More than 100 homemade gift ideas that don’t suck

Not all homemade holiday gifts are that great. While there are almost always some benefits to giving homemade gifts, there are also downsides to giving poorly thought out gifts, such as…

  • People won’t use them – thus wasting resources.
  • Your time could be better spent.
  • Your money could be better spent.
  • Good homemade gifts inspire people to create their own homemade gifts, bad ones, not so much.

The above said, first take a look at 10 tips for making the best homemade holiday gifts, then consider one of the gifts below.

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Homemade memory game

7 homemade gifts I’ve given that have actually gone over well…

I’ve made tons of homemade gifts over the years. Some good, some better left unmentioned, but the ones below have gone over well.

1 – Homemade memory game – This game went over well with the kids who got them. Plus, it was a nice project for my son Cedar, who was 10 at the time, so if you’re looking for a gift your child can help with, this is a good one. Here’s a fun shapes and tactile version.

2 – “52 Reasons I Love You” Cards – I made one of these homemade decks for a friend’s birthday gift and Cedar made one for his dad for Father’s day. It was a smashing success in both cases. It’s time intensive, but fun and worth it. Plus, it forces you to think positively. Note, Cedar made a smaller deck, called “10 reasons I love you” which is smart if a kid is making this project, because 52 cards is a lot of work.

Snowman covered cherries

3 – Homemade organic chocolate covered cherries – I made these one year and while they were harder than I thought, everyone LOVED them. Never underestimate the power of chocolate + cherries. Just an FYI though – packaging was kind of a nightmare. I don’t think I’ve posted my recipe here yet, so here’s a good one. By the way, I haven’t made snowman covered cherries from The Kid’s Fun Review, but if I did this gift project again, I would because they’re ADORABLE (as shown above). Lastly, you have to see these chocolate mice.

4 – Homemade organic sugar scrub – Homemade sugar scrub is both the best homemade gift I’ve ever received and given. People love fancy bath products  and this one is so easy that your gift making is done in a flash. You can also make salt scrub and you can personalize the scents. For Christmas, you may want to try this cinnamon scrub or candy cane bath salts.

Homemade calender for kids

5 – Homemade calender for kids – Last year my friend and I made calenders for our kids. It took a bit of time, but was an inexpensive gift and fun too. Also, the kids really liked them. You can print out your own calender template on the computer or buy a very inexpensive calender at the store and go nuts decorating (what I did).  I suggest this gift for kids only, because they’re not super design-picky, whereas adults have VERY specific ideas when it comes to what hangs on their wall. See the homemade calender tutorial (coming soon).

6 – Homemade clock – I made a homemade wooden clock for a friend a long time ago and she’s had it hanging up for 12 years now. Mine was fancy – I painted it full of stars and celestial colors. This is a good project if you’re a decent painter. If you’re not a decent painter, go with a solid color scheme or use a unique recycled item to make your clock. To make a homemade clock, head to your nearest craft store (unless you own a wood shop) get a basic clock front plus the back mechanical workings. See this guide to homemade clocks. You can also try a homemade literary clock.

Homemade music CD

7 – Homemade music CD – This is a great stocking stuffer for kids and adults. If you want to give a CD as a main gift, say for a co-worker or  pal, I suggest placing it in a little gift bag with some candy to amp it up a bit. I usually take the time to decorate the case too (as shown above) – which is way nicer than just writing down the songs in a row.

100+ other spectacular homemade gift ideas…

Remember, even if a gift looks like an excellent idea, it’s only great if you can pull it off, so stick with a gift you can manage. Also, because not all homemade gifts start out eco-friendly, make sure to switch it up to make projects greener. For example…

  • Switch out conventional food and body care ingredients for organic.
  • Reuse containers and packaging vs. buying new when possible.
  • Use recycled and non-toxic arts and crafts supplies.
  • Look for supplies for homemade gifts at thrift stores or garage sales before buying new supplies.
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Christmas-Spiced Salt

Homemade Gifts of Food & Drinks

BONUSESabout a trillion gifts in a jar and a cool family recipe book idea – although you can make variations like, “Best vegan recipes” or “Excellent healthy recipes for kids.”


affordable gift ideas, DIY gift, gift, green gifts, homemade gifts

Cookie Cutter Candles

Give the gift of light

Homemade felt play mat and recycled floor puzzle

Homemade gifts for toddlers

Homemade felt play mat and homemade large floor puzzle made from a recycled map are shown above – these projects are from a really old craft book I have – 101 Crafts Under $10 – Easy-to-Make Ideas for Gifts and Home. It’s a decent idea book, but I think it’s more worth checking out at the library vs. buying, unless you can find it cheap.

affordable gift ideas, DIY gift, gift, green gifts, homemade gifts

Happy stacker for baby

Homemade gifts for babies

Homemade gifts for kids & teens

affordable gift ideas, DIY gift, gift, green gifts, homemade gifts

DIY picture tiles

The gift of memories

Homemade lotion bars

Homemade beauty and body care gifts

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DIY dry erase board

Homemade gifts that make life easier

Lavender balls

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Homemade sun plaque and sun & stars mobile

MISC gift ideas

Both of the above ideas (a wall plaque and mobile) are from another old craft book I own – Suns & Moons, 20 Practical Inspirations. It’s hard to find, but worth a look if you like crafts involving the sun, moon or stars

Also see 39 Homemade Green Holiday Gifts That Rock

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  1. Lynn says

    FANTABULOUS list! Love it. May I add one thing I’ve made for a number of adults who “have everything.” It started with my dad’s 80th birthday. I found 80 jokes and put them into a book for him. He liked it so much that when I had a friend celebrating her 60th and couldn’t think of anything, I did it for her and she loved it to. Now this is my go-to gift for many friends (hope they’re not reading this) when they hit a milestone birthday. (Always printed on recycled paper of course!)

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