Holiday DIY – Easy Gifts to Make and Share

Random Musings

I love handmade gifts. Except… somehow it’s December already and I’m running out of time! If you’re thinking of going DIY this holiday season, it can be a fun and easy alternative to hitting the shopping malls.  Everything here was given or received in my family over the last few years: if we can do it, so can you :)

Crocheted gifts:

Any amigurumi can be made into a Christmas ornament by adding a Santa hat… the octopus pattern is from Adorably Kawaii and the hat is from a holiday pattern by Pepika.  This would look good on my Angry Birds Green Pig ornament too…

Christmas octopus

This little Yoda pattern from Happy Together makes an adorable gift.


The crocheted Divine Hat and Cable Hat patterns from Rheatheylia (crocheted cables!) make gorgeous cozy toques and work up quickly.

Crochet divine and cable hats

Felt and fabric gifts:

Felt ornaments rock: let your imagination be your guide. I really love the Star Wars ornaments I made last year… pattern here.

Star Wars felt ornaments

You can make an iPhone case out of felt and decorate it however you like.

Super Mario - piranha plant iPhone case

If you have a sewing machine, try making reversible tote bags in interesting fabric (if your recipient is shy, they can put the marauding robots on the inside :)  The pattern is from Skip to My Lou.

Robot tote bag

For pregnant gals, sew knit fabric into a tube to make belly bands: pattern from DIY Maternity.

Belly bands

A pillow cover is just two squares of fabric sewn together. Sometimes with ears. Don’t forget to add a zipper if you want the cover to be removable.

My Neighbor Totoro pillow

For the girl/guy who has everything but a berth on the Normandy, customize some kitchen towels with felt accents:

N7 tea towels

Miscellaneous gifts:

Transform a hardcover book into a Grid-It for travellers. I got some flak for trying out this Design Sponge project, but in my defense I’m planning to give my Silmarillion pages a new binding.

Silmarillion Grid-It

Paint a wooden disc (available at craft and hardware stores) to make a colourful pendant, or add charms to ribbon to make bookmarks.  I love my dragon.

Wooden disc necklace

Shooooooooes! Ahem. Comic book shoes for someone very special.

X-men shoes

Cross-stitch doesn’t have to be old-fashioned. My sister made these video game coasters, and my sister-in-law framed cross-stitched kanji with beautiful paper and coins for a modern look.

Gaming coasters

Happiness cross stitch

Food gifts:

Cookies make a yummy holiday gift. For more food ideas, this delicious gift basket contained…

Christmas goodies

  • Strawberry jam (red jars): if you don’t have a favourite family recipe, this one is easy and has less sugar than many recipes
  • Spiced nuts (blue jar): this Alton Brown recipe has kick, but there are tons of tasty variations
  • Homemade vanilla extract (bottle with blue ribbon): add vanilla beans to either bourbon or vodka and wait a month for the flavours to develop… you can also throw vanilla pods into a sugar dish to make vanilla sugar!
  • Homemade limoncello (bottle with gold ribbon): soak lemon peels in vodka for 1 week, then strain and mix with simple syrup to taste… keep this one refrigerated

You can use pretty fabric to make the jars festive:

Jess jam jars

My sister also made a family cookbook: everyone contributed a few recipes. This is a wonderful keepsake and includes some of my grandma’s traditional dishes.

Family cookbookMerry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Io Saturnalia, and Happy Isaac Newton’s Birthday!


3 thoughts on “Holiday DIY – Easy Gifts to Make and Share

  1. Those are great ideas. I melted together chocolate and added a homemade mint filling to make organic Junior Mints as well as mixing white chocolate and maple and pouring that mixture into molds to make chocolates for my family members. Totally free by using things I had on hand, and really fancy and cool to have!

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