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20 Easy Homemade Gifts for Folks You Really Love

December 16, 2016

Day 22 of 30 Days of Thoughtful Giving: Clear a crafternoon.

It's the most wonderful (also stressful, expensive) time of the year! And there is nothing—nothing—that will knock the socks of your family members and friends off faster than a handmade gift.

A handmade gift is to be long-cherished: You took the time make something start to finish for someone other than yourself. It's also incredibly rewarding for the maker: You alone produced that long-cherished thing, no one else! Bravo to you.

Photo by James Ransom

Below, I've rounded up some of my favorite DIY projects (some from Food52, others from great crafters the internet over) that make special, simple and unique holiday gifts. They require little funds and time, but are big on return.

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With a bit of advance planning and a quick trip to the supply store (many of the projects below require only a trip to a large craft store such as Michael's, a hardware store, or garden supply center), you too can feel all the handmade holiday feelings this holiday.

Leather Coasters

Make a set of 4 or 6, stack them and finish with a ribbon. The leather makes this handmade gift feel luxurious (when really, you used a sharpie, too! It's got that high-low thing going on).

Two more coaster DIY's, both wooden:

Drawstring Bags

Photo by Purl Soho

Made with shimmering mineral linen, these drawstring bags from the talented ladies of Purl Soho will make the Type-A on your gift list swoon: They're great for shoes, delicates when traveling, even jewelry. If you have access to a sewing machine and a ruler, you can make this project.

Wooden Trivets

Architectural and incredibly sturdy (they hold a ton of weight!), these split-ball trivets are so pretty, they don't even need wrapping. Perfect for the home or design enthusiast on your list and they can be made in about one hour, start to finish.

Two more trivet DIY's, one rope and one quilted:

Paper Medallion Ornaments

Photo by Minieco

Are you one day or two days away from the big day with no gifts? Make everyone a paper medallion ornament from UK blogger Minieco. They require A4 paper, glue and thread, a human that is relatively good with scissors, and voila! A gorgeous paper treasure.

Two more ornament DIYs, in paper and clothespin:

Scented Sachets

Swap lavender for cedar chips and use cozy/winter fabrics in place of the linen in this hand-sewn DIY. Also great for stacking and finishing with a bow, these will last in the drawers of friends and family members for over a year.

Bead-and-Tassel Necklaces

Photo by Purl Soho

These DIY necklaces are available in six sophisticated palettes and packaged in an easy-to-follow kit from Purl Soho. I'd make gift them to my sister and mom in a second.

Two more necklace DIYs, in yarn and milk jug ring (!):

Minimal Candlesticks

If you're traveling for the holidays, these modern candlesticks can be made and stowed with ease in a suitcase or carry-on. Mix and match the designs you make and give them as a set—perhaps tied to your favorite pair of tapers. (A wooden variation, here.)

A Modern Wreath

Photo by Honestly WTF

A trip to your backyard or garden supply center (if foraging isn't your thing), a few yards of velvet ribbon and something to serve as your base—you've got yourself a handmade, modern wreath like this one by HonestlyWTF. The perfect gift it to the host or hostess you'll be staying with over the holidays.

Two more wintry wreath DIYs:

Hand-Stamped Napkins

If there are kids off from school in your home leading up to the holidays, this is the perfect project to have them involved. Set up an assembly line to make sets of 2, 4, or 6—then gift to teachers or loved ones.

The best part about the above roster of beautiful, handmade projects? They're truly, utterly, inarguably one-of-a-kind. And so are you for making them! Happy holidays.

Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker
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Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

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