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 along way from the days of clay ashtrays and coat hanger tie racks. Now, DIY 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).
This post was originally published on November 6, 2018 and updated on October 21, 2019.
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 allows 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 DIY Christmas gifts this year, read on! I have compiled a list of unique and creative DIY gifts 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 someone in my immediate family 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.
Edible DIY Christmas Gifts
#1: 12 Days of Christmas Chocolate Tower
This one had me at "Chocolate Tower." Perfect for the chocolate lover in your life or perhaps a chocolate-loving family? This sweet gift is sure to be a hit wherever chocolate is consumed.
#3: Beef Jerky
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.
#4: Brownies in a Jar
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!
#5: Butter Cookies
What would Christmas be without some good, old-fashioned butter cookies? I try (really, 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.
#6: Chai Tea Latte Mix
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.
#7: Christmas Caramels
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.
#8: Cranberry Pear Jam
Cranberry pear jam would be the perfect post-Christmas breakfast food (assuming you're not secretly eating leftover pumpkin pie, that is). Try out this super-simple recipe from Creative Homemaking.
#9: Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies in a Jar
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.
#10: Flavored Finishing Salts
These salts sound 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.
#12: Gingerbread Houses
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.
#13: Healthy Chewy No Bake Granola Bars
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!
#14: Hot Chocolate On a Stick
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!
#16: No-Bake Coconut Truffles
I'm a huge coconut fan so these balls sound amazing. Four ingredients and no baking. These would be great as a hostess gift, in a DIY gift basket, or on a tiered dessert tray at your holiday party.
#17: Nuts in Honey
Nuts in honey is a traditional Slovak Christmas gift. I have never had it before, but when I look at this picture, all I can think about is how good it would be on a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
#21: Salted Caramel Walnuts with Rosemary
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?
#22: Salted Chocolate Honeycomb
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.
#23: Savory Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers
Sea salt. Rosemary. Homemade crackers. This post is speaking my language. A batch of these with some spiced pecans and the Jezebel sauce below would made the perfect foodie gift basket.
#24: Savory Spiced Pecans
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.
#25: Southern Jezebel Sauce
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.
#26: Stovetop Candied Pecans
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
#27: All Natural Soy Candles
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.
#28: Clay Footprint Bowl
How gorgeous is this precious little keepsake? That gold paint makes me want to go out and make a clay footprint bowl right away. You could even make a set by doing one of each child.
#29: Embroidered Snowflake Ornament
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.
#30: Father Daughter Photo Frame
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.
#31: Homespun Fabric Christmas Ornaments
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!
#32: Layered Jar Candle
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.
#33: Magazine Bowl
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.
#34: Ornament Wreath
This wreath is way easier than it looks and should come together in less than an hour. You can customize the ornaments to make it a personalized gift for anyone on your list who has a door.
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.
#37: Starbucks Candle
For the coffee (or pumpkin spice latte) lover in your life: a hand-poured candle in a ceramic Starbucks cup. Priceless. If your budget allows for it, adding a small Starbucks gift card would also be a nice touch.
#38: Stovetop Citrus Potpourri
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.
#39: Table Runner
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
#41: Bath Bombs with Rings Inside
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".
#42: Candy Cane Lip Balm
The perfect gift to give as a stocking stuff or sell at a Christmas craft fair. These candy cane lip balms use beeswax, shea butter, and sweet almond oil to keep dry lips protected all winter long.
#43: Chocolate Mint Lip Balm
Here's another lip balm option. This one uses beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter, peppermint oil, and a chocolate chip to create a sweet smelling (and tasting?) balm that will please chocolate lovers.
#45: Essential Oils Gift Basket
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.
#47: Grapefruit Bath Salts
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.
#48: Herbal Bath Tea Jars
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!
#49: Hot Chocolate Lotion Bars
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.
#50: Jelly Soap
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.
#51: Lavender Bath Salts
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.
#52: Lavender Soap
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.
#54: Loofah Soap
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!
#55: Mini Bath Bomb Set
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.
#57: Relaxing Bath Gift Basket
This DIY relaxing bath gift basket is so easy to create. Free printable Christmas themed tags make this spa kit a festive and unique handmade Christmas gift idea for a lucky friend!
#58: Sore Muscle Bath Salt Soak with Essential Oils
This post on creating a sore muscle bath salt soak also includes recipes for different combinations of essential oils, so you can customize each bath salt to the recipient's personal needs.
Practical DIY Christmas Gifts
#60: Blanket Ladder
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.
#61: Cake Plate Stand
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!
#62: Flannel Infinity Scarf
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!
#63: Hand Warmers
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.
#66: Leather Bookmarks
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!
#67: Leather Keychains
The perfect gift for the person on your list who always loses their keys (I can't be the only one notorious for this, can I?) These DIY leather keychains only take a few minutes to throw together and the result is so cute! There’s a tutorial for two different kinds: a leather tassel keychain and a braided leather keychain.
#68: Pencil Cup
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 fun project!
#69: Photo Coasters
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.
#70: Sharpie Dot Mug
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.
#71: Simple Last Minute Gift
This one is less DIY, but still customized and personal. If you need a last minute gift and don't have time to whip up a more complicated option, this post has you covered.
#72: Snowman Soap
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.
#73: Sticky Note Memo Holder
This is a great DIY gift for a teacher or for anyone else in your life who loves to stay organized. As a bonus, this sticky note memo holder comes together in less than fifteen minutes.
#74: Tablet Pouch
If you enjoy sewing, a handmade tablet pouch is such a practical gift. Mix and match patterns or use up some scrap fabric. Either way, your recipient will love the personalized touch.
#75: Toothbrush Roll
This easy to make, practical toiletry carrying case ensures 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.
#76: Tortilla Warmer
This is not only practically 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.
#77: Upcycled Throw Pillow
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
#79: Catch a Spider Travel Game
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.
#80: Chalkboard Book
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 creative idea. Perfect for kids to play with in the car or waiting for appointments.
#81: Crayon Shapes
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 great way to use them up and make a unique DIY gift for your kids' friends at the same time.
#82: Elf Snot
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.
#83: Jingle Bell Hand Kite
My kids made a similar craft at an art gallery-hosted Christmas event a few years ago. They enjoyed it so much. This Waldorf hand kite is the perfect gift for big kids to make for younger siblings.
#84: The Kissing Hand Rocking Chair
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.
#85: Magnetic Photo Puzzle
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!
#86: Mermaid Tail Soaps
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 colour selected just for them can go in making them feel special. Check out these mermaid tail soaps from Sugar, Spice and Glitter.
#87: New Year's Eve Box
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.
#89: No-Sew I Spy Sensory Bags
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!
#92: Polymer Clay Stamped Necklace
A set of these personalized polymer clay necklaces would be a great gift for a tween girl. Oh, who am I kidding—I don't know who wouldn't love one of these. They're precious!
#93: Wind Chimes
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.
#94: Zen Gardens
These simple DIY zen gardens for kids (or adults) are practical and calming. This would be a great gift for older siblings who need to de-stress after a morning with their busy little siblings.
DIY Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas
#95: Air Force Flight Suit Wrapping Paper
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 or any type.
#96: Christmas Sweater Gift Boxes
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 tries to master this technique, but once you've gotten it down you'll be an unstoppable gift giver!
#97: Printable Coloring Christmas Gift Boxes
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.
#98: Furoshiki: The Art of Japanese Fabric Wrapping
If you're trying to cut back on paper waste this year (or use up some leftover fabric from some of those sewing projects), you have to check out this post on the Japanese art of fabric wrapping. These are such beautiful ideas!
#99: Reusable Cookie Tin Gift Boxes
Just last night as I was polishing off a tin of Danish cookies, I thought to myself, I should totally hold onto this tin and use it to hold a Christmas gift. Then I came across this tutorial for turning it into a gorgeous gift box; now I want to run out and stock up on tins!
#100: Washi Tape Wrapping Paper
Every year my kids paint a large roll of blank paper to turn it into wrapping paper, and every year I remind myself not to try it again next year. It always turns out to be so much more work than I think it's going to be. I think I may have found the solution in this easy-peasy washi tape wrapping paper.
Looking for more Christmas gift-giving inspiration?
Check out iHomeschool Network's annual roundup of Christmas Gift Guides for hundreds of additional ideas.