The holiday season is supposed to be filled with joy, but gift shopping can quickly dampen your holiday spirit when you’re on a tight budget. Store-bought presents can put a strain on your finances, especially if you have a large family. Fortunately, you can give thoughtful, meaningful gifts without going broke by making them yourself! Homemade gifts show you care and don’t have to cost much at all.
If you’re looking to save money on gifts this holiday season, check out these 10 tips for making inexpensive homemade presents:
1. Bake Up Some Treats
Treats like cookies, breads, and cakes make excellent gifts from the kitchen. Bake up some cinnamon rolls, muffins, or banana bread and package them nicely in cellophane bags tied with ribbon. For a more personal touch, whip up Aunt Sally’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe that everyone raves about. You can also gift jars filled with the dry ingredients to bake cookies, breads, or other tasty treats. The recipient will enjoy the convenience of being able to add the wet ingredients and bake a fresh, homemade goodie. It’s a thoughtful, personalized gift that requires minimal effort for the baker.
2. Craft Handmade Cards
A heartfelt, homemade card means so much more than a generic store-bought one. Let your creative side shine by making cards from scratch. Cut out festive shapes from construction paper and glue onto folded cardstock. Decorate the cards with stickers, rubber stamp images, or drawings. Another idea is to print and cut out digital designs like holiday clip art. Pop-up elements or cut-outs take it up a notch.
3. Knit Scarves, Hats, and Mittens
Hand-knit accessories like scarves, hats, and mittens make wonderful gifts, especially during the colder months. You can find inexpensive knitting kits for beginners at craft stores. Simply follow the instructions to create a matching set. Add buttons, pom poms, or tassels as accents. Knitting while binge-watching TV is a cozy way to crank out multiple gifts.
4. Craft Ornaments
Get the kids involved in making custom Christmas tree ornaments for relatives. All you need are basic craft supplies like paint, glitter, beads, felt, and dough. Help little ones make salt dough ornaments decorated with stamps or beads. They can paint popsicle stick picture frames with photos of themselves inside. Have teens create glittery snowflake designs using white felt and glue.
5. Make Candles
Homemade candles make thoughtful gifts that also smell heavenly. Purchase plain glass jars and candle wax flakes from a craft store. Heat the wax using a double boiler, then personalize the fragrance of each candle by incorporating a few drops of essential oils tailored to the recipient’s preferences. Infuse Aunt Debbie’s candle with calming lavender, and brighten up Cousin James’ with an energizing citrus blend. Decorate the jars with pretty embellishments like lace, fabric or raffia tied on with jute string for a personal touch. The personalized scents and handcrafted accents make these homemade candles unique and thoughtful.
6. Blend Seasonings and Mixes
For a thoughtful and useful holiday gift, make personalized seasoning blends or drink mixes to give to friends and family. Fill glass jars with fun ingredients like cocoa powder, coffee beans, loose leaf tea, assorted spices, granola, dried fruit and nuts. Print out recipe cards with instructions on how to use each homemade blend and attach to the jars with ribbon. These edible DIY gifts will delight recipients and provide them with something delicious they can enjoy all season long.
7. Record a Personal Message
Few things feel more heartwarming than receiving an audio gift with the voice of someone you love. Record yourself reading a poem, singing a song, or sharing fond memories about the gift recipient. Use your phone to record, then upload the file to an online service to create a digital audio file on a CD or USB drive. Place the audio gift in a decorated envelope or small box.
8. Assemble a Gift Basket
Gift baskets don’t have to blow your budget. Hit up the dollar store to curate a basket tailored to the recipient’s interests. For Grandma, fill a basket with tea bags, honey sticks, cookies, puzzles, lotion, and more. For a teen boy, pack snacks, gaming accessories, toiletries, and gift cards for iTunes or Amazon.
9. Create Photo Gifts
Give the gift of memories this year by turning cherished family photos into heartfelt homemade presents. Print out your favorite snapshots on photo paper and frame them for display or adhere them to handcrafted keepsake boxes. For more custom options, use an online service like Shutterfly to immortalize nostalgic images on mugs, blankets, puzzles, calendars and more. These personalized photo gifts will warm the hearts of loved ones while capturing precious moments they can revisit year after year. The possibilities are endless when you turn your most precious memories into thoughtful gifts crafted with care.
10. Make Jewelry and Accessories
Handmade jewelry makes a sentimental gift, whether it’s for Mom, Grandma, or your teen’s BFF. Make necklaces, bracelets, and earrings using beads, charms, silk cord, and wire. Kids can craft paracord bracelets or macrame keychains. Buy supplies like clasps and findings in bulk for affordability. Craft stores offer free tutorials.
This holiday season, break free from boring, expected gifts by getting creative and thinking outside the gift box. Channel your creativity and try your hand at crafting thoughtful, homemade presents. Your friends and family will appreciate the time, effort, and personal touch you put into making them gifts from the heart. What unique homemade presents will you be gifting this year?