43 DIY Christmas Gifts You'd Actually Want to Receive

Match sticks in glass containers Christmas gift exchange party idea
We've made the list and checked it twice. This holiday, give a handmade Christmas gift you, your friends and family will love. These easy and creative DIY Christmas gift ideas include homemade serving trays, custom jewelry holders, make-it-yourself limoncello, and more.

Hand-Stamped Tea Towel

A potato and a cookie cutter are all it takes to make a custom holiday stamp. This handmade Christmas gift can be customized with any artwork and colors you like. Make a bunch and give them as festive DIY Christmas gifts. 

Metallic Match Strikers

Give your boring box of matches a major style upgrade with these chic match strikers. Upcycle plain glass jars with a few coats of metallic spray paint and finish with a strip of self-adhesive striker paper. Gift them on their own or as a set with a festive Christmas candle. 


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.

Homemade Cookie Butter

It doesn't get more decadent (or delicious!) than homemade cookie butter. Make a big batch and package it up into individual servings. Keep it classic or get creative and try a fun new flavor like bourbon-vanilla. 

DIY No-Sew Blanket Scarf

'Tis the season for cozy! Skip the store and DIY your own oversize blanket scarf. All it takes is a few yards of flannel fabric and scissors. We'll show you how to trim the edges for the perfect frayed look. 

Global Stamped Basket

This colorful basket is the perfect creative Christmas gift for anyone passionate about home decor. Look for inexpensive baskets and dress them up with a simple painting technique. 

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.

Fabric-Wrapped Serving Spoons

Serve up holiday cheer with these handmade serving spoons. Choose colorful fabric to dress up plain wooden spoons and you have a quick holiday gift that's pretty and functional.

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.

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Leather Baskets

Give your grocery store bouquet a major upgrade with these DIY leather vases. Use our free template to create a stunning gift with just a few simple supplies. They're perfect for dressing up a succulent, potted plant, or small arrangement. 

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Leather Tassel Keychain

A tassel keychain is the perfect handmade stocking stuffer. Pick up some colorful leather cording and you have the start to the easiest DIY holiday gift. 

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.

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.

Handmade Cactus Art

Have an art-lover in your life? Gift them this handmade cactus print. They're sure to love this piece of handmade art and you'll love how easy and inexpensive it is to make. 

Felt Owls

Need a darling DIY kid's gift? These colorful felt owls make sweet stocking stuffers. Our free template makes it easy to create hand-stitched owls in a variety of sizes. Add your own embellishments, like wings, for a custom pillow that couldn't be cuter. 

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.


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.

Rope-Wrapped Basket

Give the gift of (pretty!) storage. A rope-wrapped basket is the perfect handmade holiday gift for anyone who loves to stay organized. 

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.


DIY Bath Bombs

It's time to treat yourself (and your friends!). Whip up a batch of homemade bath bombs and prepare to relax. Choose your favorite essential oils and flower petals for a custom blend. 

Related: Check out our favorite ways to gift self-care. 

Painted Tea Towels

These painted tea towels are almost too pretty to use! Perfect for anyone who loves to cook, these DIY Christmas gifts can be customized with any color combination you like. 

DIY Initials Pennant

Want to give a personalized Christmas gift this year? You can DIY this custom felt initial pennant for under $5. Choose a monogram or initials, cut them out, and get gluing. 

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.

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.



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. 

DIY Scrape Paper

This year, give the gift of... paper? You got it! Create custom rolls of wrapping paper. Our simple scrape paint technique is quick and easy. Not only will your recipients have the prettiest packages under the tree but they'll think of you every time they use the paper! Customize it with any colors you like. 

Related: Learn how to wrap gifts like a pro! 

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. 


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.


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.



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.



Pretty Plant Markers

Have a friend with a green thumb? Whip up a set of colorful plant markers using clay, stamps, and paint! Make a complete indoor herb gardening kit by attaching a seed packet to each marker. They'll enjoy this DIY gift long after the winter snow melts. 

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. 



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. 



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.


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. 



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.

Cozy House Pillows

Perfect for the new homeowner or design-lover in your life, these cute house pillows call for just scraps of fabric. You'll be surprised how easy these pillows are to create. We used a sewing machine for most of the work but you could easily hand-stitch the pillows. 

Suede Braided Napkin Rings

We all have that friend who loves to entertain. Make them a set of quick braided napkin rings for a thoughtful gift they'll use again and again. Pick up inexpensive suede cording at the crafts store and start braiding. You'll have a set completed in no time. 

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.

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. 



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.

DIY Cactus Terrarium

Take an inexpensive glass terrarium and make it something truly special. Adding a cactus, flowers, and air plants to the expected succulents makes this terrarium gift-worthy. Create one for yourself and use it as a pretty Christmas centerpiece or display it on your mantel. 

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