7 Handmade, Heartfelt Gifts for the Holiday Season

With a long list and a short budget, the holidays can often feel daunting. This year, don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed with gift anxiety. Too often, the gifts we spend our money on (and more importantly, our time!) just end up in a closet collecting dust. This year, focus on the true spirit of the season no matter what holiday you’re celebrating: togetherness. Remember that handmade gifts are not just cost-effective and easy; they’re also special and unique because they’re made by you, with love. With these simple and inexpensive DIY gifts, you can give everyone on your list a gift made with love, and spend all your extra time enjoying the season with family and friends!

1. Jar Mixes

If you’re savvy in the kitchen, jar mixes are the perfect way to share your culinary talents with those closest to you! You can gift bread-in-a-jar, brownies-in-a-jar, or even soup-in-a-jar! The process is simple: start with a lidded Mason jar, then just layer in all the dry ingredients that you’ll use! Be sure to include your own recipe, dress up the jar, and voila! Your holiday gifts have made themselves.

2. Coasters

Do you have leftover tiles from that bathroom floor DIY you finished up in August? Or do you have an extensive cork collection lying around begging to be used? Try gifting a set of coasters! Decorate extra tiles with indelible markers, available at any craft store, with cute designs or animated illustrations. If you’ve got kids, let them color a set for the grandparents. If doodling and decorating isn’t really your thing, try cutting wine corks in half lengthwise and hot-gluing them to the tiles. Coasters are always a useful gift, and with your own unique touch, they can turn into a conversation piece and a treasured gift.

3. Bath Teas

Similar to a jar mix, you can whip up a batch of bath tea, package it beautifully in half- or quarter-size Mason jars (or in homemade muslin “tea bags” if you’re adept at sewing!), and give it to every indulgent woman on your list! Simply mix equal part ground oats and Epson salts (both available at any grocery store) along with whatever herbs and essential oils you want your bath tea to smell like! Include a personal tag instructing the user to mix 2-4 tablespoons into the bath for a luxurious, moisturizing scent escape!

4. Sugar Shapes

For these sweet treats, you’ll need small chocolate molds in whatever shape you plan on gifting (hearts, stars, or flowers work well!). Crafting homemade sugar cubes is quite simple: mix ¼ cup sugar with 1-2 teaspoons of water, just until the sugar is clumpy enough to press into molds. Let the molds sit out overnight so the sugar can harden… and you’re done! Add a few drops of food coloring for festive, colored cubes, or add a few drops of a pure flavored extract (vanilla, orange, or almond are all delicious) for flavored cubes! Package in small airtight bags with a personal note—and every recipient is sure to have a sweet holiday!

5. Cookies

We’re taking a step back to the most basic of all holiday gifts: cookies. Whether you’re gifting a plate of delicious chewy snickerdoodles or crispy crunchy chocolate chips, cookies are always welcome and a great way to show your love and appreciation. The ingredients are relatively inexpensive, and you can make them in huge batches to box or plate up and bring to every gathering this holiday season!

6. Knit Accessories

If you’re a pro at knitting or crocheting, you’ve got this holiday season in the bag. In the dead of winter, what’s better than a cozy new scarf, warm hat, or fuzzy pair or socks?! The hardest part of your gifting season will be picking out colors and types of yarn!

7. Stationary

If you’ve got a knack for doodles or fun animated illustrations, all you’ll need to buy this holiday season is a sheath of heavy, stationary paper and matching envelopes. Doodle matching or coordinating illustrations on eight to twelve folded cards, tie them up together with some pretty ribbon, and gift away! Homemade stationary is not only useful, but beautiful, and reminds the recipient of you and your personal touch every time he or she jots off a quick letter or thank you note. A practical and personal gift?! Yes, please!