I was a little shocked to get a piece of mail the other day from a local loan company, offering to “help me through the holiday season.”
It’s that time – the craft stores are stocking up on holiday decor, the air is getting chilly enough for boots, coats, and scarves, and everyone is thinking about holiday shopping. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of an opportunity to do something nice for someone, or having a season when we all spend a little more time thinking about “magic” and brightening someone’s day.
But it’s just crazy to me that our culture puts so much pressure in us to get the perfect gift for every person in our lives, that some people feel the need to take out loans to afford it. Of course, in a military town like this one, there are often travel expenses to think about in order to spend time with loved ones. But as far as gifts, maybe there’s a way to be kind and thoughtful without going broke.
And this, if you ask me, is where the handmade revolution comes in. Now I know some people have actual jobs and don’t spend their days trolling Pinterest for new craft ideas. But more and more of us are realizing that homemade items can be affordable, high-quality, and even fun to make! And, let’s face it, Christmas shopping takes up its own chunk of time anyway. Especially for us procrastinators 😉
So I thought I’d compile a list of some of the best homemade gift ideas I’ve found. I know I’m not the first to do this, but these are some of my favorites. Personally I like somewhat practical ideas – long-lasting edibles, bath & body items, housewares – so you know your special gifts won’t be gathering dust on a shelf.
I also think, when it comes to food or body care, if you’re going to go to the trouble, you might as well make it from scratch and know exactly what’s in it. So I have done my best to find some simple, affordable gift ideas that your family and friends will truly appreciate! I’ll keep this updated with my thoughts and photos as I try more of them!
Lemon Sugar Scrub
Tried this and a seas salt version and love them! Easy, all natural, and makes your skin feel super soft! Also great for getting clay off the hands.
All Natural DIY Hand Lotion
Give this along with the scrub for very pampered hands!
Easy Dark Chocolate Truffles
So delicious but so expensive in stores! This homemade version is unbelievably simple!
Hot Cocoa Mix
The perfect cold weather treat.
Recipes in a Jar
Send one of these and your loved one can make anything from soup to baked goods, from scratch, as easily as using a boxed mix.
Crockpot Apple Butter
Delicious and makes your home smell amazing while you make it.
Homemade Spice Blends
Here’s one the guys can enjoy too – spice rubs for all different kinds of meats. The spices themselves can be pretty pricey but sometimes you can find them at the discount grocery stores, cheap and in bigger containers.
DIY Tile Coasters
These are cute, cheap (tiles are about $0.16 apiece at Home Depot!)and can easily be matched to home color schemes, or maybe even personalized.
These are both personal and useful. Polymer clay is one of my favorite mediums! If you have never worked with it, it’s not too hard to learn.
Knitted Dish Sponge
If you’re a knitter or would like to learn, this is a quick and easy project. This one is made with sisal; I made a few with some Sugar n’ Cream yarn (love that stuff!).
Maybe not so “practical,” but fun, especially for kids. Can be made with polymer clay or a more affordable homemade dough (if I find a good recipe I’ll post it), then decorated with stamps, textures, or paint.
Have any suggestions of your own? Please share in the comments, and enjoy the holiday season!