DIY gifts for days!

DIY gifts for days!

When it comes to holiday gift giving, nothing spells l-o-v-e like a DIY present. In this latest installment of Rookie’s gift guides, Emma Dajska will show you how to make a teeny-tiny chest of drawers to fill with teeny-tinier treasures, Savana Ogburn has instructions on how to make a day-brightening pom-pom keychain, and Esme Blegvad demonstrates how to make a party cracker that is festive as heck. Each is an ideal gift for a sibling or best pal—you might also decide to keep these crafterpieces for Y-O-U.

Emma’s miniature chest of drawers


The idea for this DIY comes from one of my favorite childhood books, Pippi Longstocking. In the book’s first chapter, Pippi befriends two neighborhood kids, Tommy and Annika, and invites them over for pancakes. After dinner, Pippi has one more surprise:

“Pippi invited them to step into the parlor. There was only one piece of furniture in there. It was a huge chest with many tiny drawers. Pippi opened the drawers and showed Tommy and Annika all the treasures she kept there. There were wonderful birds’ eggs, strange shells and stones, pretty little boxes, lovely silver mirrors, pearl necklaces, and many other things that Pippi and her father had bought on their journeys around the world. Pippi gave each of her new playmates a little gift to remember her by. Tommy got a dagger with a shimmering mother-of-pearl handle and Annika, a little box with a cover decorated with pink shells. In the box there was a ring with a green stone.”

To celebrate your best buds, new and old, you can create a micro-version of Pippi’s chest of drawers by glueing matchboxes together and filling them with the tiniest of gifts.

What you’ll need:


  • Empty matchboxes (As few as three will be enough; I used eight.)
  • Multipurpose glue
  • Decorative papers
  • Ink or paint in whatever colors you like
  • Paintbrushes (one for glue, and one for paint)
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Scissors
  • Small beads and/or buttons (I used googly eyes because my bead collection disappeared mysteriously)
  • Ribbon, stickers, markers, glitter, and other decorations galore (optional)

How to make the chest:

Refer to this photo for Step One and Step Two.

Refer to the left side of this photo for Step One, and the right side for Step Two.

Step One

Stack the matchboxes in a one- or two-column cube, so that the short, “drawer” sides of the matchboxes face you.

Step Two

Glue the boxes together. The easiest way to do this is to go column by column. For each column, glue the top side of a matchbox to the bottom side of the matchbox above it. Once all of the matchboxes in a column are glued together, tightly secure the whole column with a rubber band and wait until the glue is completely dry. When all of the columns are finished, glue them together on their broad sides (each column’s short/drawer sides should still be facing you).

Step Three


Measure enough paper to wrap around the four non-drawer sides of the chest, then cut the paper to that size. (The diagram above is a guide for cutting the paper, if that helps.) Glue the paper to the box, one side at a time, starting with what will be the bottom side and going all the way around:


Step Four


Now, decorate! I added some stickers and tied a ribbon around the chest to give it that holiday-present look.

How to make the drawers:

Step One


Coat the outsides of the sliding boxes in whatever colors of paint or ink that you like! If you want to get fancy, you can also paint the insides.

Step Two

Once the paint/ink dries, place all of the drawers back into their slots. Now, decorate again! I cut a tiny piece of paper to glue to the front each drawer:


And then added googly eyes where handles would normally go:


If this thing had cheeks, you’d want to pinch ’em!

Fill the drawers with tiny treasures like candy, stickers, notes, novelty erasers, and whatever else your heart desires to bestow upon a friend, whose socks will be charmed all the way off by this gift!