Broke Student Gift Giving Guide: 15 Broke Student Gifts & Ideas Everybody Will Love

You've been on a ramen diet for a month and can't afford to buy presents? Don't worry. Use our guide to finding broke student gifts that will bring smiles.

The ramen-powered college student often masters the art of stretching every dollar as if their life depends on it, but even with that hard-learned skill, the holiday season can be particularly challenging. How do you find broke student gifts that your family and friends will still love?

With so many people to gift to and multiple tastes to accommodate, broke student gifts seem to be scarce. The key word here, however, is “seem”. Thinking outside of the box and scouring the internet for the best deals can help you find the perfect presents even on a budget. Many choices are available to you. You can either DIY your gifts like a boss or nail a spot-on affordable gift that will make your friends and relatives feel appreciated.

We put up in this ultimate broke student gift-giving guide for any college students struggling out there. We see you and support you, friends.

15.) For the Sentimental Ones

The DIY Gift: A Hearty Meal

Whether you know how to cook or you decide to invite them to eat out, they will be touched. If you don’t consider yourself particularly skilled in the cooking area, we got you covered: these five super easy oven recipes from celebrity Chef Jeremy Oliver won’t give you much trouble and will be an instant success!

The Affordable Gift: Matching Shirts

broke student gifts broke student gift giving guide white tshirt


Shirt pairings can be incredibly hilarious or deeply endearing, or both!

Write your most bizarre inside joke or craziest picture on a plain shirt, and watch your friends burst out in laughter when they see them.

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14.) For the Foodies

The DIY Gift: A Cookbook

Choose what speaks to your heart (and wallet) the most: either gift your friend or family member a best-selling cookbook to teach them how to cook Mediterranean delicacies or print them your own cookbook.

If you choose the latter, look up recipes with their favorite ingredients and edit them all in a nice document in Microsoft Word or using the website Canva. Your giftee will be head over hills for this adorable gesture.

The Affordable Gift: A Cocktail Book “Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With a Literary Twist”

broke student gifts broke student gift giving guide tequila mockingbird


If they like sipping a glass of wine while reading their classics, then this twisted cocktail book is an absolute must.

Plus, they will laugh their head off when they read the “Tequila Mockingbird” title. Broke student gifts don’t need to be expensive. They just need to be brilliantly smart!

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Read also: Ultimate Gift Guide for the Chef in Your Life

13.) For Those Who Love Games

The DIY Gift: A Full-Fledged Party

This requires a bit more planning, but by the end of it, you will have had an unforgettable and bonding time. Broke student gifts don’t need to be physical, and they can be collective. Host an adult party with hilarious games and hearty food, and invite your friends and/or family members. Everybody will be in splits by the end of the party!

The Affordable Gift: Monopoly Mario Kart

broke student gifts broke student gift giving guide monopoly mario kart


If your giftee slays Monopoly and is looking for a refreshing take on their favorite board game, this Mario Kart themed Monopoly is the gift you’re looking for. You’ll love dropping banana peels and collecting coins to rack up points!

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12.) For Those Who Need to Relax

The DIY Gift: Bath Bombs

Bath bombs offer a sensory experience and add pizzazz to any bath. You can make them yourself following this tutorial

The Affordable Gifts: Comfy Socks

For many people, the love for socks expands as they grow older. Choose the style according to your friend’s/relative’s personality: happy, unique socks for the quirky souls and classic ones for the traditionalists.

Essential Oils

broke student gifts broke student gift giving guide essential oils


Whether your giftee is an overworked mom, a worn-out dad or a friend exhausted from exams, they need something to unwind. That’s where you — or more precisely, the essential oils — come in. Your loved one can rub a few drops inside their palms or on their pillows and let the oils do their work.

Aromatherapy is a powerful relaxing relaxer, and your friend/relative is about to experience its effects first-hand.

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11.) For Those Who Love Their House

The DIY Gift: Terrarium Kit

A plant is one of the best and most affordable gifts to offer anyone with a green thumb.

Add an aesthetically pleasing to your friend’shouse with a terrarium kit. Here is a step-by-step tutorial to make an amazing terrarium.

The Affordable Gift: Fridge Magnet

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The simplest gifts are sometimes the best. Get them a unique fridge magnet, and they will remember you every time they’re reaching out for a snack!

This Magnetic Poetry Kit is perfect for endless fun and inspired late-night poetry.

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10.) For the Pet Lovers

The DIY Gift: A Technicolor Dog Leash

This DIY is perfect for dog owners who want to keep their beloved pets nearby in a stylish fashion. Follow the tutorial of Studio DIY to learn how to make them.

The Affordable Gift: Dog Shaped Silicone Ice Cube Molds

broke student gifts broke student gift giving guide dog ice tray cubes


We can’t get over how cool these ice cube molds are!

These dachshund drinks will keep your friend’s drinks and minds fresh.

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9.) For the Musically Inclined

The DIY Gift: A Curated Spotify Playlist

You know their favorite indie bands and the tear-jerking music they listen to. You know by heart the music they blast every time they get their hand on the aux cord. It’s time to get them a gift that will speak to their musical soul: a hand-picked Spotify playlist that will show them that you have been listening to every single track they were boasting.

The Affordable Gift: Record Coasters

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They might not have real vinyl records at home, but these retro record coasters will do the job just fine. They will pep up any table they’re set on.

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8.) For the Fashionistas

The DIY Gift: A Friendship Bracelet

We’re bringing friendship bracelets back in style. Make your friend or squad a batch of friendship bracelets with the favorite colors of each person. Our favorite one is the heart-shaped friendship from Honestly WTF. You will only need embroidery floss in different colors and your crafty hands. Follow the tutorial to learn how to make these beauties.

The Affordable Gift: A Piece of Clothing

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Here is the deal: you can find some amazing pieces of clothing without ruining your budget. You can either visit your local thrift shops and hunt for a unique vintage piece, buy a plain t-shirt or simple jeans and bedazzle them with some DIY tricks or scout the internet for coupons and discount codes to purchase a brand-new piece online.

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Read also: 25 Crazy Easy DIY Earrings You Can Make In The Next 10 Minutes

7.) For the New Parents

The DIY Gift: A Baby Snuggler

According to Erin from In Between Laundry, this baby snuggler will become your baby’s best friend. Follow this tutorial to learn how to make one.

The Affordable Gifts: A Hilarious Pacifier

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We love a baby who’s quietly playing with their pacifier, and we find it extremely funny to see their cute faces paired with hilarious mustaches.

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A Scalp Massager

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Two words: instant bliss.

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6.) For the Constant Learners

The DIY Gift: A Bookmark

Any bookworm will tell you this: they can make bookmarks out of anything. Receipts, notebook pages, flyers… anything will do. But nothing is as heart-warming as a personalized bookmark made by their closest friends or relatives.

The Affordable Gifts: Subscription to New York Times or Star Walk Mobile App

broke student gifts broke student gift giving guide star walk

Star Walk App

They’re Ravenclaws through-and-through and would love to get access to the smartest insights and latest industry-specific articles. Make their dream come true with a subscription to the New York Times ($25/3 months), or by offering them Star Walk ($5), an augmented-reality stargazing app.

5.) For the Travel Junkies

The DIY Gift: An Inspirational Pinterest Board

You want to fuel your friend’s travel frenzy and inspire them to visit more places in 2019? Help them tick all the boxes of their travel bucket list by creating an inspo travel board with the best pictures of all the places they want to visit. It’s a free gift that’s also a ton of fun for both of you!

The Affordable Gift: A Stylish Passport Case

broke student gifts broke student gift giving guide passport case holder


This passport holder will keep the most precious item of their trips safe and protected. Available in 39 colors, you will have plenty of styles to choose from.

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4.) For the Outdoorsy

The DIY Gift: A Personalized Notebook

Being in the outdoors is inspiring to many. Many hikers like to jot down their thoughts as they enjoy the breathtaking sceneries they see. Follow this tutorial to learn how to make a notebook from scratch.

The Affordable Gift: A Swiss Army Knife

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The most adventurous person in your life needs reliable tools. A Swiss Army Knife will do its job perfectly.

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3.) For Your BFF

The DIY Gift: A Book Collage

If you’d rather keep it all in one place, then collaging your pictures together in a nice book would be a great idea.

We’re sure your book will be on your BFF’s bedstand!

The Affordable Gift: A Multi-Picture Frame

broke student gift giving guide picture frame


She/he had been your BFF for some time now, and you want to show them all the good times you two had together.

Print your favorite pictures together — you know, those when you were tearing up from laughing too hard or when you went to your first music festival together. Frame them all for a wonderful gift.

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Read also: Top 5 Double Tap-Worthy Gifts That Will Give Your Bestie Insta-Approval

2.) For the Quirky Ones

The DIY Gift: Sunshine Box

We LOVE unique gift ideas, and the fact that you’re on a budget is an excellent motivator to scratch your head a little bit more to come up with the perfect gift.

The Sunshine Box from Fantabulosity is a highly versatile gift and will put a smile on any person you offer it to.

The Affordable Gift: Cards Against Humanity 90s Edition

Cards against Humanity is a great gift.


Do we even need to praise Cards Against Humanity? They have already forged a solid reputation for themselves, and they’re back with the fab 90s Nostalgia Kit.

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1.) For the Kids

The DIY Gift: DIY Lava Lamp

Remember how cool lava lamps were when we were kids? Well, kids today still think the same. Make them their own lava lamp by following the instructions from Lil’ Luna.

The Affordable Gift: Play-Doh

Play-Doh is a great gift even if you're a broke student


Play-Doh is almost timeless. No matter when a child receives this fun toy, this gift is always a success.

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What do you think of these broke student gifts? Is there any item from this broke student gift-giving guide you’d like to offer your closest friends and family members? Let us know in the comments. And if you’re still on the lookout for affordable gifts, we got you covered with our 10 unique gifts under $25 anyone would love! Read all about it in our next article.