5 Homemade Gifts to Make Before They Leave for College

Are one of your children or a friend heading off to college this year? Give them something special with one of these fun homemade gifts made from the heart to take with them to campus. Each of these projects vary in their difficulty, so even if you’re not super craft savvy, there’s something for you in this list.

Freshman Year Starter Kit


Help your student start off the year right with this freshman starter kit. Items in this kit will come in handy to any student in any year of their education, so this isn’t limited to freshmen!

Say you care by packing some of the following items:

  • Pencils, highlighters, and paper
  • Stamps for writing back home
  • Flip flops and mini shampoo for the shower
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Kleenex
  • Quarters for laundry
  • A mini first aid kit

Recipe Binder


If your student is lucky enough to have a kitchen in which to cook their meals, give them the gift of homemade meals with this nifty recipe binder. You can type up and print their favorite recipes. Not only will you ensure they eat better, but they will be learning traditional home cooking.

We love this DIY homemade gift because it’s useful and cute! And templates allow you to make the recipe binder look professional with very little effort.

Photo Album for the Homesick


Most students will miss home when they leave for school. It’s completely normal! But you can help take the edge off by creating one of these amazing homemade gifts: a photo album. 

This DIY photo album from Now That’s Thrifty shows you how to make a simple pocket photo album from cardstock and cardboard. We highly suggest this for your homesick student! Fill it with memories of family, friends, and home.

DIY Personalized Mug

img_8519-768x1024 homemade gifts mug college student

Remove the cup confusion with a personalized mug! These cute ceramic mugs will make sure there’s no mix up between dorm-mates. You can customize these with names, sayings, quotes, and so much more. 

We love these homemade mugs because they are affordable. You can get all you need at a dollar store. All you need is a little patience to allow these to cool completely when following the tutorial from Southern Crush Tutorial.

Inspirational Dorm Room Sign


Bring some style to a boring dorm room with these gorgeous farmhouse signs from First Day of Home. Although special tools like Cricut or Cameo will make this project easier, you can totally do it by hand. All you need is plywood, furring strips, wood stain and chalk paint.

We suggest putting a favorite song lyric, inspirational quote, or saying on these signs to remind your student that you’re always thinking of them.

Homemade Gifts are the Best Gifts

You don’t have to lavish your student with expensive keepsakes to tell them you care. Instead, make one of these homemade gifts that they can bring with them on their journey through college. They are sure to appreciate the gesture!

Questions, comments? Contact us today.