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DIY Gift Ideas Inspired by CoAS Majors



November 26, 2018

Majors in the College of Arts and Sciences span a wide range of interests — from conservation to communication, global justice to disease biology. Draw some DIY inspiration from the CoAS majors with these 16 homemade gift ideas!

Biological Sciences: “Petri Dish” Soap

Instructions for “melt and pour” soap from wikiHow

Whether interacting with patients or examining organisms in a lab, Biological Sciences majors have to keep their hands clean. Homemade soaps make scrubbing up a lot more fun with bacteria-inspired designs! Biology Prof Laura Duwel, PhD, also recommends these DNA beaded earrings that can double as icicle décor.

Chemistry: Slime

Photo and instructions for slime from wikiHow

A Chemistry major can appreciate a fun chemical combination — and what’s more fun than a sticky batch of slime? Slime can be used for stress relief (or even to join in the “oddly satisfying” Instagram trend). Personalize yours with different colors and materials — and then ask a chemistry-minded friend to explain the science behind the goop!

Communication: Instagram Coasters

Photo and instructions for Instagram coasters by Elle

Communication majors know how to convey a message. Show some love for their social media aesthetic with these playful Instagram coasters. You can bring their feed to their countertop with a few inexpensive tiles, Mod Podge and photo printouts.

Criminology & Justice Studies: Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunt ideas from Instructables

The urban landscape can be a rich field site for a Criminology and Justice Studies major. Put a fun twist on combing the city for “clues” by creating a personalized scavenger hunt with a fun surprise at the end. Send your friends searching for hidden riddles around Drexel’s campus, or have them photograph landmarks around the city.

English: Annotated Book Or Poem

Tap into an English major’s love for the literary with some words written from the heart. If creative writing isn’t your thing, try jotting down some thoughts on a favorite passage or poem. Rachel Wenrick, associate teaching professor of English, recommends this New York Times Magazine article for annotation inspiration.

Environmental Science: Animal Magnets

Instructions for magnet projects from wikiHow

From biodiversity to ecology and conservation, Environmental Science majors share a fascination for the natural world. These animal magnets provide fridge décor that speaks to their love for living things. Choose your friend’s favorite animals and colors for a personal touch!

Environmental Studies & Sustainability: Silverware Plant Markers

Photo and instructions for plant markers from Instructables

With a little ingenuity, household items can be transformed into a thoughtful “upcycled” gift. These plant markers give new life to old silverware — something that an Environmental Studies and Sustainability major would surely appreciate! 

Geoscience: Rock Cactus

Photo and instructions for painted rock cactus from JOANN

For a Geoscience major, a rock can hold valuable clues for understanding Earth systems processes. It can also make for a sweet DIY gift. Bring a low-maintenance touch of nature to a friend’s desktop with this painted rock cactus (with no watering required!).

Global Studies: Map Frame

Photo and instructions from POPSUGAR

Global Studies majors know that international experiences can change your perspective forever. Give a friend a place to display their unforgettable memories with this map-affixed frame. For a thoughtful touch, choose a map of their favorite place to remind them of times spent wandering those routes.

History: Traditions Book

Instructions for memory book from wikiHow

Encourage a history fan to preserve some of their own heartwarming history with a handmade book of traditions. Anytime family or friends convene, the recipient can record the memory with questions like “Who was there?”, “What traditions did we carry on?” and “What was new this year?”, along with a group photo.

Mathematics: Popsicle Stick Playing Cards

Photo and instructions for Popsicle stick playing cards from Instructables

Your favorite Math major may know a thing or two about probability, but can they beat you at a game of Rummy? Find out with these homemade Popsicle stick playing cards. Then, challenge their knowledge with this math-based card trick.

Philosophy: Zen Garden

Photo by Debbie Wolfe; instructions for mini Zen garden from DIYNetwork

A deep-thinking Philosophy major might appreciate the contemplative practice of maintaining a mini Zen garden. This version is small enough to fit on a desktop — within reach when essay-writing anxiety strikes!

Physics: Constellation Jar

Photo and instructions for constellation jar from wikiHow

Who says a dorm room can’t evoke the wonder of the universe? Show a physics-loving friend they mean the world to you with this constellation jar night light. This quick project is made with a jar, a disposable cake pan and a small click light.

Political Science: Election Pins

Photo and instructions for badges from Rookie

What Political Science major can resist the nostalgic charm of vintage campaign buttons? Make your very own buttons or pins for a politics-obsessed friend to proudly display your friendship. You can even put your friend on a button with their very own slogan to show that they have your vote.

Psychology: Pamper Kit

Photo and instructions for DIY spa kit from POPSUGAR

Psychology majors know that chronic stress can have harmful effects on the brain. Help ease the tension with a peppermint DIY pamper kit — just the thing to rejuvenate a stressed-out college student. Accompany with an evening of sharing stories (as friendship is another stress reducer!).

Sociology: Conversation Games

Conversation question ideas from StoryCorps

In-depth interviews are just one technique in a sociologist’s toolkit. Turn that into a gift perfect for a party with a DIY version of Table Topics or Would You Rather? Just write your questions on materials that you can keep in a decorated jar — then let the conversation flow!


More Ways to Give

Lindy Center for Civic Engagement - Give Back

One of the best parts of this time of year is the focus on giving back. Head over to the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement to check out volunteer opportunities in our community.