25 Homemade Gift Ideas

I love the season of giving. One of my favorite ways to spread some happiness is by making homemade gifts. Presents just mean so much more when they’re homemade. Many of these would not only work for Christmas but also Chanukah, birthdays, and most other days of celebration.  There is something special about DIY gifts, and I have 25 amazing ideas for you.  They are inexpensive and most are easy to make. Many are familiar ideas, and some may be a happy surprise.  Your friends and family know you had to spend a little more time on them, and that thoughtfulness is always appreciated but especially if it involves something to eat.  The first gifts I gave when I graduated from college were simple sugar cookies.  Everyone appreciated them, they were cheap, and I only spent one evening baking.  It was a great life lesson.    

Let’s begin in the kitchen….

I.  Dark Chocolate-Pecan Toffee

A perfect Christmas gift of homemade sweet, nutty toffee.  The recipe is at Country Living.

Photo via Country Living

II. Jalapeno Jelly

Red & Green Jalapeno Jelly  are a thoughtful gift of flavor for the season.  I like the spark of color in this beautiful jelly of red bell peppers and green jalapeno peppers. It’s a perfect relish for many holiday favorites.

Photo Comfort Spring

III.  Pumpkin Donut Holes

The subtle flavor of pumpkin in little donut holes pairs well with a choice of 2 toppings: cinnamon sugar or caramel bourbon glaze. Check out the recipe at Lovely Indeed.

Photo via Lovely Indeed

IV.  Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

This moist, delicious brownie has all the flavor of chocolate, but the zucchini also makes it so moist and chewy. This is a perfect gift for chocolate lovers. The recipe is available here.

Photo via Comfort Spring

V.  Gingerbread Pear Muffins

These moist and flavorful muffins combine the flavors of molasses, ginger, and pear for a great holiday treat.  Your friends and family will appreciate your present with every yummy mouthful.  

Photo via Comfort Spring

VI. Homemade Soup Mixes in a Jar

Instead of spending money on things your friends may not need, let’s be frugal and make up jars of 6 kinds of soup mixes for ourselves and friends.  This is a thoughtful, tasty, nourishing food gift.  Add a little card with instructions.  All the info is at Wholefully.

Photo via Wholefully

VII.  Homemade Taco Seasoning

This is a perfect small gift for cooks who love spices.  It is more flavorful than the expensive packets, inexpensive, and easy to make.  Put in a jar and decorate for season.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

VIII.  DIY Candied Nuts

Jars of homemade candied nuts are perfect gifts for the holidays.  Add ribbons for a festive look.

Photo via Comfort Spring

IX.  Coffee Mug Mixers

The perfect easy gift to make a hot winter drink even more special. Works well with coffee or hot chocolate.  Use vintage spoons and fill them with melted chocolate. Top with sprinkles, chopped nuts, or any other topping. Finally wrap in cellophane.  I think a bag of coffee mixers would make everyone happy this holiday.

Photo via Good Housekeeping

And now for crafts….

What is your favorite DIY gift you’ve ever given? Part of the joy of the holiday season is making your own decorations. Why not make decorations and ornaments as presents?   

X.   DIY Melted Snowman Salt Dough Ornament

A great craft to make with the kids.  Kid Friendly Things To Do has a real winner with this cute melted snowman ornament.  You just use the basic salt dough recipe, play with the dough, dry and paint.  

Photo via Kid Friendly Things to Do

XI.  DIY Peppermint Mason Jar Candles

Create handmade peppermint scented mason jar candles and tea lights to give to friends, teachers, neighbors, and co-workers this holiday season.  A Pumpkin & A Princess gives complete instructions which basically involves melting soy wax, adding a scent, and pouring into a mason jar.  

Photo via A Pumpkin & A Princess

XII. Dried Orange Slices

All you need is your oven and a cookie sheet to dry slices of oranges and add ribbon for wonderful Christmas ornaments. Everyone loves adding natural elements to their Christmas decor. Check out the great ideas at Crafting With Dried Oranges .

Photo Comfort Spring

XIII. Rocher Sparkling Wine Pineapple

This is such a cute idea for wine lovers.  Choose a bottle of sparkling wine, glue on Ferrero Rocher chocolates in their gold wrappers, and add a few artificial leaves.  You want a bottle with a little belly.  Either cut the future pineapple leaves out of paper (short and long) or use artificial foliage. Add a ribbon on your “pineapple”.  Who doesn’t like wine and chocolate?   

Photo via Souvenirs

XIV. Heavenly Body Butter

Make a fantastic blend of natural oils that will soften, moisturize, and soothingly caress the skin and put it in a dressed up jar for your friends and family. Recipe is at Heavenly Body Butter   

Photo Comfort Spring

XV.  Handmade Family Art

Sometimes what family members want as a present doesn’t involve a lot of money or even time.  I remember when my oldest nephew had 2 young children and was trying to cope with buying Christmas gifts for a big family.  He sadly told me he couldn’t afford to give everyone a present.  My reply was I just wanted a copy of the kids’ school photos. My sister said the same thing.  That became our Christmas gifts for several years. 

Two years ago my friend Vickie asked her daughter-in-law for a specific Christmas gift, her grandsons’ handprints.  Her daughter-in-law bought a canvas and a little paint and made a beautiful wall art showing the family’s handprints.  It hangs in Vickie’s living room. 

XVI.  Salt Dough Snowman Keepsake

Over at Learning & Exploring Through Play. she has a wonderful craft for kids, a salt dough Snowman keepsake with the kid’s handprint.  Every family member would treasure this gift.

Photo via Learning & Exploring Through Play

 XVII.  Macrame Earrings

Macrame is back with a vengeance.  There are numerous posts online with simple instructions on making macrame wall hangings, plant holders, and even earrings.  Cuckoo 4 Design has a great how-to post on DIY earrings.  Wouldn’t they be a fabulous gift?

Photo via Cuckoo 4 Design

XVIII.  Homemade Brown Sugar & Oatmeal Body Scrub

A natural, easy, recipe to exfoliate your body, this sugar scrub is easy to make. Put it in a jar and add ribbons and a tag with instructions.  Perfect gift for a home spa day.  I added a Christmas instructions tag. Print and attach with a ribbon to your mason jar.  

Photo Comfort Spring

IXX.  Spa Pedicure in a Jar

The Mistletoe printable tags are so cute.  Collect all the necessary goodies for a home pedicure and place in a mason jar with the adorable tag, “For Your Mistletoes”.  A perfect gift for a girl friend.

Photo via A Night Owl

XX. DIY Terrarium From Picture Frames

Recycle old frames or buy dollar store frames for a homemade terrarium.  Add a few plants and you have a splendid gift for a gardener.

Photo via Hometalk

XXI.  Marble Vase

This is a great hostess gift.  Buy a small pillar vase and place in a larger clear glass vase.  Fill the area between the 2 vases with colored marbles.  Red and white is perfect for Christmas, but the color choice is yours.  For a personalized gift, choose colors that in the home of the recipient. Fill with a bouquet of flowers and your gift is perfect.

Photo via Country Living

XXII.  DIY Watercolor Mugs

This cheap and gorgeous gift is easy to make using nail polish and water. Since nail polish now comes in an unbelievable array of colors, the sky is the limit in color choice.   Buy plain white mugs in a shape you like, dip, and let dry.  

Photo via House of Hipsters

XXIII.  DIY IPad Holder

If you have a friend who loves to cook using their tablet for recipes, this is the perfect gift. Choose a wooden cutting board that is larger than the iPad.  Add a couple of pieces to make it into a stand. Decorate with a few graphics.  Voila!  You now have a sturdy stand to hold your device while cooking. See The Idea Room for step-by-step directions.

Photo Via The Idea Room

XXIV.   Hand Painted Dish Set

If you enjoy painting, grab some food-safe markers and white plates and make a Anthropologie-inspired colorful set of dishes.  A Beautiful Mess has 2 talented sisters who made this bright and cheerful design.

XXV.  DIY Multi-Strand Scarf

When I first saw the photo for the scarf, I was struck by its sophisticated beauty.  Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth is a smart blog with style which is illustrated by the simplicity of design in this scarf.  It is a no-sew project recycling a t-shirt.  The result is really gorgeous.

Photo via Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth

I hope you were inspired by my round-up and have found ideas to spur your creativity.  Happy Crafting!

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

12 thoughts to “25 Homemade Gift Ideas”

  1. I liked every single one of the food ideas …some new and some reminders of things I’ve done years ago but not recently (the soup mixes for instance). And I was surprised to see some craft projects that this totally un-talented non-crafty woman might actually be able to do! What fun. The chocolate/wine pineapple and the marble vase, the body scrubs, and the mistletoes kit are all very appealing to me.

  2. This is such a terrific post, Carol. I’ve done a few of these and now my mind is loaded with ideas for doing many more. I think it will be a different Chrsitmas. time for different crafts!

  3. I love making handmade gifts for Christmas and have in fact used several of the suggestions you’ve got here. My mother and step father loved the homemade taco mix (I also gave them a jar of homemade ranch and Italian seasoning too).

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