Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, what with the decorations, the gifts, and the precious time spent with family and friends. It can also be a tough time though, filled with financial pressures and all those uncertainties of what gifts to buy people. You can alleviate all those pressures quite simply with cheap homemade Christmas gifts. Not only will they save you money, but it will be easier to match the gift to the receiver because when you can’t find that perfect gift, you can create it instead!
What’s more, giving and receiving DIY Christmas gifts adds a personal touch, because you’re not only giving the gift that you have created, but you are also giving them the gift of the time and energy that you were willing to spend on them. You can personalise the gift too, making it unique and tailor-made for your loved one. But what to make? Here are ten ideas for inexpensive DIY Christmas gifts that your loved ones are sure to be thrilled to receive.
1. Mini Sewing Kit
Great for the crafty person in your life, these little sewing kits in a jar are perfect for quick repairs! They are simple and quick to make too, making them one of the best DIY Christmas gifts that you can give.
What You Need:
- A clean, empty jar (Mason jars work best)
- A small piece of fabric of your choice
- Glue gun
- *Sewing tools to put in the jar
*Try a tape measure, some pins and needles, a reel of thread, and anything else you think is suitable
- Using the lid as a guide, draw a circle on the back of your fabric, approximately one inch wider than the lid. Cut out the circle and discard the remaining fabric.
- Place the lid bottom-side up on the fabric and fold the fabric over the rim, bunching it as you go and gluing it down with the hot glue gun.
- Continue around the lid until there is a small gap. Push the stuffing into the gap until it resembles a pin cushion as pictured above.
- Glue the remaining fabric in place and leave to dry.
- Fill the jar with the sewing essentials and replace to the lid.
Time and Money Depending on what you choose to fill your jar with, this gift can cost as little as $10 or could be as expensive as you like. Try reducing the cost by re-purposing an old jar and finding a scrap of fabric for the topping. Making this should take you no longer than 10-15 minutes.
2. Teacup Candles
These beautiful teacup candles are a great way to repurpose those almost-burned-out candles and to show off those teacups that may be lost in the back of your cupboards. This easy homemade Christmas gift can be tailored to the receiver too, by picking the cup that suits them perfectly.
What You Need
- 2 Pans (one smaller than the other)
- Partially burned candles
- Jam or candle
- New wicking
- Wick sustainers
- Wooden skewers
- Set the smaller pan over the larger pan of simmering water. In the top pan, melt the leftover bits of candle, keeping the temperature to around 185 degrees.
- Using the tongs, remove the bits of old wick from the wax.
- Cut pieces of wick so that they are two inches longer than the cup length. Clamp one end to the wick sustainer and tie the other around a skewer. Coat the wick and sustainer in wax by dipping them into the melted wax.Then stick the sustainer to the bottom of your cup.
- Pour the wax into your cups, leaving a gap of approximately half an inch at the top. The wax will take around an hour to set.
- Once hardened, the wax will have a well in the centre. To correct this, use another skewer to create a circle of holes around the wick, around 1/16 of an inch deep. Pour in more melted wax until it reaches a quarter of an inch from the rim of the cup.
- Once set, cut the wick. Your candle is now ready to use.
Time and Money Including setting time, this craft should take no longer than two to two and a half hours. The great thing about it is that you can make several of them at the same time. To keep costs down and for a vintage look, use second-hand cups and old bits of candles. You can expect to spend around $30 for this craft, depending on the cups you decide to use.
3. Cookie in a Jar
Cookies make a great sweet treat anytime of the year but at Christmas, they are extra special. Giving your loved one home-baked baked cookies is as fulfilling as it is watching them lick the entire jar clean. Why not mix it up a bit by incorporating their favourite brownie or cake ingredients? But for now, here is a recipe for a sweet and tasty batch of cookies.
What You Need:
- 1 1/3 cups of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of cooking oats
- ¾ cup of M&Ms or similar sweets
- ¾ cup of chocolate chips
- ½ cup of packed brown sugar
- ½ cup of white sugar
- ½ cup of chopped pecans
- A jar to fit it all in
- Embellishments to decorate the jar
- Measure all the ingredients and then layer into the jar in the following order: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oats, M&Ms, chocolate chips, brown sugar, white sugar, and pecans. It may require packing down and if necessary, you can leave some pecans out, but the ingredients should be flush with the lid when finished.
- Seal the jar and tie a pretty ribbon or piece of fabric around the outside of the jar to embellish it.
- Tie an instruction card to the jar, detailing the following:
- Stir all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add 1 slightly beaten egg, ½ a cup of butter, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Using the back of a large spoon, work all the ingredients together.
- Roll the cookie dough into balls of around 1½ inches each in diameter and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for around 10 minutes a preheated 350°F (177 °C) oven.
Time and Money Making Christmas gifts can be time-consuming, but this one most definitely isn’t! The most time-consuming aspect of this particular gift is the measuring of the ingredients but in total, this should take you no longer than 15-20 minutes. Each completed jar will cost you around $10 to make and your lucky recipient should be able to bake approximately 25 cookies – yum yum!
4. DIY Candy Sleighs
This handicraft turns chocolate into a more eye-catching gift and really brings out the magic of Christmas. They are suitable for all your family members and can be altered to include all their favourite treats. You could even produce the same sort of thing with small, wrapped gifts too.
What You Need
- Glue gun
- Candy canes
- A selection of chocolates and candy
- Ribbons for decoration
- Place two candy canes with the curl facing upwards, like the base of a sleigh.
- Using a small amount of glue, attach your largest chocolate to the two candy canes.
- Continue to add your chocolates and sweets, getting progressively smaller, until you finish.
- Tie with ribbon and top with a bow for a truly magical Christmas feel.
Time and Money Depending on your choice of treats, you can make this DIY Christmas gift for less than $20. They are quick to make too, and should take you no longer than 30 minutes.
5. Vinyl Bowl
Got a bunch of old vinyl records that you don’t listen to anymore? This Christmas gift is a great way to pay homage to the music that you love and makes an interesting present for the music-lover in your life. What You Need
- Old records
- A tin can, bowl, or cooking tin that is suitable for the oven
- Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C).
- Place the record label-side down onto the tin can or tool of your choice.
- Place in the centre of the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Open the oven door and shape the softened vinyl with your fingers.
- Remove the vinyl and tin from the oven and maintain the shape with your fingers until the vinyl has cooled and gone stiff again.
- Lift the bowl off the tin.
Time and Money Assuming that you are utilising old records that you have lying around, this gift costs absolutely nothing to make! If not, check out thrift stores and secondhand shops for cheap alternatives. You can make these bowls in around 20 minutes.
6. Homemade Reindeer Beer
Liven up a boring gift by turning it into something Christmassy and cute with this fun and simple Christmas gift idea. It’s easy to do and is sure to make your loved one smile.
What You Need
- Tie a brown pipe cleaner around each bottle neck so that the two ends are facing upwards like antlers. Add smaller bits of pipe cleaner to the tops of each end.
- Glue two wobbly eyes and a red pompom to the neck of each bottle in order to create the reindeer’s face.
Time and Money Simple and cheap, this gift will cost not much more than the price of the beer. Budget around $25 for each 6-pack, complete with the reindeer embellishments. To create your case of reindeer beer, allow yourself 10-15 minutes.
7. DIY Decorative Christmas Candle
Cinnamon is one of those scents people often associate with Christmas. This DIY decorative Christmas candle made of Cinnamon sticks is easy, cheap, and smells festive.
What You Need
- 1 red candle
- A handful of cinnamon sticks
- Red Ribbon
- Arrange the cinnamon sticks in the order you want to place them against the candle.
- Apply superglue to one side of the cinnamon stick and stick it onto the perimeter of the candle.
- After all the sticks have been glued on, let the candle sit and dry for at least 2 hours.
- Rimm the circumference of the candle with the ribbon of your choosing and tie a small bow.
- Once you’re satisfied with the ribbon, cut away any excess and get ready to gift this to someone special!
Time and Money Cheap and cheerful, making this gift will take you no longer than 20 minutes, excluding drying time. It’s cost-effective too, as each candle should cost you less than $20 to make.
8. Felt iPad Case
This cute case is perfect for keeping your iPad safe. The same pattern can be used for any device, so this homemade Christmas gift is suitable for all your loved one’s needs.
What You Need
- A piece of felt 19 inches long by 10.5 inches wide
- A sewing machine
- Needle and thread
- 2 buttons
- An iPad or something of the same size as a guide
- Lay out your felt and place the iPad three inches from the top.
- Fold the longer part over the iPad and make a mark.
- Fold the smaller part over and draw on your design for the flap – this could be a scalloped edge, a curved edge, or whatever you fancy.
- Cut out the design on the flap and then unfold.
- Using your sewing machine, stitch up each side of the case. Be careful not to stitch the flap closed!
- Add a button to the flap and around an inch below, add a button to the case.
- Using thread, make a loop around one button and tie a knot, leaving a tail on the thread.
- The tail can be used to secure the case closed with the remaining button by winding it around.
Time and Money Requiring a little more skill than some of our other crafts, this case is an inexpensive DIY Christmas gift, costing around $20 to make and taking only 30-40 minutes to craft.
9. Peppermint Body Scrub
Luxurious and delightful, this is one of those gifts that people definitely love to receive. It’s sensual, it smells good, and it will leave your loved ones feeling fantastic.
What You Need
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- 1½ – 2 cups of sugar
- 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
- 1 drop of green food colouring
- Microwave the coconut oil on high for 15-25 seconds or until it has softened.
- Add 1½ cups of sugar, the peppermint extract, and the food colouring and mix well. If it’s too wet, add more sugar until it is of the desired consistency.
- Spoon into an airtight container and decorate with ribbon or twine.
Time and Money This five-minute craft will cost you no more than $12 to create, making it both cost and time effective.
10. Paint-Dipped Kitchen Utensils
Turn dull kitchen utensils into something fun and colourful by dipping them in paint. This one is as fun to make as it is to give!
What You Need
- Wooden kitchen utensils
- Paints (acrylic works best)
- Painter’s tape
- Gloss to finish
- Use painter’s tape or masking tape to mark the highest point where you want the paint to go, so that you don’t paint the parts that eventually touch your food.
- Paint the handle in the colours of your choice. You could even try a pattern if you are feeling artistic.
- Stand the utensils upright in a cup or glass in order for the handles to dry.
- Remove the painter’s tape and gloss the handles to strengthen the paint. If using a spray gloss, cover the spoon or spatula part of the utensils with foil to keep them gloss-free.
Time and Money Depending on how many utensils you decide to use for this gift, it’ll cost you around $30-$40. Excluding drying time, you can have it all finished in as little as 30 minutes. Whatever homemade gifts you decide to give this Christmas, your loved ones are sure to be thrilled. Still feeling crafty after all that? Try our Christmas craft ideas for kids. If you’re not feeling up to creating unique and inexpensive homemade Christmas gifts, why not check out these other great Christmas gift ideas? Here are some Christmas gift ideas for mom, for the man in your life, and for the ladies too. With this much choice and all these possibilities, gift giving this Christmas is going to be easy!