Handmade Christmas Gifts: 33 Cute and Clever Ideas to Try
DIY Copper Vanity Bowl
Accentuate a vintage bowl with a delicate DIY copper leaf to create one-of-a-kind decorative dishes perfect for holding everything from jewelry to keys. This decorative gift is lovely, inexpensive, and an ideal present for friends and family during the holiday season. For first-timers, choose a simple design like our mistake-proof ragged copper edge. Finish with a clear spray sealer to ensure this Christmas gift spans the whole season.
Tall Felt Cactus
If your friends haven't had the best luck with houseplants, this felt cactus may be the perfect Christmas gift to remedy their botanical blues. These fuzzy succulents will make an adorable addition to any room. Finish your cactus off with a small terra-cotta pot.
Mason Jar Terrarium
Leather and Canvas Tote Bag
Give a cute Christmas gift idea they'll actually use! This take-everywhere bag is made using a sewing machine and can be tackled in an afternoon. To craft a DIY tote bag, you'll need natural canvas fabric, faux leather, and a patterned material for the lining.
Pool Noodle Donut Art
Help your loved ones liven up a boring wall with this easy DIY pool noodle donut art. Not only is it inexpensive, but it's completely customizable. Simply slice a pool noodle to create a stamp, dip it into acrylic paint, and gently press it onto Watercolor Paper ($6, Target). Use shades of red and green to make a cute Christmas gift idea, and top off your donuts with lots of "sprinkles" using a paint pen.
Splatter Print Bouquet Wraps
This DIY gift is as easy as splattering paint on paper! Add a handmade touch to a purchased bouquet for a quick and easy gift idea. Learn how to make our simple wrap to dress up a purchased grocery store bouquet.
Cute Christmas gift ideas that are customizable always win, and that's why we love woodburning projects–especially these homemade Christmas coasters for family and friends. 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 ($13, Target). 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.
Help her corral her everyday essentials with this roomy DIY six-pocket bag. Customize this cute Christmas gift idea with your favorite fabric and start sewing! You should be able to complete this project in a few hours.
Framed Holiday Monogram
This Christmas gift makes an adorable office decoration or home accessory. Colorful baker's twine and papier-mache come together to create a too-cute monogrammed Christmas gift perfect for mom, best friends or sisters. Embellish a flat wooden frame with varying widths of wrapped twine on opposite corners. Then display a twine-wrapped papier-mache letter inside the frame opening. For a full Christmas theme, gravitate toward red and green twine.
Personalized Burlap Pillow
Customize a burlap throw pillow with your family member’s ZIP Code or a special date. These DIY Christmas gift ideas add the perfect finishing touch to the family living room or a breezy porch swing. Create the burlap pillow from scratch (or use store-bought—we won’t tell), then use acrylic paint with stencils to paint your design of choice on the fabric. These country-chic Christmas gifts are perfect for the farmhouse aficionado in your life.
Frame with Flat Corner Braces
This stunning $4 Christmas gift (yes, really!) is easy enough for DIY-newbies to create. Purchase four 4-Inch Flat Corner Braces ($2, The Home Depot) 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. This metallic Christmas gift is perfect for any modern-design family.
Chalkboard Paint Glass Jars
We all know someone who can use a little more desk organization for Christmas. (Or maybe that someone is you? We don’t judge Christmas gifts you want to keep.) Organizing is made more exciting with these labeled glass jars, and who doesn't love a customizable chalkboard project? 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.
Choose a pretty Christmas pattern, like poinsettias, and impress your coworkers with a crafty gift that's easy to make in bulk. Roll Air-Dry Clay ($5, Target) to 1/4-inch thickness on parchment paper and refrigerate for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the 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. Once cool, remove clay bowl from mold and lightly sand edges if necessary. We love this Christmas gift for family and friends, too.
Marbleized Christmas Candlestick Holder
These DIY marbleized candlestick holders look like an expensive Christmas gift, but they're actually a simple project you can complete in an afternoon. Just dip candlestick holders into paint and water for a stylish swirled design, and give them to parents or grandparents to enjoy. For a Christmas look, we suggest choosing holiday hues, like red and green. For a more timeless approach, silver and plum create a year-round classic.
Try this delightful Christmas gift that flower lovers like mom will adore. Use a Porcelain Paint Pen ($2, Staples) to draw a floral 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. Creativity is the only limit with this Christmas gift—you can create any number of holiday designs to personalize the present.
Adorable Felt Fox
This sweet stocking stuffer comes together in no time thanks to a simple felting technique. Make your very own woodland creatures for an adorable kid's Christmas gift. Add a hanging string to make your own DIY ornament.
Custom-Wrapped Christmas Candle
Christmas candles are an inexpensive gift for the holidays, and you can add a homemade touch by personalizing the wrapping paper. This easy gift is the perfect stocking stuffer (or gift exchange item), and our DIY wrapping paper is easy to customize when you create your own rubber stamps. Plus, friends and family will love the special touch you add to any Christmas gift with homemade wrapping paper.
Bright floral prints keep a home looking warm despite winter chill—an ideal Christmas gift for friends who prefers bold motifs. Choose the 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.
DIY Utensil Wrap
Make a Christmas list and check it twice! This cute homemade Christmas gift is perfect for eco-minded friends. Whip up a DIY fabric untensil wrap so they can tote their reusable cutlery in style.
A six-panel window frame becomes a weekly calendar that makes a stylish Christmas present. Each day of the workweek is assigned a pane, and the sixth makes room for notes (or your Christmas list). To make, tape off the wood frame with painter's tape and 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.
Color Block Pillows
Instead of searching high and low for the perfect pillow, make this Christmas gift 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. Stitch the shapes together and press the seams open. Cut solid-color fabric to make the back of the pillow covering. Stitch the front and back pieces, right sides together, leaving a small opening. Turn right side out, press, and stuff with a pillow form. Whipstitch the opening closed.
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.
DIY Retro-Inspired Coasters
These retro-inspired coasters will take your parents or grandparents back to their childhood Christmas celebrations. Flashy centers and simple construction save surfaces and show off bold colors in any holiday living room. To create this DIY Christmas gift, use rounded-corner paint chips and vinyl flooring samples. First, round the corners of the flooring samples by tracing around the paint-chip corners and using 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 and start whipping up holiday punch.
Erasable labels are an easy Christmas stocking stuffer and upgrade any kitchen storage container. Create your Christmas gift using colorful repositionable vinyl stickers that accept chalk markers. 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 Christmas gift, add holiday wishes to the label, and remember to include a piece of chalk!
Chalk-Art Picture Frame
Frame a special photo in a colorful wooden frame for a sentimental Christmas gift. Prime the frame, then paint with a coat of chalkboard paint; let dry. Package this unique Christmas gift with different colors of chalk so the recipient can update the frame's caption and design as they change the photo. We love this Christmas gift for kids or creative coworkers.
Decoupage Wooden Letters
This Christmas gift preserves your favorite coloring pages, and it’s way cuter than just hanging them on the fridge. Just trace the outline of a wooden letter on the back of your coloring page, cut it out, and decoupage the design to the letter’s front. Craft multiple letters to spell out a friend’s name or showcase a classic monogram for mom. No matter the gift recipient, these handmade letters make a timeless DIY Christmas gift that your best friends will love.
Wine Cork Bulletin Board
The holiday season means a little more celebrating (ahem, wine), but that doesn’t have to be bad! Put that collection of wine corks to use with this creative Christmas gift. A wine cork base makes a bulletin board both functional and artsy—and we love the idea of hanging Christmas cards on it for the holidays. Choose a frame deep enough to hold whole corks, or cut the corks in half lengthwise with an extra-fine razor saw (available at crafts 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 or a Christmas note to the bulletin board before giving.
Painted Mason Jars
Give the gift of a hand-painted Mason jar or glass container this holiday season. They make gorgeous vases, makeup brush holders, or pencil cups. To craft this Christmas gift, 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, but any color scheme works. For a touch of glam, mask the top of the jar with painter's tape and cover the bottom with glitter spray paint.