For a gift that’s really from the heart—and doesn’t require hours at the mall to find—put on your maker hat! Need ideas? We found 20 how-to’s for the most awesome homemade gifts for everyone on your list. Bonus: they all take 20 minutes (or less!) to pull together. Scroll down for the genius gift ideas.
Superhero Build-A-Fort Kit
Bam! Pow! Your little superhero will go bananas for this. Just throw together a build-a-fort kit for your caped crusader. Simple materials like a sheet, glow sticks and a flashlight are all you need to give this incredibly creative gift. Master mom Megan from meganandandymade can answer all your questions in an incredibly easy to follow instruction guide.
Cookies in a Jar
Making this delicious and delightful gift from Post Punk Kitchen is as easy as funneling the ingredients for a batch of homemade cookies into a glass jar. This present would be especially personal and enticing if you have an amazing cookie recipe that a far away friend or family member loves. Send them your magic ingredients in a jar and they can fill their home with the happy fragrance of fresh baked cookies before sinking their teeth into a favorite cookie you both made together, even while being far apart!
Travel Busy Board
It’s an easel! It’s a LEGO board. No, wait ... it’s a runway! How many cool ways can your busy bee use this travel board made by mommytesters blogger Jillian? So many! Every parent will want to have one of these in the car or in the carry-on bag while traveling with kiddos. FYI: The secret to this amazing DIY gift is velcro! Find out exactly how to make one with this handy-dandy how-to.
Give a Garden You Rarely Have to Water
If you live somewhere with a woodland area you can gather a few sticks, stones and moss when out on a walk. Your local garden center also sells moss and sand. The key here is to choose a plant that requires little room to grow very little water, like a succulent or our favorite, tillandsias. Also known as air plants, they just require bright, indirect light and misting once or twice a week with a spray bottle of water (or soaking in water once a week).
Upcycle Your Crayons
Never wonder what to do with the stubby ends of crayons again. Use and re-use the classic coloring tools by collecting, melting and cooling down the ends. You’ll get terrifically shaped colors that are as good as new and make beautiful gifts. Want to know exactly how to make this work? Head to myfrugaladventures for more info from blogger mom Charlene.
These adorable reindeer thumbprint ornaments from Little Bit Funky can get even the tiniest hands (or thumbs!) involved in the DIY gift making process. They are so very easy to make, and they will make such a poignant statement hanging on your recipient’s Christmas tree! You can also make these ornaments in bulk to efficiently fashion a gift for several people on your list at once!
Mugs really are everyone’s cup of tea, especially design-savvy monogram mugs. These classic cups are super simple to make if you follow the DIY tutorial from Design Mom. She scored her inexpensive white mugs at a Goodwill shop, making these gifts thrifty and eco-friendly too. Recipients will love cozying up with a cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or warm milk, sipping away with gratitude at their thoughtful gift specially designed by you.
Put a Stamp on It
This idea for rose stamp napkins comes from the good folks at Kiwi Crate and is uber-kid friendly. The stamp is made from a celery stalk (neat!) and the result is cheerful and quirky—the perfect accessory for your loved one’s dinner table.
The Toy That Never Gets Old
This classic hand toy never gets old and will add homemade pizzazz to the next round of Cowboys and Indians. Materials include a men's sock, jute, buttons and a wooden dowel. Creative director and mama in charge Danyelle at dandee-designs offers up the how-to and best tips, including how to just the brown yarn mane just right.
Can We Get S'more?
Nothing captures the vibe of the winter holidays like a good old-fashioned S’more making session. If you know someone who loves S’mores (who doesn’t?) then this festive gift will really light their marshmallow roasting fire. The easy to follow instructions in this tutorial even show you how to make sweet little toasting forks from wire hangers.
Make Your Own Playdough
This is one of the easiest gifts on this list, and one your kids can help assemble. No-cook playdough recipes are all over the place but we love this one from learnwithplayathome. Make different colored batches and store in handy plastic containers for a showy display. Grab the instructions from mix master Debs and order the containers online at amazon.com.
It's Tea Time
Earl Grey or Green all the way? This is genius craft from Dollar Store Crafts will be especially appreciated by the tea connoisseurs in your life. This tea wreath craft can easily be modified to amp up your kiddo’s participation. Instead of decorating the clothespins with pretty scrapbook paper, have your youngster color them with markers. Or, alternate the teabags in the wreath with letters or artwork. We love that your fave tea lover can use this gift long after the holidays to hold cards, notes, and more.
This cinnamon vanilla body scrub smells delicious, is easy to whip up, and it’s even edible. It’s also got all the scents of the season, making it a spirited gift, indeed. Try making a large batch and giving this out to anyone you know who could use a little pampering.
Style + Function=Win!
We love the idea of giving personalized gifts that are useful, too. This painted serving ware from Infarrantly Creative could be a great hostess gift if your family is booked up with holiday parties. Get your kiddos involved and make the stems of these utensils as colorful as they want.
Use Your Imagination
Providing hours of imaginary play and super-easy to whip up ( no sewing required!) Lightning McQueen will be begging for a chance to burn rubber on this baby. Designed to look like your neighborhood or a far-off land of adventure, it's a surefire hit for any motor-obsessed kiddo. Find out how to get it right with a full tutorial from Alison at oopseydaisy.
Sundaes in a Box
This gift looks as good as it will taste and it’s definitely going to be a crowd pleaser. Include all the trimmings for making a killer ice cream sundae, including the waffle cone, chocolate sauce and of course, sprinkles. Find out how savvy mom blogger Jan Scott creates this incredible, edible gift.
Wipe your feet! This idea from Young House Love for a welcome mat gift is super easy and full of customizable opportunities. Craft up a seasonal mat (with a reindeer, perhaps?), stencil in a greeting, or let your kiddos go crazy with the painters tape and create a more abstract design.
Who's in for a Drum Circle?
From the gorgeous mind of Katie Shelton at abeautifulmess comes a gift the little drummer boy will have to get his hands on. Requiring a few items like leather lace, cotton balls, fabric, a glue gun and wooden dowels, this amazing DIY drum is complete after only a few steps. Get all the steps from Katie here.
All the surfers, boarders and skaters at home will want to rip it on a super-easy-to-make balance board. Choose any number of brightly colored duck tape options out there, grab some PVC pipe and be on your way to the coolest way to reuse a slab of wood. Find out more from project manager mama Meg at elsiemarley.
For the New Mom in Your Life
Upcycled bibs (made using old tees and fabric scraps) are a fantastic gift for babies or new mamas. But heads up gift givers: This project is definitely one for the sewing pros. Blogger Rebecca at RebeccaSmithonline is the crafty creator on this project and includes the bib pattern with her post.
What’s your favorite homemade gift idea? Have you ever received a totally awesome homemade gift?
—Beth Shea, Gabby Cullen and Abigail Matsumoto