Homemade Christmas gifts really show you care. It’s already halfway through November, so I’ve brainstormed a few homemade Christmas gift ideas to inspire you to give something handmade this Christmas.
Handmade Christmas gifts are more thoughtful than gifts from a store. They show that you’ve put a lot of effort into the gift – the only drawback is they take time to make! However, if you add up the time of driving to the mall, finding a park, trekking for hours around the shops and then queuing at the till before heading home again… then all but the most complex craft projects can be quicker to tackle!
Here’s my top homemade Christmas gift ideas:
- Preserves – Everyone loves homemade jam! I always think jam is one of the tastiest gifts in a jar. There are heaps of recipes online and it’s easier than you might think.
- Baking – the key with gift giving is to give appropriate gifts. Baking is a wonderful gift idea for any occasion, but Christmas is the one time of the year when everyone is surrounded by sweet treats! You can stir all the love in the world into that cake, but if it’s stale by the time it’s eaten, it won’t be enjoyed. So pick a recipe which is a good keeper. Shortbread is traditional, and my favourite is biscotti, which will keep ’til January if necessary.
- Sewing Kit – throw a few spools of thread, pins, needles, small scissors, safety pins and a couple of buttons into a pretty box and you’re done. If you’re making this gift for a child or a teenager, include a simple craft project which they can do right away – maybe a small cross stitch? This is also a good gift for men, who are often hard to buy for. They might roll their eyes at a sewing kit, but they’ll appreciate it when they need to sew on a button! Check out this Martha Stewart tutorial for how to make a sewing kit in a jar.
- Wine charms – Homemade wine charms are quick and easy to make, and great for just about everyone. Roll out some no-bake clay into fun shapes, and once they’re dry, paint them and thread them onto wine charms you can buy online.
- A Cup of Tea and a Lie Down – A Cup of Tea and a Lie Down is a great gift for that busy person in your life! Just match a pretty tea cup with a small box of tea, a few biscuits and a novel with a note explaining what the gift is. Keep the costs right down by buying a pretty cup second-hand (remember: it’s not ‘used’ – it’s ‘vintage’!), and passing on a novel which you’ve read and loved – your friend will treasure it because it came from you. Okay, so this isn’t a homemade gift exactly – but you won’t find it at the mall.
- Cross Stitch – There are a lot of fun cross stitch designs out there which made great homemade Christmas gifts. They’re not all your Grandma’s cross stitch either! If you’re not a stitcher, why not make up a kit, with the design, thread, plus a embroidery hoop, needle and fabric. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, anyone at the sewing store would be able to help you out – plus the sewing stores often have pre-packaged kits – but that’s not homemade is it?
- Photo Frame – Cover a plain, cheap photo frame in pretty paper and include a meaningful photo. If this gift isn’t ‘big enough’ for you (we all know that it’s the thought that counts, but we’re all afraid of short-changing our friends!) include a voucher for photo printing. There are a lot of places online which will do this – they’re great, because you can upload photos from your computer and have them delivered to your door.
- Recipe Book – Buy a blank book (or if you’re feeling particularly crafty, bind your own!) and add one or two of your favourite recipes – preferably ones your friend has admired in the past.
- First Aid Kit – Everyone needs one! I always give first aid kits as house warming gifts which sounds terribly boring, but a bottle of wine gets emptied fast – and it’s not nearly as practical. Design your gift around the recipient – will they keep it in their car, kitchen, or handbag? Find a suggested list online, and gather your supplies up. Or, buy a pre-packaged kit and repack it in a pretty vintage biscuit tin. Or create a decorative hat box which they’ll be proud to display – and thankful they did when someone inevitably cuts a finger!
- Mint Tin Emergency Kit – You’d be surprised at what will fit in a mint tin! Just empty out a little tin of mints and stuff it full of useful things most folks don’t carry about. I emptied out mine for the photo below. See if you can spot: three sticking plasters, a needle and six colours of thread, a magical pill towel which expands in water, three pain killers, about eight buttons in different colours, a tampon, bobby pins, a hair tie and five safety pins. Really – it does all fit! It doesn’t take long to put together, but it’s oh-so-handy. I was once able to hand my boss a needle and thread to mend a rip in her shirt five minutes before she had to meet a client. You just can’t buy brownie points like that.
- Stationery Sets – Stationery Sets are perfect for preteen girls, and for grown ups too! Fold your own envelopes out of pretty pages printed from magazines, add a block of paper, a pretty pen and print some return address labels to personalise the gift. Include a few stamps and who knows – you might even get a thank you note!