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Thoughtful Homemade Gifts for the Holidays

Give something personal with these quick and simple ideas.

Everyone has one person in their life who already has everything. What do you get for the person who is so hard to shop for because they already own everything they could possibly want? This year, try homemade gifts from the heart. 

Bath Salts

Find inspiration and recipes online. Unscented epsom salt and a favorite essential oil are all you need to start creating a relaxing bath kit. If you don’t already have baking soda and sea salt around the house, grab some for your emergency “DIY” closet and you’ll be good to go. Add in an adorable Mason jar, a cute note and wrap it up! Homemade soaps, bath bombs, and body butters are also easier than you think and great to make if you have a bunch of gifts to create at one time.


Brownie mix in a jar, cookie mix in a jar, hot chocolate mix in a jar. Pinterest is your friend here, with a variety of simple ingredients layered into a Mason jar for the perfect gift. Add another note and some cute fabric to cover the lid, and you’re set. A simple plate of homemade cookies, bread, or cake is also an always appreciated treat.

Basket of Goodies

Whether it’s just food or home essentials, you can’t go wrong with picking up a basket at almost any store and throwing items together. Make it a theme! Movie night (popcorn, hot chocolate, candy, your favorite movie), new home (candles, baking supplies, wine opener), gardening kit (seeds, tools, gloves). This is a great idea to have fun with. Endless possibilities!


A trip to your local craft store and a stop at any hardware store is all you need to start creating one-of-a-kind coasters for everyone and every occasion. 4-inch-by-4-inch ceramic tiles run about $1.25 each at the hardware store, or you can buy them by the case (you’ll want to!). Pick up a wide variety of scrapbook paper (create based on holiday, your friend’s interests, color scheme, etc.) and glue pieces onto the tiles. Once the look is complete, paint on a layer of Modge Podge and let dry. Tie four on top of each other with ribbon and there you go!

Dog Treats

If your gift recipient has a furry friend, whip up some homemade doggie treats. Recipes are easy to find online and usually consist of basic ingredients such as peanut butter, eggs, broth, flour, cinnamon and even pumpkin. Use cookie cutters for fun shapes and don’t forget to list the ingredients when handing over this gift.


Some sturdy card stock collaged with drawings, quotes or photos, and then laminated is a wonderful gift for a book lover! Don’t forget a hole punch and some ribbon. Bonus: pick up a copy of your favorite book or one that you think the recipient will love.

Gift in a Cup

Also great for any occasion. You may think that the last thing someone needs is another travel mug or cup. Think again! These get lost or broken all the time! One more won’t hurt. Find a clear one and stuff it with cute little gifts: a gift card, socks, lip balm, nail polish, lotion!

Clay Magnets

This doubles as a rainy day activity for you and the kids. You can create flat sculptures with air dry clay, and then paint them, or use colorful Sculpey clay and bake it. Once fully dry and complete, hot glue magnetic strips on the back. Check the web for cute food-themed tutorials that will look delicious and thoughtful on any fridge.

Washi Tape Journal

There are plenty of fun patterns available for purchase now. Pick up a plain notebook and wrap it in your recipient’s favorite characters, colors, or patterns. Write something sweet inside, and go all out with hot-glued Scrabble tiles, stickers, or anything else you can find for the cover!

Personalized Calendar

Include photos of you and your recipient together, your dog dressed up in 12 different outfits to match the months, or landscapes from a recent trip. There are a lot of options for creating and ordering calendars online. Don’t forget to add in special dates before giving it away.

Photograph from iStock.

Contributing Writer


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