Every year my cousin’s and I draw names to exchange gifts. A few years ago when we were all saving for weddings, houses and then babies, we decided to make specifications that most or at least part of the gift(s) need to be homemade. It’s a good way to save a bit of money, and also by making something homemade you are giving a piece of yourself along with the gift. Since then, I’ve also begun to make more gifts to give to other gift recipients on my list.
Some of these ideas are things I’ve made (or am currently making), some are things I received, and some I found that maybe I’ll make in the future. Others I though might be nice to make but I just don’t have a recipient that is right for that gift, I just wanted to share.
Homemade BBQ sauces and grilling rubs. A few years ago, my cousin’s husband, who loves to cook, made me a special BBQ sauce and invited me over to indulge in a home smoked rack of ribs. YUMMY!
Tea Wreath I made this for my grandma’s birthday this year. It was so easy. I used fabric instead of the scrapbook paper these instructions call for, and used spray adhesive to adhere it to the front of the cardboard. I also chose to leave my clothes pins un covered because it went with the colors in the fabric. Also since this was for my grandma, I wanted them to be very visible for her.
Baby Blocks This would be so cute and easy for any baby.
Peek-a-boo board This looks very easy. Since there are pockets under the flaps, the pictures underneath can be changed to keep things new.
Easy Throw Blanket I’m making this for my grandma this year for Christmas. I’m using fleece instead of a cotton or flannel. She just moved back up north from living in Florida for 15 years, so she needs something warmer. I didn’t quite use the same pattern as the website listed. I chose to make mine a little simpler. I am using 12×12 blocks along the side with a 24×36 center piece. My finished blanket is going to be 48×60. A little larger than some might think for a throw, your’s could certainly be any size, just adjust your blocks to scale.
T-shirt Scarf A very little sew project. Jersey knit doesn’t fray so there is no need to finish the edges.
Monogrammed mugs. I have not made these, but they seem to be very easy to make. And cheap. Fill them with a Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix (even include homemade marshmallows too!!), or even a Cake in a Mug Mix. These would be perfect for those coworker exchanges that you never know what to buy for.
Paint your own pottery. This one is more semi homemade, but still a great gift idea. There are great studios where you can paint your own pottery. They provide the paint, brushes, cured pottery pieces and firing kiln and you provide the creativity. This is a great activity to include the kids in, they can enjoy getting messy and creating a unique gift for anyone. I have found that there are often nights where studio fees are waived. Last year my mom and I went on pajama night and only paid $1 for the studio fee at our local pottery painting location. If you are looking to save money, it might be a good idea to look for these special events.
Mod Podge Photo Frame This is a great inexpensive gift idea. Put a family photo or kid’s photo in there. Or if you enjoy photography, maybe one of your own shots from the past year.
Homemade Dog Treats Don’t forget those canine friends one your list!
Another few ideas, if you have a special talent that your gift recipient would enjoy learning, offer to provide lessons as a gift. I’m very well versed in Photoshop, and my dad always wanted to learn more, so I offered a tutorial to teach a few of the special tricks that I’ve learned through the years. My husband did the same with Microsoft Excel for my mom. Making dinner for your recipient or offering to babysit so a couple can have a night out are also great homemade gift ideas. I will make up handmade or computer certificates to wrap up for the recipients so they have something to open along with everyone.
I found tons of other ideas that I didn’t include in this post. Here are a few other websites where you can find great ideas:
Everything Etsy -She has a lot of great tutorials, and links to other great projects.
Better Homes & Gardens – Tutorials are sometimes not very clear, but you can get some good inspiration.
One Pretty Thing – This site compiles a lot of great tutorials from all over the web. There are a lot of great homemade gift suggestions broken down by gift recipient.
And of course Pinterest!