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Eleventh Hour Christmas Gifts

10 Last Minute Gifts for College Kids & 20-Somethings


Eleventh hour? Don't panic. This may be the final countdown to the holidays, but these last-minute Christmas gifts for college kids and 20-somethings can be made (or thrown together) in an evening.

1. Creative Ways to Give a Coupon Gift

Photo by Jackie Burrell
Experiential gifts - concert tickets, ski trips or shopping dates with Mom - are some of the most delightful for both giver and recipient. It's the bestowing of the gift that's the problem. We've all resorted to the "coupon" in the envelope, but even that's a little flat. Instead, try this quickie craft project that turns the coupon into a tiny diorama, so your college kid cavorts with his favorite rock bands, for example, or tours Rome inside an, er, Altoids tin. It also works beautifully when the gift in question was an early Christmas present, like the Outside Lands weekend pass that inspired the photo to the left.

2. DIY Fleece Blanket for the Dorm or Apartment

Photo by Jackie Burrell
Help your college kid or 20-something turn his dorm room or apartment into a cozy nest by whipping up this simple, fringed, fleece blanket. It's a great project for younger siblings to make too, and it only takes about an hour to do.

3. A DIY Ruffled Apron

Photo by Jackie Burrell
Every new cook needs an apron, especially one festooned with ruffles made from collegiate print fabrics. This DIY ruffled apron is the perfect accessory for a tailgate or that first dinner party. It goes together in an hour, makes excellent use of mascot art - hello Arizona Wildcats! - and it's a great way to use up fabric scraps too.

4. DIY Wine (or Beer or Soda) Coasters

Photo by Jackie Burrell
Make a set of college-themed coasters for your favorite new alum with this easy craft project that uses Scrabble tiles and corkboard. It's a quickie project with plenty of style - perfect for any 20-something and fun too.

5. Clever Ways to Give Cash

Photo by Jackie Burrell
Cash is always a popular gift for students, a demographic not exactly known for its deep pockets. You can always stuff a few $20s in an envelope, though that's a bit cold. But the ultimate one-size-fits-all gift gets a makeover with these clever ideas, including a paint-your-own piggy bank.

6. Tailgate Picnic Gear

Photo by Jackie Burrell
A picnic basket full of tailgate-ready gear - including a DIY stadium blanket and collegiate-print napkins - make a great, customizable gift.

7. Fleecy Scarf & Hat

Photo by Jackie Burrell
This cozy scarf and hat duo requires less than a yard of fleece fabric, and only the most minimal sewing skills. One seam, that's it! Whip up an entire family's worth of fleecy warmth in a matter of hours.

8. A Set of Christmas Ornaments

Christmas crafts
Photo by Jackie Burrell
Whether it's a plastic table-top tree in a dorm room or a full-fledged fir in a first apartment, that Christmas tree needs decorating. A set of ornaments is just what your first-time decker-of-halls needs. Choose a project or two from this fun list and you can make an entire set of ornaments that follow the theme of your choice - a college mascot, for example, campus landmarks, football themes or even a set of musical instrument-adorned balls.

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