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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

15 Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas


There were many, many Christmases when I didn’t have money to get anyone gifts, so I’d make homemade gifts. Even if I had to buy something, I could use it for several people’s gifts. And I always started in October or November.

Many people may think homemade gifts suck, but they are actually better than gifts bought at stores because they mean more and can be cherished. Every year my mom crafts Christmas gifts for all of us (kids and grandkids) and we all love them.

NOTE: I know that not everyone is crafty and can do these things. This list might give you ideas of what you can do with your skills.


1. Write a flash fiction piece with a loved one as the main character, or a poem about your loved one. 

2. Make jewelry. (Bracelets, necklaces, earrings.)

A shell necklace I made for my sister 2 years ago.

3. Decorate a picture frame with anything. (Shells, dried flowers.)

4. Paint a ceramic or picture.

5. Paint and decorate a wooden jewelry box.

6. Make flavored olive oil.

7. Carpenters – make a birdhouse or bookcase.

8. Quilters/Knitters – quilts/afghans, pillowcases, place mats, dollies.

A quilt my mom made from my sister-in-law a few Christmases ago.

9. Potpourri/satchels

10. Candles

11. Perfume, bubble bath, lotion.

12. Collage – put pictures of you and your loved one in a frame.

13. Scrap book/photo album.

14. Desserts – cookies, pie, etc.

15. Cloth dolls (girl)


QUESTION: Have you ever given or received handmade gifts?



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69 comments:

  1. Hi Chrys .. great ideas - sadly I'm not the world's most craftiest! But I have made chocolates, truffles and biscuits to give away ... I like your idea of writing a story for a loved one ... now that I could do! That shell necklace is just beautiful ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. That's okay. For a few of these you don't gave to be super crafty. For 2 years, I wrote an ongoing story with my mom as the MC. It's not finished yet. One day. :)

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  2. Not my kind of creativity, but I could write and perform a song for someone!

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    1. See. There you go. Not all of these are something everyone will get able to do, but you could get an idea from it.

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  3. I've done homemade sorta, used the internet to put pics on things and stuff. lol that count?

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  4. I have received some nice homemade gifts (my grandmother gave me a quilt, my brother once made me a dart board, my daughter has painted me pictures) but I am not that crafty but I have given away some mounted prints to friends.

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  5. All great ideas here for homemade gifts :) I have gotten and made homemade gifts. One year I needle pointed Christmas towels for the women on my list. That was fun to do but I needed to start earlier in the year; got a bit stressed towards the end.

    betty

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    1. That's a great idea. My mom made Christmas towels as a gift for a friend once. :) Yes, many crafters and quilters start on their Christmas gifts in July.

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  6. Handmade gifts are the best. One year I couldn't spend much so I made Christmas Quilted Balls. Styrofoam balls you can get at a craft store, with varied pieces of and colors of cloth. You press the cloth into the ball in small 1 inch to 2 inch pieces with a butter knife creating the quilting affect. Tie in a bundle of three with ribbon and you've got a lovely holiday decoration that can be personalized to the individual, via color - etc. But first be sure to put a hole all the way through the ball with an ice pick or similar tool so the ribbon can be pulled through. LOL Probably didn't need to go into detail. Happy Gift making!

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    1. I have to tell my mom about that. She'd love to make those. She's made ornaments before out of Styrofoam balls, pins and sequins/beads.

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  7. I've written poems for people. One of my friends LOVES pizza. So I wrote her a poem about pizza and included her name in it. She loves the poem and was excited to read it and laughed. I've written other things for other people as well, and they always seem to be well received. My sister once knitted me a Doctor Who scarf. It's like one of the best presents I could ever be given. I don't wear it very often because it means so much to me and would hate to damage it, but I keep it safe and it's always hanging on my coat rack for everyone to see when they come in.
    Even though this idea isn't "home-made" I think creating a personalized gift basket is a great idea too. Especially when you know exactly what to put in it. Michaels or some other crafting store you can buy gift baskets and supplied to decorate it any way you wish, then fill it with the recipients favourites, (chocolate, nutell, hot cocoa, gift certificate, fruits, nuts, small mementos) any combination would work. Just know what the person likes, and buy according to their tastes. Then put in the gift box and wrap it up. Voila! something practical, useful, special, and home made.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'll add poems to the first one. Poems are great gifts. I've done that for my grandparents who live across the country.

      Gift baskets are awesome! I'm doing a gift basket for my brother, sister-in-law and their baby boy who'll be born in the beginning of December (hopefully). lol

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    2. Oh, looks like I already had poems down. Ha. Silly me. I forgot. :P

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  8. A gift from the heart had more value than store bought once I became a mother. It doesn't matter what it is. Thanks for reminding us that it isn't about the cost.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Gifts from the heart are priceless. :)

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  9. When my kids were little they would help me make bread for gifts for our neighbors. The house would smell so good for days. My daughter has made jewelry for me many times.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I love bread, and love making bread for others. :)

      Delete
  10. I love anything specially handmade from my niece and nephew.

    I will occasionally attempt to make things for people - to their dismay! :) But when I do buy gifts, I usually aim for things that are thoughtful - a book/ebook I think they'll like, a gift card to a store they love, etc - not necessarily expensive.

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    1. So do I! I treasure the things my nephews make me. :) Thoughtful gifts are the best. And you don't have to spend a lot to be thoughtful. :)

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  11. I like doing handmade gifts, but sometimes I cheat and buy handmade things other people have made. Hey, I can make it all. ;)

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  12. Those are awesome ideas, Chrys! Something I wanted to give my kids was a homemade recipe book with all of my recipes in them and little stories about their childhood with photos too. I am only half way through it though. Not sure I'll get it done in time! I've made olive oil and flavored vodka for friends as well. I bet others have great ideas which I'll read in the comments section :) BTW, the necklace you made is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My mom has wanted to do the same thing for many years but has never gotten around to doing it. I "made" flavored olives with garlic cloves and rosemary for my brother once.

      Thanks! :)

      Delete
  13. I've done cross-stitches as gifts, like for my favorite aunt's remarriage. I've thought about doing a cross-stitch challah cover for a bat mitzvah present for one of my rabbi and rebbetzin's daughters, but since their older daughters never sent me thank-you cards for the gifts I did give them, I don't think it's worth it to spend so much time and effort making a gift they won't even acknowledge. I know it's apparently become socially acceptable for some people to not send thank-you notes, but that doesn't mean I can't think it's rude.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You can think it's rude. I would try to find someone to thank someone who gave me a gift, especially if a lot of thought and effort went into it.

      Delete
  14. I still have the teddy bear my granny made me when I was little.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pictures are the best gift for my family, that or something that serves a purpose or function. #6 is actually something I'm doing now.

    My mom does a lot of homemade gifts. The bad part is I'm not quite sure what to do with a burlap wreath that would go great in a farm house but matches nothing in my modern, dark granite, cherry hardwood home...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I've always wanted to try making flavored olive oil. I've only done flavored olives. lol

      Umm...hang it on a tree outside. :P

      Delete
  16. Great ideas for Christmas Chrys, Most enjoyable post.
    Yvonne.

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  17. When I was a kid, we all made homemade gifts for each other, because the only money we got was the kind we earned outside the home. Mom would spend days making treats that we delivered to the neighbors... Ah, the good old days.

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  18. Oooh, Flash fiction and a warm batch of cookies! Excellent! The very best thing about homemade gifts is that they come from the heart and we sure can't buy it anywhere:-) Great ideas, as always, Chrys!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Fiction and cookies go together nicely. :)

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  19. I generally knit the lion's share of my gifts. Although, some people don't appreciate such things, so they get bought gifts.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Knitted gifts are so much fun! Some people don't appreciate it, unfortunately.

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  20. My mother is 90 and for Mother's Day I collected 55 sea shells and put them in a beautiful dish. She opened it and didn't know what to make of it. I gave her a card and it said "one for every year you've been my mother". She thought that was the best gift EVER.

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    1. That is the sweetest gift, Barb! My mom loves shells. I may have to do that for her one year. :)

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  21. Yes I have given homemade dandelion wine, liqueurs, home baking, small paintings, placemats, and recipe books with a quilted cover (like a notebook). I made lots of gifts when funds were low, too, so whatever craft I was doing at the time (like macrame) would determine what gifts I'd make that year. With a thoughtful homemade gift you are giving of yourself and time, I like getting gifts someone has taken the time to make.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Homemade dandelion wine. I'd love to try that. I love giving and getting handmade gifts. :)

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  22. Excellent ideas! Today my son and I made Christmas ornaments to give as gifts. I usually give one to all the grandparents with a picture of my son in it, but to buy them, they're like $10 a piece. It's so much cheaper and immensely cuter when he makes them! We used popsicle sticks for some and pipe cleaners twisted as wreaths for others. Adorable. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When I was a kid, I made a frame out of popsicle sticks with a picture of myself in it for my mom. :)

      Delete
  23. Last year I gave everyone at the spa I frequent homemade goodies. Hot cocoa mix, marshmallows and cookies. In the past I have given breakfast breads. One year I went all out and made pannetone, an Italian fruit bread. I hate to shop, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have done this my whole life! I made Christmas ornaments using a styrofoam ball, pins, sequins, bugle beads and stars. Christmas cookies in tins, I have done photo albums and scrapbooks and now, of course, i have made cards and given them. I think it one of the most precious gifts-a homemade one-it is done from the heart. Oh and I have made gingerbread houses also

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    1. My mom has done the samething with Styrofoam balls. She's made the prettiest ornaments. :) I would love to make my own cards to give to people.

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    2. Oh creating cards is so much fun and instant gratification.

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    3. I bet. I once made my mom a card with markers, glitter, and many pages for Mother's Day. She loved it. :)

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  25. I love hand made gifts. Since I'm not at all artistic, the creations of others always impress me.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Getting a handmade gift is special. :)

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  26. I'm into the season too! Great ideas here. :) Plus it's homemade so it's more thoughtful.

    ReplyDelete
  27. The best gift I ever made used my journalism skills. I interviewed the family and friends of my boyfriend at the time, who was clinically depressed. From each person, I asked for a good memory of my bf and why they loved him.

    I wrote each memory on a separate piece of paper and put all of the papers into a memory box. That way, whenever he was depressed, all he had to do was reach for the box to get some comfort and reassurance that he was loved.

    It required tracking down friends as far away as Malaysia, so investigative reporting skills really came in handy! This was before social media. As a journalist, I've developed a gift for getting people to open up, and my bf was shocked at how honest everyone had been with me.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That is a very thoughtful gift. Someone who suffers from depression needs to know that others love and care about them. I bet this was a wonderful reminder for him. And it was awesome of yo uh to go through all that work.

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  28. Love these! I always fancy myself a craft-savvy-chick . . . but I'm not lol. I've made cupcakes and cookies as gifts. I have to decorate frames with the kids though, that sounds like something the three of us can manage. :)

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    1. Decorating frames is a lot of fun. :)

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  29. I made a good friend two mini paintings on glass as wedding gifts when the intended gift broke. I love handwritten cards as gifts, too. Love these ideas!

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    1. I bet the mini glass paintings were lovely gifts.

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  30. Those are great ideas. I've made beaded bracelets, wreaths, dreamcatchers and cookies. I once made 12 dozen cookies- 4 different types of cookies and gave them in a nice tin.

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    1. Oh, wreaths and dream catchers are awesome gifts!

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  31. I love these. They definitely last longer and are more useful than, say, a body spray set. :)

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    1. Body spray is nice but I would also rather get one of these. :)

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  32. Wonderful ideas, Chrys. I was thinking about making photo albums of Christmases past. It's fun to see the old pictures. Not sure I'll do it, but a possibility.

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    1. Photo albums of Christmases past would be wonderful!

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  33. Those are some great ideas. I have given homemade candy and puppy chow as gifts before. I have a friend who crafts more than I do, and I sometimes give her supplies and crafting books.

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    1. Craft supplies to a crafter is an awesome idea!

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