On a budget? Feeling crafty? Wanna make something special for the holidays? Well, homemade gifts can be a wonderful way to show that you care. They can also be total shit (c’mon, nobody wants a macaroni necklace).
For homemade gift ideas that don’t absolutely suck, I asked the veteran gifters of r/Gifts and r/GiftIdeas. But before we jump into specifics, a few considerations:
- Be Allergy-Conscious: Food can be a great gift, but make sure your recipient doesn’t have any allergies first. You don’t want to kill them on Christmas.
- Avoid “Dust Collectors”: Arts and crafts are obvious homemade gift options, and they can be totally awesome. But if your recipient is a minimalist or isn’t into the style you’re making, there’s a good chance your creation will end up in the trash. Put your detective cap on, and make sure they’re actually into what you’re making.
- Be Careful With Themed Items: If you’re making something related to a person’s hobby or career, keep in mind that they may already have it or can make it themself (and probably even better than you can). If they’ve specifically asked for this thing, that’s fine. Otherwise, maybe get more creative.
With that out of the way, here are some more specific ideas (with a variety of YouTube tutorials to help you get started).
Food and Drink
Unless you’re a wrecking ball in the kitchen, edible gifts are never a bad idea. Here are a few options from r/Gifts and r/GiftIdeas:
Homemade Sourdough Bread: All you need is flour and yeast.
Chocolates: If you buy silicone molds (or even ice cube trays), you can simply melt down a large bar of chocolate and add caramel, nuts, marshmallows, toffee, a bunch of weed butter or other ingredients to make personalized chocolate candies.
Cookies, Cake, Fudge or Cinnamon Rolls: Classics!
Wine Jelly: Wine, lemon juice and dried pectin are the only ingredients, so it’s easy to make, and everyone loves jelly. Along these same lines, you don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make all sorts of jams, marmalades and candied nuts.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix With Homemade Marshmallows: There are all sorts of cocoa and marshmallow recipes online, and if you keep a stocked pantry, there’s a good chance you already have everything you need. For bonus points, decorate the jar you pack it into and gift it with small bottles of Baileys.
Pre-Bottled Cocktails: Homemade eggnog is a solid option, but feel free to get creative (here are some holiday cocktail recipes).
Arts and Crafts
If you have a knack for making things, the gifting pros of r/Gifts and r/GiftIdeas say these are all great ideas (but again, only make your recipient something if you suspect they’ll actually use or enjoy it):
Paintings: “Pour” paintings are beginner-friendly.
Painted Plant Pots and Seeds: Second-hand stores like Goodwill often sell cheap pots. All you have to do is paint them and provide some seeds for your recipient to grow. If you’re into pottery, you can even make the pots yourself.
Cross Stitches: Many cross-stitching kits are under $10 on Amazon. Just make sure you pick an image that your recipient will like.
Handmade Jewelry: I’ll say it again: Nobody wants a macaroni necklace. However, wire jewelry can be pretty neat if you take the time to make it.
Woven Baskets: You’ll need to do some YouTube research, but woven baskets are extremely in right now.
Knitted Scarfs: You’ll need some knitting gear, but scarves are one of the easier things to knit.
Personalized Calendars: Online, you can make your own calendars with images of your choice.
Macramé: It’s easy and cheap, and macramé plant holders are super trendy at the moment.
Soaps, Sugar Scrubs and Candles: DIY soaps, sugar scrubs and candles are simple to make, and there’s a good chance your recipient is more likely to actually use consumables like these than random decorations.
Perler Bead Art: It’s a cool artform, and r/BeadSprites is a goldmine for Perler bead artwork ideas.
Handmade Cards: Fill them with bad puns for extra lolz.
If the recipient of your gift isn’t into “stuff,” personalized Spotify playlists, local events and even footing the bill at a nice restaurant tend to be well-received.
Dick in a Box
As one of the commenters on my r/GiftIdeas post says, it’s “easy, cheap and recyclable.”
Hey, I’m just the messenger. Happy gifting!