair of leg warmers or a striped scarf.
4, Decorate this journal ( Japanese Paper Place , 887 Queen West, 416-703-0089, starting at $11) yourself or pass the torch and let your gift recipient get handy with the glue stick. The Pot Luck Paper Packs feature a mixed bag of decorative Japanese papers (Japanese Paper Place, starting at $10).
5, Impress your friends by handmaking them these yummy pina colada- and orange cream-flavoured lip glosses. Lip Gloss Kit (Soapscope, $23) makes 10 totally pro, natural-based lip glosses.
6, Far from its macaroni-and-string beginnings, DIY jewellery goes adult when made with semi-precious gemstones and pearls. Clasps will set you back less than a dollar, so the cost of giving real jewellery this season won't accumulate interest ( Soo Ling Beads , 1162 Dundas West, 416-588-1994, per strand: aventurine $17, freshwater pearl $27, and dark red coral $11).
7, All you need is a microwave, a good stirring arm and some interesting paper to start your own candy factory. This Bubble Gum Kit (Red Pegasus, $20) is easy enough for children aged seven and older to use. It comes with everything prepacked, so you can't really screw up.
8, Looks gnarly, but this ginger-infused vodka is ridiculously easy to make. A 1.14L bottle of Stolichnaya vodka ( LCBO , check www. lcbo.com for locations, $31) fills two Mason jars. After cleaning and chopping up the fresh ginger root, stuff the pieces into a clean jar and completely cover with vodka. Depending on how intense you prefer the flavour, let this concoction sit at room temperature in a dark, cupboard-like space anywhere from 24 hours to a month. When done infusing, strain the vodka through cheese cloth or a coffee filter and rebottle. Mock moonshine is best stored in the fridge or freezer.
In the house
9, Kids can be yuletide label whores, but don't let them make you feel lame because your gifts lack designer tags. For as little as 10 bucks you can blow those little brats away with something they can't resist: the gift of sugar. This No-Bake Gingerbread House ( Loblaws , check www.loblaws.ca for locations, $10) comes with bonbons and everything else you'll need to make a candy casa ready for devouring. Win favour with the short ones, at least till Boxing Day.
If you have access to an ink-filled bubble jet printer, Avery makes a great T-shirt transfer paper (not shown, Grand & Toy , 100 Yonge, 416-364-9120, and others, $18) that lets you print your photos, then iron them onto fabric. Think custom-printed undies, totes, tanks and Ts.