Homemade gifts might take a little more time and thought than just buying from a shop. But the extra care that goes into a homemade present means your friends and family will be even more chuffed finding what’s under their Christmas tree. Whether you need something for your other half, children, or grandchildren, crafting something from scratch (or almost from scratch) is bound to go down well.
Nikky Hall from Polkadoodles told Age Times: "Homemade gifts are so special - you're giving the gift of your time over and above any amount of money you spend and you can guarantee the recipient will appreciate you taking the time to make something for them more than the gift itself."
Don't worry too much if you haven't stretched your arts-and-crafts muscles for a few years. Most of these gifts are well suited to amateur crafters, so as long as you’ve got the right attitude and are in the mood to get creative this holiday season, you should have no trouble!
Here are 24 homemade Christmas gifts your friends and family will love.
Gifts for little ones
Children's toys can be costly and are often broken or thrown away in a matter of weeks. DIY Christmas gifts are an excellent alternative to ensure the little ones get the most out of their gifts. You'll save money and create something your children or grandkids will cherish.
1. Beautiful bookmark
Are you giving a gift to a keen young reader? Design and create a personalised bookmark just for them. Decorate it with quotes and images from their favourite book, or craft an origami version of their favourite animal to use as a bookmark instead. You can even add a fun homemade tassel to spruce it up even more.
2. Homemade jigsaw puzzle
A perfect gift for young kids, a homemade jigsaw puzzle is also great for anyone whose crafting skills are a little rusty. You can probably rustle this up with materials you already have at home. But feel free to splash out on colourful cardbo ard or soft felt if you want to make it a little more luxurious.
Simply print out a picture of your choice - family photos from previous Christmases are an excellent place to start! But you can also find free printable templates online. Then stick it down onto cardboard, sketch out puzzle pieces on the back and cut them out. That's it! You can always jazz up the gift box to make it look extra Christmassy – and don’t forget to print out a full copy of the image for reference. Pop everything in a nice box or drawstring bag, and you’re good to go. Homemade jigsaw puzzles are one of the easiest DIY Christmas gift ideas!
3. Christmas noughts and crosses
Make an easy tic-tac-toe board and use colourful Christmas ornaments to make a homemade version of this classic game. If you don't want to risk breaking your beloved baubles, find some pebbles and paint them in a Christmas theme instead. Think snowmen and Father Christmases rather than simple crosses and circles.
4. A DIY snow globe
A snow globe is an excellent gift for little ones, but you could also give it as a home decor item for older friends. You can create it with an empty jam jar and glittery sprinkles you can buy online.
5. Homemade Nutella
Christmas is a time for anyone with a sweet tooth to indulge, and food gifts are a superb idea. If your grandchildren are fans of Nutella, they’ll enjoy this homemade version even more. Decorate the jar with a personalised message for an extra-special festive touch.
6. Olaf ornaments
If your grandkids love Frozen (will it ever end?), this felt Olaf ornament will make a perfect present. It’s super easy to make, and children will love having their own decoration to hang on the tree each year.
7. Hot chocolate stirrers
Children love snuggling up and getting cosy with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, so these homemade hot chocolate stirrers are another fantastic gift idea. They're not at all difficult to make and are brilliant stocking fillers. You can use a mixture of dark and white chocolate and even add a few marshmallows to this hot cocoa gift bag!
Gifts for grown-up children
Once your children have grown up and started their own lives, it's tricky to know what to buy them – it often feels like they have everything they could ever need! Making holiday gifts from scratch is the perfect fix. Take the time to show them you care by getting them something unique.
8. Scratch-off travel map
This beautiful scratch-off map is the ideal homemade gift for travel lovers. Choose a map you know the recipient will love – maybe their favourite country or a continent they’re going to visit on a backpacking trip. You’ll need a few more specialist crafting supplies for this project and a touch of patience, but the results will be well worth it. You can buy adhesive vinyl and sticky-back paper online, but you probably already have things like greaseproof paper in your kitchen.
9. Good times scrapbook
If you've got a lot of beautiful photos and mementoes from trips or events with your children, why not create a scrapbook full of memories for them? Use a folder with clear plastic wallets, or simply glue your favourite photos and ticket stubs straight into a book. Time for a trip down memory lane! This video tutorial can help you nail this handmade Christmas gift idea to a tee.
10. Soup in a jar
It's easy for young parents to feel run down, especially in the winter, so rustle up some soup in a jar to make your grown-up children's lives easier. They're straightforward to pull together even at the last minute and delicious to eat. What more could you want?
11. Relaxing bath salts
Encourage your children to take time for themselves with these relaxing bath salts. Use natural essential oils for a lovely scent, and add a few drops of food colouring to give them a pretty pastel hue. Just gorgeous!
12. Candy cane bath bombs
While you’re at it, have a go at making these easy bath bombs that have a minty candy-cane aroma. Give the gift of a relaxing soak – a lovely festive treat.
13. Whipped body butter
Finish off this relaxing trio by whipping up some homemade body butter to moisten the skin. You can easily find shea butter, mango butter, carrier oil and arrowroot powder on Amazon, and you don't need any specialist equipment. Make a big batch and decant it into separate mason jars, so you have extra gifts for any surprise guests too!
14. Body scrub & lip balm
You can make an exfoliating body and lip scrub with just brown sugar and raw honey. Then, apply a few drops of essential oil like peppermint or lavender and mix. The sugar scrub is a perfect little Secret Santa gift.
15. Christmas hamper
Instead of stocking fillers, why not put together a Christmas hamper this year? Fill it with homemade sweet treats like mince pies, mini Christmas puddings, truffles and gingerbread men. You can also go savoury with your gift basket and fill it with homemade chilli oil, flavoured salts and a selection of luxury cheese. Top it off with a bottle of bubbly, and you're all set. Whatever you're making from scratch, consider doubling up on recipes to ensure you have enough for Christmas nibbles!
16. Hangover cure gift bag
We’ve all overindulged at Christmas, so be prepared and make a hangover survival kit for family members known to have one tipple too many. Simple things like a packet of paracetamol are undoubtedly practical, but they’re not very festive. So opt instead for cosier or more amusing goodies – things like a cold compress, an eye mask, or a pair of sunglasses will keep the twinkly lights at arm’s length, and a bag of crisps and an energy drink will probably go down a treat. Maybe even throw in a snuggly blanket for pampering yourself after a night out. It’ll be perfect for New Year’s Day, too.
Gifts for your other half
When you've been with your partner for a while, you might think you've run out of things to buy – that's where homemade gifts come in handy. So put a little time and effort into making a gift for your partner or spouse to put a smile on their face this Christmas.
17. Spicy hot sauce
Are you living with a lover of all things hot hot hot? Then treat your significant other to a homemade hot sauce! Then, once you've finished cooking it up in the kitchen, add a spicy message to the bottle for an extra saucy gift!
18. Date planner
Are you stuck for date-night ideas with your partner or looking to add a little more romance to your life? This homemade date night jar is a thoughtful gift that will take the stress out of planning dates. All you need is an empty jar, some clean lolly sticks and a few colourful pens. Write a fun date idea on each stick and use colour coding to differentiate between dates you can do at home or out and about, or dates that are cheap and cheerful and those that are more of a splurge.
19. Solid perfume bar
This solid perfume makes an excellent alternative to traditional Eau de Parfum and is ideal for anyone looking for a more sustainable way to smell great. Tweak the scent to your partner’s taste with different essential oils, then leave to set and decorate the packaging with a festive flourish – a sprig of holly or a fuzzy snowman.
20. Relaxing chai teabags
Chai tea has all the flavours we associate with Christmas: ginger, cinnamon, aromatic cardamom and cloves, and a hint of nutmeg. It's a Christmas hug in a cup. Making chai from scratch isn't difficult, but it can be a bit of a faff.
Take the hassle out of chai by whipping up some homemade chai teabags. You can buy empty teabags online or use muslin pouches that you can reuse again and again. Place them in a pretty glass jar and add a festive printable label as a finishing touch.
21. Christmas cookies
There's no point in having a cup of tea without a biscuit, so these homemade Christmas cookies will make a perfect partner for your chai teabags. They're so simple to make, and you probably won’t need to buy any ingredients as they’re made from store-cupboard staples. Use festive cookie cutters if you want, but you can also cut out a baking paper stencil and just cut out the shapes with a knife.
22. Festive face mask
If you want to treat your partner to a bit of Christmas relaxation, try making this soothing honey and cinnamon face mask. It has a lovely festive scent from the cinnamon and is the ideal present for anyone who needs a bit of me-time.
23. Homemade zen garden
If your partner still hasn't reached the glorious years of retirement, why not make them a little zen garden for their desk at work? They're designed to help people relax and practise mindfulness while working, adding a little touch of beauty to what might otherwise be a dull workspace.
All you need is an empty picture frame, sand, and a few pretty pebbles. You can make the rake from scratch with some base wood and a couple of dowels, but you can also buy one online.
24. Love coupons
Yes, we know it's cheesy. But homemade love coupons or vouchers are a fun way to show your other half that you're still just as in love with them as you always were! Include vouchers for silly things like a night of their favourite TV show and cheekier vouchers for a night of flirty fun. You can design them on your computer and print them off if you want, but if you've got an artistic side, sketching or painting them yourself will make this easy DIY Christmas gift even more adorable.
Homemade Christmas gifts: Thoughtful and personal
Taking the time to think of and make gifts from scratch is a beautiful way to show your loved ones that you care. You'll be able to give them something much more personal than anything you could buy in a shop, and the extra effort of your Christmas crafts won't go unnoticed. It doesn't matter if you're a semi-pro crafter or a total amateur; there are homemade gifts for any skill level – and it's the thought that counts!