DIY Christmas gifts seem to have a bad rap. Unless they are crafted by your five-year-old daughter, they can easily end up in the “Oh, thanks, you really shouldn’t have” category. But it need not be so.
DIY gift-giving has come a long way from the days of clay ashtrays and coat hanger tie racks. Now, homemade Christmas gifts are the number one way to show people how much you love and appreciate them. (Except, perhaps, for a bottle of wine. Even then, you could step it up with a DIY wine bag—see #71).
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Here’s what makes DIY Christmas gifts so awesome:
No shopping. Or at least, way less shopping. I really, really dislike shopping. Malls stress me out like no other setting. I’d much rather spend a weekend crafting in my dining room than hours fighting through the hordes of people in the mall to find the “perfect gift.”
DIY Christmas gifts are personalized and customized. You can adapt each recipe or tutorial to suit the people on your list, using their favourite colors, scents, styles, etc. I love gift giving so much, but only when it’s done from the heart. When it feels like an obligation, it loses all meaning. Because of this, I try to stay alert when people mention things they like or need throughout the year so that I can design the perfect DIY Christmas gift for them.
Work within any budget. Some gifts can be made entirely with items you have on hand; others require more of an investment. What’s great is that the perceived quality of the gift is not directly correlated to the cost. An infinity scarf made from fabric you already had on hand will be loved as much as an expensive one purchased from the store.
Ability to mass produce. Sometimes what you need is a large quantity of the same gift rather than a few highly personal gifts (think a class of preschoolers). With DIY Christmas gifts you can pick something that can be made in large batches, allowing you to make 30 inexpensive gifts in an hour and whip through your list like the productivity guru you are.
If I’ve got you convinced to try your own DIY Christmas gifts this year, read on! I have compiled a list of unique and creative DIY present ideas for everyone on your list.
How I selected the DIY Christmas gifts on this list
I sifted through hundreds of ideas for DIY Christmas gifts in order to bring you this fantastic assortment. Here are some of the criteria I used in selecting these particular projects:
Your list is made up of a diverse group of people so your gift list shouldn’t be any different. I wanted to bring you a selection of DIY Christmas gifts across a variety of categories. The projects below are grouped into the following categories:
Edible DIY Christmas gifts
Home decor DIY Christmas gifts
Self care DIY Christmas gifts
Practical DIY Christmas gifts
DIY Christmas gifts for (and by) kids
DIY Christmas gift wrapping options
Like I mentioned before, DIY Christmas gifts were not always the most desirable thing to receive, but they’ve come such a long way. They are now some of the most coveted gifts. Who wouldn’t love a spa gift basket filled with handmade soaps, scrubs, and lotion bars?
As I sought out the best DIY gifts to bring you, I asked myself this question: would I or a family member love to receive this gift? If the answer was no, I moved on.
Let’s face it, you really don’t have much time to spare, especially at Christmas. I totally get that. Even as a homeschooling mom with a pretty flexible schedule, I often end up purchasing things I could easily have made myself for lack of time. And I’ve learned through the years as we participate in the craft fair that many things that sound simple and easy often end up being anything but.
I wanted to bring you DIY Christmas gifts that would be a joy to make, not a frustration. As I read through the tutorials, I asked myself, could I reasonably expect to make this in less than an hour (excluding drying/setting time)? Again, if the answer was no, I didn’t include it.
A note on this: Not all of these gifts will be simple for everyone. Christmas is not the best time to try and learn a completely new skill. You’re on a timeline and you have a lot to do. This isn’t necessarily the time to try your hand at sewing for the first time or take up woodworking. Those are great things to try when you have a bit more time to spare for experimentation.
Because of the variety in this list, there should be a number of gifts on here that are simple for you. Stick with those ones for the best DIY gift-giving experience.
Now, without further ado, let’s move on to the real reason you’re here: 100 unique DIY Christmas gifts for everyone on your list.
100+ Easy Handmade Gifts Your Friends and Family Will Adore
Edible DIY Gifts
Nothing goes better with special occasions than, well, delicious food. And nothing seems to say, "I'm grateful for you," quite so well as some decadent homemade goodies.
Year after year, I never fail to be amazed by people's reactions to our DIY gifts. While they are immensely thankful for everything we give, nothings seems to garner as much excitement as the edible treats.
No matter how intricate, time-consuming, or creative the other gifts were, it's the edibles that people remember time and time again. So, if you're short on time or ideas, this section will save the day!
Since I'm a vegetarian, I can't personally comment on how good beef jerky is. However, I've heard many non-vegetarians rave about it, so I am sure this DIY jerky (made without a dehydrator) would be an excellent gift choice. The recipe makes lots, so this one is good if you need a bunch of quick and yummy gifts.
Each year, my kids participate in a homeschooling craft fair where they sell a variety of crafts and DIY gifts they've worked on throughout the fall. We always include some kind of cookie or brownie mix in a jar and it's a huge hit. It looks impressive and also delivers a fun post-Christmas family activity. Score
What would Christmas be without some good, old-fashioned butter cookies? I try (operative word being try) to avoid these the rest of the year, but who can resist them at Christmas? This butter cookie recipe from Renana's kitchen uses vanilla for a flavourful twist.
Make your own chai tea latte mix at home? Yes, please! The nice thing about this gift is it will take you about the same amount of time to make one as it will to make ten, so you can give them to all your tea latte-loving friends.
Caramels are such a decadent treat, a little will go a long way. Whip up a few batches of these treats to give as favours at your Christmas party or bag them for sale at the mandatory Christmas bake sale.
Cookies in a jar is our go-to handmade Christmas gift. It's fun and easy to make and who doesn't love baking with all the measuring done for you! Try this cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookie recipe from Suburban Simplicity.
These salts sound so yummy, I'm tempted to walk away from the computer and whip some up right away. These fantastic hostess gifts come in several flavors, including Sriracha, Pinto Noir, Mustard, and Celery, but you can also go rogue and come up with your own.
Nikki at Tikkido is a gingerbread master; she even has an ebook on making gingerbread. She makes over 100 houses a year to give away as gifts. I've never made a gingerbread house from scratch before, but with her detailed gingerbread house tutorial, I think I could attempt one.
This one had me at "no bake." (Are you starting to get the impression that I can be a little lazy?) When it comes to DIY Christmas gifts, speed and simplicity are the key to making a nice idea into a practical reality. This chewy no bake granola bar recipe is a great fit!
Rich chocolate ganache on a stick that can effortlessly be stirred into a cup of steamed milk? Drool. I love that Eating Richly's Hot Chocolate on a Stick gift tutorial also includes vegan options. Even better!
To me, this just sounds like the perfect holiday snack. Nuts, salted caramel, rosemary...an intriguing combination to be sure. But I adore them all, so I give this one two thumbs up. Perfect for anyone who loves sweet and salty. Wait, that's everyone, right?
Salted chocolate. Need I say more? While this recipe isn't healthy at all, it looks super yummy and amazing, like a salted chocolate caramel bar. A little will go a long way here as well. It's vegan, gluten free, and requires only four ingredients.
Pecans are definitely my favourite nut, especially around the holidays. I always try to keep lots of them on hand. These ones combine brown sugar, salt, fresh herbs and cayenne pepper for an addictive medley of flavours.
I'm all about cheese boards at any time of year, so I love discovering new sauces and condiments to freshen up my standard arrangements. I hadn't heard of Jezebel sauce before, but it's sweetened with pineapples and gets its southern kick from horseradish, so I'm definitely making a batch this season.
As I said, I can't get enough of pecans at this time of year, so here's another recipe for you. If you like them on the sweeter side, these candied pecans, which use maple syrup, butter and a hint of salt will be right up your alley.
Home Decor DIY Christmas Gifts
Gorgeous handmade decor items can also make the perfect DIY Christmas gifts for friends and family. I particularly love giving DIY candles and wooden signs as they add so much ambience to the home in the cold winter months. They also serve as reminders of your friendship throughout the year. Here are some of our favorite handmade decor gifts.
This shadow box decor is like a snow globe you hang on the wall (although shaking it is probably not advisable). Its modern farmhouse style oozes with charm and you'll have as much fun putting together this tiny scene as your recipient will have opening it.
I love making wooden signs, but I have mostly stopped giving them as gifts as the ones I make are super time-consuming. Not so with this Joy sign. With only two letters to paint and stencils to help you along the way, this lovely holiday decor piece comes together in a snap.
These candles are so easy to make and such a great gift to receive. Honestly, even though I love making these myself and always have the supplies on hand, they're still one of my favourite gifts to be given. They last a long time and leave the whole house smelling amazing, without any of the side effects of synthetic fragrances.
This lovely gift is easy to make with Swoodson Says' embroidered snowflake ornament pattern. Sewn with a simple back stitch, this would be a perfect first embroidery project for someone who has always wanted to try it out. Keep it simple or bling it up with sequins and beads.
This photo frame is so much fun and definitely something that your kids could help with or possibly even do on their own, depending on ages. Either way, it'll definitely be a treasured piece for any dad to receive.
We've tried so many different Christmas ornament patterns over the years, to varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, many of the ornament crafts that claim to be simple end up being super complicated. (Two hours for a stuffed felt snowman??) These fabric ornaments look super easy to make and there is no sewing required!
Soy wax jar candles is a perennial DIY Christmas gift in our home. They are amazingly simple but still impressive, beautiful, and practical. I've never tried making a layered one before, but this citrus oil-infused candle might be my first.
This is so cool. It seems like something you would find at Ten Thousand Villages or another creative gift shop. It is a decorative bowl made from old magazine pages and glue. This is definitely something I want to try doing with my kids.
Paperwhite narcissus bulbs make the perfect DIY home decor gift. They're beautiful, low-maintenance and super quick and easy to put together. Sheri Silver has a great tutorial for these paperwhites in a bowl.
This is the perfect gift for someone who is sensitive to synthetic fragrances found in many candles and air fresheners. Handmade stovetop citrus potpourri is the perfect, natural way to keep a home smelling like Christmas.
This is another great hostess gift. In one hour, you can whip up a brightly-colored table runner in your recipient's favourite colors. If her kids make as big of a mess of her table linens as mine do, she will be thrilled to receive one of these!
Self-Care DIY Christmas Gifts
Whether it's a sugar scrub in a mason jar or an essential oil-infused bath bomb, DIY self-care gifts are the perfect way to spoil your loved ones at Christmas. Here are a few of our favorite spa-inspired gifts for your best friends.
Warning: This peppermint bark soap looks good enough to eat... but that still doesn't mean you should do it! (See the edible peppermint bark recipe above if that's what you're in the mood for). Otherwise, whip up a batch of this delectable-looking soap, add it to a DIY Christmas gift basket and watch your friends swoon.
I love the idea of hiding something inside a bath bomb. It's like a Kinder Surprise without the melted chocolate and the microscopic instructions. If you're feeling particularly ambitious, this post includes ideas for a "ring bomb party".
This essential oils gift basket actually has several DIY projects in it, so pick and choose as you see fit. This is the perfect gift for someone who loves a natural, sparkling clean home. Included DIY projects: cinnamon room spray, no-sew heating pack, DIY lemon bath bombs.
It really doesn't get any easier than these grapefruit bath salts. Once you have the ingredients, this will take you about a minute to put together, but your recipient will enjoy the stress-relieving benefits well after the hectic Christmas season.
Doesn't this herbal bath tea just look too good to use? I think I would just want to keep the jar on my bathroom counter all year as decor. But not only is it beautiful, it also makes for such a nice bath experience too, infusing the water with oatmeal, lavender, calendula, and roses. Heavenly!
Yet another one that may need to come with a disclaimer, lest the recipient gets it mixed up with all the other delicious treats lying around on Christmas morning. It seriously looks that yummy. These rich lotion bars are filled with skin-loving ingredients such as beeswax, cocoa butter, and vitamin E.
Soap is another handmade gift we make each year and we do either cold process or melt and pour, depending on how much time we have. Jelly soap is new to me though and these adorable guest soaps look simple, quick, and beautiful.
Whereas the grapefruit bath salts are invigorating and will increase energy, lavender bath salts are perfect for relaxing and relieving tension. This recipe from Beauty Crafter also includes some ideas for rounding out a spa gift basket.
Made with a combination of coconut oil and shea butter, I'd say this lotion is closer to a body butter than a lotion, but with winter's penchant for causing dry skin, all the better! This thick and creamy recipe smells like a freshly-baked gingerbread cookie and makes a lovely DIY mason jar gift.
This lavender soap uses a goat milk melt and pour base, which means it will be creamy and luxurious, but also quick and easy. While this type of soap can be used as soon as it cools, it will harden much more (and last longer) if you let it set for 2-3 weeks. Still, if you're making it as a last minute gift, you can always include a note on the gift tag advising the recipient to enjoy it visually for a few weeks before using it.
This quick and easy loofah soap is not just cute and practical, it's genius. Even though I've been making soap for a while, I've never heard of loofah soap before. How smart is it to embed an exfoliating loofah sponge into a bar of glycerin soap? Perfect gift for your efficiency loving friends!
Indecisive? If you can't decide which bath bombs to make, why not get creative and make a customized set? These mini bath bombs set faster than full sized ones and you can play around with the recipes to get the perfect combo for the bath lover on your list.
Some of the best Christmas gifts are those that can be used for practical purposes. Bookmarks, keychains, coasters, and hand warmers are all things that will serve your loved ones well right through the new year. Here are a few DIY Christmas gift ideas that are sure to be put to good use.
For anyone whose counter is getting as cluttered as mine is, a leather cord organizer could be the best DIY Christmas gift idea ever. It's easy on the eyes, functional, and will help redeem counter space. Brilliant!
I so need this! If you are looking for a gift for me—or someone just like me, who stockpiles blankets like the furnace is going to stop working at any moment—this is the DIY gift for you. It does require woodworking skills, but if you're down with that, this one is definitely a great option.
When I first saw this DIY cake stand post, I was confused; I couldn't figure out what part of it was DIY. When I realized that the whole thing was? Mind blown. This is the coolest thing, and definitely something I want to try this year. After all, we're going to need more decorative serving dishes to display all those yummy treats!
I could see myself just stocking up on flannel at the fabric store and making myself—uh, I mean my friends—a dozen of these cozy scarves. Fifteen minutes of work for a whole season of coziness? Um, yeah!
If you know someone who is always cold, this is the perfect gift. It's easy to make and you can customize the fabric to your recipient's tastes. These little heating pads are also great for kids, and they come with an adorable printable gift tag.
These leather bookmarks are super simple to create, no crafting skills required! You can customize the design on the leather bookmark so it works for literally anyone on your list…male or female, young or old!
These leather bookmarks are super simple to create, no crafting skills required! You can customize the design on the leather bookmark so it works for literally anyone on your list…male or female, young or old!
This is perfect for homeschooling families. We can never have enough dishes for collecting writing instruments, can we? You can use a purchased or upcycled box and the included printable periodic table or any design of your choosing for your pencil cup. Such a quick and easy DIY project!
This one requires a little more effort than some of the others but will create a lasting gift that your recipient will treasure. Find out how Centsable Mama uses tiles, felt, and Modge Podge to create these adorable photo coasters.
For the coffee or tea lover in your life, a personalized coffee mug is a super choice. I did this project once and wrote Bible verses on mugs for each person in our small group. It's a very fun and simple project, and will be enjoyed all year long.
Depending on how DIY you want your gift to be, this snowman soap can be an excellent last minute gift choice. If you use store-bought hand soap, all you have to do is add a bit of paint, an adorable gift tag and some ribbon. If you're feeling more adventurous, you can make your own soap to go with this project using this foaming hand soap recipe from Soap Queen.
This easy-to-make, practical toiletry carrying caseensures that your toothbrush doesn't touch your shoes when you stuff them all in your suitcase. It's also great for people going to camp or living on campus.
This is not only practical and creative, but stylish as well. These tortilla warmers would be the perfect gift for your friend who loves Mexican food, especially if they enjoy making their own tortillas.
I absolutely adore this upcycled throw pillow made from an old skirt. I have a huge box of clothes in need of repair that I've just never gotten around to fixing—and now everybody has outgrown them. I love that there is another option!
DIY Christmas Gifts for (and by) Kids
The holiday season is a good time to hit the craft stores and do some crafting with the kids. Whether you're making gifts for their friends or for other family members, kids will love having a chance to make their own Christmas presents. (Pro tip: make extras so they can keep some if they get particularly attached to anything they make!)
For kids who love reading, this easy DIY Christmas gift is sure to please. If you have a sewing machine, you can make this thoughtful gift in about an hour and take joy in watching your kids snuggle up with a good book all year round.
If you're short on time and need to put together a fun gift for kids that is sure to please, a slime maker kit could be just the ticket. I've yet to meet a good who doesn't get a thrill out of making slime, and having the materials on hand will make it that much easier for them to produce a batch of their favorite viscous substance.
While soap may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind when you ask yourself, "What will kids love to get this year?", this adorable project might change your mind, or at least convince you that it'd be a welcome add-on. These genius mini soaps, made with Lego-shaped silicone molds, will make bath time so much more fun in the new year.
This travel game stored in an Altoid tin—or a magnetic spice jar from Ikea?—is perfect for preschoolers. It can be played on a plane, or a ferry, or anywhere you have to wait. It would also be good at home for teaching math and counting.
I'm constantly amazed by the variety of things people come up with to do with chalkboard paint. This practical little board book is so simple to make but such a great gift idea. Perfect for kids to play with in the car or waiting for appointments.
All you need for this cool DIY gift is a bunch of broken crayons—I guarantee you have those lying at the bottom of a drawer somewhere in your kitchen. What a great way to use them up and make a unique DIY gift for your kids' friends at the same time.
Okay, so this is definitely not the classiest gift in the bunch. But if your kids like a little snot humor—and who doesn't?—this is a fantastic gift choice. It's also two gifts in one: a jar full of green slime to play with conceals a hidden object such as a gift cart. The elf snot instructions also include this cute printable label.
So, this project is not one of the easier DIYs on this list, but it's so unique and special, I knew I had to include it. For those with sewing skills and a little patience, this fabric book with accompanying felt dolls and clothes could be the most thoughtful DIY gift you make this year.
So maybe woodworking isn't your thing, but you enjoy refurbishing furniture? If so, you will love this brilliant tutorial from The Goodhearted Woman on turning a plain rocking chair into a The Kissing Hand-themed chair perfect for a young child's reading nook.
This is a great gift to give to a child, or for a child to give to a grandparent, especially if they have a chance to do the puzzle together. I'd never even heard of printable magnet paper before reading this post, and now I feel like a whole world of DIY opportunity just opened up!
I love to put personalized soaps in my kids' stockings each year. With a large family, kids can sometimes feel like nothing is truly theirs. It's amazing how far a personalized item like soap in a shape and color selected just for them can go in making them feel special. Check out these mermaid tail soaps from Sugar, Spice and Glitter.
I love everything about this box. It's so cool that it's opened on New Year's Eve—something special to look forward to after Christmas and also a great kick-off to a new year. Inside are monthly gifts of one-on-one time for each child to be opened each month of the year. This is the best gift anyone could give a kid, I think.
Another genius idea: sensory toys contained in a bag! I love my sensory bins, but I'm not crazy about cleaning them up—every single day. These sensory bags should thrill the toddler in your life—at least for a few minutes!
The best part about these wind chimes is that they don't actually chime. They're cute and whimsical and you can use anything you have on hand. They're a perfect gift for your child to make for a friend or relative.
Make this nautical-themed DIY wrapping paper in 40 minutes using kraft paper, stamps, glitter, and wooden embellishments. Skip the storebought stuff and put a personalized spin on your DIY gifts. (You can, of course, switch up the theme to match your gift or the person to whom you are gifting).
On first glance, I thought this was a literal suit wrapped around a gift and I thought, that's not very practical. When I saw that it was all made out of paper, I was very impressed. This would be the perfect presentation of a gift for anyone in the military, or you could adapt it for anyone who wears a uniform of any type.
With this super creative gift box tutorial and printable from Artsy Fartsy Mama, you can actually make your own gift boxes out of card stock. I imagine it might take a couple of tries to master this technique, but once you've got it down you'll be an unstoppable gift giver!
This printable coloring box is great for holding a DIY or non-DIY gift. You could fill it with yummy treats, crayon shapes, or an assortment of bath salts and scrubs. Or just pick up some sharpies and call it a day.
Sophie Agbonkhese is a writer, veteran homeschooling mother of four, and a recovering overachiever (who occasionally relapses). She is the founder of My Cup Runs Over, a site dedicated to helping busy women simplify and enrich their lives, homes, and homeschools. When she’s not writing or debugging websites, Sophie spends her time reading with her kids, gardening, listening to audiobooks, and striving fruitlessly to have a clean house for at least five minutes. She lives in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, Ben, and their children.
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