Easy to Make and Inexpensive Mental Health Holiday Gifts

The holidays and approaching new year can be both an exciting and stressful time trying to find unique gifts for those closest to you. This holiday season I decided to get creative with gifts to inspire those closest to me as they head into the New Year. You do not have to be an artist to do any of these, trust me, I am no Van Gogh! Here are easy to make and inexpensive mental health holiday gifts.

Affirmations & Quotes Jar

This is my favorite easy to make and inexpensive mental health holiday gifts — a mason jar filled with beautiful quotes and affirmations. I encourage people to pick a slip every morning to start off the day right!

What do I need?

  • Paint (I used this acrylic paint)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Mason Jar (if making for multiple people you can buy in bulk for cheaper)
  • Scissors
  • Blank paper

Step 1: Pick out quotes, and affirmations that inspire you. I use Pinterest to find these or you can check out my quotes page. You can even write personal messages as well. For example, on one slip I wrote-Annie, you are a gift to this world.

Step 2: Copy and paste, type or handwrite each quote or affirmation on paper. Separate and fold each one (doesn’t matter if some are bigger than others). I used around 40 different sayings.

Step 3: Get your painting area set up with brushes, paint, paper towels, and water to dip brushes in. I usually break down cardboard boxes to place under my art workspace. Some of the paint I used got onto my wood floor, but with Windex and paper towels it quickly came up.

Step 4: This is where you have creative freedom to paint or do whatever you want to the mason jar. I flicked paint on mine because I love the messy and colorful look of it. To get this look take medium size brush-dip into water-dip into paint and flick the paint brush towards the jar. It should have a splatter type of style.

Step 5: After it’s done drying put quotes and affirmations into the jar and you are done!

Self-Care Jar

This is another excellent use for a mason jar-follow the directions above for the affirmations/quotes jar but write various self-care tips one each slip of paper.


Some of my self-care tips include: Take 20 minutes to write in your journal-call someone that you miss-write a letter to someone you love-post an inspirational quote on social media-pick a destination for your next vacation-plan a wine night with 5 of your friends-get a manicure-purchase a new book-tell yourself you are beautiful in the mirror five times out loud.

Canvas Inspiration

This is another great inexpensive and easy to make mental health gift for the holidays. It does take a little more time and effort than the others but it’s totally worth it.

What do I need?

  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Blank canvas-I used an 8X8 canvas, but it depends on the size of the quote
  • Alphabet stencils (I suggest going to Amazon and checking out their various stencils for purchase)

Step 1: Find a quote or saying of your choice (make sure it will fit on canvas). The quote I used is by poet Mark Anthony-She is rare because she is real.

Step 2: Paint canvas background or leave blank. Leaving it white can make it more difficult to clean up small errors. I made a lot of mistakes, but it was easy to fix after drying. I suggest painting it black.

Step 3: Choose your colors and use stencils for each word or do it freehand. Take your time and do not freak out if you mess up. It’s important to make sure that you have an idea of the space you will need to fit all the words. I ran out of space when I first did it, but when it dried, I painted the canvas black to cover up and started over.

Step 4: Let it dry. If you need to fix small errors or some of the words look messy, you can go over them with black paint to blend in with the background.

Journal Joy

This is extremely simple, and encourages people to express their emotions in a healthy way by writing in a private journal.

What do I need?

  • Inexpensive journal-you do not need to spend over $10 — the one featured in the picture is from Amazon for $9.72.
  • Markers or pen
  • Paint & paintbrushes (if you choose to decorate front like mine in picture below).

Step 1: In the journal-pick out random pages and write a personal message, quote, writing prompt or affirmations. Only do this on a few pages, especially if its’ a smaller journal. The main idea is to get your friend or family member to utilize those pages for their thoughts and ideas.

Here are some examples of writing prompts: What makes you unique?-Write a list of the people who love and admire you!-Make a bucket list!-Share one of your inner most secrets!-What is something that is bothering you right now and why?

Step 2: Decorate it. You do not have to decorate the front of the journal if you prefer not to. I decided to decorate mine by flicking paint lightly on the front with various colors like I did with the mason jar.

Get creative with these easy to make mental health holiday gifts. It’s a thoughtful way to celebrate the holidays and enter into the new year.

For more mental health content follow me on @hannahdblum