DIY Christmas Gifts You'd Want to Receive

We've made the list and checked it twice. This Christmas, give a gift you and your friends and family will love, including homemade serving trays, custom jewelry holders, make-it-yourself limoncello, and more.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Embellished Mug

    Transform a budget-friendly ceramic mug or bowl into a charming Christmas gift using permanent oil-base paint markers, which work well on slick surfaces. Freehand a repeating design, like arrows, around the mug, and fill the cup with packages of dry soup mixes or other wintry treats. Add a clever gift tag to top off this darling DIY present.

  • Leather Keychain

    This present is as practical as it is trendy thanks to the stylish weaving technique used. To make, poke holes every 1/8 inch around a rectangular section of a leather tag with an embroidery needle. Thread two strands of a six-strand length of embroidery floss through the holes, working in one direction. Weave in the opposite direction using a different color of embroidery floss. Knot the strands on the back side of the tag and add a key ring.

  • Easy Mini Scrapbook

    Collecting your memories in a scrapbook is a foolproof present idea. We'll show you how to make an adorable mini photo book that's easy to assemble.

  • Gold Picture Frame

    Add glamour to an Instagram photo or a favorite snapshot with a DIY gilded frame. Cut a gold-painted flat dowel to be a little longer than your photo. Use decoupage medium to secure the photo to a cardboard backing board and glue the dowel to the image. Adhere a small painted binder clip with one side removed to the back of the cardboard.

  • Custom Whiskey Glasses

    The whiskey connoisseurs in your life will appreciate this simple (yet affordable) Christmas gift idea. Pick out two inexpensive glasses and use painters tape to mark off sections you wish to decorate. Rub the painters tape with a credit card to make sure it's securely sealed to the glass. Apply two or three coats of acrylic crafts paint to the taped-off sections. Gift as a set.

    Editors' Tip: Check the acrylic paint's label to learn the best way to clean the glasses after painting.

  • Hand-Lettering Satchels

    Gift customizable satchels to coworkers, teachers, and neighbors to spread cheer during the holiday season. You won't believe how easy they are to make!

  • Sparkly Mini Planters

    Glitter makes everything more fun, including indoor gardening -- plus, these mini pots are perfect for decorating small shelves or desks. Simply coat the pot in decoupage medium followed by glitter to create a glamorous look. Once the planter is dry, fill it with a tiny houseplant.

  • Jumbo Marshmallow Treats

    Nothing better than sticky-sweet marshmallow treats -- unless they're decked in sprinkles and topped with trees, of course! Pick the flavor that best fits your friends and fam: classic, chocolate-dipped, caramel-pretzel, or peanut butter and chocolate. Cut green tissue paper into 1-inch squares. Place pencil end onto the middle of a square and dip in glue. Push onto a foam cone. Continue with remaining tissue paper squares until the cone is covered. Glue tiny pom-poms onto tree to embellish. Place the marshmallow treat in the bottom of a clear box and top with a square of acetate cut to fit. Place tree inside box; top with a ribbon bow.

  • Washi Tape Notebooks

    Everyone could use a journal, especially one as pretty as this. The trick? Washi tape! The decorative tape comes in a ton of colors, patterns, and sizes -- and makes any drab notebook look fresh and new. Adhere five strips of washi tape close together on a piece of cardstock to create "tape paper" for punching. Punch three or four flowers from the tape paper, layer the pieces, and fasten them with
    a brad.

     

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    Ribbon-Covered Cookie Cutter Ornaments

    The baker on your list will get a kick out of handmade ornaments made from cookie cutters. Wrap the cookie cutters in ribbon and secure with glue (use double-stick tape if you want them to use the cookie cutters later). Finish with a coordinating string or twine for hanging. Sweeten the package with a few freshly baked sugar cookies.

     

     

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    Terra-Cotta Pot Embellishments

    This Christmas, upgrade a gardener's windowsill or a foodie's herb display. Graphic transferred designs (no freehand needed!) pretty up their plantings. To make, paint the pots with black exterior paint; let dry. Mix two parts white exterior latex paint to one part plaster of paris. Apply a coat to each pot; let dry. Lightly distress the pots with a sanding block. Print the free pattern, below, onto transfer paper and trim to size. Apply acrylic gel to the pot where you'd like the image. Position the image facedown on the wet gel and let dry one or two days. Soak the pot in a shallow tray of warm water for 1-2 minutes. Rub off the paper, leaving the transfer. Spray the pot with a clear coat to preserve the design.

     

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    Homemade Marshmallows

    It's not Christmas without melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows. A package of these homemade morsels will be a welcome gift -- recipients can pop 'em in their hot cocoa or enjoy them plain. Wrap the marshmallows in a cellophane bag topped with a small chalkboard gift tag (found at crafts or hobby stores). Clip it on using a wooden clothespin.

  • 13 of 30

    Spray-Painted Storage Basket

    Organizing just got adorable. Gift your clutter-a-phobe friend with a wicker basket spray-painted in her favorite hue. Just apply wide painters tape to the basket, spray all sides of the container, and let dry before removing the tape. Tuck in a few stuffed animals, fragrant soaps, or pretty candles to complete the gift.

     

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    Limoncello

    When life gives you lemons, make limoncello. The cool vodka liqueur calls for just four ingredients and is totally ideal for the lively crew in your life. Pour the limoncello into a screw-top jar. Tie a strip of corduroy fabric around the jar neck, followed by a manila tag adorned with an old school label. 

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    Jewelry Holder

    You may not be able to get them Tiffany's, but you can make them an adorable (and affordable) jewelry holder. A decorative metal screen doubles as a custom jewelry organizer when painted and cut to fit inside a salvaged frame. Use a staple gun to attach the screen to the back of the frame. 

     

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    Peppermint Pretzel Candies

    Break out the slow cooker for these delightful peppermint pretzel candies. It's the perfect, simple recipe that makes a delightful Christmas gift.  

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    Dipped Vases

    Start at the thrift store, end at the Christmas tree. Milk glass vases are an inexpensive purchase; adhere a line of painters tape to the midsection and brush on gold acrylic paint to the line. Let dry and repeat for full coverage. Replace the tape with a bow -- and gifting is done.

     

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    Mini Brownie Cheesecakes in a Jar

    These festive snowman snacks are almost too cute to eat -- almost! Inside the jars, a yummy traditional cheesecake is just waiting for its spoon. To make, slip a baby sock over the lid of one jar and cut off the toe end. Wrap the cut end with twine. Glue on tiny pom-poms or beads for eyes and buttons. Make a small cone from construction paper for the nose and attach with glue. For a second jar, wrap a ribbon around as a scarf. Hot-glue the stacked jars together. The cheesecake is good for a week in the fridge.

     

     

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    Painted-Stripes Tray

    Got a hostess on your gift-giving list? Make her a kitchen-to-table tray to hold her centerpiece, plated appetizers, or serve drinks. To make, use painters tape to prepare varying size stripes on a metal tray. Run the stripes across the bottom and up the sides of the tray, pressing firmly to the surface to prevent paint from seeping underneath. Using a small paintbrush, apply a rust-inhibiting primer between the taped lines. When dry, apply semigloss latex paint to the tray. Remove tape. To protect the painted lines, spray a clear polyurethane sealer over the entire surface.

    Editor's Tip: Because paint is not food-safe, please advise the host to keep food on dishware before setting it in the tray.

     

     

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  • 20 of 30

    Homemade Caramel Sauce

    To drizzle, dip, or dunk, this irresistible homemade caramel sauce will inspire your loved one to add a little caramel to ice cream, fruit, cakes, and more. Bonus: It's easy to make a big batch, so you can fill a jar for everyone on your list. 

     

     

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    Embroidered Holiday Napkins

    Set the scene for easy gifting by embellishing white napkins with a simple stitched design. Trace our downloadable pattern, below, or freehand your own design onto the napkin with a fine-tip red marker. Backstitch over the design with red embroidery floss. Bonus: These designs also work well on tea towels. 

     

     

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    Sweater Sleeve Coffee Cozy

    Coffee-lovers will adore this homemade cozy. What you'll need: old sweaters, felt, buttons, needle, and thread.

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    Vintage-Inspired Plate

    Reach for a vintage magazine, full of colorful images and advertisements, for a playful plate anyone would love to receive this Christmas. Trace the bottom of a glass dish (select one with a flat bottom) onto your vintage page. Trim to size. Apply decoupage medium with a foam brush and adhere paper to the underside of the plate. Smooth out any bubbles, starting from the center of the page and working out.

     

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    Braided Chew Toy and Dog Treats

    A gift for Fido also will win the heart of any pet-loving friend. The treats are homemade and feature creamy peanut butter and canned butternut squash. Upcycle old T-shirts to create the braided chew toy. Cut strips to your desired length. Make end ties by braiding three strands together for each side. Tie one of the small braids around the remaining strips, braid strips together, and finish with the other small braid. 

     

     

  • 25 of 30

    Sugar Cookie Cutout Kit

    You've baked the cookies, now let your friends and family in on the decorating fun! Fill a box with cutout cookies, sprinkles, sanding sugars, and small candies. Package prepared frosting in a resealable plastic bag. Print the label onto cardstock and decorate with glitter glue. Wrap box with sparkly ribbon, then add the label.

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  • 26 of 30

    Simply Sweet Pomegranate Syrup

    Sugar, water, and pomegranate juice are all you need to make this ready-for-cocktails simple syrup. Change it up by adding a spoonful of orange flower water or a sprig of fresh rosemary to the mix. Fill a glass bottle with the sweet syrup. Create a tree shape on the bottle with cotton tape and sequins, then hang a triangle gift tag from the neck.

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    Iron-on Christmas Word Pillow

    Make a merry keepsake with a simple download printed onto iron-on paper. Transfer the design onto linen for a decorative pillow that speaks to everyone’s holiday spirit. 

     

     

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    Gift in a Jar

    Package your favorite brownie recipe in a jar for an easy-to-assemble Christmas gift idea. Personalize with holiday-theme paper and glittery letters.  

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    Triple-Chocolate Truffles

    Give the gift of something sweet this Christmas. These dreamy truffles feature three kinds of chocolate: dark, milk, and white. Line two stackable plastic boxes with festive fabric. Place each truffle in a mini baking cup and fill the boxes with them. Stack the boxes and tie together with a strip of fabric cut using pinking shears.

  • 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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