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Home-made holiday gifts

Helena Guan

Homemade Mental Health:

These are simple gifts that are perfect for college students.

The Stress Ball:

Squeeze these malleable balls and your tensions melt away. Give your friends and family the same feeling for almost no cost.

All you need is a balloon and flour. A funnel would be a good idea, too. Pour the flour into the empty balloon until the flour nears the brim, but make sure it is not so full that the flour cannot move. Tie the balloon closed, and it is ready to be squeezed.

Draw a smiley face or puppy for extra tension relief, according to http://crafts.

Words of Wisdom Bandages:

Buy regular bandages from the store and paint them different colors. Then, add sayings. You can use inspirational quotes or playful comments. The goal is that the next time the gift receiver has an accident, they’ll be smiling instead of thinking about the pain.

For more tips about designing your own Words of Wisdom Bandages, go to

Do-It-Yourself Beauty:

Soap a la Mold:

To make your own soap, buy a mold from your local department store or craft store. Take a pot and melt a bar of soap. When the contents become a thick liquid, toss in scented oils or loose tea to create added aroma.

Then, pour your soap into the mold and let it sit until the soap has hardened. Wrap your new soap in cellophane and give it to someone special.

This idea comes from the Mills Crafters Collective.

Homemade Lip Balm:

Make sure you have a container to put your lip balm in. Take petroleum jelly and fill a small container with it. Microwave it at 30-second increments until it melts.

Once the balm is melted, you can add flavorings. Use cocoa powder to make chocolate lip balm, or Kool-Aid to make berry or citrus balm. You can also add lipstick shavings to color the balm, but shave from an area that hasn’t contacted saliva to avoid bacteria. provided this idea. Put the lip balm into individual containers and let it harden.