10 Last-Minute DIY Birthday Gifts for Your Best Friend

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DIY gifts always sound like a great idea – they’re unique, they’re budget-friendly, and they’re thoughtful. It sounds like a recipe for the perfect present. But narrowing it down to the perfect project can be tough, especially when you’re putting together a gift for someone as important as your best friend.

They’ve been with you through it all, the highs, the lows, and the in betweens. And when their birthday rolls around, you want a gift that truly shows your best friend how much you appreciate them.

If you’re feeling stuck, don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of some of the best DIY birthday gifts for your best friend, and you can still pull them off even if you don’t have a lot of time, cash, or crafting know-how. From custom gift cards to thoughtful care packages, here are some of the best gifts you can DIY at the last minute for your bestie’s birthday.

1 - Text a Digital Gift Card

Practical, Customizable Gift for Your BFF That Can Be Sent in Seconds

Text or email an egift card in just a few clicks

Gift cards may not sound like a DIY birthday gift, and for a long time they weren’t. But thanks to the wonders of technology, you can personalize these sought-after practical birthday gifts like never before. 

With a digital gift card vendor like GiftYa, it just takes a couple of clicks. Choose from thousands of local and national brands to get started. Add a photo of you and your best friend together – or even a video clip – to give the wrapping some personal flair. Jot your message, and it’s off. You can send it immediately or schedule it in advance – the choice is up to you.

Not sure where to start? Here are some great birthday gift card options to get you started:

Not feeling the digital options? You can always customize a Visa gift card for your BFF with Gift Card Granny’s build a card feature as well. Just choose a photo of one of your favorite memories together for the front, add a personal message, and a physical card is on its way.

2 - Self Care Basket

Everything Your BFF Needs to Relax After Their Birthday

This ready-made self care gift box comes with everything your bestie needs to unwind, from candles to smudge spray. Find it on Etsy.

Birthday festivities can get kind of crazy. Give your bestie a way to unwind after the candles have been blown out with a thoughtful self care gift basket. There are plenty of ready-made options out there (like the very aesthetic option above), but this gift is also super easy to DIY. The best part? You can go as big or small with your budget as you want/need to. If $30 candles aren’t on the table for you right now, a fancy votive candle or a dollar store jar candle will do just as well.

Looking for some inspiration about what to include in your bestie’s birthday self care basket? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Sheet masks in different styles for some skincare TLC
  • Bags of stress-relief tea – chamomile, lavender, and mint work great!
  • Aromatherapy candles, body washes, or room sprays
  • Dark chocolate for that sweet, sweet serotonin boost
  • Fuzzy slipper socks
🎁 GiftYa Recommends: Text an ULTA Beauty gift card to take this spa-inspired gift up a notch

3 - Blind Date with a Book

Everything Your Bestie Needs to Escape the Real World for a Bit

This elegant blind date with a book bundle comes with everything a book worm could need to unplug and unwind for a while. Shop now on Etsy.

Blind dates with people? Nerve-wracking, socially draining, terrible. Blind dates with books? Exciting, low-risk, fantastic.

If your BFF is a bookworm, why not dress up your latest recommendation as a blind date with a book? Pull something from the “To Read” list on your bestie’s Story Graph account, let Etsy’s self-proclaimed book experts create a theme bundle based on your best friend’s favorite genre, or in true DIY spirit, come up with something all by yourself.

Okay, well maybe not all by yourself – we’re here to help after all 😊 If you want to put together a blind date with a book for your best friend’s birthday gift, start with these essentials:

  • Your book of choice, all wrapped up
  • Write a few hints about what’s inside on the wrapping paper or a gift tag
  • Include a bookmark – not that your bestie will need it, since they won’t be able to put your gift down! 
  • Round out your book bundle with some other bookish gifts like a t-shirt or canvas tote bag
🎁 GiftYa Recommends: Complete the gift with a Barnes & Noble gift card so they can bulk up their TBR

4 - Homemade Photo Frame

A Budget-Friendly But Still Sentimental DIY Project 

Gift your best friend a happy memory when you preserve a snapshot in a handmade photo frame.

Ready to get your best friend all up in their feels? Then this one’s for you. Find a snapshot of one of your favorite moments together – maybe a milestone like graduation or a wedding, or a throwback to when you met in elementary school – and get it printed out. 

All you need next is a basic frame from any dollar store or craft store – then it’s time to get creative! Customize the outside of the frame with:

  • Paint in your BFF’s favorite color
  • Souvenirs from the memory in the photo – ticket stubs, fortune cookie fortunes, etc.
  • Your names, the date of the photo, or a caption of why the memory is so special
🎁 GiftYa Recommends: Text a Michaels gift card and DIY your frames together

5. Custom Keychains

A commemorative and practical item

If you want to give your best friend a unique and memorable DIY gift, consider custom keychains. You can design and customize a unique and beautiful keychain based on your friend's photo, something memorable between you and your friend. Such a keychain carries the memories of your relationship and is very memorable. At the same time, custom keychains are extremely practical and can be used in everyday life.

5 - Something Fresh From the Oven

The Way to Anyone’s Heart is Through Their Stomach

Whip up a homemade birthday treat for your best friend as the ultimate edible b-day gift.

Calories don’t count on your birthday, right? Whether your bestie is more of a sweets person or they prefer something savory, a handmade birthday gift straight from your kitchen is sure to impress. It can be as simple as making cupcakes from a box of cake mix, but if you’re looking for a culinary challenge, consider one of these recipes instead:

🎁 GiftYa Recommends: Treat their sweet tooth anytime with a No Chewing Allowed! gift card

6 - Knit or Crochet Something Cozy

Wrap Them Up in the Warmth of Your Friendship

Get crafty when you put together a hand-knitted or crocheted birthday gift.

Does their friendship make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Then get them a birthday gift that makes them feel the same! Even if you’ve never ventured into yarn crafts before, there are plenty of beginner-friendly projects out there that will leave you with a perfectly impressive present. All it takes is a trip to your local craft store for supplies and a little time in front of the tube… Youtube, that is.

Need some inspiration? Here are some of our favorite beginner-friendly projects:

  • How to Crochet a Super Scarf for Beginners (Youtube)
  • 12 Unique Crochet Gift Ideas with Patterns (Youtube)
  • How to Knit a Simple Scarf (Youtube)

7 - Best Friend Coupon Book

Make BFF coupons from scratch using basic craft supplies, or download a printable template to streamline your design. Shop on Etsy

Do you owe your BFF one? Or maybe more than one? Whipping up some creative coupons to let your bestie cash in on some favors could be a great birthday present then!

Think about the sort of things your best friend might like – time together? Virtual movie night? Your company at a paint and sip night (even though it’s not really your thing)? How about surprising them with some delicious birthday cake flavored snacks? Don’t be afraid to get creative!

8 - Old School Friendship Bracelets

Keep it Simple with a Timeless Classic BFF Gift

It’s a classic for a reason – the original friendship bracelet is a thoughtful and easy way to remind your best friend you care. Making your own should only cost a few dollars in string and under an hour of your time once you get the hang of it. 

Looking for something a little more sophisticated? You can always update the old school friendship bracelet idea by swapping it out for these more elegant moonstone bracelets or even these quirky BFF peanut butter and jelly keychains. The sentiment is the same.

9 - Open When Letters

Perfect For When You Can’t Always Be There in Person

The letters themselves are still up to you, but these fancy tricolor custom envelopes will give your present some extra polish. Order on Etsy.

Are you and your best friend doing long distance? Whether they’re on the other side of the world or just down the street (and it feels like the other side of the world) this thoughtful gesture will let your BFF know that you’re there for them even if you aren’t with them in person.

The idea is simple: write letters now for situations your bestie may encounter in the future. 

They can be general (open when you’re angry, when you need a pep talk, when you’re having the best day ever) or super specific (open on our 10 year friendaversary, open when you think you’ve found the one, open when you graduate college). 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Open when you need a hug
  • Open when you visit (insert favorite store or restaurant)
  • Open when you’re afraid we’re drifting apart
  • Open when you’re stressed
  • Open when you’re mad at me
  • Open when girls/guys are jerks
  • Open when it’s Friday
  • Open when you ignored my advice
  • Open just because

The letters themselves are enough, but you can also tuck in a few dollars for a treat (open when you need a pick me up) or some photos and souvenirs from your adventures together (open when you’re feeling nostalgic). The choice is yours.

10 - Quality Time

Sometimes the Best Gift is Just Some One-on-One Time with Your Best Friend

Just hanging out together in honor of your best friend’s birthday can be the best gift of all.

Want to unlock a new core memory? Life gets busy, and we don’t always make as much time to spend with the people we care about as we should. Even if you’re totally broke and your best friend is too, you can always share the gift of some quality time together. Go for a stroll, watch your favorite movie, or just catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives.

🎁 GiftYa Recommends: If your budget allows, send them a StubHub gift card so they can choose an event for your next get together

Any of these DIY birthday gifts are sure to put a smile on your best friend’s face – after all, they’re from you!

That’s it for our last-minute DIY best friend birthday gift ideas.

Remember, you don’t have to have a big budget or be super crafty to give your best friend something great for their birthday. At the end of the day, it’s a gift from one of their favorite people – and that alone is sure to put a smile on their face!

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Written by

Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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