When it comes to gifts, they say it’s the thought that counts and there ‘s nothing more thoughtful than a handmade gift. The best thing about hand-made gifts is that they are typically easy and inexpensive to make. If you are looking for ideas, read on for my top picks for this DIY gifts. Make these for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and much more! Enjoy!
- Hot Cocoa Mix: I have given this as a gift for years and it never fails to please. Mix 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 ½ cups cocoa powder, and 3 cups evaporated milk in a large bowl and set aside. Ground 1 ½ cups milk or white chocolate chips and crush 1 cup of candy canes. Layer the cocoa mixture with the extras in a mason jar or a clear baker’s bag. Add a tag or label to the container with the following directions “To enjoy, mix 1/3 cup cocoa with 1 cup hot water or milk”. Top off the container with ribbon or a fancy bow for a festive treat.
- Sugar Scrubs: Make a moisturizing body scrub for your loved ones using ingredients from your very own pantry. Sugar can be combined with other ingredients such as olive oil, fragrant herbs, ground coffee beans, and coconut milk to make an inexpensive yet very effective exfoliating scrub. For an easy vanilla sugar scrub mix 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar, 1 cup olive oil, and 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract or 10 drops of vanilla essential oil. Scoop the mixture into a mason jar and add ribbon for a personalized gift that anyone will love. For other great sugar scrub recipes, click here.
- Recipe Book: A recipe book is a great gift for a college student or newlywed couple. Compile their favorite recipes and print them in a booklet format. Or take it one step further and make a family cookbook using recipes that have been handed down throughout the years. Personalize the book with family stories or cooking tips for a special touch. If the budget allows, have the book printed using a site like Snapfish or Shutterfly.
- Sharpie Mug: Delight the coffee or tea lover in your life. Use colorful oil-based (non-toxic) sharpies to write or stencil on a plain white or other solid color mug. Add quotes, monograms, or hand drawn pictures to customize the mug. Bake in the oven upside down on a cookie sheet at 425 degrees for 30 minutes to set the ink. Let them cool completely in the oven before removing to avoid cracking. For as little as $5, you now have a gorgeous handmade mug.
- Scrabble Tile Coasters: This is one of the hottest DIY projects around. It is super easy to make and the results are fantastic. Simply hot glue scrabble tiles to cork board squares. Use the tiles to spell words such as love, life, and home. Or turn the tiles over and use the blank space to draw or stamp your own custom design. Once assembled, spray with a clear lacquer to seal the tiles. Once completely dry, wrap them in bundles with ribbon. Don’t have a scrabble game lying around? Check sites like Ebay or Amazon for low cost bulk tiles.
- Photo Frame: This is one of my favorite holiday projects to do with kids. Grandma and Grandpa will love receiving the family holiday photo in a frame that is handmade by the grandchildren (with a little help from mom and dad). Purchase inexpensive photo frames and use paint, ribbon, glitter, sequins, and buttons, to dress them up. Be sure the frame is completely dry before wrapping.
- Bird Feeder: Nature lovers will be so excited to receive this gift. Bird feeders can be made using many different types of materials. In fact, many are made using items from your own back yard such as pine cones and sticks. For example, spread peanut butter on a pine cone (use natural peanut butter whenever possible). Roll the pine cone in bird seed and dried fruits. Then tie a string to the top of the pine cone so that it can be hung. Once the peanut butter and seed has set (about 2-3 hours), wrap the bird feeders in plastic and add a gift tag.
- Themed Gift Basket: This is a fun gift to give (and receive) because the possibilities with this gift are endless. Is the hubby a sports lover? Fill a football helmet with merchandise from their favorite team. Does your mom like to bake? Purchase a variety of baking items and use a Bundt pan as the basket. Baskets can be created using virtually any theme and can be made as small or as large as your budget will allow.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and think out of the “box”!