If you're tired of all the consumerism of the holidays, of braving the mall or shopping endless sites on the internet, perhaps tapping into your crafty side can do the trick.
There isn't anything more thoughtful or special than a homemade gift when you don't have something perfect in mind (if you need ideas, here's a massive list of 50 Christmas gifts for under $25).
When I think of DIY homemade Christmas gifts, I'm always afraid of the classic holiday trope – the exceptionally poorly knitted sweater. It's not good, it takes forever, and your loved one will never wear it with a straight face out of the house. You don't want that.
But, with the advent of Pinterest and the creativity of DIY bloggers everywhere, there is now an incredible array of gorgeous DIY projects that anyone can take on that don't require a thread.
Below are some of my favorites and ones that I think your friends and family will actually like this holiday season – no large budgets required.
(these also make great DIY teacher gifts too!)
DIY Geode Ornaments
Geodes have been quite popular in home design the past few years.
I own a pair of geode earrings and they are among my favorites. There are even geode trays, geode refrigerator magnets, and tables made to look like geodes.
So, why not create a geode ornament?
Your friends and family will probably think you spent a fortune on these at a high-end store. However, anyone can create these by themselves. The best part? It should only take you one afternoon to create several of them – mission accomplished.
DIY Bath Bombs
Bath bombs at stores like Lush can be pretty expensive. Luckily, the recipe to make one yourself is relatively simple. Martha Stewart has a great guide on how to create what she calls Bath Snowballs (super simple tutorial).
The ingredients include things like Epsom salt, food coloring, and water – which are all incredibly affordable, if you're looking to save some money. This is a great gift even for those with skin sensitivities. They don't have the glitter and other additives that are commonly found in a Lush bath bomb.
If you like essential oils, you can even create different bath snowballs with different oils. Think about targeting specific things that your gift recipient might need help with, like stress relief.
DIY Mason Jar Cocktails
I saw this idea on the blog Something Turquoise. It's extremely simple and easy. It's also great for your guy friends or co-workers who might not be into bath bombs or pretty ornaments!
All you do is buy tiny cans of soda, put them in mason jars, and then attach tiny bottles of alcohol with festive string. If you want to go the extra mile, you can print out and attach labels that say something like “Enjoy a Rum & Coke on Me.”
If you have friends who don't enjoy a boozy drink, that's OK, you can always make mason jar hot chocolates or hot cocoa as a holiday gift instead.
Have fun mixing and matching and choosing the combinations that fit your friends' personalities best. If anyone asks, I like a bit of Bailey's around the holidays myself.
DIY Baked Goods
If you're not exactly known for your prowess in the kitchen, you can pass on this one… but who doesn't love a cookie? You can always try to make them and if they don't turn out perfect, you and your family can enjoy them!
Also, you can always cheat like I do and use a breadmaker to make delicious homemade bread and then everyone will think you're Betty Crocker.
For those of you who love to bake, there's nothing better than giving truly delicious Christmas treats. Here are two great resources for finding that perfect holiday recipe:
You will find something fun and delicious there!
DIY Playing Card Love Notes
The blogger behind the site 52 Reasons I Love You has a great idea on how to show you love or appreciate someone. What you do is purchase a pack of playing cards. On each card, you write down one reason why you love or appreciate that person.
You can print out these sweet nothings on your computer or write them by hand on a piece of cardstock and glue them to each playing card. Then, connect them using a hole punch and a key ring.
I did something similar for my husband using a pack of index cards. This was even easier because I didn't have to print and glue my sentiments onto a playing card. I simply wrote directly on the index card and then combined several of them.
For my project, I wrote words of encouragement because my husband had just started medical school at the time. He put the index cards in his bookbag and took them out to flip through them anytime he was stressed and needed a reminder he was loved.
DIY Custom Wood Art
Every time I come across a DIY article on how to create custom art or custom wood art, it always involves expensive supplies or actual talent. That's why I loved this post from a woman named Karen on The Art of Doing Stuff.
I had no idea this was possible before reading this post, but apparently, you can print out an image or words on wax paper using a regular printer. What you do is find a copyright-free image you like or create one yourself. Then, reverse the image, print it on wax paper, and then bring it over to a piece of unfinished wood. Carefully place the wax paper onto the wood and transfer the ink by rubbing the wax paper with a credit card.
You can do something as simple as putting someone's name on a wood sign or create custom planters with different spice names on each one. The sky is the limit, but it's great to know there is a way to create some custom wood art without breaking the bank.
Ultimately, when it comes to holiday gifts, you shouldn't let the pressures of the season get to you, even if you have a small budget. DIY gifts have grown in popularity, and there are extensive resources online with hundreds of ideas of gifts you can give your friends and family.
The ideas above are just a small example of DIY gifts you can create all by yourself with only a little bit of time and a small upfront investment.
It's true what they say: it's the thought that counts. And, when you go the DIY route, you can give a lot more to the people you care about.
Finally, if you're thinking up gifts for a lot of people in a common group, consider employing the Secret Santa hack to cut down on the number of gifts you need.
Do you make DIY Christmas gifts?
What are some of your favorite DIY ideas?
Have you ever received a homemade Christmas gift that you didn't like?