47 DIY Christmas Gifts to Make, Not Buy, This Year

updated Nov 9, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Heartfelt gifts are a joy to receive no matter what, but there’s something extra-special about giving something that was made by you. DIYing your own gifts might sound intimidating, but here’s the truth: You don’t have to be an expert-level maker to craft something stylish and useful. The best part? There are plenty of giftable projects that you can make on the cheap, if you’re looking for wallet-friendly ideas. Here, 40 beautiful and seriously giftable projects that you’ll have just as much fun making as you will giving.

Credit: Amanda Puleo

1. Macrame No-Sew Coasters

A truly impressive gift for the boho lover on your list! These easy-to-make macrame coasters are the perfect project to work on while you binge Netflix from your couch.

Credit: Make Life Lovely

2. Faux Coral Bookends

DIY doesn’t always have to mean “made from scratch.” All it takes to make these covetable bookends is a coat of paint.

Credit: Club Crafted

3. Wood Bead Hanging Planter

In just 10 minutes you can create the perfect gift for your plant-loving friends (or yourself!). You can give this alone or with a cutting of your very favorite greenery.

Credit: My Vian

4. Polymer Clay Slab Earrings

If you’ve been wanting to try your hand at making polymer clay earrings, this is a fantastic tutorial (with a video!). Proceed with caution: It’s so easy and fun that you might find yourself up to your eyeballs (or, ahem, earlobes) in earrings.

Credit: Damask Love

5. Resin Keychains

Need a little something something for a lot of people? These resin keychains are impressive, and easy to make in large quantities.

6. Tie-Dyed Linens

This easy method for tie dying is less messy than the liquid dye process, and the gifting options are extensive. Make your pal a fresh set of kitchen towels, a pair of pillowcases, a fresh pair of socks, or a cute tote bag — in any case, this is a project you can knock out in an afternoon.

Credit: Honestly WTF

7. Embellished Slippers

For a cozy gift that also has a little razzle dazzle, try this bejeweled DIY on a comfy pair of slippers.

8. Milk and Honey Soap

If you’ve ever wanted to make soap but stopped short because you assumed it was time-intensive and possibly difficult to do, you assumed wrong! This 10-minute DIY soap looks only looks complicated. Wrap a few bars in some tissue paper and you have an instant gift.

Credit: Aww Sam

9. Pom Pom Scarf

A knitted scarf is a beautiful gift, but takes a lot of time to pull together. Here’s an easier version that’s quicker to boot.

10. Scrap Wood Propagation Station

You know your friends who no longer have mugs or glasses to drink from because they’re all being used to propagate plants? Here’s a gift from Jen Woodhouse that says, “I see you, and I want to help.”

11. Modern Bird Feeder

Most people think of bird feeders as something for summer, but it’s actually fall and winter when birds are looking for places to find food. This modern DIY feeder would be a great gift for a blossoming bird watcher.

12. Beaded Earrings

These whimsical earrings come together with just a few easy-to-find supplies, including embroidery floss, thread, and beads.

Credit: Studio DIY

13. Embroidered Sweatshirt

Buy an off-the-rack or thrifted sweatshirt, then embroider it with a favorite phrase or design — this tutorial from Studio DIY shows you how to do it the easy way.

14. Essential Oil Diffusers

This essential oil diffuser feels luxurious, but it comes together in a snap. DIY a few — some for your friends, and one for you, too.

15. Reusable Produce Bags

If you have a sewing machine and some basic skills, you can pull off these simple-but-chic reusable produce bags.

16. Hydrodip Sneakers

These funky, colorful sneakers are the perfect gift for a shoe-loving friend or family member. You can also use this method to dress up plain accessories like tote bags.

Credit: Bliss Makes

17. Clay Rainbow Vase

Here’s a quirky gift that looks like you picked it up at a trendy boutique. Buy (or thrift!) an affordable vase to start, then embellish it with cute little rainbows.

Credit: Cat Meschia

18. Tiled Tray

Turn a plain wood serving tray into a happy hour-ready art piece by covering the bottom with a beautiful tile of your choice.

19. Brass and Wood Hanging Planter

These minimalist hanging planters only require a few materials to make, and no power tools. They’re pretty enough to give alone, but your favorite green thumb probably wouldn’t mind if you included a potted plant in the package, too.

Credit: Bliss Makes

20. Clay Face Planter

If you are including a planter, here’s a chic option. It looks more complicated than it is, but don’t worry: If you can roll clay into a snake and open a tube of glue you can create this beautiful, modern planter.

21. No-Sew Waist Apron

For the cook in your life, whip up a pretty and practical waist apron (no sewing required).

Credit: Honestly WTF

22. Marbled Paper Stationery

The gift of giving stationery is old-timey, but not old-fashioned. This particular stationery is so pretty and modern, anyone would be glad to receive it. Take the gift even further by adding some personalization for each set.

23. Leather Mason Jar Sleeve

A rustic-yet-refined leather cup sleeve makes drinking out of a plain old mug or mason jar feel like a special treat. If you can wield a craft knife and a hammer, you can do this impressive-looking DIY.

24. Patterned Trinket Dishes

Making lots of gifts for the holidays? These trinket dishes might be just the thing for you, since they’re both quick and affordable. You’ll just need terracotta saucers, chalk, and a sealant to finish the job.

25. Dried Flower Art

Dried floral art is beautiful no matter what time of the year it is, but you could always swap out warmer weather dried florals for things like pine, boxwood, berries, or cherry blossoms.

26. Twisty Candlesticks

Even if you’re not up for melting and pouring your own candles, you can still gift something special. These twisted candles can be made using just regular old taper candles and extra hot water.

27. Stovetop Potpourri Mix

Looking to make lots of small favors? Try a DIY stovetop potpourri mix, which contains all the ingredients the recipient will need to make fill their home with amazing holiday scents.

Credit: Flax & Twine

28. Embroidered Napkins

The best way to ensure your gift won’t be stuffed away in a drawer, never to be seen again, is to give something that’s useful. Embroidered cloth napkins are easy to make, personal, and functional — the trifecta.

29. Personalized Guessing Game

This personalized Guess Who game would be a great gift for a group of family and friends, who could all be included on the board. Or, plug in characters from a pal’s favorite movies or TV shows for a pop culture spin. Either way, this game is just as much fun to make as it is to play.

30. DIY Cocktail or Mocktail Kit

A mini cocktail or mocktail kit is a fun way to celebrate birthdays, achievements, or holidays. Give your pal’s favorite drink, or make a batch of your signature concoction to give to a large group. It’ll feel like you’re raising a glass together, even from afar.

Credit: Fall for DIY

31. Clay and Rope Bowl

Air-dry clay forms the base of this DIY bowl, while rope gives some extra color and texture on top. Give it alone, or fill it with wrapped candies before gifting for a two-in-one treat.

32. Rosemary-Mint Bath Salts

Make these yummy-smelling bath salts in a big batch and divide into cute little jars for gifting. Easy!

33. Beard Oil

The beard-havers on your list deserve some #selfcare, too. This recipe from The Merrythought, gifted in a little glass dropper bottle, looks 100 percent bespoke.

Credit: Alice & Lois

34. Embellished Zipper Pouches

Zip-up pouches are endlessly versatile, perfect for school supplies, makeup, electronics accessories, toiletries, and more. Give plain pouches some extra charm with this no-sew DIY that can be customized for each of your friends.

35. Simple Picture Frames

Print a favorite photo of you and your friend from this year, then package it up in a frame you DIYed yourself.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

36. Kokedama Plant Displays

This is a gift for a pal you know is a plant lover with suitable light in their bathroom — but if you hit those requirements, this DIY is sure to impress. Moisture-loving plants are rooted in balls of moss and soil so they can be suspended mid-air with not a pot in sight, like magic. Here’s how to make them.

37. Letter Art Notebook

This DIY notebook is absurdly easy to make, but the minimalist style makes it look super sophisticated. The secret: A strict formula for the text you can add, plus a ruler.

38. Vintage Rose Jewelry Box

Whether you choose a vintage rose design like the one pictured here or some other simple design, this little DIY jewelry box makes for a sweet gift.

39. Cement Hex Magnets

Need stocking stuffers? Whip out a bunch of these cement magnets in various sizes and color schemes, and give everyone on your list a small bag.

40. Suede Trinket Tray

This handsome catchall can be made with suede, as shown, or a thick felt. Either way, it’s perfect for keys and other small items. It can even collapse for storage, making it great for travel.

41. Custom Luggage Tags

Speaking of travel: If any of your friends or family are planning a trip (or re-planning one that they put off from 2020), custom luggage tags embellished with their initials are a great little gift.

42. A Framed Note

This heartfelt gift requires a bit of behind-the-scenes action. If you can get your hands on a handwritten note or recipe, you can follow this tutorial to frame it — the result is a piece of art that’s sweet and sentimental, and completely personal.

43. Colorful Sugar Scrub

Sugar scrub is a thoughtful self-care item to gift family or friends. It’s made extra special in various colors that are layered like classic sand art in pretty glass jars.

Credit: Studio DIY

44. Glittery Tray

An acrylic tray filled with shimmery glitter brings the fun to mail sorting, jewelry corralling, key stashing, and more. Choose all one color, or pick a variety of colors and sizes for added interest.

45. Fabric Wine Bags

Looking for a quick and simple gift to bring to your celebrations’ host or hostess? Slip a bottle of wine or other festive beverage inside a handmade fabric bag. You’ll need a sewing machine for the job, but these simple rectangular gift bags are otherwise pretty easy to whip together.

46. Jewelry Stand

Give the gift of an organized dresser with this DIY jewelry stand. The smart T shape — constructed with copper pipe — keeps necklaces from getting tangled, and a marble base adds a touch of glamour.

47. DIY Scented Candles

These easy DIY candles can fill any vessel of your choosing, from recycled jam jars to thrifted dishes. With just a few drops of essential oils, you can make them any scent you like, too, so this is a project where you can let your creativity run wild.