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Gift Ideas

10 easy homemade Christmas gift ideas

Giving away handmade presents for Christmas is not only really thoughtful, but it can also save you so much money. Here are the best DIY gifts to try...

christmas gift, hot chocolate, cocktail and scrapbook

Credit: Mega Pixel, Julia Manga, Africa Studio, Bondart Photography - Shutterstock

On a tight budget this Christmas, missed the deadline for deliveries, or just fancy getting a bit creative with your gifts? We've got some great, cheap homemade Christmas gift ideas for you to try.

It could help to wait until you go home for Christmas so you can access more household accessories and basic DIY paraphernalia.

If you're pushing it, you could even make them on Christmas Eve. Most of these DIY gifts can be made in under an hour.

Our top 10 handmade gift ideas are sure to impress. They can work as a great option for Secret Santa and stocking fillers.

If you're also looking to buy some presents this year, read our guide to the best Christmas gifts.

Best handmade Christmas presents

These are the best and easiest things to make as DIY Christmas gifts on a budget:

  1. Microwave hand warmers

    microwave handwarmer

    Credit: nito – Shutterstock

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... And with that, we're beginning to lose the feeling in our fingers every time we leave the house.

    Handmade microwavable hand warmers make ideal Christmas presents. It's easy to make pocket-sized ones that can be warmed up in the microwave.

    To make them, you'll need some scraps of material (the more festive the better), a bag of rice and a needle and thread. We've got full instructions on how to make them in our upcycling guide.

  2. DIY cocktail kit


    Credit: Max Moraga – Shutterstock

    This one is great if you've got a whole group of friends you want to make Christmas presents for (and don't want to leave anyone out)!

    Simply buy mini-size ingredients to make their favourite drink, and package them up nicely.

    For example, if your friend likes vodka and coke, simply grab a can of coke, a miniature bottle of vodka, and a jam jar. If you haven't got any jam jars lying around at home, you can buy them in bulk. Then, get a bit of string and some nice paper straws.

    Place the can inside the jar, then attach your alcoholic mini to the side using the string and pop in the straw.

    You can do this with rum, prosecco, gin and pretty much any alcohol that comes in a mini-size version.

    Or, if you've already got alcohol in your cupboards, you could buy some small glass bottles and fill those up with their favourite drink. Cheers to that!

  3. Homemade hair and skin beauty treatments

    ingredients for homemade beauty products

    Credit: Kerdkanno – Shutterstock

    You'd be surprised just how easy it is to make effective beauty products using only cheap and natural ingredients.

    We've got a whole guide on how to make beauty products for your hair, face and body. They're all made from edible things you'll find in your fridge and kitchen cupboards.

    Once you've decided which products to make, pour them into neat little jars. And don't forget to decorate them with some Christmas ribbons!

  4. Personalised Christmas cards

    homemade christmas card

    Credit: Etnika – Shutterstock

    You could take the easy route and get some personalised cards made on Moonpig or FunkyPigeon.

    But making some cards yourself can be good fun, and make for a pretty thoughtful festive gesture. There are loads of card-making ideas scattered around the web, but it's ideal if you can make something unique and personal to the recipient.

    You could also up your game by adding photos or writing a personalised Christmas poem inside. There's nothing nicer for the card receiver than knowing that loads of thought went into it.

    While the card itself should cost you next to nothing, you'll just need some card-making supplies.

  5. Baked treats


    Home-baked things like cakes, brownies and cookies make such good Christmas gifts.

    If you're a natural in the kitchen, you'll no doubt already have your own favourite recipes. But if you struggle a little in that department, worry not – we've got some super easy ones.

    Check out our recipe for chocolate truffles. Or, think about what would be most well-received (or, perhaps more importantly, what you think you'd be best at making).

    The one drawback to baking a gift is that you'll have to do it quite close to Christmas Day. But, if you can find the time, it will be worth it.

  6. A snow globe


    Credit: Zoltan Major – Shutterstock

    Next time you finish a jar of jam, peanut butter or something similar, don't throw it away! You can upcycle it into a snow globe and avoid it going to waste.

    If you don't have any jars lying around, you could potentially buy one from somewhere like Dunelm. However, the most eco-friendly gift option would be to reuse an old jar that you already have, so do this if you can.

    When deciding what to put in the jar, we'd recommend using dry fillings. Filling the snow globe with liquid can be effective, but you can make an extra special one without it (which may be less hassle).

    The only thing you definitely need is something to act as the snow. Table salt would work. Or if you have any other ideas, feel free to get creative.

    Beyond that, it's pretty much up to you how to decorate the snow globe. You could go for a good old-fashioned tree and reindeer, or you could personalise the scene a little more depending on the interests of whoever's receiving the gift.

    If you do decide to fill your homemade snow globe with water, you could replace the salt (which would dissolve!) with some biodegradable glitter or artificial snow.

  7. Photo scrapbook

    scrapbook present

    A photo scrapbook is the most time-consuming homemade Christmas present, but if done properly, it can be the best.

    You can print photos online for free (you just need to pay for postage and packaging). We go through the best sites to try in our guide to free photo printing.

    When making a Christmas scrapbook, approach it in any way that you wish. We'd suggest getting a scrapbook to start with and then personalising each page with personal jokes, drawings and memories you share with the person.

    It shouldn't cost much to make, and it could genuinely be one of the most thoughtful gifts they've ever received.


    homemade bookmark

    Credit: Leo Fernandes – Shutterstock

    Bookmarks are the perfect gifts for all of your bookworm friends, and they can be made easily in one of two ways:

    1. Cut out a strip of white card and glue on some pressed flowers picked straight from your garden, laminate, and voilà!
    2. Alternatively, have you got tickets from an event you and your friend went to together? You could cut off the scraggly edges, add a photo of one of your favourite memories with them, sprinkle on some glitter and laminate the result.

    Stick your bookmark on the inside of your Christmas card. This way, you can avoid using wrapping paper unnecessarily, which saves you money and avoids waste.

    Did you know that not all wrapping paper is recyclable? If you need to wrap gifts, you could try using brown paper. It looks great and can be recycled.
  9. Hot chocolate sticks

    hot chocolate stick

    Credit: Neirfy – Shutterstock

    For anyone with a sweet tooth, homemade hot chocolate sticks will be very appreciated as Christmas gifts. Just make sure these make it to your friend and don't end up in your stomach...

    Melt the chocolate, pour into an ice cube mould and leave to cool a little. Then, while the chocolate's still soft, add in your sticks and refrigerate.

    To make hot chocolate stir sticks, all you'll need to buy is cooking chocolate and potentially some skewers or wooden teaspoons if you'd like to use these as decorations.

  10. Embroidered accessories

    embroidery shirt heart

    Credit: Yuriy Golub – Shutterstock

    Got a plain t-shirt, tote bag or hat that you no longer use? You can personalise it with some embroidery to make it into the perfect DIY Christmas gift.

    You'll need a needle and some embroidery thread. Or, you can get a full embroidery kit, which also comes with a hoop. These make it a little easier, especially if you've never done it before.

    There are loads of online tutorials on how to embroider anything from a heart to different types of plants and flowers.

Now that the presents are sorted, you can get cracking with Christmas dinner.

Jake Butler

WRITTEN BY Jake Butler

Jake joined Save the Student in 2010 and is the COO. As an expert across student finance, Jake has appeared on The BBC, The Guardian, Which?, ITV, Channel 5 and many other outlets. He particularly enjoys sharing tips on saving money and making extra money with opportunities like paid surveys and part-time jobs.
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