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Do you have any Homemade Gift Ideas?

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73 Comments
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Sheree, a reader, emailed with this timely question:

“I’d like to know from your readers what types of homemade gifts they will be giving for Christmas. I am going to attempt to make Apple Pie in a Jar…we will see how that works, but I’d love to hear some other ideas.”

Every year my kiddos and I make Gingerbread people! It’s a fun activity for all of use to do together, as a family! Plus, after we’re finished the kiddos take little plates to all of the neighbors and to their teachers at school. The recipe I use is from the All Recipes website here.

Homemade gifts make for inexpensive and thoughtful ways to show others you care! I can’t wait to hear some of your creative ideas… please feel free to share away!

Join The Discussion

Comments 73

  1. Anonymous

    This year I am making bubble magnets (from the clear flat glass marbles) with each family members’ names on them. (like seen here: http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/marblemagnets/)

    Then I will display them in a long tin with a clear lid (which you can get at craft stores)

    I know that I can use magnets. I know it is a simple idea, but I think it is something that I would like to get that I would actually use.

  2. Callie

    I have done cookie mix in a jar with a cute ribbon or bow on it. You can find a lot of recipes here: http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/christmas/gifts/cookie-mixes.htm

    You can jazz them up a bit by tying a cute cookie cutter to the jar with a festive ribbon!

    I have also bought cheap wine at a discount liquor store and tied an inexpensive wine stopper to the neck with a fun ribbon! Some Walmarts sell Oak Leaf wine for $2.97 a bottle!! And it’s actually good! Promise! Cheap wine stoppers can be found at Michaels or Walmart.

  3. SuzyQpon

    Your picture made me think of this. I went to Target today and they have the cutest tins in their $1 section. They would be perfect little “baskets” for freebies, cookies, etc.

    FYI – Target has the Glade candle deal going on but was not advertising it. I bought 3 candles, 2 refills, used 3 $1.50 coupons from inside the tins and 2 free refill coupons when you buy a candle from coupons.com. Paid $3, got back a $5 gc and will submit for the SC Johnson rebate = $7 money maker!

  4. Mom who cares

    I came up with a cute stocking gift idea.

    You take a small christmas stuff toy – let’s say a raindeer for about $2.00 at walmart and you sew on a small christmas stocking into it’s open “hoofs” then you fill the little stocking with candy, gift card or any other gifts that will fit inside.

    You can make different ones – I had a santa, a raindeer, a snowman and a few other stuffed toys I bought at walmart for about $2.00 each and then the small christmas stockings were only $1.00 each.

    What you do is place each stuffed toy into the top of each persons christmas stocking and allow the small christmas stocking to hang out. It is a great topper, so cute and ads to the decor of those bigger stockings.

    The reciepients get to get a new christmas stuff toy and a place for a few more stocking gifts to go.

    These can be reused every year or you cn start a collection – where every year they all get a new stuffed toy!

  5. Anonymous

    My little cousins made koozie’s last year and they were a hit! You can get cheap plain foam koozie’s from Michaels and buy a bag of the foam decorations to glue on them. Markers work for coloring. Keep in mind— this is good for a kid project to make for adults.

  6. Mom who cares

    Jennifer –
    my mom makes rice warmers and she made one for my daughter who gets leg cramps at night sometimes – she just pops it in the microwave for a min and a half and it really helps with the pain and she sleeps much better. What a great gift! It helps us not have to give her medicines!

  7. MomDG

    I did the glass marble magnets one year with my daughter and everyone loved them. I saved old Altoids boxes to but the magnets in and we painted them. They turned out really cute and were really easy.

  8. Anonymous

    We too always bake, bake, bake. My mother is Greek so baklava is one of the things I make. Also Keefles and some type of bar cookie that the kids can help with. This, however, because of the nuts involved and the phyllo and butter is NOT a cheap gift at all. My 36 orders from Fannie May just arrived a couple of hours ago and 32 are accounted for by people we usually give baked goods to. We actually have two already repacked in the original boxes with pictures my daughters drew to send to two cousins in college as little treats during finals. I will still make baklava and keefles and bar cookies but not nearly so many and at a much calmer pace thanks to Fannie May.

  9. Heather from jville

    love the magnet idea!!!

  10. Andrea A.

    anon 12:22 Love the magnet idea. I LOVE magnets so I will have to make some for me but these are great. I was thinking of getting some cheap tins, putting homemade cookies and/or candies in them then taking scrapbook paper and make a tag and stick on top of the tin with these. All themed the same. Love it.

  11. Stephanie in PDX

    With all the breakfast items I get for very little, I was thinking a Good Morning Basket would be fun.
    Box of cereal, a cheap bowl and spoon from clearance aisle, fresh apples, candle and a soap or lotion item. Something to that effect anyway. Kids like that idea for their teachers too.

  12. Michelle

    I am making felt play food for the kids in our family. It is SOO easy and super cute! (and very inexpensive!) So far I have made doughnuts and cookies and I plan to make pizza, cupcakes, veggies and more!

  13. Samantha

    I’m going to try these two things this year:
    Brown Sugar Body Scrub and Bath Cookies

    You should easily be able to find containers cheap to put them in and then pack them in little baskets.

  14. Kandi

    I am a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator, so I papercraft a lot of gifts.

  15. Anonymous

    I love this post. I am looking for homemade gifts this year for my son’s teachers and godmothers and my husband is out of work and we need to cut back on Christmas. The body scrub and cookies in a jar are perfect! I can’t wait to check back later for more great ideas!

  16. Auntie Sandy

    I always send out a Christmas package from Mrs. Santa to all the sweet little dollies in my life. I include a coloring book and box of crayons, a snack size bag with some powdered sugar, a package of Gingerbread cake mix, recipe for gingerbread waffles, packet of hot cocoa and a candy cane. I write the little one a short note on Christmas stationary telling them I’ve included all their mom needs to make Santa’s favorite breakfast so they can eat breakfast just like Santa does. I tell them he likes Gingerbread waffles with a dusting of snow, a cup of hot cocoa with a candy cane stir stick. I tell them how much Santa loves it when they color him a picture. I ask them to do me a favor and leave Santa a snack because his trip from the North Pole is so long that I just know he will be hungry by the time he gets to their house. I suggest they leave a picture they’ve colored for Santa along with a snack on Christmas Eve.

  17. Anonymous

    my family is obsessed with making each other gifts with that person’s picture on it…usually an unattractive picture. For example my brother made me an apron with iron on picture of my sticking out my tongue with the caption, “kiss the cook.” It’s my only apron so i wear it all the time. We’ve also made t-shirts, mouse pads, ect.

  18. Chrissy

    Speaking of Magnets… You can also get at Michaels craft stores Sheats of magnet paper 1′ by 2′ and make word Poems for people. You can get these using a coupon ( they are about $10) making them 40%-50% off. Use word pad to make a bunch of words in different Fonts colors and sizes depending on who will be getting them ( kids love magnets on the fridge) and print all the words on paper and peal and stick it to the paper! Cut and pack into a decorated tin, box, or even a mug and you got a gift that last a while.
    I use different color paper like hot pink and even black with white words for these. I make them for my daughter and her friends in HS and they all have them on the lockers. You can make up the words or phrases that whoever is getting them might be into. teens; music and style. kids: disney and toys and games. Adults: coupon phrases, food, insperational.

    Or for a even cheaper way to go use all those old magnets you get free but dont really use and use glue or two sided tape to stick em to. I even did one with different shapes and colors and words to go with it for a preschooler i know!

  19. Anonymous

    Vacuum Bag Sachet Fresheners: How-To
    Slip these fragrant sachets into your vacuum bag and enjoy the pleasant fragrance when you vacuum the floor. They’re easy to make using just a few simple ingredients and best part is: they don’t make a mess!

    How To Make Vacuum Bag Sachets
    Ingredients:

    1/4 cup dried lavender*
    1/4 cup dried rosemary*
    1 TBS cloves*
    1/2 cup cedar shavings
    1 TBS baking soda
    5 to 7 drops of essential oil (your choice)
    Pantyhose or cheesecloth squares

    *Or use 1/2 cup of your favorite herbal blend

    Directions:

    Mix ingredients together then store in a sealed glass container for 1 week.
    Make plain sachets or pouches using pantyhose or cheesecloth that will hold three tablespoons of the fragrant mix, fill with mix then tie or sew shut.
    Store ready-made sachets in a sealed glass jar until needed.
    Tip: Instead of using the above mix, try using your favorite potpourri blend add a few extra drops of essential oils if needed.

    To Use:

    Pop a sachet into the new vacuum bag each time you change it. When you vacuum, the fragrance from the sachet will fill the room.
    If you’d rather skip the sachet, simply add a few tablespoons of the fragrant mix into the new vacuum bag when changing it.
    Use a fresh sachet each time you change vacuum bags.
    If you prefer a stronger fragrance, add a few more drops of essential oil to the sachet pouch before placing in the vacuum bag.

  20. Elizabeth

    Click on my name and come visit my blog. I did bath salts, citrus salt (for fish or margaritas), tangerine sugar (great on grapefruit for breakfast or for iced tea).

    Just search my blog and you’ll find the recipes.

    Another thing that is always well received–we do this almost every year:

    On a snack size zip bag: Season’s Greetings from the Olsons! And then inside the bag a spice rub–roast sticky chicken from allrecipes.com is the crowd favorite. Add a recipe card and you’re done!

  21. Anonymous

    Homemade Chocolate Lip Gloss

    1 1/2 tsp grated cocoa butter
    1/2 tsp coconut oil
    1/8 tsp vitamin E oil
    3 chocolate chips

    ?Microwave the cocoa butter and oils until melted–watch so it isn’t heated too long. While still hot, add the chocolate and stir until melted and well blended. Pour into a small clean container and cool completely before using.
    Chocolate Lip Balm Recipe

    3 TBS Cocoa Butter
    5 Chocolate Chips
    1 Capsule Vitamin E

    ?In a microwave melt all ingredients then blend well with a spoon. Put into a container and cool completely in the refrigerator before using.

    If you can’t find cocoa butter locally, you can buy it on Amazon

  22. Anonymous

    love the ideas!!! i usually make 5 or 6 batches of cookies and give them to the neighbors and friends.

    the kids and i make cookies in the jar. for teachers and friends.

  23. Anonymous

    On magnets…

    This isn’t a Christmas idea. We take the business card magnets we get in the mail and cut the into slices and glue them to crafts our daughter makes. They make cute fridge magnets.

    It would make a good gift from grandkids.

  24. Nikki

    We always make ornaments with the kids pictures in them. So each year great Uncles and Aunts, Grandparents… get a new ornament with the pics in them. My kids love to go look at their Christmas trees and find all the ornaments that they have made. http://www.orientaltrading.com has great inexpensive do it yourself projects that you buy in bulk.

    Anon 1:13 PM HILARIOUS! That is so something my family would do too! My sister is getting an apron this year just like yours, thanks for the idea!

  25. Anonymous

    Give a home printed calendar. Have your children color a picture to use for each month
    http://familycrafts.about.com/od/calendars/a/2010calendars.htm

    I made one for my Mom one year with photos of our family when us kids were little, also made one of vacation pictures. Ideas are limitless and fun to come up with. There are a lot of different sites to help print out the calendar pages from

  26. Angela

    Check my blog for a fabulous Chai Tea recipe and how to creatively package it. I made them as teachers gifts for Valentine’s Day and they were a big hit. http://www.CreativeDayCafe.com

    *BTW, Cardamom is usually very expensive, but World Market sells it for 2.99

  27. Anonymous

    Last year I made up gift bags for each couple in my family. I used the reusable shopping bags, and filled them with tons of the “new” products that had just come out. The ziploc vaccum sealers, and extra bags, some glade products, razors for him and her, then practical things like batteries:) All this stuff I was able to pick up free during the year. For the kisd(which are now teenagers) I did up their own gift baskets with the lipgloss, hair ties, razors, the new kinds of axe for the boys. ect…plus I was able to snag some free giftcards too($10 ones) and I put one each in the baskets for the teens. This year I am doing the same but have saved twice as much so each family is getting two bags(putting food in to) one to keep and one to give.

  28. Jennifer

    For the grandmothers (mine, and my husbands…the ones in their 80s), I may make up some soups and put them in individual sized containers to freeze. Just to make life easier for them and to keep from adding to their clutter!

  29. Anonymous

    WHAT IS A GLASS MARBLE MAGNET?

  30. Karen

    My friends and family always ask me to make chocolate and pb fudge and cookies! I love baking and they love getting the goodies!

  31. Megan

    I cross stitch (needlepoint) ornaments. Craft stores like sell holiday kits for $1-$2 (and on clearance for cheaper after the holidays) that include everything you need (pattern, thread, needle, fabric, and hanger). It’s become my favorite activity on long car rides. My relatives love them! Made everything from Santa, snowman, reindeer, etc. Making my sister a Care Bear ornament this year (identical to the one she had when we were kids).
    Example:
    http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat3306&PRODID=prd43242

  32. Amanda S.

    THANK YOU for posting this question! 🙂 I am always looking for homemade craft ideas because I find them to be much nicer than store bought gifts. Here’s two I made last Christmas: I went to resale shops, like goodwill, and purchased tea cups and saucers and then got candle making supplies (I really only purchased wicks and scented oil as I already had old candles that were non-scented that I could just melt down), then I poured the heated and scented wax into the tea cups and when they were dry, wrapped up a tea cup candle sitting on a saucer in tissue paper, very very cute and inexpensive gifts! I also made scented sachets with cinnamon potpourri (for the holiday season). I just purchased inexpensive thin material and cute it in a square shape with a triangle top to imitate a house and then sewed it up on all but 1 side and then turned it inside out and stuffed it with the potpourri and hand stitched the last opening. Then I drew on a little door and window on the front and used a small piece of ribbon that I sewed on top to hang it. Those combined with the tea cup candle made such a cute gift!

  33. Lynne

    Wow, Thanks I love the chocolate lip gloss idea! I think I’ll make that for my daughter’s friends. She’ll have fun helping! I am planning on making a “Green” Gift Basket” using all the Seventh Generation and other natural products, small bags of toiletries for nursing homes, etc.

  34. Jon and Becky

    I am making a Family Memory Game for my dad (grandpa) for his birthday, which is just before Christmas. I am buying the 2 X 2 X1/8 inch wood from JoAnn’s (in the section with the wooden letters) and them putting matching pictures of all the grandkids on the back with a homemade label on the other side that says “Papa’s Memory Game”. I will then decopauge the entire piece. All the Grandkids love playing games with my dad and I know he’ll love having a family game like this to share with them!

  35. Sandra

    For a cute Christmas wreath ornament, cut out a 3-4″ circle of cardboard. Glue your child’s picture in the middle and glue a loop of ribbon or an ornament hanger to the top. Then start circling the picture by gluing green puzzle pieces from a cheap jigsaw puzzle.
    You can either paint the pieces or try to find a picture with alot of green in it.
    Build it up about 3 layers high. You can use dots of red dimensional paint or glitter glue to be berries. Turns out really cute-we have done this for Cub Scouts and Sunday School and it is always a big hit!

    Organizing your way also has a great post on handmade gifts:
    http://www.organizingyourway.net/featured-posts/organizing-your-way-to-a-simple-christmas-handmade-gifts

  36. fran

    Hey Jennifer,
    I saw your tutorial…these are really cute. I was going to ask you if you put these in the microwave and then I read your comments (2 minutes). I was just talking to my neighbor who has the sewing machine and I have 2 questions, if you wouldn’t mind answering? These would just be for us, so the fabric doesn’t have to be as nice as yours.
    Why the muslin…is there a reason behind that?
    Do you think we could just double the fabric? I don’t sew.
    Thanks for the tutorial.

    If anyone knows someone that is into the beach and seashells, you could make refrigerator magnets from seashells you might already have…just buy those small thick round magnets and glue them to the shells.

  37. rlh

    My husband is a teacher, so we get all sorts of pretzels, cookies, fudge, ect. I do my best to avoid the sweets. This year I am making the seasoned oyster crackers for neighbors and friends. I’ve also picked up knitting(or the cheat version using a “knifty knitter”). I’ve learned to make all sorts of things w/ it. It’s always nice to include a scarf w/ everyone’s gift.

  38. Anonymous

    Last year, for my dad I bought an inexpensive jar (I think it was $3) and decorated it with my scrapbook scraps. I then filled it with 52 scraps of paper, each with a hand written memory I had of my dad. On the top of the jar were instructions to pull on out every week of the year. He LOVED it, not sure how to top that this year…

  39. Barbara

    Last year I made spice mix jars. I used Emrils creole seasoning mix (from Food Network site) and layered them in small Ball jars.

    I also have done herbs. I have a huge sage plant growing. I cut off a bunch and I printed off several recipes that use sage. I put the fresh (or dried) sage in a clear plastic gift bag and attached the recipe and tied it up with a ribbon. I gave them to my kids teachers right before Thanksgiving. I have done this with oregano as well.

    I have also purchased the small ceramic loaf pans (from Michael’s for $1)and baked different kinds of quick breads it them. Wrap the whole thing in colored clear wrap and tied with ribbon.

  40. angeline

    i will be making oreo truffles and red vevet cake pops. the truffles ill put in little christmas boxes really cute a delish anyone whant the recipe let me know my email is angelinesaby@yahoo.com

  41. Anonymous

    This year I am making a variety of jams and jellies to give away, I’ll put 4 -6 jars in each basket. I’m making unique gourmet-y flavors like Kiwi Daquiri, Black Forest (chocolate and cherry), Autumn Spice, Carrot Cake Jam, Heavenly Fig, and some basics like Blackberry, etc. These are very easy to make and can be done when the ingredients come on sale, plus I love that I can do them anytime in the year and they are ready when I need them. Many of the recipes are in the Ball Complete Book of Home Canning or look online.

  42. Hana

    I knit, so I’m making my immediate family and roommate and close friends things like hats, gloves, etc. For extended family members I’m going to knit and crochet a bunch of pretty ornaments and mail them out.

    And my mom’s sciatica has been bothering her lately, so I think I’m going to make one of those rice warmer things too.

    I’m also making cookies and giving them to friends, family, coworkers, etc.

  43. Sheree

    Thank you for all the ideas. I am going to try several of them (lip gloss, rice warmers and scrubs.

    Every year I make a treat for family and friends and they can’t stop talking about it. It’s so easy. Corn Chex cereal and white almond bark. That’s it. Melt the almond bark and coat the corn chex. You won’t be dissapointed. I’m sure you can add candy’s to make them more festive but everyone just asks for the plain jane.

    Sheree

  44. Anonymous

    Giving Beer bread! I am going to put the dry ingrediets in a holiday cello bag. I found great beers at World Market. Will tie the bags on the beers and pass out to the family!

    Sarakate25@yahoo.com

  45. sheree

    Now that I’ve check out the pictures….the magnets are adorable and I’m going to make them for sure.

    Questions regarding Homemade Lipgloss – if you were to find Cocoa butter locally, where would you look?

  46. Anonymous

    Stephanie, I love your idea about a Good Morning basket.

    Amanda S, I love your idea also. The one making a tea cup candle.

    Thanks for the ideas ladies.

  47. Sarah

    This year we planted a small garden of zinnias and collected all the flower heads and have dried them. So this year we are going to be giving out flower gardens to everyone this year. Zinnias are easy to grow just about anywhere and bloom all summer.

    and I love the bubble magnet idea…so doing that this year!

  48. Sarah

    I made almost all my gifts to nieces and nephews last year. It was the most fun I’ve ever had giving presensts.
    I posted about the tutus I made on my blog. They turned out great and the nieces loved them. http://givemeneither.com/hand-tied-tutu/
    I also made monster shirts for the boys. I plan to post about these soon.

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