I love giving out homemade gifts. They allow a lot of creativity, and can often be done on a budget. For most occasions I would rather spend some time creating a one-of-a-kind item than purchasing something off of a shelf. Making things at home doesn’t have to be hard, and you can even have things prepared ahead of time.
If you have a hobby like sewing, knitting or carpentry, then there are tons of options. You can find thousands of patterns and tutorials online to guide you through the process. However, not everyone has the time or tools for those projects. So, here are a few easy homemade gifts you can make with simple supplies.
One of my favourite gifts is homemade vanilla extract. It’s not as daunting as it sounds! It’s a perfect small gift to a host, or as a thank you. It all starts with some quality vanilla beans that can be bought online or at a specialty shop. The better quality they are, the more flavorful it will become. In most cases you can get quite a few for under $20. You will also need a glass jar and some vodka (or bourbon).
Simply slice up 3-6 vanilla beans and submerge them in the alcohol. Make sure the lid is on tightly, and that the beans are completely covered. Let them do their magic for 3 months, and give the jar a good shake once a week. The end result will be an amazing extract that is so much better than store bought. If you don’t want to leave the extract in the original jar, fill up a small vial or pretty flask and add a decorative label. Although this needs to be done in advance, you can easily make a bunch to store them for later use.
Tied Fleece Blanket
A more time sensitive project is a tied fleece blanket (no sewing required!). They are especially great for kids since you can buy some amazing patterned fleeces. You will need two pieces that are 8 inches bigger than your intended size. The fringe on each side should be about 4”. Line up your two pieces of fabric and cut out all four corners. The cuts don’t have to be perfect; no one will see them once they are tied! Then simply cut your fringe all the way around, making sure you go through both pieces of fabric. Once that is finished you just need to tie the top and bottom layer with a simple knot. Now you have a beautiful handmade blanket!
Cookies in a Jar
Cookies in a jar is another fantastic handmade gift idea. If you have someone on your list that loves one of your deserts, then they will love this. Although all you really need is a jar with a lid and the ingredients, you can use tons of things from around the house to decorate the jar. Fabric and paper dress up the jar very easily and can be completely customized. Basically you just layer the dry ingredients for visual effect and close the jar! It’s a good idea to write cooking instructions on a tag and attach it to the jar. You can also include the recipe if it isn’t a secret.
The last homemade gift idea we have for you is more artistic and decorative. A homemade clock will make a lovely gift and is easier than you may think! You can easily pick up all the supplies for about $20. While there is definitely lots of ways you can make one that is bigger and better, we’re going to stick with basic for now. You’ll need the clock movement box, tape or glue, a canvas, paint and brushes. The movement box can be found online, or at a hobby shop for $5-10. To start, decorate your canvas. Don’t feel the need to stick to the standard layout, make it your own! It’s a great chance to be extremely creative. If you’d like to add buttons, fabric or anything else you can think of, just glue them on. Once the paint and glue has dried, make a small hole for the shaft and insert it. Add the set of hands, glue or tape the movement box in place, and you’re done! In about an hour you’ve made a truly unique gift that someone will love.
Homemade gifts can be as simple as making an origami box from a sheet of paper, or cutting out the pattern for a creative and unique card. Just be creative! There’s nothing quite like receiving something you know a loved one has put real effort into. They dedicated their time to make something special and unique just for you. So, be the one to put a smile on their face this time around!