If you’re looking for a way to keep your mind and hands busy, whilst saving some money, then why not consider making your own Christmas gifts this year? A handmade gift carries a personal touch, and there’s no doubt that the person receiving it will feel very loved when they see that you’ve put time and effort into creating something. Plus, that gift will be unique, as it’s something that they can’t pick up anywhere else.
November is the perfect month to start thinking about DIY gifts, as Christmas is just near enough to start feeling inspired, but far away enough that there’s plenty of time left to get crafting. From candles, to snow globes, through to gingerbread fudge, here are 18 homemade gift ideas to give to loved ones this Christmas.
1. Stuffed toys
Stuffed toys can be a wonderful gift to give to grandchildren (or possibly even adults!) at Christmas. Whether it’s used as a night time companion, an ornament on a shelf, or as a cuddle buddy on a bad day – a soft toy is a sure way to bring a little joy to someone’s day. You can knit, crochet or stitch them – and they can be any size, colour or character that you choose!
If you’re completing new to needle crafts, but you’re keen to make a stuffed toy, then crocheting is a good place to start. You only need one hook, as opposed to two needles (as with knitting), and the process is generally much quicker. Hobbycraft has a helpful guide that will show you how to get started with crochet – then for some stuffed toy inspiration, have a look at the video below which will show you how to make cute crochet turtles.
2. Gingerbread fudge
For someone with a sweet tooth, fudge is a delicious gift that the recipient won’t be able to resist. If you want to add a touch of festive twist to this sweet treat, then why not make it taste like gingerbread? This recipe from Delish.com only has five ingredients – sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate, and spices – and will only take about one hour and 20 minutes to make.
Alternatively, if the person you’re looking to make a gift for doesn’t like gingerbread, then try this boozy rum and raisin fudge recipe from ThermoBliss, or this delicious cookies and cream white chocolate fudge recipe from Carnation. Why not taste test one (or all!) of these recipes yourself first, and let us know what you think in the comments below?
3. Infused olive oil
Infused olive oils are a practical everyday gift that a cooking enthusiast will love – because it will give their cooking that extra punch of flavour. You can infuse olive oil with chilli, sun dried tomatoes, lemon, garlic, oregano, rosemary or something else entirely – it really depends on the tastes of your giftee!
Infusing oil is really straightforward and can be done in just a few simple steps – have a watch of the video below to see how it’s done. To store your infused oil, you’ll need some empty glass bottles (which will need to be sterilised – you can find out how to do this here). You could either save empty bottles that once stored things like alcohol or vinegar – or you could pick up some glass bottles on Amazon. If you want to add a special touch to your oil bottle, consider adding a bow around the neck before giving them to your giftee!
4. Snow globe
Snow globes can make beautiful gifts and are surprisingly quick, easy and inexpensive to make. It’s up to you to decide what you want to feature in your glass bubble – you might want to stick with something Christmassy like a reindeer, or a Christmas tree – and fill your globe with white beads to look like snow. Or if you want to make a gift that someone can enjoy year-round, then you could include something like an animal, a cartoon character or a famous landmark, and fill your globe with glitter or multi-coloured beads.
Hobbycraft has a useful guide that will talk you through the process of how to make a snow globe – and you can also pick up your materials (such as a globe, white beads and your chosen centre piece) from there too. Alternatively, you can also buy these on Amazon. If you want to make use of what you have at home, then consider using an empty jar, as this could save you some cash.
5. Macrame plant holder
Macrame plant holders are becoming a popular way to hang plants in the home. Simple, yet stylish, these plant holders are quick and easy to make, and will be appreciated by plant-lovers who are running out of windowsill space for their plants, or who like finding interesting new ways to feature their plant life. To find out how to start crafting your own macrame plant holder, have a watch of the video below. All you need to get started is some cotton cord and a brass ring, which you can pick up for a few pounds on Amazon.
Soap is one of those things that we all need and tend to appreciate, but that we usually don’t consider making ourselves. However, making your own soap at home can give you greater control over what goes into it – and designing it can be a lot of fun!
There are a few different ways to make soap, but the easiest is to use the ‘melt and pour’ method. Have a watch of the video below to see how it’s done – or follow this guide, here. You can get everything you need to make soap from Amazon or Hobbycraft, including the soap base, moulds and dyes. Just be sure to take care when melting and pouring your soap base, as it gets extremely hot.
7. Jam, chutney or marmalade
Jams, chutneys and marmalades are traditional Christmas gifts, and make a great accompaniment to things like meat, cheese and crackers – which many of us eat lots of over the holiday period.
If you want to make your loved one a really unique gift, then you could try making them a jam, chutney or marmalade that has an unusual flavour – one that perhaps wouldn’t typically find in the shops. Why not try grapefruit marmalade, rhubarb and date chutney, or brandied vanilla pear jam?
To save money, it’s worth keeping hold of empty condiment jars, so you can use them to store your homemade jam, chutney or marmalade. Great British Chefs has a useful guide which will show you how to sterilise them first.
8. Cosy blanket
Blankets are great gifts for anyone who enjoys getting cosy in the winter – or for anyone that appreciates having a nice blanket or throw draped over on their sofa. If a blanket is particularly intricate (for example, a patchwork quilt), then some people might also choose to use them as wall art.
You can have a go at a patchwork quilt by following this tutorial from Good to Know – or try this YouTube video for beginners, which will show you how to crochet a soft blanket in three hours. If you fancy trying something a bit different, then you could also try hand knitting a blanket – which requires no needles, all. You just need your hands, some jumbo yarn, and a few hours. Have a watch of the video below to see how it’s done!
9. Bath bombs
If you know someone that loves to treat themselves to a nice hot bath after a long day, then you could consider making them some bath bombs. Bath bombs are a bit of a novelty, because they’re a step up from the essentials that we use day to day like soap and shower gel. Not only is it entertaining to watch them fizzing away once they’ve been dropped in the water, but they usually smell great and can add things like essential oils, moisturisers and colourants to the water.
If you’ve ever been to a Lush shop, then you’ll know just how creative and unusual bath bombs can get. They can come in pretty much any colour, take various shapes, have a variety of smells, and contain things like essential oils, rose petals and lemon zest!
This bath bomb recipe from BBC Good Food will show you how to get started – and you should be able to get most of the ingredients you need from your local supermarket. For essential oils, it’s worth having a look on Amazon where they have a wide range at variable prices.
10. Personalised doormat
Perhaps you know someone who has recently moved into a new home, or who appreciates household gifts with a difference. If so, then you could consider giving them their very own personalised doormat. All you need to get started is a plain coir doormat, which you can get for a few pounds from places like Wilko or Amazon. You’ll also need some fabric spray paint, which you can buy online from Homebase, some scissors, and a large piece of cardboard.
Then it’s as simple as drawing your design on the card, cutting the design out to create a stencil, placing your stencil over your mat, and applying spray paint. You can get as creative as you like with your design – you could have lettering, pawprints, hearts, flowers, or anything else you can think of. You could also use a range of different colours. DIY blogger, Kezzabeth, has a full tutorial of the process, which you can find here.
11. Gourmet marshmallows
These gourmet marshmallows are the ultimate luxury, and can offer a grown up twist on what is often considered to be a childhood favourite. These marshmallows are soft, light and packed with the flavour – and the best part is that you can make them yourself at home.
This gourmet marshmallow recipe from Country Living can act as a great base – but you can also get creative with a range of different flavours, such as chocolate, coffee, raspberry and lavender!
12. Flavoured gin
For an adventurous gin-lover, flavoured gin can make a wonderful Christmas gift! While it’s not hard to get hold of flavoured gins in supermarkets, these can often be full of artificial flavours, and are sometimes overly sweet. By making your own, you can create a gin with a more natural, authentic flavour – and pretty much any ingredient will leech into gin if you give it long enough. Rhubarb, sloe, strawberry, raspberry, cucumber and peach are popular options. BBC Good Food also has a recipe for a Christmas gin, which has orange, cinnamon, and juniper berries flavours.
Most gin recipes only consist of 3 ingredients – a bottle of standard gin, the ingredient you want to flavour it with, and some sugar. Often, it’s as simple as mixing the three together, storing them in a sterilised bottle somewhere cool, and leaving it to steep for about 2 weeks.
Candles are a lovely gift for any occasion – but particularly during the winter months when people are cosying up in the evenings. They’re great for adding relaxation and ambience to a bath or dinner time, or to a night in front of the TV.
You can add different colours and scents to your candles, and you can make them in different shapes, sizes and styles. Hobbycraft has a helpful guide that explains what equipment you’ll need – for example, wicks, moulds and wax flakes). Alternatively, you can follow the video tutorial below.
Tip: You might have things you can already use as moulds at home such as china tea cups that you know longer to use, jars or glass containers from previous candles you’ve had.
14. Mosaic coasters
Coasters are a practical everyday gift that nearly everyone appreciates whether they drink coffee, water, wine, or tea! These mosaic coasters are a fun way to learn and develop your mosaic skills, while creating something unique for someone special.
This year, with more people practicing home baking, blondies have become a popular trend. Blondies are dense, chewy treats – very similar to brownies, but without the cocoa. Instead they are usually flavoured with ingredients like vanilla, caramel, white chocolate or peanut butter. There are also red velvet and bakewell blondie recipes!
If you know someone who would love an indulgent gooey treat this Christmas, then why not have a go at this white chocolate and caramel blondie recipe from Jane’s Patisserie, or this butterscotch one from Sainsbury’s Magazine.
16. Stovetop potpourri
If you want to gift someone the warm and inviting scent of Christmas, then you could make up some little bags of stovetop potpourri from them to use at home. A stovetop potpourri gift is a selection of Christmassy fruit, herbs and spices that the recipient can simmer in a saucepan or slow cooker, to fill their home with the festive smells.
It’s really simple to put together – you’ll just need to put fruit like cranberry, orange, lemon, along with some herbs and spices like rosemary and cinnamon, into a small gift bag. You can then attach a label to it with instructions for how to use it. These are really inexpensive gifts, but they’re incredibly thoughtful, and are sure to make a loved one smile!
One Lovely Life has a helpful guide that will show you how to make stovetop potpourri gifts, and give you the option to print free gift tags – you can find it here.
17. Flavoured salt
Flavoured salt is a fun and practical gift for any foodie. You can flavour salt with curry powder, herbs, chilli, ginger garlic – or something else entirely – and the process is as easy as grinding salts and ingredients together. Once you’ve flavoured your salt, you can store it into little labelled pots, and many people choose to gift people a selection of five or six different salt flavours.
Country Living’s flavoured salts article will show you how to make a selection of different ones – including some of those mentioned above. Let us know what some of your favourites are in the comments below!
18. Wine bottle hats, scarves and cosies
If you would normally gift someone a bottle of wine, but you want to add a personal touch, then you could consider adding a mini hat and scarf to each bottle.
If you want to learn how to crochet these mini accessories, then there’s a useful YouTube tutorial that will explain how. Part one will show you how to knit the scarf, and part two will show you how to knit the hat and attached pom pom. Alternatively, you could consider making a larger cosy, by repurposing an old jumper sleeve.
Whichever option you decide to go for, these homemade winter warmers are sure to bring the festive cheer this Christmas!
We’d love to hear from you!
Do you have any additional homemade Christmas gift ideas that you’d like to share? Or perhaps you’re planning to make some of the gifts above! Join the conversation on the community forum or leave a comment below.