- Arts and Design
Homemade Present Ideas for Men and Women: DIY Craft Gift Tutorials
Creative Gift How-Tos From Around The Web
If you bake, love crafts or are in any way practical, homemade gifts are a great option for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's day and other festivities—not only because people will appreciate the extra effort you've made, but because it's fun to make the gifts and it can usually save you money too.
On this page I've compiled lists of the best and most unusual how-tos and ideas for making your own gifts, from edible items to wall art, coasters and much more. The tutorials cover a range of prices and recipients, from fathers to friends and co-workers.
I hope you find the ideas helpful!
Why Make Your Own Presents?
Apart from the practicality of actually saving yourself some money (usually), the best thing about giving and receiving home made gifts is the thoughtfulness behind the idea and the obvious time and effort spent on it, plus the fact that it is unique and personal.
A lot of people seem to think of DIY gifts as cheap, naff, or things that only kids make, like macaroni necklaces, but please take a look at the amazing things on this page and you will completely change your mind! You won't believe what you can make with basic materials.
If you are crafty or you can sew, then the world is pretty much your oyster with regards to what you could make, and bakers or cooks have a huge array of treats and goodies to choose from too. If you're neither craft-minded nor a fan of cooking, then don't despair; most ideas on this page come complete with step-by-step tutorials which guide even total beginners to victory! If you don't have time for making something from scratch, then embellishing or personalizing store-bought products is a great idea too, whether it's with personal photos in a photo album, a journal with added decoration by you, or even fun gift wrapping. OR perhaps you could buy multiple gifts with the same theme (e.g. golf, movie night, chocolate, puzzles, spa day) and make up a surprise gift box!
Kits to Assemble Yourself—Fill a Box or Basket Full of Themed Goodies!
- Picnic Hamper
Awesome idea especially for a couple's anniversary or wedding.
- Sewing Kit
Useful gift with lots of sewing bits 'n' bobs packaged in a pincushion jar.
- Birthday in a Suitcase
Really thoughtful and special suitcase revamp.
- Giant Bubbles Kit
For kids and the young at heart.
- Birthday in a Box
Fun-filled box with a colourful collection of birthday party treats.
- The Ultimate Care Package
Whether you know someone at university or abroad, this is a thoughtful gift.
- Painting-by-Numbers Set
Brilliant personalized kit for artistic people.
- Custom Letter-Writing Box
Fill a box with luxury stationery for a keen writer.
- DIY Stationery Set
Bundle homemade notebooks and paper items together.
- Father's Day Collection Box
Fill a wooden box with curiosities, memories and/or interesting things.
Birthday Plant Basket
DIY Gifts & Lists of Awesome Ideas
- Seed Tape
Sweet and simple gift.
- 8 Homemade Gifts
Anyone can give these ideas a go.
- Make Cheap Christmas Gifts
Loads of ideas for Xmas and other occasions.
- Decorative Bottle Stoppers
Made from corks and door pulls.
- Photo Dolls
And you can use the recipient's face!
- 34 Handmade Gift Ideas
From truffles to a gourmet salt assortment.
- Handmade Gift Guides
From One Pretty Thing.
- 137 Inexpensive Gifts
Small but thoughtful handmade gifts.
- 100 Inexpensive DIY Gifts
Including edibles and crafts.
- 101 Simple Handmade Gifts
Tutorials for 101 easy and crafty presents.
- A Few Thoughtful Ideas
From home spas to present-giving spread throughout the year.
- Green Hostess Gifts
Lovely little gifts like vanilla-infused maple sugar, and beeswax candles.
Sharpie Embellished Mug
Top-Rated Gift Ideas
These affordable and fun present ideas could be for friends, colleagues or family - I particularly recommend the 'One Line a Day' memory book which I own and is perfect for busy people who would like to keep a regular diary.
Fun Handmade Projects To Try
- DIY Photo Calendar
Using photos that are meaningful to the recipient.
- Painted Corks
Fun DIY keyring idea that can also float!
- Personalised Hanger
Write out the recipient's name in wire.
- Chocolate Name
Why not spell out the gift recipient's name in chocolate?!
- Sponge-Cake Postcard
Hilariously realistic icing decoration on a cake-slice postcard.
- An Apple For Teacher
A pouch of lavender for a lovely scented gift.
- Surprise Ball
Make gift opening a lot more fun!
- Design Your Own Porcelain
Decorate a teacup and saucer with just one special pen.
- Photo Album Cover
Buy a photo album, then personalize the cover.
- Photo Display
Cool and cheap way of creating a display of photos.
- Monogram Mugs
How to transfer sketchy-style monograms to personalise mugs.
- Send a Hug
Lovely and meaningful gift, perfect for kids to send to family members.
Print Your Own Tote Bags
More Kits, Sets and Creative Present Ideas
- Quills & Stationery Set
Dye and make your own feather pens.
- Paper Doll Kit
Sweet crafty gift for little girls.
- DIY Detective Kit
Kids would absolutely love this little spy kit.
- Ice Cream Sundae Kit
I bet any sweet tooth would adore this gift.
- Science Kit for Kids
I would have loved to have received this as a child.
- 60 Years of Memories
Beautiful and thoughtful, this memory collection would be treasured forever.
Sock Softies and Cuddly Toys
Sweet Valentine's Day Gifts
- Pocket Flipbook
Take photos of yourself and make a flipbook to be kept in a wallet/purse.
- Valentine's Kit
Romantic idea of filling a box with classics like wine and candles.
- Framed Love Heart
Embroider a cute heart for your loved one.
- 52 Things I Love About You
Adorable and romantic pack of cards.
- Valentine Heart-Attack
A fun statement of love.
Make Your Own Recipe-Book Holder
A recipe-book holder is a great gift for any keen cook or baker, and this project is easily achievable even for woodworking newbies, although you will need a couple of basic tools.
What you will need:
- Wood in the dimensions shown in the diagram—natural wood, plywood, MDF—doesn't really matter. If you want a nice-looking wood grain, use a natural wood like pine. But MDF is a cheap board and is simple to use, and you can always paint it at the end to make it look nicer!
- Wood saw, hand or electric (scroll/band).
- Wood glue
- Two clamps
- Two 23" lengths of elastic tape (optional)
- Paint, stain, or whatever you want to finish the wood with
- A recipe book, to test the product with
- Nails (optional)
I. Cut the wood pieces out as per the diagram:
- Piece 1: a rectangle 16" x 11" (at least 1/4" thick)
- Pieces 2 and 3: two identical triangles, with one right angle between edges 9" and 5" long. These supporting struts can be as thick as you want, but at least 1/2" thick.
- Piece 4: one rectangle 1.5" x 10" (about 3/8" thick)
- Piece 5: one rectangle 1" x 10" (about 1/4" thick).
II. Glue Piece 4 to Piece 1, as per the diagram. The edge of Piece 4 should be glued to Piece 1 so that it is centered and is about 1" from the bottom of Piece 1.
III. Clamp the pieces together to keep them in place until the glue dries. You could use nails instead (or as well as) if you wish by hammering nails from the back of Piece 1 into Piece 4.
IV. Attach Piece 5 with glue and clamps to the front of Piece 4 so that the bottom edges line up with each other. This forms the "lip" on the recipe-book platform which will keep the recipe book held in place.
V. You will then need to glue on the triangular Pieces 2 and 3, as in the diagram, so each one sits 3" from each side of Piece 1 and lines up with the bottom of Piece 1. This will create a slanted book holder.
VI. If you have trouble clamping the triangular pieces because they are on a slant, a trick is to basically make two mini versions of the triangle shapes of Pieces 2 and 3, so that they are smaller but the angles are the same. Turn each of these mini triangles upside down and position them on the edges of Pieces 2 and 3 respectively in order to make a parallel surface for the clamps to push against
VII. Put a recipe book in position to test that the holder works.
VIII. Use the sandpaper to smooth any rough surfaces or edges. Remove the wood dust with a slightly damp cloth to leave it nice and clean.
IX. To finish it off (making sure the holder is completely dry), you can paint it (spray or brush), stencil it with a pattern, cover with a photo collage, decoupage it with fabric, stain it (if you used natural wood), or whatever you like: it's up to you!
X. If you want to add elastic straps to the holder (to hold the pages open when necessary), then you can do this as the last step. With a recipe book in place on the holder, wrap the elastic tape piece around both the holder and the book so that the ends meet at the back (see diagram). Sew the elastic together in a join when you have judged how long you want the elastic strap to be, making sure that the elastic will be stretched enough around the book to exert pressure onto the pages.
Do this for each piece of elastic so you have two identical elastic loops. You can glue the elastic to the back of Piece 1, making sure the elastic seam is positioned at the back.
Edible Presents and Ideas for Keen Cooks and Bakers
- Cupcake In A Jar
Creative way to package a yummy gift.
- Chocolate Truffles
A classic edible treat.
- Apple Jellies
These sweets are perfect to give.
- Holiday Food Gifts
29 ideas from Martha Stewart.
- Homemade Fudge
Excellent recipes including vanilla and chocolate flavours.
With a candy cane twist.
- 10 Homemade Baking Mixes
Provide the ingredients for cookies or other bakes, all in an pretty glass jar.
- Cupcake Stand
Make your own cake stand from flowerpots.
- Apron in a Jar
Lovely idea for a cooking-themed gift.
- Infused Vinegars
Sophisticated gifts for foodie friends.
- Gourmet Basket Ideas
Ten ideas for filling baskets with themed luxury items.
- Presents from the Kitchen
Lots of candy and sweet ideas like sea salt caramels, yum!
- Rum Balls
Made with mashed up chocolate cake - yummy!
- Homemade Chocolates
Brilliant tutorial for making your own choccy collection.
- Recipe-Inspired Apron
Transfer a whole handwritten recipe onto an apron for a unique design.
Homemade Bath Products
A top idea: You could make your own bath salts and soap and put them together with loofah and sponge to create a lovely gift set.
Decorative Gifts for the Home
- Surprise Postcard Wall Art
Clever and thoughtful surprise for sending in the mail.
- DIY Customized Tableware
From 101-woonideeen, one of the best DIY and interior magazines from the Netherlands at the moment.
- Bouquet of Posies
Fun tissue-paper flowers.
- Artistic Plates
Even kids can make great results with this idea.
- Mirrors & Photo Frames
Huge list of DIY ideas for lovely and easy home décor gifts.
- Chalkboard Coasters
Easy to make and would make a great hostess gift.
- Glass Storage Jars
You could also etch glasses, bowls and other glass items.
- House Number Sign
Using just nails and wood to make a unique sign.
- Customized Clock
Personalize a clock by simply adding a photograph.
- Gold Clay Bowls
Easy to make, but look really expensive.
Woodburned Snowflake Ornament
Presents To Make By Hand
- Procrastinator's Desk Tower
Trendy geometric desk tower which is great for rearranging when you're bored.
- Inspiring Quote Block
Lovely idea for someone who works at a desk, and very easy to make.
- DIY Apothecary Bottle
Turn a glass jar into something special with a drawer-knob topper.
- Vintage Book Organizer
A portable tech organizer for someone who likes to travel.
- A Gift For Your Pet Dog
A recipe for making cute bone-shaped treats.
- Ribbon Rosette Awards
You could change the text to "Number 1 Mum" or "Best Boyfriend," for example.
- Monogrammed Soap
A lovely idea and very easy and cheap to do.
- Dough Handprints or Footprints
A great homemade gift for kids to give to parents and grandparents.
- Mountaineer's Mug
Fun novelty idea for a mug to give to a mountaineering mate.
- Geeky Mario Plant
Chomper plant replica from Super Mario Bros. - fun idea!
- Personalized Hammered Spoons
Lovely keepsake made with simple tools.
Making your own little clay monsters and animals is a cute idea for a unique gift.
Here is more information on how to use and shape polymer clay.
Fun Things to Make for Kids
- Erupting Volcano Kit
Perfect for dinosaur or science fans.
- DIY Stick Horses
Adorable traditional gift that requires only simple sewing skills.
- Beanbag Target Game
Cheap to make, and endless fun for children.
- Beach Pebble Traffic Set
A game made from nature that encourages imaginative play.
- Lift-the-Flap Photo Book
Great photography project.
- Coloring-In Book
Create a fun and personalized picture book for kids.
- Kid's Puppet Theatre
Flat puppet theatre for hanging in a doorway. For an imaginative kid.
- Kid's Fort Kit
Perfect for letting kids make their own fun.
- Whittle a Wand
Perfect for any Harry Potter fan.
- Sewn Pizza Toy
Brilliant idea for children: a detailed hand-sewn pizza pack.
Betty Crocker Caramel Sauce
Homemade Gift Videos
Cool Present Ideas for Men
- Guinness-Pretzel Truffles
Chocolate treats that are much more manly than the norm!
- Stamped Leather Tie Clip
Personalize with a message or initials of your choice.
- DIY Luggage Tag
Decorate with a cut-out appliquÃ© shape of your choice.
- BBQ Sauce Pack
Make your own BBQ rubs and sauces for the king of the grill.
- Leather-Wrapped Flask
Add a rustic look to a plain hip flask.
- Masculine Candles
Easy-to-make candles inside rustic containers.
- Manly Man Apron
A kitchen apron for your favorite carnivore :)
- Knitted Golf-Club Covers
Bright and cheerful gifts for golfers.
- Chevron Painted Tie
Paint your own plain neck ties for something unique.
Further Things to Make for Guys
- Father's Day Shrinky Dinks
Make charms for keyrings or tie clips using photos of your kids.
- Whisky Sugar Rocks
Delicious whisky-flavored sugar to make perfect Irish coffee.
- Photography Gift From Children
"I love Daddy" shadow photos.
- S'mores On-The-Go
A fun gift for men who enjoy camping.
- Rubik's Cube Tissue Box Cover Tutorial - Dream a Little Bigger
Love The Big Bang Theory? Make a Rubik's Cube tissue box very similar to the one seen on the popular TV show. A great and easy tutorial for some fun kitsch!
- DIY Pixellated Bow Tie
Iron together plastic beads to make a very cool tie brooch.
- Cufflinks with Gold Leaf
Classy cufflinks you can make easily from clay.
- Dual-Purpose Cutting Board
Cut out a pine board and then add a line of chalkboard paint to allow you to add labels.
- Geometric Wine Stopper
A modern gift made from wood.
- Manly Paracord Bracelet
With side-release buckle.
Fabric Flower Bouquet
Gifts for Her and Mother's Day Ideas
- Teacup Candles
Very pretty and easy presents.
- 10 Best Gifts for Mum
From drawings to oven mitts.
- Homemade Potpourri
Lovely jars of scent with added dried flowers.
- Design-It-Yourself Umbrella
Fun idea to get creative with permanent markers.
- Bird-House Key Hooks
Such a pretty piece of home décor.
- Dotty Plate & Bowl Set
Use porcelain markers to create professional polka dot designs.
- Seed Bombs
A lovely idea for keen gardeners or nature lovers.
- Message Bots
Little robot softies which you can put a secret message inside.
Ideas for Him and Father's Day Inspiration
- Embroidered Tie
Classy gift for men.
- Belt Rack
Using just hooks and a wooden coat hanger.
- Fork Egg Cup
Awesome looking egg cup made by recycling a fork.
- DIY Geek Tie
Printed with lots of computer code.
- Birthday Pop Box Set
Fab idea, especially for those with a sweet tooth!
- Dad Rocks!
A clever idea to make realistic pebbles out of fudge.
- Monogrammed Cufflinks
Perfect personalized gift for guys.
- Monogrammed Skewer Set
Perfect for camping and BBQ enthusiasts.
- Golf Club Headcovers
Make a custom golf accessory for a golfer in your life.
Practical and Useful Items to Make
- Sofa Caddy
Perfect for those who hog the remote control!
- Memo Board and Key Holder
Using a chalkboard and hooks.
- Camera Sling
Perfect for budding photographers.
- Camera Strap Cover
Make using herringbone or other subtle fabrics for men.
- Felt iPad Sleeve
Straightforward case for electronic gadgets, embellished with a doily.
- Hand-Printed Mousepad
Print a custom message or picture on a plain mouse pad.
Homemade Chocolate Truffles
Homemade Bath and Body Products
- Tea Soap
Make your own soap with cute packaging.
- Bath Bombs
Classic recipe for making your own bath bombs.
- Bathtub Tea Bags
A novel idea for a twist on regular bath products.
- Rose Body Lotion
I think this lotion in a jar looks so lovely: great and simple presentation.
- Felted Soap
Turn an ordinary gift of soap into something special.
- Homemade Hand Cream
Make pretty paper labels to put on your containers too.
Plush Alphabet Set
Festive Treats, Gifts for Couples and Fun Games
- His and Hers Pillowcases
Stencil pillowcases to make this cute present for a couple.
- Lumps of Coal
Funny Christmas present made of marshmallows and Rice Crispies.
- Custom "Guess Who" Game
Brilliantly creative and fun gift for family members.
- Quilted Tic-Tac-Toe
Sweet little sewn game in a handmade pouch.
- Pebble Dominoes
Paint pebbles to make your own domino set.
- Snowman Kit
Fun gift for the winter season.
- Personalized Key Hanger
You could make the little keyrings look like your recipient!
- Travel Tic-Tac-Toe
Made with toys or pebbles, and complete with its own little travel bag.
- Custom Cluedo
Re-making and personalizing a favorite board game is an amazing idea.
Give a date night all pre-planned for a lovey-dovey couple you know!