Creating homemade gifts is a very thoughtful way to celebrate the holidays. Handmade DIY gifts are personal, less expensive and show that you care enough to spend time on someone. Plus, you get to avoid all the shopping madness at the mall! Now, this said, there are good homemade gifts and not so good homemade gifts. Think carefully before choosing a DIY gift project. Keep safety in mind at all times and most importantly, remember, even if a gift looks like an excellent idea, it’s only great if you can pull it off, so stick with a gift project you can manage. To get started with DIY holiday gifts, first take a look at our guide to making useful and special homemade holiday gifts, then consider one of the awesome DIY gift ideas below - you're sure to find something for everyone you know.
Photo – Homemade Memory Game
Homemade Gifts That Kids Can Help Make
Not all homemade gifts are easy for kids to make. Kids have short attention spans and some are wee perfectionists, which means when a homemade gift is too hard and doesn’t turn out, you may be in for some holiday kid-angst. When making homemade gifts with kids, allow them to help choose a project, but steer them in a good direction, helping them to choose projects that can be split into short creation spurts, not projects that have to be completed all at once. Also, pick a project that is practically foolproof and easy for kids to manage. Below are some good ideas.
- 6 simple gifts kids can help make for siblings
- Homemade memory game
- Upcycled flower pot gardening kits
- Build an easy recycled glass terrarium
- Organic succulents in recycled paint dipped cans
- Salt dough holiday ornaments
- Recycled bottle cap magnets
Not Martha? No Problem!
Not so crafty? That’s OK. Not all of us can be Martha. You don’t have to make homemade gifts totally from scratch. Some gifts are “semi-homemade” yet still great to give, and there’s almost zero craftiness required – you’ll mostly need simply a dash of creativity.
- 52 Reasons I Love You Cards: My son made this for his dad on Father’s day and it was a huge hit. A little time consuming, so best for an older kid, not a young tot, but very cool and thoughtful.
- Personalized calendar for kids: Calenders are a great organizing gift for kids, and blank calenders allow you to personalize them to your child’s interests.
- Hand painted clock: Most craft stores carry clock makings. Pick some up, and have your child paint cool designs on a clock for a grandparent.
- Music CD: Easy as pie and a great stocking stuffer for just about everyone.
- Mason jar sippy – for kids and adults.
- Vintage postcard calendar journal
- Create a cool thrift store dress up kit for a child.
- Silhouette Plaque – a lovely way to show off the kids.
- Family movie night gift package.
- Decorated Steampunk journal for a tween or teen.
Homemade Gifts for Wee Babes
You gotta love babies. They’re so easy to please on holidays! Mainly because they’re just not that concerned with gifts. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give a special, cute and fun homemade gift to the babies in your life. Check out your DIY baby gift options below. P.S. all of these also make adorable baby shower gifts or new baby gifts!
- Charming raindrop mobile
- Adorable baby happy stacker
- Gauzey swaddle blankets
- Modern baby booties
- Crinkle tag toy
- Sock animal rattle
- Apple plush pillow
- Cool and colorful tactile balls
- Beautiful wooden baby blocks
Homemade Gifts for Young Kids
Young kids are more picky than babies, but still pretty darn easy to please. That said, there are lots and lots of DIY gift projects that work well for toddlers and younger kids. Some of these gifts make great stocking stuffers and others can even be a main event gift. Take a look at the following ideas:
- Recycled material journal
- 6 homemade gifts for kids that take 6 hours or less
- Pretend mail carrying kit
- Holiday elf doll
- Montessori-inspired wooden gradient blocks
- Tons of amazing toddler gifts – the “I spy fish” is especially cool
- Candy cane play dough or lovely holiday scented play dough
- Recycled chunky crayons
- Handmade sock monkey
- Sweet plush birdies
- Felt toolbox and tools
- Homemade fairy wings plus a no-sew tutu
- Handmade hobbyhorse
- Felt gingerbread cookie playset
- DIY geoboard
- Chalkboard blocks
- Squeaky clean fun homemade soap crayons or icy popsicle soap
- For a kid into video games, make some homemade costumes and equipment based on their fave game. For example, my son likes the Zelda series, and there’s lots of handmade Zelda gear to be had.
Homemade Gifts for Tweens and Teens
Older kids and teens can be harder to please when it comes to homemade gifts. Especially with all the advertising focused on bling, and shiny gifts for these age groups. Choose projects that suit your older child’s tastes and make sure you pick a project you can design and make well, since shoddy homemade gifts don’t go over so well with older kids. Below are some DIY gift ideas that tweens and teens may like. Note too that there’s some gift cross-over possibilities between this gift section and the next adult gift section.
- Secret hollow book
- iPod pouch
- Handmade flower press
- Box drawer mini album
- Texting gloves – if you crochet
- Thread wrapped bracelets
- Zip bags for cosmetics or school supplies
- DIY jeweled ribbon – sounds silly but looks amazing!
- Heart thumbprint necklace – use your daughter’s BFF’s prints – also a cute gift for a child to give a mom
- Recycled book journal or handmade recycled journal
- Cupcake bath bombs – hyper cute
- Duct tape wallet
- DIY vintage telephone bookends
- Song lyric wall art
- Homemade sun jar
- Wire wrapped rings
Homemade Gifts for Adults
Adults who are interested in a less consumer-minded holiday season are usually on board with homemade gifts. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to wow your adult pals with a really cool, and hopefully useful, homemade gift project. Below are some of the best homemade gifts for adults. Remember, there’s some gift cross-over possibilities between this gift section and gifts you can make for tweens and teens.
- The most attractive DIY dry erase board ever
- Cookie cutter candles – they float!
- Family favorites recipe book
- Handmade beeswax candles
- Driftwood vase
- DIY picture tiles
- Handmade seed bombs – also fun for kids
- Lace printed plates
- Reusable grocery or tote bags
- Lavender Sachets
- DIY soy candles – much better than wax
- Handmade cloth napkin set
- Crazy cute sugar bowl or teacup candles
- DIY felt coasters or these cute tree stump coasters or how about some industrial cement coasters
Photo by Shutterstock
Homemade Body Care
When giving gifts of homemade body care, be absolutely sure to label like mad. Some people are allergic to essential oils, some plants and flowers or have sensitive skin. The last gift you want to give is skin breakout or a crazy allergic reaction! You can design your own labels for homemade body care on your computer, then simply print them out and place them on the gift packaging or include a little card with the gift that lists all ingredients. It’s also useful to include instructions for use if it’s not 100% clear. For example, everyone knows how to use a bar of homemade soap but some people aren’t totally clear on how to use DIY salt scrubs. Below are some killer homemade body care products you can make and give this holiday season.
- Homemade organic lavender vanilla sugar scrub
- Homemade bath bombs
- Lotion bars – plus some cute kid-minded lotion bars
- Lime and mint foot soak
- Solid perfume – non-toxic
- Pretty homemade lip and cheek stain
- Beautiful lemon hand scrub – great for gardeners
- Hand milled soap
- Bath snowballs
- Soothing body butters
- Pretty homemade bath salts
- Homemade natural lip balm
- Candy cane soap bars
- French olive oil and clay soap bars
Advanced Homemade Gift Ideas
All of these homemade gifts require skills, patience, and a heaping dose of creativity. These are all fabulous DIY holiday gifts, but for sure gifts you shouldn’t attempt unless you’ve got time, tools and the means to do so.
- DIY play kitchen set for a child
- Amazing backlit canvas art – here’s another more twinkling version
- DIY green dollhouse
- Salvaged window frame art
- Handmade glass pendent lights
- Countertop greenhouse – use salvaged wood
- Homemade kids’ play teepee
- Handmade wooden cutting board
- DIY rainbow rope rug
- Modern swing shelf
- Super sweet baby bubble quilt
Photo by Shutterstock
Homemade Food & Beverages
I’m not super keen on homemade gifts of food. Mainly because people are picky, you often have to make food gifts at the last minute and you need to label everything due to possible food allergies. Still, a homemade batch of nicely decorated cookies or a dry mix of hot cocoa in a pretty jar can make great last minute gifts. Below are some of the better homemade food gifts out there that you may want to consider.
- Christmas spiced salt
- Cranberry Christmas bread mix in a jar
- Various herbal tea recipes – dry mixes
- Salted caramel almond pretzel popcorn
- Tons of homemade cookie ideas
- Infused olive oil
- Holiday mulling spices in a jar or mulled-cider sachets
- Totally adorable DIY homemade vanilla extract with cute labels
- Homemade magic shell – a fun food gift for kids
- Super cute idea for single cookie stocking stuffer packaging
- Vegan gingerbread cookies
- Orange-cardamom marmalade
- Infused vodka – adults only please 🙂
- Candy cane marshmallows
Lead image via Shutterstock