11 Ideas for Easy Handmade Gifts

Let’s get this clear:  A handmade gift is one of those gifts that can go terribly wrong.  If it doesn’t fit, is the wrong color, wrong style, or if it’s just plain ugly, it can’t be returned.

Mothers and grandmothers will, of course, absolutely love a handmade gift, any handmade gift, from their child or grandchild – even if it is the most puzzling, atrocious creation they’ve ever beheld.

Everyone else – be careful.  Your handmade gift may make some very awkward moments.

Well chosen and crafted, a handmade gift can be a delightful way to show someone how well you know them and how much you care about them.

Handmade gifts can also be great last minute gifts.

That said, I’ve been thinking about handmade gifts that have a good chance of being well received. Here are some ideas.

[12/07/16 Broken Links were updated and replaced]  [12-20-17 broken links were updated and/or replaced]

11 Ideas for Handmade Gifts

1.   Make an Apron

This is a good gift for the person who likes to bake and cook. Especially when baking or cooking with flour, most cooks will at least once in a while want to wear an apron to keep their clothes from getting splatters and flour smudges.  Unless you are quite sure of the person’s taste, avoid exotic or cheesy designs and go for functional, yet pretty.

One thing that makes an apron perfect as a handmade gift is that it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece in order to be functional.  In fact, if an apron is too pretty the cook might be reluctant to wear it and risk staining it!

Here are a few easy apron instructions that I found:

30 Free Apron Patterns  Free Vintage Apron Patterns

The instructions are detailed and the aprons are lovely.

Martha Stewart has instructions for a Baker’s Apron


2.  Sachets

These are nice because they are meant to be tucked away in a drawer, which takes a lot of the pressure off of making them look perfect.

 Martha Stewart has simple instructions for Patterned Sachets


3.  Little Notebook

This makes a small notebook that is nice for keeping next to the phone or in the car.  Add a pen to complete the gift.

For the really creative, this can be used to make an actual book, such as a book of original poems, or a book of quotes.

See Kate Sew – A Little Tutorial for Making Little Books

4.  Bath snowballs

– made with Epsom salts, so can be used for a foot soak instead.

Fragrant Bath Snowballs

These are very pretty as well as practical.


5.  Planted arrangement – spices, herbs, flowers

Try this Mini Succulent Garden from  Real Simple

or Christmas Flower Gift

6. Secret Treasures Book

I’m not particularly fond of cutting up perfectly readable books, so I suggest using a book that is hopelessly outdated, or perhaps has damaged or missing inside pages.  As long as the cover and spine are in good shape, this project can make an attractive hidden storage book.

How2dostuff has good instructions for How to Make a Secret Hollow Book

7.  Family Calendar

If you have a printer and a word processing program such as MSWord or OpenOffice you can make a personalized calendar.  Use photos of the family, the pets, the house, the surrounding city, or even favorite vacation photos for each month.  If possible, note birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days on the calendar.

Here are some calendar templates  calendarlabs.com Photo Calendar

Microsoft Office has many free calendar templates office.microsoft.com


8.  Cookies or Bread in a Jar

– layer the dry ingredients for baked goods in an attractive pattern in a jar.  Be sure to attach a card or printout with the recipe and baking instructions.

Here is one for Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Quick Bread

And one for Cowgirl Cookies

 M & M Cookies in a Jar

Christmas Cookies in a Jar



I love these beautiful bookmarks you can make with stray earrings


10.  Oilcloth Receipt Wallet

This one I personally like .  It’s unique as well as practical.  It can be used in a car or purse to neatly store all those little receipts, sales tickets, and scraps of paper.  It can also be used for storing the same small papers in a drawer or on a desk.  If you avoid the flowered patterns and go for a masculine color, this is even a great gift for the man in your life to keep track of papers in the garage or glove box.

Oilcloth Receipt Wallet

11.  Things I love about you list

There are many variations on this one … but I really like this one that uses a deck of cards:

52 Reasons i love you – this is a gallery showing many variations of the card book.  You can also purchase and download a template on this site if you are in a hurry.

50 Reason Why I Love You Jar – this sweet idea uses candy and small stickers to deliver the messages

A key to this gift is to make it personal.  Try to stay away from cliches like “You help me ” and instead be more specific “I love how you open the garage door for me when I get home.”


Hopefully these will give you some ideas for handmade gifts.  Now, you’d better pick your gift and get started if you want to get it done in time!

Merry Christmas!  I hope you and your family have a holiday filled with peace, joy, love, and prosperity.


Related posts:  Fat Dollar – Inexpensive Gift Ideas

Simple Life – Meaningful Gift Ideas

Fat Dollar – Last Minute Low Dollar Gift Ideas

Related posts from The Fat Dollar –  More Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas – $10 or Less!

Awesome, Yet Inexpensive Gift Ideas



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