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I don’t know about you, but I love buying gifts for other people! It’s so much fun picking out just the right thing, spending time wrapping it up with pretty paper and bows, and seeing their faces light up when they open it. It’s one of my greatest joys. But reality is that sometimes I just can’t afford to buy nice gifts for everyone. So what can you do when you want to give a thoughtful and perfect gift but you’re on a tight budget? Give a homemade gift!
Something They Can Eat
What’s better than indulging in a delicious homemade goody made just for you?! You honestly can’t go wrong with a gift of food…everyone loves to eat! Here are six of my favorite foodie gifts that you can whip up without breaking the bank.
- Homemade cookies. My favorite cookies to make are snickerdoodles and everyone loves them! Not to brag, but I’ve basically perfected the recipe😉. You can make a bunch of cookies for really cheap, wrap them up in a cute Christmas tin and hand them out to all your favorite people!
- Gifts in a jar. If your recipe includes dry ingredients, layer them all in a clear mason jar and tie a recipe card around the lid with a pretty ribbon. This is one of the easiest homemade gifts ever and doesn’t take long at all. Recipes for cookies, cakes, muffins, soups, and so much more! Check out this list of 30 ideas for gifts in a jar.
- A loaf of homemade bread. So much yumminess can be packed into a tiny loaf of bread! Banana bread, pumpkin bread, monkey bread, honey wheat, the list goes on and on. We all love a freshly baked warm piece of bread with gooey butter – it’s a staple in the colder months. For some ideas to get you started, click here!
- Homemade brittle or fudge. Peanut brittle, chocolate or peanut butter fudge, it’s all amazing! These foodie gifts take a bit more effort and skill but are so worth it once you master it. Be careful though, since many people have nut allergies, you need to be sure to let everyone know what’s in your brittle or fudge.
- Homemade specialty butters. Whip up anything from original real butter to some of your favorite flavors, put them in a little jar and decorate it with ribbons and fabric and a pretty label. Here are 30 homemade specialty butter recipes to try out!
- Homemade salsa. The options are almost endless when it comes to creating your own special recipe. Do a little experimenting and find a combo that tastes amazing and then gift it to all your besties.
Something They Can Wear
From accessories to jewelry and everything in between, using your crafting skills to create the perfect gift is a wonderful option. This is one you can even get the kids in on and it doesn’t have to be complicated either!
- T-Shirts decorated with fabric paint, iron ons, or even rhinestones could be the perfect gift for someone special in your life. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles tend to be the favorite recipients of these imperfect but totally adorable gifts that little ones love to create and feel proud of!
- Jewelry. If you have some skill and the materials, a nice homemade bracelet or necklace might be the something special you’re looking for. Jewelry is so versatile and you can make something that just about anyone would love.
- If you know how to knit or crochet, you could pick out some yarn in your recipients favorite color and put together a nice hat, scarf, gloves, or even a pair of cozy socks.
- Headbands are another option that isn’t too terribly difficult to make. Wrap some pretty ribbon around a plastic headband, glue on a bow or other embellishment and you have a super easy (and cheap) gift for the little (or big) girls on your list.
- Another option for scarves is to pick out a nice bit of plain fabric, cut it to size and stencil a gorgeous design all over it or just on the ends or edges. This makes a great compliment to an outfit or to help your loved one stay warm on windy or cool days.
Something They Can Look At
People enjoy having pretty things to look at. Whether your person is a minimalist or they have a house full of collectibles, you can create something that they’re sure to love.
- Paint or draw something. Some of us have a real artistic side and can create beautiful works of art. If that’s you, put all your skills to use and make a unique canvas print they can hang on their walls. Or, if you’re less artistic, you can still have some fun with this. Get a big canvas and some paint and just go to town! Throw it, roll it, splatter it, stencil it, or stamp it. Whatever methods you choose, your work of art is sure to turn out beautifully unique and quirky!
- An embroidered pillow. I once made a pillow when one of my cousins was born. I wouldn’t exactly say it was pretty, I was about eleven and had no prior experience. But I enjoyed doing it and I felt proud of my accomplishment! It was a special gesture for a special moment in our family’s lives. You or your child could easily work together to make something meaningful and pretty.
- If you’re really feeling inspired, you could work hard on piecing together a nice quilt your loved one will adore. Make squares from pieces of old clothing or blankets or other cloth that has meaning and put it all together into something that will be a treasured heirloom for years to come.
- A handmade knick knack. Ok, so not everyone loves these, but for those who do, this could be a great and thoughtful gift! Use some clay to make a little dish for jewelry or keys or decorate a flower vase with a pretty design or even your child’s handprint!
- A suncatcher. I remember making these as a kid and it was so much fun! You get these little clear plastic pieces in the shape of your favorite character or design and then paint it with water color and hang it in the window. The sun shines through and makes pretty colors bounce around your room. You can also get more elaborate with a little bit higher end materials, but this is a fun and easy project anyone can do.
Something They Can Use
Sometimes the best gift is the one that’s the most useful. While many people enjoy things that serve no purpose other than to be pretty, others prefer that everything that enters their home has a purpose and use. Here are some ideas for those people in your life!
- A crafted wood item. If you have some carpentry skills, try your hand at making a clock, a jewelry box, a shelf, coat rack, or any other piece of furniture or decor crafted from wood.
- Learn how to and create your own candles. There are tons of YouTube videos that show you how to repurpose old candles, or find out how to make new candles from scratch and choose your design and scent for the people you care about.
- Coasters are another crafty yet useful gift you can make. You can use almost any materials, from cork, to ceramic, to wood. Overlay them with images, hand paint them, or carve designs into them to suit the taste of your giftee.
- Stovetop potpourri is one of my new favorite things! You can create your own mix in a pretty jar, wrap it with ribbon, and tie instructions onto it. Simply put together a concoction of smelly good things like pine needles, lemons or oranges, cinnamon sticks, cloves, dried apples or apple cider, or anything else you think would smell delicious. The recipient just needs to add the ingredients to a pan of water and let it simmer for as long as it lasts. Their home will smell amazing! (Don’t forget to remind them to add a little more water periodically so it doesn’t dry up and start a fire…)
- Another super simple yet useful gift is a handmade tote or purse. You can use your sewing skills to make the bag yourself or you can buy a bag already made and decorate it with stencils or other fabric decorations!
- Homemade cleaning supplies are an awesome alternative for those who want to do what they can to help the environment. Put together a small basket of glass spray bottles, a couple microfiber cloths, some castile soap, and cleaning vinegar to create the perfect cleaning bundle! Add in a few recipes for cleaning products and you’re all set!
No matter what your skill level or amount of time available, there is something you can make for your loved ones this Christmas. You’ll save some money and be able to give truly unique and special gifts that everyone will adore! What are some of your favorite homemade gift ideas?