Christmas Gifts: 20+ Cute and Clever Ideas to Try

Friends and family will adore these cute Christmas gift ideas -- including dishware, vases, and other home accessories -- that are just as fun (and easy!) to make as they are to give. Start one of these handmade Christmas crafts today so you can check everyone off your holiday gift list.

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    Festive Holiday Planters

    Succulents are a must-have indoor plant right now because they look exotic but are surprisingly low-maintenance. These holiday planters make a quick and inexpensive gift for friends, family, or coworkers. Wrap empty, clean tin cans with 1/4 inch braided red-and-white polypropylene rope. Secure the rope to the can as you wrap using a hot-glue gun. Slightly twist the rope to line up the candy cane-color stripes. Add an adorable gift tag using a thin piece of twine.

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    Woodburned Coasters

    Cute Christmas gift ideas that are customizable always win, and that's why we love these chic coasters that feature silhouette profiles. Print silhouette clip art onto heavy white paper and cut out the shapes. Use a pencil to lightly trace each silhouette onto the center of a wooden plaque. Trace over the pencil lines using a wood-burning pen fitted with a narrow cone point. Fill in the outlines by burning the silhouettes with a flow point on a wood-burning pen. Apply two coats of glossy polyurethane sealer to the coasters, letting each coaster dry between coats. Paint the beveled edges of the coasters gray, and let the paint dry before adding a final coat of polyurethane sealer. Glue four felt circles to the bottom of each coaster.

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    Photos in Glass Bottles

    This DIY Christmas present revitalizes your favorite memories in a display that's worthy of a few repins. Start with a photo that's cut to fit one of the glass bottles. Coat the front of the photo with decoupage medium (we used Mod Podge in Glass) using a foam crafts brush. Press the photo face down onto the outside surface of a bottle. Smooth out any air bubbles with your fingers, and let the decoupage dry. Repeat this process on several bottles to create a sprawling display. Write sweet notes on paper and suspend them from a few of the bottle cork toppers using gold wires.

    Editor's Tip: If using ink-jet photos, spray them with a few coats of clear matte acrylic fixative or several coats of clear polyurethane to keep photos from bleeding when glued.

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    Photo-Transfer Wall Art

    This is one of our favorite cute Christmas gift ideas. Watch how you can use a pretty floral photo or a personal photo to create a stunning piece of art.

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    Frame with Flat Corner Braces

    This stunning $4 project is easy enough for DIY-newbies to create. Purchase four 4-inch flat corner braces from a hardware store. If you can't find brass braces, no worries! You can spray-paint the braces with metallic gold paint. Adhere a brace to each corner of a simple white picture frame using multi-surface adhesive.

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    Chalkboard Paint Glass Jars

    We all know someone who can use a little more desk organization (or maybe that someone is you?). Organizing is made more exciting with these labeled glass jars. Simply spray the jars with three coats of chalkboard paint. Once the paint is dry, label each jar with a chalk pen. If hand-lettering isn't for you, you can add white adhesive letters in your favorite font to label the jars instead.

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    Clay Dish

    Choose a pretty pattern and impress your coworkers with a crafty gift that's easy to make in bulk! Roll clay to 1/4-inch thickness on parchment paper; refrigerate for 8 to 10 minutes (max). Remove clay from refrigerator, keeping it on parchment, and place on an even surface. Press the rim of an ovenproof bowl into clay, and cut around bowl with a crafts knife. Press a rubber stamp into clay to create pattern; if it sticks, lightly oil stamp surface. Lightly oil inside of the bowl used as a circle template. Place clay circle in center of bowl, gently molding it to sides, then place in oven and bake as directed on clay package. When cool, remove clay bowl from mold and lightly sand edges if necessary.

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    Hand-Painted Vase

    Try this delightful gift that flower lovers will use time and time again. Using a porcelain paint pen, draw a floral or other simple design on a plain vase. If you're not confident in your freehand abilities, try sketching your design onto paper and using transfer paper to position the design on the surface.

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    Home Sweet Home Wall Art

    Remind your loved ones what matters most with this easy gift. Bonus: It's super inexpensive, too! Download and print our Home Sweet Home sign. Glue a magnet to the front of a framed wood plaque from a crafts store, then stick a metal clip to the magnet to hold the artwork.

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    Painted Ceramic Serving Platter

    Whether it's used for serving or for display, this pretty gift will brighten any kitchen. Create a colorful motif around the edges of a purchased platter with ceramic paints or porcelain paint pens, then sketch and paint a fun shape in the center. Many ceramic paints require baking to set the colors, so be sure to read the packaging instructions before you start the project.

    Editor's Tip: Make it easy and use a stencil for the center shape.

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    Recycled Book Keepsake Box

    Transform an old book into a pretty box for trinkets and other small items with this easy-to-make gift. Apply crafts glue to the inside back cover and close the book; let dry. Apply glue to the book's edges; let dry. Mark a rectangle on the first page about 1-inch from all sides. Use a crafts knife to cut along the mark through several pages. Remove the cut pages; continue cutting and removing pages until you've reached the desired depth. Seal the cut pages with clear glue to finish the keepsake box.

    Editor's Tip: Place waxed paper between the first page and the front cover to keep them from adhering together.

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    How to Dye Fabric

    Looking for a specfic color of fabric for a DIY Christmas project? Follow our steps to dye your own fabric to the exact hue you're after.

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    Spray-Painted Prints

    Bring nature inside in a modern way! Choose the size frame, and cut a piece of cold press board (sturdy, textured paper found in crafts stores) an inch smaller than the frame on all sides. To create the irregular white border, brush frisket (liquid similar to rubber cement that will mask areas you don't want painted) along the edges with an imperfect stroke; let dry. Place silk or plastic greenery (look for pieces that lie flat) on each board, and spray with a single coat of paint. Remove the greenery, and allow the paint to dry. Carefully rub off frisket, then attach the print to white paper backing and place in frame.

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    Clear Kitchen Chalkboard

    This cute homemade gift is a fun take on regular chalkboards. To make, paint the bottom of a wood crafts plank in a bright color that matches a friend's kitchen. Paint the surface of the plank with a clear chalkboard coating. Stamp numbers along the side using a solvent ink. Drill a hole large enough for a leather cord at the top of the plank; thread cord through hole. Be sure to include a couple of chalkboard markers (available at crafts stores).

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    Musical-Theme Coasters

    This coaster quartet takes shape with plain porcelain tiles painted with musical motifs. Download and resize free musical instrument clip art, then shade the shapes with a pencil so you can see the design on the reverse side. Flip the patterns over and place on ceramic tiles; trace around the shaded shapes to transfer a faint outline of the patterns to the tiles. Attach rubber cabinet bumpers to the backs of the tiles to protect surfaces and keep the coasters from shifting, then fill in or paint around each silhouette with a thin paintbrush and porcelain paint.

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    Chalkboard Planner

    A six-panel window frame becomes a weekly calendar that's stylish and effective. Each day of the workweek is assigned a pane, and the sixth makes room for notes or photos. Tape off the wood frame with painter's tape. To make the calendar magnetic, spray several coats of magnetic spray paint on the front of the glass panes, allowing each coat to dry between applications. Paint each pane with colorful chalkboard paint using a paintbrush to edge and a small foam roller to fill in. Let dry. Remove tape from wood frame. 

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    Color Block Pillows

    Instead of searching high and low for the perfect pillow, make one that you know your friend will love! Sketch a geometric design on a square piece of kraft paper to make a template, then trace onto fabric and cut to size. Stich the shapes together and press the seams open. Cut solid-color fabric to make the back of the pillow covering. Stich the front and back pieces, right sides together, leaving a small opening. Turn right side out, press, and stuff with a pillow form. Whipstich the opening closed.

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    Vanity Dinner Plate

    When you portray your favorite person on a dinner plate, they'll feel like the guest of honor at every meal. Using a photo as a starting point, draw the shape and fine features of your muse onto a plain white plate using a porcelain paint pen. Use a paintbrush to add blush and hair. Keep acetone (nail polish remover works well) and tissues close to remove any mistakes. To set the paint, bake the plate according to the paint manufacturer's instructions. Although the plate should be food-safe, double-check the manufacturer's instructions or use it for decorative purposes only.

    Editor's Tip: If you doubt your drawing abilities, look online for a caricature-creation site, and trace your computer-generated design onto the plate.

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    Make Your Gift Wrap Pretty

    For an additional way to show you care, go the extra mile and decorate the outside of your gift Follow our easy steps to add a crepe paper fringe to your gift package.

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    Colorful Coasters

    Create your own coasters! Flashy centers and simple construction save surfaces and show off colors that suit their new owner. Rounded-corner paint chips and vinyl flooring samples are the main materials. Round the corners of the flooring samples by tracing around the paint-chip corners; use scissors to carefully trim excess material. Use spray adhesive to secure a paint chip to the center of a vinyl sample. In a well-ventilated area, apply five coats of glossy clear sealer, allowing full drying time between coats. Affix felt pads to the coaster bottoms.

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    Paint Terra-Cotta Pots

    Turn a plain terra-cotta pot into a customized gift! Choose your friend's favorite paint colors, then watch our video to get the best results. 

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    Labeled Containers

    Erasable labels add more value to already useful storage containers. Create your gift using colorful repositionable vinyl stickers that accept chalk marks (available at most crafts stores). Use a punch to cut stickers into fun shapes. Remove the paper backing and position the label on the container of your choice. Before you deliver the gift, add holiday wishes to the label -- and remember to include a piece of chalk!

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    Chalk-Art Picture Frame

    Frame a special photo in a colorful wooden frame for a sentimental gift. Prime the frame, then paint with a coat of chalkboard paint; let dry. Package the gift with different colors of chalk so the recipient can update the frame's caption and design as they change the photo.

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    Wine Cork Bulletin Board

    Put a collection of wine corks to use with this creative gift. A wine cork base makes a bulletin board both functional and artsy. Choose a frame deep enough to hold whole corks, or cut the corks in half lengthwise with an extra-fine razor saw (available at hobby stores). Secure the corks to the frame backing using wood glue.

    Editor's Tip: Add a special touch to the gift by adding a few photos to the bulletin board before giving.

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    Painted Mason Jars

    Give the gift of a hand-painted Mason jar or glass container this season. They make gorgeous vases, makeup brush holders, or pencil cups. Paint the outside of the jars with two coats of paint. We mixed several shades of pink with white to create a range of hues. For a touch of glam, mask the top of the jar with painter's tape and cover the bottom with glitter spray paint.

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    Coffee Mug Sweater Cozie

    An old sweater, some buttons, and scraps are all you need to design an inexpensive Christmas gift for a friend. Watch and learn how to make this coffee mug cozie.

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    Handmade Travel-Mug Cozie

    Brighten a friend's morning by giving them a personalized travel-mug cozie for Christmas. Use our pattern, available below, to get the size needed for a standard coffee travel mug. Cut letters or shapes from different patterns of fabric to embellish the cozie.

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    Colorful Stitched Notebook

    Brighten a plain notebook or journal with colorful embroidery floss for a thoughtful holiday gift. Sketch a design on a piece of paper; secure the sketch to the notebook cover using masking tape, making sure to wrap the tape around to the inside of the cover to keep the design from moving. Place the front cover on a cutting mat and pierce using a large needle or paper piercer, making sure the holes are evenly spaced. If you're using a circular design, bring the holes a little closer together when approaching a curve to get smooth lines. Remove the pattern from the cover and stitch using four strands of embroidery floss; knot on the inside of the cover to finish the project. 

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    Painted Ceramic Office Desk Set

    Give the gift of office organization this Christmas with a cute ceramic desk set. Learn how to make these practical and cute Christmas gift ideas.

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    Felt Gift-Card Holder

    For gift-giving emergencies, dress up a simple gift card with our festive holders. Stitch two pieces of felt together, using your card to measure the proper sizes of felt. Trace holiday-theme stencil designs onto felt in contrasting colors; cut out. Use hot-glue to secure to holder. Cut a small circle at the top of each tag; thread with baker's twine.

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    From-Scratch Tea Kit

    This thoughtful tea kit is a great Christmas gift for those who love hot drinks on cold, wintry days. Ginger, cloves, and dried apple chips flavor the warming homemade tea mixture. Simply fill tea filters with the premade mixture, wrap with string to close, and tie on a cinnamon stick or two. Festive tags and cups finish the project.

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    Decorative Boxes

    Small cardboard boxes are versatile and useful, but not very pretty. Decorate a few with paper or paint to create a cute set that's personalized to a friend's taste. For a paper-covered top, trace the lid onto the back of decorative paper; cut out. Attach the paper to the lid with spray-mount adhesive. For a stenciled lid, spray-paint the lid in a base color; let dry. Spray the back of a stencil with stencil adhesive, position on the lid, and press firmly. Spray-paint the lid with a second color; remove stencil and let dry. For either type of lid, spray-paint the box with a coordinating color; let dry. Adhere washi tape to the edge of the lid. For a special touch, fill each box with your friend's fave candy!

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    Supplies Box

    Here's a gift that keeps on giving! Fill a box with materials that can be used to embellish plain cards, tags, and gift boxes. We used silicone baking cups to organize supplies, such as rubber stamps, string, buttons, ribbons, and felt balls. If you want, fill with craft supplies instead to jump-start your friend's creativity!

  • Next Slideshow Easy Christmas Gift Tags

    Easy Christmas Gift Tags

    Be different! Make unique, personalized gift toppers and tags for your friends and family. Create a homemade gift tag, or use our free gift-tag downloads to make Christmas gifts look extra special.
    Begin Slideshow »

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