Embroidered States Artwork
Capture memories of places near and dear by stitching the outlines of states in this handmade Christmas gift. Choose places your recipient has lived or favorite destinations. Mark special locations with felt hearts.
Print state outlines on paper, and poke holes for stitches. Use a backstitch to make the outline, glue on felt hearts, and frame.
Perfect For: A frequent mover, a relative with ties to former homes, sports fans with alliances beyond home-state borders.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Choose states with holiday memories or favorite Christmas destinations. Change the hearts to trees, stars, or stockings.
Wood Mosaic Vase
A handcrafted vase looks like a work of art but features your handmade artistry instead of store-bought. Purchase wood hearts in two sizes and cut the larger size in half. Use tile adhesive to secure the large halves to the edges and the small hearts to the corners of a square vase. Create a flower design using small hearts. Paint with crafts paint; let dry. Seal with decoupage medium and let dry.
Mix grout (available at home improvement stores) according to the package directions. Apply with a grout spreader, pushing the grout into crevices at a 45-degree angle. Clean off excess with a damp sponge. When dry, dust off residue with a soft cloth.
Perfect For: Mom, a fresh flower devotee, or friend who appreciates tabletop vignettes.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Give the hearts and flowers Christmas colors, substitute stars or trees for the flowers, or fill the vase with amaryllis stems.
Alphabet Artwork Gift
Spell your sentiments with bright colors and patterns. Create an alphabet collage, compose a saying, or spell a name.
Use a papier-mache letter as a template to trace the shape onto the back of patterned paper. Paint the letter blocks in coordinating colors. Cut out the paper shapes, and glue them to the letters. Use a crafts knife to trim any excess paper. Assemble your message.
Perfect For: The parents of a baby or toddler, or a word-loving kid or adult.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Cover the letters in holiday paper and spell out a Christmas wish.
Crafty Button Bracelet
Get your Christmas gift ideas all buttoned up with a bracelet that's bright, cheery, and totally customizable.
Start with a dollar-store key-chain coil. Assemble button-look rubber stickers from the scrapbooking store or real buttons to embellish the coil. Tie the stickers or buttons to the coil with ribbon (we recommend a paper piercer or an embossing tool to poke the ribbon through the holes).
Perfect For: A fun-loving teen, vibrant teacher, or fashionable friend.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Assemble the bracelet using holiday buttons and ribbon.
Nature-Theme Log Art
Your Christmas gift practically sings when colorful birds are emblazoned on log discs. Reminiscent of souvenir log art, this display combines rustic charm and vivid color.
Use a miter saw to cut a slice of wood. Print an image of a bird or other wildlife onto iron-on transfer paper, then follow the manufacturer's instructions to apply the image to the wood. Protect the transfer with gloss sealer.
Perfect For: Nature-lovers, rustic art fans, bird-watchers, kitschy collectors.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Select images with Christmas or winter themes: holiday plants, such as holly, poinsettias, or amaryllis, or birds resting amid snow and evergreens.
Breezy Butterfly Art Mobile
Add a bit of playful panache to a recipient's room with a joyful butterfly mobile.
Punch butterflies from coordinated patterned scrapbooking paper. Adhere matching pairs along various lengths of string suspended from a pair of bamboo skewers. Wire the skewers together at the centers and cover them with paper. Add beads for weight at the ends to anchor the strings.
Perfect For: A butterfly-chasing girl or teen, admirers of in-motion art.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use Christmas paper, or punch Christmas shapes to make the mobile.
Zoo Animals Gift
Go a little wild with this Christmas gift you make yourself. Kids adore animals, and these silhouettes are a fun room addition they'll love through the toddler years.
Cut animal silhouettes from plain white cardstock, and mount them on colorful patterned paper. Adhere each paper to a white mat board cut to fit a frame. Insert silhouette in the frame, and tie a ribbon around the exterior.
Perfect For: The parents of a baby, toddler, or any zoo animal-lover.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Cut out reindeer, penguin, or polar bear silhouettes. Make bows from Christmas ribbon, or attach Christmas motifs to the frames.
Framed Paper Pendant Necklace
Ever wondered how to make Christmas gifts that all the girls on your list will love? This technique lets you create custom jewelry to match everyone's style.
Sandwich die-cut paper shapes between two glass tiles, and insert them into a frame made to fit the tiles (available at crafts stores). Add a lanyard or chain.
Perfect For: An accessories collector, jewelry enthusiast, or friend who appreciates unique bling.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Die-cut Christmas motifs, select holiday-color paper, or choose a lanyard with a Christmas look.
Mosaic Desktop Tray
This sweet mosaic organizer starts with eggshells and a wash of color.
Draw a design on transfer paper. Apply a thin coat of decoupage medium to a ceramic or plastic tray; let dry. Transfer the design to the tray. Rinse the interior membrane from eggshells; let dry. Apply crafts paint to some shells. Break the shells into small pieces. Coat the tray with decoupage medium, and lightly press shells to the surface to create the design. Apply clear acrylic resin or polyurethane to protect your design.
Perfect For: A person who loves inventive repurposing or handy organization tools.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Create a simple Christmas design, or fill the finished tray with Christmas ornaments and candy.
Pop Art Photo Gift
Create an eye-popping Andy Warhol effect using favorite photos and large paint-chip cards.
Trim a large, gradient-style paint-chip card to a standard photo size, such as 4x6 or 5x7 inches. On your computer, convert a photo to black-and-white, and adjust the settings to print to the appropriate page size. Feed the paint-chip card into your printer, and print the photo. Arrange several paint-chip-printed photos in vertical frames to complete the gift.
Perfect For: Grandparents or Pop Art fans.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Pick images from winters past and print the photos on paint-chip cards in classic reds and greens. Adorn the frames with Christmas ribbon or sprigs of greenery.
Easy Handmade Christmas Gifts
These gifts already say Christmas, and they're perfect for friends, your favorite hostess, or gift exchanges.
Painted-Glass Botanical Art
Got a frame, a paint pen, and a print? You can make this adorable Christmas gift.
Print a copyright-free botanical image from an online source. Place glass from a picture frame over the image on a hard surface. Trace the outline of the botanical onto the glass using a fine-tip permanent paint pen. Let dry. Using an extra-fine-tip pen, fill in details. Let dry. Place glass in the frame; place colored fabric or paper on the painted surface. Replace the frame's backing and secure.
Perfect For: A gardener, vintage buff, nature-lover, or admirer of cottage style.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Choose a winter-blooming plant image and back the glass with holiday colors.
Doghouse Picture Frame Gift
This holiday gift gives new meaning to being in the doghouse. Start with an inexpensive 4x6-inch frame. Choose a house-shape version, or use cardstock to make the roof. Cover with patterned paper. Team two heart cutouts with a rectangle to form the dog bone nameplate. Finish with adhesive letters, a bow, and a brad.
Perfect For: A dog-lover.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Add a tiny Santa's sleigh cutout to the roof, or use Christmas paper to adorn the frame. Select a photo of your recipient's pet dressed in Christmas finery.
Organic Bath Salts
Share the gift of relaxation. Package luxurious bath-time soothers in unlikely containers, such as these test tubes, to create a presentation that's as classy as the gift.
In a bowl, add an organic skin oil, such as macadamia nut oil, to coarse Dead Sea salt, stirring to saturate the salts. Saturated salts should be neither runny nor dry. Add a few drops of lavender oil and mix well. Scoop into individual containers. Top with a pinch of lavender flowers, and seal with a cork or other topper. Wrap and secure a printed or handwritten label around the containers to identify the contents.
Perfect For: A spa aficionado, aromatherapy fan, or stressed-out friend.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Substitute a few drops of peppermint essential oil for the lavender. Print your labels on holiday-pattern paper.
Memory-Saver Photo Frame
Highlight memories of a trip, destination, hobby, or other event in a gift that will make them think of the giver as well as the occasion.
Permanent, blendable-ink markers create the shading and coloring. Arrange words and phrases in an illustration program or image-editing program, and convert them to an outline font. Print on art paper or marker paper. Color the words and outline them in black. Use as a mat to frame a photo. Embellish as desired.
Perfect For: A traveler, athlete, hobbyist, or someone celebrating a milestone or success.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Color the words with Christmas colors and add Christmas motifs. Describe holiday memories in your design.
Sweet-smelling soaps gain even more holiday gift appeal when wrapped with decorative bands.
Start with a handcrafted or holiday-theme bar of soap. Measure around the soap, and cut a 1/2-inch-wide strip of heavy patterned paper long enough to wrap around the soap. Wrap the strip around the soap and glue the ends. Add a sticker, button, or other embellishment.
Perfect For: A spa connoisseur, bath- accessories groupie, or bath-lover.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Embellish the soap with holiday motif stickers, buttons, charms, or accents.
Let your kids make personalized, one-of-a-kind wall art as gifts.
First, have your kids draw self-portraits on one piece of white cardstock. Add their inked thumbprints to their portrait bodies. Place a photo mat in an empty cardboard box and spray with ink to create a colorful background; let dry. Place the picture in the mat. Let the kids add chipboard letters and other accents. To make a rainbow, press each child's thumb in ink and stamp the print 10-15 times for each color row. Let older kids cut out their prints using kid-safe scissors. Attach the thumbprints to the artwork with adhesive foam.
Perfect For: Grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Spell Christmas sentiments, or have kids draw Christmas scenes.
Flannel Wine Sleeve
When the wrapping is this lovely, the wine tastes even better. Whether given alone or with your favorite vintage, these wine sleeves serve with style. Plus, they're eco-friendly! Made from the sleeves of flannel shirts, it takes only a few stitches to refresh them for their new use.
Cut a section of flannel shirt sleeve to the desired length; turn under the ends. With a needle and embroidery thread, tack the edges in place using blanket or blind stitches. Trim the wraps with buttons or decorative embroidery stitches as desired.
Perfect For: A wine devotee, recycling enthusiast, or country-style buff.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Choose flannel in holiday red-and-green plaid, or look for sleeves sporting a holiday pattern. Top the bottle with holiday-hue ribbon. Add glasses with etched snowflakes or other winter motifs.
Personalized Tea Kit
Make a gift as warm as your holiday sentiments. A custom tea blend with all the trimmings gives your favorite tea-lovers a reason to think fondly of you with every sip.
Start with individual-size heat-seal tea bags. Create or buy a loose tea blend, and spoon it into the bags. Insert a length of decorative twine into the bag, keeping it in the center of the bag opening. To seal, press down on the edge with a warm iron. Glue an embellished tag to the end of the twine. Arrange tea bags and honey sticks inside a teacup to complete the kit.
Perfect For: A tea-lover, book club compatriot, favorite teacher, or breakfast companion.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Give the tea blend a holiday accent with mixtures featuring hints of cinnamon, ginger, clove, peppermint, or other delightful winter flavors. Embellish the tags with Christmas motifs.
Capture memories of exotic vacations or dreams of yet-to-come adventures. Framed destination maps make handsome displays. On a vintage or current map, select a location and cut out that section in a size to fit your frame. Mount it on a backing using spray adhesive for a smooth look, then add the mat and frame.
Perfect For: A veteran traveler, vacation companion, or armchair vagabond.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Embellish the frame with Christmas motifs, or pinpoint locations with holiday-related names, such as Santa Claus, Indiana; Bethlehem, Israel; or the North Pole.
Fashion-Forward Wrist Cuff
This chic, soft wrist cuff, made with scrap fabrics and simple sewing techniques, will initiate many complimentary conversations.
Cut a 3x8-inch fabric rectangle for the top layer. Embellish with decorative fabrics and ribbons. Cut a 1x4-inch fabric rectangle for the loop. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise and press; unfold. Fold the long raw edges toward the center crease, press again, and refold along center crease; stitch along the open edge. Fold the loop in half and align raw ends of loop with raw edge of a short cuff edge. Pin in place. Cut a second 3x8-inch rectangle for the lining. With right sides together, pin lining to top layer, matching all edges and sandwiching loop ends between the fabric layers. Stitch around three sides, leaving the end where the button goes open. Clip corners, turn, and press. Fold the remaining raw edges inside and topstitch to close. Sew on the button.
Perfect For: A fashion-savvy teen or friend who loves trendy accessories.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Choose fabrics with holiday motifs or select buttons in Christmas shapes.
How to Make a Picture Christmas Ornament
Transform the year's best photos into treasured keepsake ornaments for family and friends.
Cozy Flannel Napkin Rings
Bring warm country cheer to the tabletop. Flannel radiates comfort and style when old shirt cuffs take on new life as stylish napkin rings.
Cut cuffs from sleeves, and trim loose threads. Determine the desired napkin ring size. (Experiment by fitting a napkin or use an existing napkin ring as an example.) Trim excess fabric from one end, allowing for an overlap of 1 inch. Use the existing button or choose a decorative button and stitch in place, sewing through both cuff layers to form the ring. If desired, embroider around the button, adding decorative patterns or embroidered leaves, for example.
Perfect For: A tabletop linens collector, country-style fashionista, or favorite hostess.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Select cuffs in holiday colors or patterns, or use holiday-motif buttons as embellishments.
Fill a favorite person's home with garden-fresh color. With a vase this pretty, they'll want to fill the house with flowers all year so they can display this colorful work of art.
Wrap paper around a large cylindrical vase to make a pattern; trace the shape of the vase. Lay the pattern on a flat surface and arrange the glass gems to resemble flowers, waves, or abstract patterns. Or, arrange as you go if you'd like. Hot-glue the gems to the vase, transferring your pattern one gem at a time.
Perfect For: A gardener or flower fan.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use holiday colors and icons for your pattern. For example, create candy-cane stripes or classic green Christmas trees for the vase design.
Mod Felt Coasters
Create these mod drink mats from adhesive-backed felt, and wrap them in sets of six to give as Christmas gifts. We've included the complete instructions, below.
Perfect For: Your holiday party hostess, mom, or aunt.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use red, green, or holiday-theme wool felt.
Handmade Dog Toy
Whether for your own pet or a friend's furry companion, this knitted dog toy will be a hit. All you need is some yarn, batting, and basic knitting tools.
Perfect For: A pet-lover or your own dog.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use red and green yarn.
Make wineglass charms from scraps of paper or fabric. Cut small squares of selected areas of the material and insert each into a frame pendant (available in the jewelry-making aisle at a crafts store). Earring-hoop wire threaded through the pendant loop makes it easy to attach the charm to a wineglass stem. Make a whole set (or multiple sets) in a wink.
Perfect For: A wine-lover or holiday party hostess.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use Christmas-theme paper or fabrics.
Capture favorite photos on this fun pillow, which combines sewing and scrapbooking crafts techniques.
Perfect For: Your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use photos taken during the holidays.
People who sew know how essential a pincushion is to their craft. So why not own one of these practical tools done up in fun trims and fabrics? These charming cushions start with a kraft paper box for a solid base and feature a polyester fiberfill "puff" on top to hold pins.
Perfect For: Any crafter, quilter, or pincushion collector.
How to Make It Say Christmas: If your recipient is a sewer, include a bundle of Christmas fabrics with the pincushion.
Clever Clothespin Magnets
Top clothespins with scraps of paper, seal with decoupage medium, and adhere magnets to the backs. For affordable gifts, buy large packages of clothespins and use coordinated paper to make sets to give.
Perfect For: Your child's teacher, a favorite organizing guru, parents, or grandparents.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Include a favorite Christmas photo to display.
Decorative Tea Towels
Add pizzazz to plain tea towels for a heartfelt and practical Christmas gift. Simply cut trims (ribbons, ruffles, etc.) slightly longer than the width of the towel, then topstitch the strips in place.
Perfect For: A domestic diva or your holiday party hostess.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use holiday-theme trims or a color palette of red and green.
Stylish Wool Bracelet
Not only is this bracelet handmade, but the beads themselves are, too -- they're made using a wool felting technique. Our step-by-step instructions show you how it's done. Make lots of beads and use them in different combinations to make multiple bracelets for different people on your list.
Perfect For: Any jewelry-loving friend or family member, or a Secret Santa gift.
How to Make It Say Christmas: Use red and green felt and mix in some store-bought, Christmas-theme beads.