Show someone how much you care with a homemade gift. I’m sharing my 12 favourite handmade gifts that you’ll enjoy making and giving.
Handmade Gifts to Give From the Heart
I enjoy crafting and creating very much. So when it comes time to give gifts, I often consider whether the recipient might appreciate a handmade gift. Often our homes contain so much stuff as it is, that I try to think of something more meaningful that I can spend time on, rather than a lot of money.
In case you’re also looking to give something a little more meaningful and handmade this year, I’m sharing 12 of my favourite handmade gift ideas. Not only will they make great gifts for someone on your list, but you’ll also enjoy making them!
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12 Best Handmade Gift Ideas:
1. Tiny Painting or Piece of Art
You can gift someone a tiny piece of art that you painted yourself. I taught myself to oil paint recently, and love making small 3×5″, 4×6″, or 5×7″ paintings. You can also try acrylics, watercolours, or sketching. There are lots of free classes online, and you don’t often need that many materials to get started on a small scale. In a previous post, I shared how to start a small space home art studio on a budget, which will give you more information.
To make a small painting more meaningful, try painting something that will be special to the recipient. In the photo below, I painted from photos of our family vacation to Atlantic Canada. This would be a great gift for my husband to relive shared memories together.
Or last year, I schemed with my aunt and cousin to get photos from my mom’s childhood without her knowing. I chose one of her playhouse in Grandma’s wonderful gardens and surprised her with a small painting of it.
Variation: If the thought of learning to paint or draw, or getting all the supplies overwhelms you, try getting a Paint-by-Number kit. I love the look of the finished pieces and all the supplies are included! Or, even better – get two kits and host a painting night where you can paint alongside your friend or family member for some quality time.
There are many online companies that sell Paint-by-Number kits, and they are catching on in local arts and crafts stores. Or check them out on Etsy.
2. Custom Painted Barn Quilt
Another great handmade gift idea is a custom painted barn quilt. Don’t worry if your recipient doesn’t have a barn – they can hang in suburban areas too, just as I hung one on my house. And they can be up all year long for colourful curb appeal or garden decor.
I shared a recent tutorial for painting barn quilts, including a YouTube video for easily designing your own. Mine were 24 x 24″, but you could make much smaller ones to hang inside.
Get plywood cut to size at the hardware store if need be, and then prime and paint with craft paint using painter’s tape to tape off your designs. Finally, seal with a clear coat if it’s going outside. For the full tutorial, check out the post.
Variation: Painting barn quilts would be another great project to do together with a family member or friend. Why not purchase and prep the materials and then spend time together creating your barn quilts? As well, you could get all the kids or grandkids to help paint the barn quilt for a parent or grandparent.
3. Painted Doormat
Here’s another handmade gift idea involving craft paint. Surprise someone with a custom painted doormat, which can also be used all year round. You can customize it with their family name, a favourite phrase, or something they’re interested in.
Check out the full tutorials for two different methods and instructions for painting a doormat.
You can use any coir doormat, such as the Trampa ones sold by IKEA, and multi-surface or outdoor craft paint in the colours of your choice. Depending on the complexity of your design, this can be a really fun and easy project that will be used and seen every day.
4. Beeswax Food Wraps
Another great handmade gift idea is making beeswax food wraps. I have not yet written a post about this, but I did make a few batches myself two summers ago. I love using them to wrap up cheese especially, and they’re a great eco-friendly choice to reduce plastic wrap use.
The tutorial I followed was this one, although I made it much easier for myself by buying beeswax pucks that already contain all the other ingredients required. Simply melt them over a double boiler and continue on – a huge timesaver!
You can look for beeswax pucks at your local craft shop. I found them at a local quilting shop, Mad About Patchwork. Lee Valley also sells them separately, or in a kit form with the fabric. Or they’re available on Etsy as well such as here, or here. Note: Just be sure you’re getting beeswax with the resin and jojoba oil already mixed, not straight beeswax, otherwise you’ll still need to source the other ingredients separately.
I loved going through my quilting fabrics and choosing ones to make a collection and to match my decor. When I gave some as gifts, I thought about the colours that the recipients liked.
I got a small glass bowl from the thrift shop for $1 that I placed over a small pot of simmering water to act as a double boiler to melt the beeswax pucks.
You brush the fabric with the melted beeswax and place them in a low oven for a couple minutes. Then they get hung up to dry. My kitchen was so pretty with all the colourful wraps hanging up.
Why not make some for yourself at the same time you make some to give to others? They’re a beautiful and practical handmade gift.
5. Crocheted Baskets
A nice, cozy handmade gift idea is to crochet some baskets. They make great storage on shelves, and you can customize the colours to anything you (or the recipient) like.
I shared a blog post about learning to crochet by making these baskets – it’s absolutely achievable, even if you don’t already know how. These baskets are so fun and addictive to make. You can find the pattern for the baskets here in Darling Be Brave’s Etsy shop.
If you make some as gifts, you’ll want to make some for yourself too!
6. Plant Dusting Gloves
Do you know someone who loves houseplants? Whip up a super easy pair of plant dusting gloves from microfibre cloths or towels, and gift them along with a new plant in a pretty pot. It’s a great way to keep plants happy and healthy and absorbing all that sunshine!
Since you’ll be able to make these dusting gloves in a matter of minutes, why not make a pair for yourself while you’re at it? Check out the full plant dusting gloves tutorial.
7. Quilted Coasters
If you know how to sew, quilt, or have lots of fabric scraps hanging around, you can make quilted coasters as a handmade gift.
You can use my free Rainbow Ring quilt block like the ones pictured below, or resize any quilt block using my free Quilt Block Resizing Worksheet. Find the tutorial to make coasters and the free Rainbow Ring pattern here, and the Quilt Block Resizing instructions, video and worksheet here.
I also like to use quilted coasters under plants, to protect surfaces, or to quiet rattling of things on shelves. Quilted coasters absorb condensation and can also be thrown in the wash.
8. Fabric Covered Cork Board
One of the quickest DIYs to make as a handmade gift is a custom fabric-covered cork board.
Get an inexpensive cork board and cover it with fabric of your choice using a staple gun. For the full tutorial and a stapling guide, check out the full post.
I think it would be a great handmade gift to give a teenager along with some fun pins, or for anyone working at home.
9. Felt Embroidery Hoop Art
Another great handmade gift idea is to make some colourful felt hoop art. I have a tutorial for designing your own so you can create something to delight your recipient. I also have three free designs – knitting, painting, and a quilt block.
Felt hoop art is fun to make and you can follow my step by step directions in the tutorials.
Variation: If you don’t want to design your own, there are also embroidery kits available at your local craft stores, or on Etsy. Some may contain felt, but most are just straight embroidery. I love doing embroidery – it’s so relaxing and a great activity while snuggled under a blanket on dark evenings.
10. Embroidered Felt Ornaments
One of my favourite handmade gift ideas is making some heirloom-quality felt ornaments, all designed by Larissa Holland of MmmCrafts. I adore making these ornaments! Choosing the colours is like being a miniature fashion designer, and the instructions are so clear and helpful even for beginners.
Larissa has a few sets to choose from, or you can buy patterns individually. The photo above is the beginnings of a series with Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley. Below are the beginnings of the ‘Twas the Night series with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves.
I have also made the full Twelve Days of Christmas ornaments series by Larissa. Felt ornaments would be a great handmade gift to give year after year, and therefore slowly building up an heirloom-worthy collection for the recipient. Check out my Guide to Making Heirloom Felt Ornaments to see more photos and learn more about these felt ornaments.
11. Sewing Pattern Weights
A great handmade gift idea for a sewist is to stitch a quick set of sewing pattern weights from felt, quilting cotton, floss and hardware store washers.
Pattern weights are a very simple project with a full tutorial, and they’re so helpful for cutting out sewing patterns without using pins.
Variation: You could also turn these pattern weights into tic tac toe pieces for kids by stitching felt Xs and Os on the top instead of fabric!
12. Felt Basket
The last handmade gift idea in this list is to make an embroidered felt basket. You can find the Blooming Along Basket pattern in my shop.
Though I originally designed it as a thread catcher basket for crafters, I also have a post of ideas for other uses, such as holding pencils, or collecting hair ties.
The Blooming Along Basket can also be a great little basket to hold other smaller gifts. Watch for an upcoming gift guide full of ideas to put inside to make gift baskets for sewists, quilters, stitchers, gardeners, etc.
Handmade Gifts You’ll Love to Make and Give This Year!
I love to give handmade gifts at Christmas, but you don’t have to be limited to that. You can make handmade gifts for special occasions all year round that you’ll both enjoy making and giving.
I want to hear from you! Are you planning to make any handmade gifts this year? How early do you get started? Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best,