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Last Minute Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas They’ll Love

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Looking for some homemade Christmas gift ideas? These DIY gifts are fast, simple to make, and straight from the heart! Get our your crafting scissors and get making. 

Go here for some fun ideas on giving experiences rather than gifts.

DIY gifts wrapping: Recycled paper and pretty doilies

I don’t know about you, but I always have good intentions of making homemade Christmas gifts (I’m full of gift ideas!) well in advance of the holiday. And then life gets in the way and I find myself with some holes to fill in my list. Sound familiar?

Good news, though: You can pull most of these homemade Christmas gifts together in under an hour.

clear bottles with brown liquid, topped with pastel colored fabric - easy homemade christmas gift idea

 

DIY gifts from the kitchen:

There are plenty of homemade Christmas gift ideas and hostess gifts that can come right out of your kitchen.

From baked goods and home-preserved treats (maybe from your garden!?) to some easy homemade liqueur, it’s hard to go wrong with a homemade gift of food.

RelatedEco Friendly Gift Ideas for the Holidays

homemade soap in a pale green pottery dish with lavender flower -- fun homemade christmas gift idea!

 

DIY gifts from the heart:

There are — admittedly — some folks who just don’t appreciate homemade Christmas gift ideas that have so much heart behind them. You may very well know who those people are on your list.

Instead of giving up on the idea of a DIY gift, do your best to really zero in on that person’s interests and cater to that.

  • Stitch up a set of mini bags for buying spices in bulk. Or follow the same directions and make larger bags for produce shopping.
  • Or gift a set of these pretty upcycled linen bread bags to your favorite bread baker.
  • Upcycle some linen napkins to make these pretty linen bread bags. They help keep bread fresh.
  • How about some handmade soap? Customize the scent for the gift recipient!
  • A ‘Make Your Own Laundry Soap‘ kit? Brilliant homemade gift idea! Gather the ingredients into a pretty basket. (I’d make mine sans plastic wrap.) Need a recipe? I like Frugal Kiwi’s laundry soap recipe.
  • Your friend who is trying for a lower-waste kitchen will appreciate some cute beeswax wraps.
  • Gardeners will appreciate homemade a tin of natural bug bite relief or mosquito repellent.
  • Years (and I mean years) ago, I made what became known as ‘rice babies’ for my family. Essentially a small pillow filled with rice, it can be warmed in a microwave and used as a bed warmer. My mom still uses hers and tells me regularly that she loves it. It was the easiest thing in the world to make.
  • Indulge your gift recipients with a DIY gift of a homemade sugar scrub or solid lotion bar.
  • Whip up some lavender-mint lip balm.
  • Grab your essential oils and mix up a batch of scented room sprays.
  • Give someone special the gift of relaxation! Make up a batch of this herbal buttermilk bath soak and package it with a good book.
  • Make up a batch of these lavender scented bath bombs — perfect for the teens on your list!
3 square gifts wrapped in brown paper with green ribbon

RelatedGreener Gift Wrapping Supplies: Holiday Presents with Less Waste

Homemade Christmas gift ideas for the kiddos:

When you’ve got young kids, homemade Christmas gift ideas abound. (It’s a bit harder to delight a tween or teen with homemade gifts, but they can still be wowed.)

several gifts wrapped with recycled paper

Originally published in December 2011; this post has been updated.

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

7 comments… add one
  • Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi Dec 17, 2011, 7:41 pm

    Wonderful list. I love homemade gifts. Much better than bought, I-threw-money-at-a-cashier-gifts any day of the year. I’m thinking of making up some of these for friends this week!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 17, 2011, 8:01 pm

      I love those alphabet stones so much, I’m wishing I had young kids on my list this year!

      • Melanie @ Frugal Kiwi Dec 18, 2011, 6:22 pm

        They are cute, but like you, I’ve got no one in that age range to cater for right now. I made some solid lotion bars with extra cocoa butter this morning so they would harden super fast and took them to my local librarians today. Made ’em Cinnamon-Orange scented and, oh man, are they yummy!

  • Kaye Peery Dec 19, 2011, 6:15 am

    I made spice bags, then hit a yard sale where I bought yards of curtain valances (red) and a green cloth shower curtain. I came home and have made many christmas bags tied with matching ribbon. Thanks for the wonderful ideas!

  • Rena Dec 16, 2013, 1:42 am

    I like to make homemade vanilla and also vanilla sugar. Homemade soap, beeswax firestarters, baby fig trees…

  • Jeanie Dec 16, 2013, 9:36 am

    I make spiced mixed nuts and fudge usually. This year I made some caramel turtles, too. I also have made some very easy cloth coasters. I rarely buy any gift anymore, but rather make items…unless it’s a gift certificate for a restaurant for a special occasion. Merry Christmas, Everyone!

  • Carol Dec 17, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Pretty much everything is homemade this year. I made several spice blends for my daughters, some specific teas for hormonal imbalance (we all suffer from that, so I made a bit extra for myself!), some facial beauty oil, refreshing room spray and some Chai tea, and made a nice gift basket, I also made some aromatherapy playdough for my two year old grandson.
    Last year, I made foot cream, magnesium body butter, room spray, “ouchie” cream, vanilla and lotion bars.
    I have SO much fun making all this stuff! I really keep Mountain Rose Herbs busy with orders, because, invariably, I find ONE more recipe and I have everything except ONE ingredient!
    Thank you for all the great ideas! Birthdays coming up in January, so I’d better get busy and get started on my next gift project!

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