Get ready to start your search for cheap wedding gifts and that is because you will probably be attending more ceremonies this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a brake on all kinds of plans in 2020, from festivals and races to graduation ceremonies and weddings. While limiting meetings has been key to controlling the virus over the past year, it has caused many Americans much pain, loss and sadness.
Couples planning to get married in 2020 had a few options. They could keep their plans in place and cut down on their guest lists, get married in 2020 and bring the reception to 2021, or put the whole thing off for a year.
A survey by The Knot shows that nearly 32% of married couples postponed their receptions, while 15% postponed their entire weddings to 2021. Add those receptions to those already planned for 2021, and you could end up attending a heap. of weddings this year.
15 cheap wedding gift ideas
While seeing friends and celebrating love is a wonderful thing to look forward to, your wallet won’t be too happy to pay for all those wedding gifts. If you’re looking to save by giving DIY or repurposed gifts this year, consider these wedding gift ideas.
Take a look at our 15 wedding gift ideas that come from the heart and won’t break the bank.
1. Custom puzzles
Puzzles saw a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic as an off-screen activity to do alone or with your family to help pass the time. They are ideal to give to the happy couple.
If the happy couple has an obsession with puzzles, you can have a custom puzzle made for them. Use a photo from your engagement session (or your pandemic wedding ceremony, if you had one) or one of your favorite vacations you took together. Shutterfly has several design options, from individual images to collages, which you will love working on together.
2. Painted pots
Another popular pandemic hobby involves having a green thumb. If your friends now have a large collection of succulents and other indoor (or even outdoor) plants, you can gift them a hand-painted planter to display their green offspring.
Follow Fine Gardening’s advice to make sure your pots look professional and unique.
3. Scrabble tile frame
Use old Scrabble tiles to create a unique piece of art for the couple’s wedding gift. You can check out Etsy if you don’t have the patience to do it yourself, but it’s a pretty easy (and cheap!) Project with a huge punch.
Look for old Scrabble games at local thrift stores (or loot Mom’s basement or game closet). Use a shadow box frame and glue the couple’s names onto a piece of cardboard that will fit the frame. If you have calligraphy skills, add your wedding date or embellish with heart or flower stickers around their names.
4. Personalized recipe book
As Savvy Eats puts it, a personalized cookbook is truly “one of the best gifts you’ll ever give.”
Instead of just listing your favorite recipes, ask the couple’s friends and family as well. Have them write down their favorites, plus a note to the couple, then you can compile them into a sweet and meaningful book.
With people eating at home more than ever, your gift will help your friends try new recipes together as they begin life as newlyweds. If you have some extra cash, consider buying some kitchen equipment or utensils to go with it, like baking sheets and potholders. Maybe even kitchen aprons, one for each.
5. Wooden photo hanger
Who doesn’t want a shabby chic photo display in their home? Bonus: it’s an inexpensive wedding gift!
Although Heels in the Mud doesn’t go through every step, it seems pretty easy to understand, especially if you bring a photo of the project to your local hardware store. This project involves staining and finishing a 2-by-4 length of wood, running a line of wire from one end to the other, and then adding small decorative pins to hold the photos together.
To make it even better as a wedding gift, you can paint the couple’s names and the wedding date on one of the boards.
6. Dishes with a message
Did you know that Sharpies are magical? So magical, in fact, you can create custom plates like these from Orthodox Mom.
You could turn them into “gift plates” meant to be used as a reusable food gift plate, like Christmas cookies, as this clever blogger did, or decorate some with your favorite recipes.
7. Photo coasters
These The Frugal Girls Photo Coasters are simpler than they sound and quite affordable too. However, take some time to allow the sealer to dry on the images adhered to the tile.
Use high-quality photos of the couple or maps of significant places, and you have a beautiful (and useful!) Gift.
8. Hand-painted song lyrics
If you know the couple’s wedding song (and have legible lyrics), this canvas with Swiish’s song lyrics would make a stunning gift.
That’s one thing I would surely hang on my wall!
9. DIY welcome mat
Whether the couple have been living together for years or are just starting to hang out, a DIY welcome mat makes a fun and practical wedding gift.
This is an easy DIY by following Curbly’s step-by-step instructions.
10. Milestone wine collection
If you want to give something to help the happy couple celebrate their major milestones together, create a select wine collection with personalized labels.
Get inspired by Just Measuring Up with themed tags like the couple’s first snowfall, the first Valentine’s Day, and the first anniversary. You can use the free print on the website or create your own. Once you have printed the labels, hang them on the bottle necks and place the wine bottles in a basket.
11. Wedding cross stitch
Another craft that gained popularity during the pandemic is cross stitch, a form of embroidery that has been practiced around the world for centuries. If you’ve caught the mistake, use your skills to craft a unique wedding gift for the bride and groom (or the bride and groom, or the bride and groom).
Choose from a variety of patterns at The Spruce Crafts, or create a unique pattern to celebrate your friends and your love.
12. Map art
Travel is still limited for many people in 2021, so newlyweds may not be able to explore the world during their first year of marriage. Bring the magic of travel home with a DIY map art gift.
This example from Delightfully Noted uses three places: where the couple met, where they got married, and where they live. Find a cheap map and frame online and follow the instructions to create a unique gift that the couple will treasure. This is a well thought out and inexpensive wedding gift idea.
13. Painted wine glasses
Wine glasses are a popular record item, but you can take this gift one step further by making DIY painted glasses as a memorable wedding gift. And it can be customized.
Eat, Drink and Save Money has a couple of simple tutorials; one with chalkboard paint and the other with gloss enamel paint or glass markers.
14. DIY thread heart
String art is fun and easy to learn. A DIY yarn heart is a thoughtful and unique gift idea that will match almost any home decor.
Follow the Green Wedding Shoes instructions to learn how to make your own yarn heart. Since string art allows you to create a unique pattern every time, your gift will truly be the only one out there!
15. Artistic pillowcases
Make your friends fun pillowcases for the sofa cushions. Starting with simple pillowcases, you can embroider a message (congratulations if you have that skill in your arsenal) or paint it using an easy online tutorial like this one from Brit + Co.
This craft uses minimal supplies that you probably already have around the house, but it will create a fun and affordable wedding gift that your friends will appreciate.
Whether you have a wedding or 15 weddings to go this year, you can save money and surprise your friends with unique gifts by going the DIY route. Which one will you try first?
Catherine Hiles is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.