Homemade gifts are often more meaningful than store-bought gifts, and fortunately they’re usually easy on the wallet too. For those who would like to save a buck or two on the next birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gifts, here are 25 ideas for gifts that you can make with materials that are easily found at your local craft or hardware store. Many require little to no crafting skills, while others are a little more challenging, but definitely still doable for us amateurs!
1. Friendship Bracelets
Friendship bracelets were all the rage when I was younger, and they remain an easy and pretty gift to make. If you know how to tie a knot, you can make one of these colorful macramé bracelets from The Purl Bee, which can be made in several patterns.
2. Lace Earring Holder
This lace earring holder from U-Create is the perfect gift for your favorite style maven. Spray-paint a thrifted picture frame in the color of your choice, and tack a pretty piece of lace onto the back for a quick and beautiful earring holder.
3. Sisal Rope Bowl
This sisal bowl by Centsational Girl looks so beautiful (not to mention expensive) and is the perfect easy gift to make as a housewarming or wedding gift. You need a cheap metal bowl, a coil of sisal rope, and some hot glue, and you’re set. Try covering other items with sisal rope (like a jar or an old vase) for a fun variation.
4. Homemade Cake Stand
Use glass glue to attach a goblet or candlestick to the bottom of a pretty plate, and you can easily create a lovely cake stand like this one from Strawberry Chic! Use glass for a more traditional look, or spray paint the base for a more colorful finish. This cake stand is perfect for displaying a friend’s birthday cake, and he gets to keep the stand at the end.
5. Framed Silhouettes
Classic framed silhouettes look great in anyone’s home and make a thoughtful gift. All you need is a photograph with the person you want to silhouette in profile. Blow the photograph up to the size you want and print it out (black and white is fine) on your home printer. Cut out the head, neck, and tops of the shoulders. Trace around the shape you’ve cut out onto black or colored paper (or better yet, a pretty patterned paper), and cut out the new shape. Glue it onto a contrasting background, and put it in a pretty frame. You don’t have to do a profile; a whole-body silhouette of one person or several people works just as well.
6. Vintage Postage Stamp Coasters
Print these colorful vintage postage stamps from Design*Sponge (which have already been resized for you) onto iron-on transfers to make these easy and unique coasters.
7. Homemade Lip Balm
I made homemade lip balm recently, and I was surprised at how easy it was to make and how cute the resulting jars of lip balm turned out! Here’s an easy tutorial for homemade lip balm at Design*Sponge.
8. Customized Onesies
A wonderful gift for a baby shower, High Street Market has an easy tutorial for makingcustomized onesies for an expected baby. Just buy a few plain white onesies, print out designs onto iron-on transfers, and iron the designs onto the onesies. How cute!
9. Beaded Necklace With Ribbon
Martha Stewart’s beaded necklaces with ribbon are elegant and trendy. You don’t have to use the same brand of beads — use whatever is available at your craft store.
10. Spray-Painted Bottle Bud Vases
Grab a four-pack of empty soda bottles (or a six-pack of beer bottles), remove the labels, and spray paint them to make these sweet bud vases from The Colorful Living Project. Spray-paint the cardboard bottle caddy too, and then put the dried bottles back into the caddy, fill with flowers, and you’ve got a lovely set of matching bud vases for a charming gift.
11. Fruity Button Embroidered Napkins
Embellish store-bought fabric napkins with this cute fruity button tutorial from Martha Stewart. Small colorful buttons and some green embroidery thread form apples, oranges, and cherries in this easy project.
12. Tiny Polaroid Magnets
Ambrosia Girl’s adorable magnets are personalized with tiny photographs in mini faux-Polaroid frames. Use pictures of yourself to ensure the receiver will think of you every time she sees them!
13. Cork Mouse Mat
This easy cork mouse mat is made from a cork tile from your local hardware store. Stencil a design onto the cork using a homemade or store-bought stencil, a foam brush, and acrylic paint. Cut out the mat and spray it with a quick-drying clear protective sealer.
14. Recipe Cards
Print out this pretty recipe card template from How About Orange, and handwrite your favorite recipes onto them. Wrap the recipes with a ribbon, or place them in a box, and give them to your favorite budding chef.
15. Front Door Wreaths
A perfect housewarming gift, a pretty floral front door wreath with house numbers on it is both attractive and practical. Simply hot glue some silk flowers and other decorations onto a grapevine wreath, available at your local craft store. See some great examples of homemade wreaths from Miss Lovie.
16. Wine Cork Trivet
Hot-glue together 31 wine corks to make this easy but rustically elegant trivet from Crafty Nest, perfect for the wine-lover in your life.
17. Fruit Bouquet
Here’s a yummy alternative to bringing a bouquet of flowers. Stick assorted fruit onto skewers and arrange them artistically in a vase. There are a few ideas for different kinds of fruit bouquets at DIY Life.
18. Fabric Yo-yo Flowers
A fabric yo-yo is basically a circle of fabric gathered together in the middle to form a flower-like shape. Use them to decorate pins, headbands, T-shirts, magnets, hair clips, and more. Heather Bailey has a clearly illustrated guide to making a fabric yo-yo.
19. Canvas Doily Stencil Bag
This stylish bag is a cinch to make with some fabric paint, a paper doily for a stencil, and a paintbrush. Just pick up a plain canvas tote bag at the craft store and follow this easy tutorial for a doily stencil bag from Ashley Ann Photography.
20. Lavender Sachets
You’ll need a sewing machine and rudimentary sewing skills to sew these fragrant lavender sachets that can be tucked among linens. Find the step-by-step sachet tutorial at Sew4Home.
21. Teacup Candles
Martha Stewart has a tutorial for sweet candles contained in antique teacups (easily found at thrift stores or flea markets). Old, partially burned candles are melted down and get new life in this beautiful gift.
22. Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
These rustic-looking mason jars are super-easy, and they make wonderful housewarming gifts. Drill a hole in the top of a vintage, thrifted mason jar and insert a soap pump from an old bottle of soap. Hot glue the pump into place and you’re ready to go! Read the soap dispenser tutorial at Blissfully Content.
23. S’mores Gift Box
Do you have a friend who loves these marshmallow-chocolate treats? Make an easy s’more gift box by putting graham crackers, marshmallows, and tablets of chocolate in a pretty transparent box or bag, and then tie it with a ribbon for a quick and easy gift.
24. Hand-Drawn Monogram Mugs
Design Mom bought a few white mugs from the thrift store and hand-drew lovely monograms onto the cups using a porcelain pen (available at craft stores). After baking them in your oven, the cups will become pretty, personalized, and dishwasher-safe gifts.
25. Doily Table Runner
Pick up a few inexpensive crocheted doilies from an antique or thrift store, and sew them together to make this gorgeous vintage doily table runner. Ashley Ann Photography has the tutorial for this fresh take on a vintage look.