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If your holiday shopping list is overwhelming, your budget is limited, or you’re simply out of gift ideas, consider DIY Christmas gifts. Homemade gifts are a thoughtful way to send holiday greetings to family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. With a touch of creativity, you can design much-appreciated gifts that your recipients will love. Here are dozens of ideas to inspire your creativity as you plan for a crafty Christmas.
Food and Drink
Consumable gifts are always appreciated, especially during the holiday season when sweet treats and festive drinks are certain to be enjoyed. If you love being in the kitchen, check out this list of food- and drink-themed DIY gifts that’ll please everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like freshly baked cookies. Pull out your cookbooks and find your favorite cookie recipe to share with family and friends. Cookies are an easy and thoughtful holiday gift, and you can bake them in bulk, divide them up, and knock out several families on your shopping list at once.
Need some inspiration? Check out this list of Christmas cookie recipes.
Muddy Buddy Mix
A fun and festive holiday snack mix is a thoughtful way to send your holiday wishes. Make a muddy buddy mix that your recipient is sure to enjoy. While the classic muddy buddy mix includes cereal, butter, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and powdered sugar, you can add a holiday-themed twist to it by adding crushed candy canes or green and red chocolate candies. Add your mix to a holiday-themed tin, top it with a card, and deliver it to your appreciative recipient.
Give the gift of warm cookies—no baking required on your end—with a cookie mix that’s ready for baking. This gift isn’t just a sweet treat. It’s also a fun activity for your recipient. Package all of the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe. Stack those ingredients, such as flour, baking powder and sugar, in a mason jar, and then top it with mix-ins like M&Ms or chocolate chips. Add a festive holiday tag with the recipe, including a list of the wet ingredients to add, and distribute this gift for friends and neighbors.
Hot Chocolate Tin
A cold December night and hot chocolate go hand in hand. Deliver a hot chocolate gift basket to a neighbor or friend so that they can stay warm and cozy on chilly winter nights. Add your favorite hot chocolate mix—or create a homemade one—along with some stirring spoons and marshmallows. Perfect for sitting by the fire or strolling through Christmas lights, this hot chocolate is sure to be appreciated.
Mixed Drink To Go
Give the gift of Christmas cheer with a mixed drink kit suited for your recipient. All you need is a mini bottle of your preferred spirit, a mixer to go along with it, and some festive holiday wrapping. Tie the two together with some colorful ribbon, and add a gift tag that says “Cheers!”
Beauty and Personal Care
The holiday season can be hectic, which means self-care often gets pushed aside until the new year rolls around. Give your recipient a DIY gift that encourages a little relaxation—whether that’s enjoyed between Christmas and New Year’s parties or reserved for some post-holiday unwinding come January.
With cold weather comes dry skin in need of exfoliation. Deliver the gift of pampering with a DIY sugar scrub. A homemade sugar scrub is an easy-to-create gift—no experience required. Best of all, you can create this scrub with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, which can make it a budget-friendly gift.
Pair sugar with coconut oil or water and then add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil so that it smells great. Deliver the scrub in a lidded glass jar so that it’s a lovely addition to your recipient’s countertop or beauty collection.
Spa in a Basket
Pampering doesn’t require a day spent at a luxury spa. Instead, you can give the gift of luxury delivered right to your recipient’s doorstep. Create a spa in a basket with products like face masks, nail polish, hand lotion, bubble bath and a new magazine or book to read. Encourage a little relaxation with this thoughtful gift basket for your loved one.
Dry, chapped lips in the winter are uncomfortable, but they aren’t inevitable. Create a homemade lip balm that you can give to family and friends. Like the DIY sugar scrub, this lip balm doesn’t require many ingredients. Also, it’s easy to make in larger quantities, which allows you to create multiple gifts in just one batch. All you need is ingredients like beeswax, olive oil and cocoa butter. You can add a seasonal touch to it by adding a few drops or peppermint extract.
Homemade Bath Bombs
Nothing says relaxation like watching a bath bomb fizzle in the tub to create a truly welcoming spot to unwind. A set of homemade bath bombs is another way to share the gift of relaxation with someone who deserves it—and let’s face it, that’s probably everyone on your shopping list.
Create DIY bath bombs using a handful of ingredients like Epsom salt, baking soda, corn starch, coconut oil and your favorite essential oils. You’ll need a bath bomb mold to get the shape right. Once they’re made, wrap them up individually in cellophane and tie them off with a ribbon and a label.
Crafts and Art
If you’re crafty, use your talent to create gifts for family and friends. Whether you love to draw, paint, or hand letter, you can make use of your skills and check people off of your shopping list at the same time.
A scrapbook is a thoughtful and personalized gift that your friend or family member can enjoy for years to come. Scrapbooks are best gifted to someone you’re close with. After all, you need pictures and memories to include in the scrapbook, so save this gift for a family member or close friend.
You’ll need a blank scrapbook or photo album, printed photos and craft supplies. Arrange photos artfully on the pages and decorate each page with thoughtful notes or fun art. Scrapbooks make great gifts for grandparents, and you can even get kids in on the fun by having them decorate pages or draw pictures and write memories to include in the book.
A homemade Christmas ornament is a gift that they can enjoy year after year. Every season, when your recipient hangs your handmade ornament on the tree, they’ll think of you.
Christmas ornament ideas abound. Fill a plastic globe ornament with trinkets and mementos that remind you of your friendship. If you’re good at hand lettering, add a monogram or family name to a wood slice, which you can find at many craft stores. Decorate with a festive ribbon, and this ornament will be ready to hang on the tree.
Check out these creative DIY Christmas ornament ideas for inspiration.
If you have experience making homemade jewelry, this gift is a great option that’ll be much appreciated by friends, sisters, grandmothers, and even little girls who will adore their very own piece of jewelry. Make earrings, bracelets or necklaces, or get crafty and design a coordinated set.
Even if you aren’t an experienced jewelry maker, you can have some fun learning how to make some simple jewelry to give this Christmas. Drop earrings are a classic look, and they’re pretty simple to make with these tips.
Hair Bows and Headbands
Accessories are a popular choice for girls and women of all ages. There’s just something about them that makes you feel a bit more dressed up and put together for any occasion. Some ribbon and a touch of creativity can help you create accessories for your well-styled friend or family member.
Check out different tutorials for hair bows and headbands and create the style that suits your recipient. Pick out ribbon or fabric in a color they love, or make a holiday-themed look they can wear throughout the season. Your design options are endless, so get creative and accessorize your recipient.
Channel your inner artist and paint a canvas for someone on your holiday shopping list. Canvases can be purchased at discount stores and in bulk at craft stores. Pick up some acrylic paints and a few paintbrushes to get your project started. You can paint an abstract design that coordinates with your recipient’s home, or design a holiday theme that can serve as festive decor. If you’re especially artistic, consider painting something meaningful for your recipient. A painted canvas of their home, for example, can be a cherished item.
Love to knit? Then, you have plenty of options when it comes to homemade gifts. Knitted gear and cold winter weather go hand in hand. So, whether you can knit a scarf or a throw blanket for your recipient, they’re sure to love this cozy and practical Christmas gift.
Holiday decorations make great gifts because they’re something your recipient can use year after year. If you can crochet, then make a garland that your loved one can hang on their tree or mantle for the Christmas season—and beyond. Check out this easy tutorial for creating a crochet garland.
If you have a vinyl cutter like a Cricut or a Silhouette, then you have a variety of ways to create thoughtful DIY Christmas gifts. Give a personalized gift by creating monogrammed drinkware for people on your gift list. These gifts are appreciated on their own, or you can tuck a surprise into them, such as a small gift card or some holiday chocolates.
Using your cutting machine, cut your recipient’s name or initials on vinyl. Position the vinyl decal on a stainless steel tumbler or water bottle, and your loved one will always have some personalized drinkware to carry around.
For the person on your gift list who loves to entertain, monogrammed coasters can be a fun gift idea. Plus, they’re easy to make and customize. If you’re skilled at hand lettering, you can write directly on plain coasters, adding the family’s name, a monogram, or a fun phrase to it. Vinyl decals can also be added to coasters, saving you the hassle of designing it by hand. Give these coasters as a set, wrapped in a festive holiday ribbon with a thoughtful card.
Holiday Door Hanger
Get your loved one’s home ready for the holiday season by giving a hand-painted holiday door hanger. You can purchase unfinished wood cutouts in a variety of shapes. Transform a simple round cutout into a festive ornament, or pick up a holiday-themed cutout like a Christmas tree or Santa head.
Pick up some acrylic paints, paintbrushes in a variety of sizes and some ribbon. Paint your design, top it with a spray of clear coat to protect it from the weather, and add a bow. This gift would be an ideal hostess gift for a holiday party so that they can display it throughout the season.
Check out these tips on how to paint a holiday door hanger.
Gifts from Kids
Kids want to get involved in the gift-giving fun, too. Whether children are creating homemade gifts for their siblings or items to share with parents, grandparents, and teachers, you can find a variety of ways they can create DIY Christmas gifts that their recipients will cherish. Check out these fun, kid-friendly ideas.
Nothing says homemade like a sweet piece of handprint art from a little one. Your preschooler’s hand can be transformed into a variety of holiday-themed designs. Pick up a small canvas, and settle on your design. You can paint your child’s hand green—using washable paints, of course—and then have them stamp their hand on the canvas to create a Christmas tree. Have them add some ornaments to their handprint tree. Write your child’s name and the year on the bottom of the canvas so that your recipient always remembers who it comes from.
Family photos are always cherished, especially when they come in a handmade frame. Pick up some unfinished wood frames at your local craft store, and let your kid’s creativity shine. They can decorate the frame in a variety of ways, depending on their age and skill level. Young kids can use markers or washable paints to add color to the frame. Older kids can add scrapbook paper to the frame and then use Mod Podge to seal it on.
Pro tip: Don’t add the photo to the frame until after the frame is dry. A messy painter could wind up ruining the photo, so save that step for last.
For any parent or grandparent who starts their day with a cup of coffee, a new mug is an appreciated and often-used gift. Let them start their day with thoughts of your youngster by having them design a coffee mug just for them. Many craft stores sell plain ceramic mugs that are ready for decorating. Use paint or markers to decorate them, and then pop them in a low-temperature oven to seal the design so that it lasts.
Follow these tips on painting a coffee mug.
When you design DIY Christmas gifts, everyone benefits. You’ll save money creating budget-friendly gifts, and you’ll enjoy the creativity involved in making handmade gifts. Your recipients will appreciate receiving a one-of-a-kind creation that shows your thoughtfulness. So, get inspired and create some DIY Christmas gifts when the holidays roll around.