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Student Budget: X-mAs gifts!

We know shopping during the holidays can be tough when you’re a student. Your family and friends deserve the world but, you can barely afford a candle… Don’t worry, you’re not alone on this one! That’s why Your NCSAC has created a list of fun, cheap and creative DIY gift ideas that your family and friends will love but will still fit within your budget!


1. Hot Chocolate Snowman:


Who doesn’t love hot chocolate on a snowy winter day? Make these cute little Snowman Hot Chocolate builders for your friends or family this Christmas.

What you will need:


* 3 plastic or glass stack-able containers

* Marshmallows

* Hot chocolate powder

* Peppermint candies or canes

* Sharpie markers

* Black construction paper

* White glue or hot glue gun

* Small piece of fabric (optional)

*all items can be found at the dollar store


Pro Tip: Dollerama sells stack-able containers 3 packs for $2


Step one: Once you have all your materials, you’re ready to start building! Fill one container with marshmallows, one with hot chocolate and the final one with candy canes or peppermint candies.


Step two: Glue one layer on top of another to build your snowman. If using white glue, let dry for one hour.


Step three: Cut out a strip of construction paper to cover the top lid of your snowman. Cut a second piece of black construction paper to glue around the top lid to make the rim of the hat. To do this place your lid on the construction paper and trace around it to make a circle. Once you have the outline of the lid, then draw another circle around that circle and leave a space about two-finger wide in-between each line. Cut out your circle. Then cut the inner circle out, leaving you with a donut shape. Final glue the donut around your lid to create the rim of the hat.


Step four: Using your sharpie marker draw your face and buttons from your snowman directly on containers.


Step five: Optional - if you choose to give your snowman a scarf, cut out a long rectangle shape of fabric. Then tie fabric around the bottom of the first jar (the neck of your snowman).


Step six: Find the perfect person to gift your snowman too!


2) Mason Jar Candles:


Step up your candle game by making your own! These Mason Jar Candles are perfect for your mom, grandma, aunt or even a friend!

What you will need:

* Mason Jar

* Paint of choice

* Small rocks or cranberries

* Fake tea light

* String or ribbon (optional)

* Print out of design (optional)

*All of these can be found at the dollar store!


Step one: Pick out your design! You can either choose to print of a stencil or create your own by free-handing it. (tip: choose a design that is large enough for light to shine through)


Step two: Print and cut out your design. Then tape your design to the front of your mason jar.


Step three: Begin painting your entire jar. Paint slowly and very carefully over your design. Depending on the style you want, a couple coats of paint may be needed.


Step four: Slowly peel off your design. An outline of the shape should show through to the inside of the jar, as displayed above in picture. Let dry for about 20 minutes.


Step five: fill bottom of jar with small rocks or cranberries with fake tea light on top.


Step six: Optional – tie string or ribbon of your choice around the top of the jar for decoration.


3) Sharpie Mugs:

Okay, this one is for the overachievers out there that really want to show they love everyone this Christmas. These personalized Sharpie Mugs will have your parents calling you the favourite child in no time!


What you will need:


* Plain mug

* Sharpie markers

* Mod Podge (optional)

*Sharpies and mug can be found at the dollar store. Mod podge can be found at Walmart.


Step one: Plan out your design.


Step two: Using your choice of sharpies, start drawing your design on your mug.


Step three: Once you have finished with designing your mug let it sit for 24-48 hours.


Step four: Next, place mug in cold oven. Then set oven to 350 degrees and keep in for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn oven off leaving mugs in to cool down with the oven to prevent cracking.


Step five: Optional – for wear and tear purposes, you may choose to put a clear coat of mod podge over your design.


Step six: Start gifting!









The holiday season is never about the price tag that comes with the gift, but 100% the thought behind it. Getting to spend time with family and friends is what is most important.


These ideas also work as wonderful breaks in between study sessions, too!


Written by: Shianne Stephens - Student Marketing Coordinator - Public Relations Post Grad

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SA 205
100 Niagara College Boulevard
Welland, Ontario L3C 7L3
905-735-2211 ext. 7659

Daniel J Patterson Campus

N010 135 Taylor Road
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
L0S 1J0
905-641-2252 ext. 4225

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