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...
Whether you're on a tight budget this Christmas, you've missed the deadline for deliveries, or you just fancy getting a bit creative with your gifts, we've got some great, cheap homemade Christmas gift ideas for you to try.
If you can, it's worth waiting until you go home for Christmas so you can have access to more household accessories and basic DIY paraphernalia. If you're really pushing it, you could probably even make these on Christmas Eve as most of these DIY gifts can be made in under an hour. They make great stocking fillers too!
Our top 10 tried-and-tested ideas are sure to impress, and can also work out as a great option for Secret Santa.
Best handmade Christmas presents
These are the best and easiest things to make as DIY Christmas gifts on a budget:
Microwave hand warmers
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 really 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.
Handmade face masks
Is there a Christmas gift more perfect for these times than a handmade face mask? We think not.
To make one, you'll likely need a sewing machine, fabric, some wire so that it can hug around your nose, and a couple of strings of elastic to slip around your ears. And on YouTube, you'll be able to find loads of tutorials on easy ways to make a face mask.
If you don't already own a sewing machine, though, it's probably not worth buying one just for this Christmas present – you could try looking on Etsy or ASOS Marketplace for handmade masks from independent sellers.
DIY cocktail kit
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 really nicely.
For example, if your friend likes vodka and coke, then 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 here). 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. If you've already got alcohol in your cupboards, you could also buy some small glass bottles and fill those up with their favourite drink. Cheers to that!
Homemade hair and skin beauty treatments
You'd be surprised just how easy it is to make really effective beauty products using only cheap natural ingredients.
In fact, we've got a whole guide on how to make beauty products for your hair, face and body entirely from edible things you'll find in your fridge and kitchen cupboards.
Once you've decided which products to whip up, you can decant them into neat little jars like these, and decorate them with some lovely Christmas ribbon.
Personalised Christmas cards
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 really 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 need some card-making supplies, plus a bit of free time on your hands.
Home-baked things like cakes, brownies and cookies make such good Christmas gifts.
If you're a dab hand 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 that are as easy as pie.
Check out our recipes for chocolate fondant buns and chocolate truffles, and have a 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 (if that's when you're seeing them) or find the time to do it just before you plan to give the gift. But if you can find the time, it'll be totally worth it.
If you're a fan of jam, peanut butter, chocolate spread, or pretty much anything else that comes in a jar, you're in luck here. In fact, even if you don't have any jars lying around, you can buy a super cheap one from Wilko that arguably looks better and doesn't need washing up first.
When it comes to deciding what you put in the jar, we'd recommend that you use dry fillings. Filling the snowglobe 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 – we'd recommend just using some bog-standard table salt, but if you have any other ideas, feel free to get creative.
Beyond that, it's pretty much up to you how to decorate the snowglobe. 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.
This is the most time-consuming homemade Christmas present, but if done properly, it can be the best.
You can now print a ton of photos online for free (you just need to pay for postage and packaging) if you use up the free prints from each service listed in our guide to free photo printing.
You can approach making a Christmas scrapbook in any way that you wish, but 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.
Bookmarks are the perfect gifts for all of your bookworm friends, and they can be made really easily in one of two ways:
- Cut out a strip of white cardboard (preferably purchased from your local arts and crafts shop, not from the back of your finished Cheerios packet) and glue on some pressed flowers picked straight from your garden, laminate, and voilà!
- Still got tickets from an event you and your friend had gone 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 end result.
Stick your bookmark on the inside of your Christmas card and you'll even save yourself the cost of wrapping paper.
Hot chocolate sticks
For anyone with a sweet tooth, homemade hot chocolate sticks will be very appreciated as Christmas gifts. Just make sure these actually 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. Simple as!
To make hot chocolate stir sticks, all you'll need to buy is cooking chocolate and potentially some skewers or wooden teaspoons which you can decorate if you feel so inclined. Metal teaspoons from your own kitchen drawers work a treat too!
Now that the presents are sorted, you can get cracking with Christmas dinner.