In the spirit of getting ready for Christmas, my December posts are going to be centered around how to make the most out of the holiday season without overloading yourself or your budget.
Check out the Table of Contents at the end of this post for more posts in the series! I’ll add them as I get the posts up.
Today I’m going to talk about some homemade gifts you can make for your loved ones. Some of these (like scarves and scrapbooks) might take longer to make than others, so I’m giving you this list now at the beginning of December so you’ll have some time.
Just reading this the week before Christmas? Don’t worry! Things like bath salts, sugar scrubs, and roll-ones take almost no time to put together. They’re perfect for those last-minute gifts!
1. Knitted Scarves and Hats
These have been some of my favorite homemade gifts to make and give over the years. There are so many different types of yarn you can use and so many different colors to choose from.
Whether you choose to knit using needles or a loom, hats and scarves are some of the simplest projects you can make.
With a hat, all you nee to do is knit a flat panel or a circle, sew it up the side (if it’s flat) and cinch and tie off the top.
Scarves are even easier. You literally just knit a flat panel until it’s almost as tall as you are, and then bind it off.
You can add excitement to these gifts by alternating colors to make stripes or by adding Pom-poms.
You can even make both and give them as a matching set!
Once you’re comfortable with simple knitting projects, the possibilities are endless! You can branch out to things like mittens, blankets, and even sweaters and give those as gifts!
2. Beeswax Candles
Beeswax candles are extremely simple to make, especially if you make the ones where you just melt the wax and pour it in a jar with a wick.
You can buy beeswax online or see if a local beekeeper has any to sell (I get mine from my husband).
To add scents to your candles, you can use essential oils (which I love because I know they’re not spreading toxins in my house) or special candle scents (maybe some of these are fine, but most are laden with artificial fragrances).
If you’re going the essential oil route, here are some of my favorite scent combinations:
Candy Cane: Peppermint and Spearmint
Christmas Eve: Cinnamon, Pine, and Orange
Snickerdoodle: Vanilla, Lime, and Cinnamon
Tree Cutting: Pine and Spruce
Gingerbread: Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Clove
You’ll have to play around with the amount of drops you put in depending on how strong you want the smell and which smells you want to be the most prominent.
If you have any oil combinations you use in your diffuser, those would make awesome candle scents!
Let me know in the comments what combos you use to make you house smell like Christmas!
3. Homemade Spa Basket
I hadn’t made one until last Christmas when I made one for our local library’s silent auction, but these are so simple to make!
Some ideas to include:
Scented Bath Salts (just mix Epsom salts with a few drops of essential oils)
Sugar Scrub (Mix equal parts brown or white sugar and melted or fractionated coconut oil. Add essential oils if desired.)
A nice washcloth or pumice stone
A cute basket to store it all in!
Note: I haven’t necessarily tried all these recipes. I did, however, link to recipes from bloggers I follow and trust, even though I haven’t personally tested their recipes. Do some research on which ingredients you’ll need before you get started.
While some of these things (like lotion and body butter) take a little more time to make, bath salts and sugar scrubs take mere seconds. Just dump a couple ingredients in a bowl and stir. They’re that easy.
If you need scent ideas, check out the Christmas-themed combinations I listed in the candle section above.
Since they take so little time to make, this gift is perfect for when you realize you need a gift for someone last minute since you probably have all the ingredients on hand already!
4. Scrapbook of your favorite memories
Scrapbooks are such a fun and pretty way to look back at memories from past events.
They also make awesome gifts because they provide a pretty keepsake to go with the memories in the photos.
My sister gave me a scrapbook just before my wedding that she made with pictures from my bachelorette party and letters to me from everyone who came to it. It’s so cool to look back at and remember everyone.
Some ideas for scrapbooks:
- Romantic scrapbook of you and you significant other’s love story
- Timeline of your and your best friend’s love story
- Album of a family vacation you took
- Photos of your kids for their grandparents or godparents
You can really make a scrapbook about whatever you want, even a pet, place, or person!
DIY Version (for the recipient)
A simple spin on this gift idea is to create a blank scrapbook for your friend or family member to fill out themselves. All you need to do it make some layouts with paper and embellishments that fit a theme or color scheme (like vacation or Christmas or shades of blue)
Make sure to leave room for the recipient to add their own photos and captions.
This version is nice if you don’t have access to the photos or information but still want to help preserve memories. Plus, it takes less time to make when you’re not adding photos and captions!
5. Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments
A quick Pinterest search will give you endless ideas for homemade decorations for your Christmas tree.
Chrismtas ornaments can also make wonderful gifts, especially if they’re tied to a special place or memory you have with that person (like the scrapbooks I mentioned above).
Here are some cute ornament ideas you can make yourself.
This one would be really cool to make if you have a loved one who has passed away. You could use a piece from a special shirt you remember them wearing.
I have a bear made from one of my grandpa’s old coats, and it’s a really cool way to remember him.
You could make multiple ornaments like this and give them to family members so you can all remember your loved one when you set up your Christmas tree.
That being said, you could also pick up a sweater from a thrift store and make some ornaments that are just as cute, but without the sentimental value.
This one would be cute to make with a family pet’s pawprint or as a way to make a keepsake that shows how small your son’s hand was when he was 1.
This goes along the same idea as making a scrapbook, as a way to capture a memory you have with someone. However, when you only make one ornament, it takes a lot less time than assembling a whole scrapbook.
Yay for quick(er) projects when you have kids!
6. Essential Oil Blends/Roll-ons
Similar to the candles and spa basket/items I listed above, essential oil roll-one can make awesome gifts.
For roll-ons, just add a couple drops of each oil to a roller bottle and top the bottle off with fractionated coconut oil or almond oil.
If you’d like to make Christmas themed roll-on, see my scent suggestions above in the candle section.
Here are some of my other favorite combinations:
Relaxing: Lavender and Cedarwood
Energizing: Orange and Spearmint
Happy: Orange, Lemon, and Lemongrass
You can use whichever essential oil combinations smell good to you!
Note: Make sure you only use a couple drops of each oil and fill the rest of the roller bottle with your carrier oil. Some oils can feel a bit warm on your skin if used straight, so make sure you’re diluting them before applying them, especially if you don’t regularly use essential oils and don’t know how they interact with your skin.
7. Home Decor
I’m not the most crafty person when it comes to making my own home decor, but Pinterest has endless ideas.
Examples of home decor you can make and give as gifts:
- Candle holders (to go with your beeswax candles!)
- Table runner
- Decorated picture frame
- Odds and end bowl
- Signs with cute sayings or Bible verses
- Shadow box to store momentos
I’m sure there are more ideas, but honestly, I’m the kind of person who decorates so simplistically that even that list was a stretch for me to come up with.
I won’t go into too much detail on this one since I’m planning on doing a separate post all about it, but there lots of things you can make that would work well to give as a gift.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Snack Mix
- Puppy Chow
- Chocolate-dipped pretzel rods
- Seasoned Crackers
- Homemade Bread
- And more!