6 Gifts You Can Make in an Afternoon, for Under $20

Book Binding Kit

Homemade Journals and Brag Books

I recently spent an afternoon making three beautiful homemade books to give as gifts. I had never attempted book-making before, but this Learn with Martha Book Binding Kit couldn’t have been easier to use. The kit contains everything you’ll need including paper cut to size, glue, needle and thread, and simple step-by-step instructions. I created an accordion-style photo book to capture memories from a recent family trip, an envelope-style book with little samples of my daughters’ artwork, and a pretty journal for jotting down notes!

Envelope Style Book

This envelope-style book from the book-making kit was my favorite. Each of the six envelopes contains a notecard, which my 3 and 5-year-old daughters are adding their artwork — it’s going to be a special gift for their grandmother! I love the surprise element of pulling each card out of an envelope!

Accordion Style Book

This simple accordion-style book was the perfect memory-keeper for our visit to my mother-in-law in Arizona. I plan to send it to her as a surprise!

Painted Wood Bowls

Painted Wooden Bowls

Give plain wooden bowls a modern touch with Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Paint and adhesive stencils! You can often find vintage wood bowls at thrift stores for as little as $1 each. Then follow the full step-by-step tutorial.

Medallion Paper Punch Art

Paper Punch Art

The gift recipient will think you spent hours on this intricate paper art, but thanks to this cut-and-fold punch, you can whip up this unique gift in minutes. Get the Paper Punch Art how-to.

Floral Clutch

Floral Clutch

Artificial flowers look instantly modern and fresh when used in mass for this pretty clutch. This would make a perfect summery birthday gift. You can make this in less than 45 minutes following these steps.

Yarn Embroidered Baskets

Yarn-Embroidered Baskets

You’re bound to have some of these plain woven baskets lying around that could use this fun update! Thread a darning needle with colorful yarn and make a variety of designs to transform them into pretty decor pieces or catchalls. 

Encyclopedia Flowers

Encyclopedia Flowers

Floral bouquets are always welcome gifts, but they are short-lived. These paper flowers made from old encyclopedia pages and tissue paper are simple to make and will keep your friend smiling for a long time!