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Homemade Present Ideas for Men and Women: DIY Craft Gift Tutorials

Updated on February 18, 2016
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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!

Christmas Chutney

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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!

Birthday Plant Basket

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Sharpie Embellished Mug

Turn a plain mug into a thoughtful gift with porcelain pens.
Turn a plain mug into a thoughtful gift with porcelain pens. | Source

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.

Print Your Own Tote Bags

Buying a cheap plain tote bag and personalizing it with fabric paint is a great idea for a gift!
Buying a cheap plain tote bag and personalizing it with fabric paint is a great idea for a gift! | Source

Sock Softies and Cuddly Toys

A softie or toy you make is a thoughtful and memorable gift for someone special, and it will be treasured.
A softie or toy you make is a thoughtful and memorable gift for someone special, and it will be treasured. | Source

Make Your Own Recipe-Book Holder

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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).
  • Sandpaper
  • 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)

Instructions:

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.

Finished!

Homemade Terrarium

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Here are some tutorials on making your own terrariums: look here or here.

Homemade Bath Products

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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.

Woodburned Snowflake Ornament

Tree slices + wood burning tool + ribbon = pretty ornaments which would be perfect for Christmas presents.
Tree slices + wood burning tool + ribbon = pretty ornaments which would be perfect for Christmas presents. | Source

Clay Critters

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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.

Betty Crocker Caramel Sauce

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Homemade jams and sauces make a lovely gift. Here's the recipe for the caramel sauce shown in the photo. And here are recipes for occasions including Valentine's Day.

Homemade Gift Videos

Domino Set

Pebbles and paint...that's all you need!
Pebbles and paint...that's all you need! | Source

Fabric Flower Bouquet

Flowers that will last forever!
Flowers that will last forever! | Source

Handmade Birdies

These are actually cake toppers, but they would be just as cute as decorations for a table, windowsill or mantelpiece. You just need to shape the bodies out of clay, paper mache, foam or other material, and then decorate them.
These are actually cake toppers, but they would be just as cute as decorations for a table, windowsill or mantelpiece. You just need to shape the bodies out of clay, paper mache, foam or other material, and then decorate them. | Source

Kindle Case

This is a brilliant and simple idea for a Kindle owner, recycling an old book cover into something functional. Cases for electronics are an ideal homemade gift - whether it's for a phone, Kindle, laptop or camera.
This is a brilliant and simple idea for a Kindle owner, recycling an old book cover into something functional. Cases for electronics are an ideal homemade gift - whether it's for a phone, Kindle, laptop or camera. | Source

iPad Stand

Easy gift for a gadget fan, made by simply making a slot in a block of wood.
Easy gift for a gadget fan, made by simply making a slot in a block of wood. | Source

Homemade Chocolate Truffles

These dark chocolate truffles have been rolled in chopped toasted walnuts, cocoa, chocolate shavings or shredded coconut.
These dark chocolate truffles have been rolled in chopped toasted walnuts, cocoa, chocolate shavings or shredded coconut. | Source

Plush Alphabet Set

A complete set of sewn softie letters with a handmade drawstring bag. This would make a wonderful baby shower gift!
A complete set of sewn softie letters with a handmade drawstring bag. This would make a wonderful baby shower gift! | Source

Painted Pebble Fridge Magnets

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Do you give handmade gifts?

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    • profile image

      Hartey1990 19 months ago

      Awesome blog! Nice gift ideas! :) Do check https://jewelryfashionartist.wordpress.com/2016/03... and https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeesHandStampedGifts for more DIY easy and unique gift ideas :)

    • profile image

      Nora 19 months ago

    • profile image

      Sienna Aspen 23 months ago

      Great ideas!

    • profile image

      dicto 2 years ago

      Thank you love your ideas

    • SuperBusyMama profile image

      Amanda R 3 years ago

      Wow!!! What an amazing lens. I love all these ideas and can't wait to try some! Thank you!

    • profile image

      mjalex 3 years ago

      Love this cannot wait to try them. I have been looking for something like this forever. Thanks!

    • teelover profile image

      teelover 3 years ago

      There are few ideas we will definitely use!

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 3 years ago

      Nice informative and useful lens, thank you for sharing it with us! My passion is rock painting and I love to give them as gifts.

    • profile image

      Mascheta 3 years ago

      Got to save this sight Excellent info!

    • John Huf profile image

      John Huf 3 years ago

      i love getting handmade gifts. It's so much nicer to get something handmade than just simply bought,

    • profile image

      johnsonbrown 3 years ago

      Great Lens! Thanks :)

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I love being crafty and there's about 10 things here I can't wait to try. Thanks for all the new ideas!

    • ikeephouse profile image

      ikeephouse 3 years ago

      I totally need to make a stone domino set. So Cute!!!

    • profile image

      KobayashiFiction 3 years ago

      The handmade birdies are ADORABLE!!! I want to make them RIGHT NOW!

    • OliviaQ profile image

      OliviaQ 3 years ago

      I love this gift idea, that very funny look and nice

    • Baddew Fibes profile image

      Baddew Fibes 3 years ago

      Absolutely amazing collection of ideas - thanks!

    • profile image

      leila22 3 years ago

      i love it... i can use some for my friends presents .... it's pretty nice

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      I was really taken with some of these ideas. Thanks!

    • marygriff profile image

      marygriff 3 years ago

      well written and organized. thanks for sharing

    • chrisilouwho profile image

      chrisilouwho 3 years ago

      these are some really great ideas, thank you!

    • Jackowacko LM profile image

      Jackowacko LM 3 years ago

      I simply love the idea with domino stones!. Great idea.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Beautiful informative lens! thanks for sharing it.

    • profile image

      tahirmahmood 3 years ago

      LOVE the lens!

    • profile image

      Roscoe333 3 years ago

      Love in your lense. B E A utifull

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      LOVE the lens!

    • pitlock profile image

      pitlock 3 years ago

      great informative lens. I love getting new ideas to homemade gifts. I think it's the best way to give.

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      I love - love - love this lens. Brilliant. I am bookmarking. Thanks for all the great ideas.

    • profile image

      richardrose 4 years ago

      Fantastic information here. Great to actually make a gift for someone as it really gives the personal touch.

    • WendyArts profile image

      WendyArts 4 years ago

      Great, great lens. Thanks for putting together a wonderful resource. I will be back for ideas before the holidays this year. Years ago, I used to make almost all the gifts I gave...that's before family, when I was single.

    • hgb282 profile image

      hgb282 4 years ago

      Lots of variety in gift ideas. I had to google "Christmas chutney". Fun video, nice festive background music.

    • somebudiesangel2 profile image

      Tami-Lynn 4 years ago from North Vancouver

      cool lense, love the birdies and the truffles!

    • tiff9321 profile image

      tiff9321 4 years ago

      Great ideas!!

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      @Sojournstar Media: Agreed. I especially love the Ipad stand, its so simple but effective!

    • Sojournstar Media profile image

      Angela Hobbs 4 years ago from The TARDIS

      great lens, added it to bookmarks

    • Blessed Liez profile image

      Kareen Liez 4 years ago from Philippines

      Great lens! So many lovely ideas for a gift. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      wonderful ideas. men are especially difficult to make gifts that they will USE.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Jerrad28: Wow, so many great ideas! What a treasure trove

      www.seodmos.de/

    • Marcel W profile image

      Marcel White 4 years ago

      You are a talented person and one of your talents is to make things look easy to do. I'm considering trying some of your suggestions. Thanks!

    • profile image

      jura 4 years ago

      This lens have a great ideas for gifts ,TX .

    • ireneporter profile image

      ireneporter 4 years ago

      I'm not as crafty as you are so mine probably won't look as good, but I might as well give it a shot.

    • profile image

      mathew31 4 years ago

      Excellent ideas, with a wide variety of different possibilities!

    • tonyaalves3 profile image

      tonyaalves3 4 years ago

      This year I will be making some homemade present due to lack of funds. Thanks for sharing your helpful lens idea

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      Terrific - now all I need is time...

    • profile image

      JaspinderKaur 4 years ago

      Nice lens. thanx for sharing.

    • socialcx1 profile image

      socialcx1 4 years ago

      Those chocolate truffles are killing me just to looking at them.

    • profile image

      JHarbourn 4 years ago

      Ooo, I'm definitely into the Christmas chutney and the Kindle case! Great finds!

    • HughSmulders LM profile image

      HughSmulders LM 4 years ago

      I guess that self-made presents are always of great importance, as they show how important the person who receives the gift is for the person who presents it.

    • winter aconite profile image

      winter aconite 4 years ago

      What a great informative lens. I've only given homemade presents occasionally (jams and chutneys) but after having read this lens I will definitely do it more often!

    • profile image

      OILDALE1 4 years ago

      Nice lens..pinned!!

    • profile image

      mina009 4 years ago

      Lots of wonderful ideas here!

    • ErikaV LM profile image

      ErikaV LM 4 years ago

      WOW, genuinely amazed with some of the ideas here! I'll definitely try to make the plush alphabet set for my nephew! Thanks! :-)

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      Love the stocking flowers. Many great ideas on this lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @belinhafernandes: eh..... didn't find anything but great ideas!!!! :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @belinhafernandes: eh..... didn't find anything but great ideas!!!! :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      GREAT ideas!!!

    • nicolekato profile image

      nicolekato 4 years ago

      As a poor journalist, this will come in handy. Thanks for posting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great site, so many ideas, thanks for sharing them with everybody.

    • Klinetka profile image

      Klinetka 4 years ago

      Great ideas. I alwazs prefer homemade ifts.

    • profile image

      belinhafernandes 4 years ago

      DIY Apothecary Bottle - a favorite!

    • profile image

      belinhafernandes 4 years ago

      Oh, the plush alphabet set is so cute! But there must be lots and lots of other cute ideas in your links! I must be back. It's too late and I must go to bed now! Awesome lens, a lot of work in it!

    • thegrayrabbit profile image

      thegrayrabbit 4 years ago

      Great lens thanks for the inspiration.

    • profile image

      bamajean 4 years ago

      Happy New Year! This is a great site with lots of clever ideas. Enjoyed my trip through and I'll be back. Thanks for sharing such interesting info.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      Happy New Year and may 2013 be your best year yet on squidoo and in all that you do!! :D

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      This page is astounding. I love it! You have made a real contribution for all of us here. Squid blessings to you!

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      This page gets my vote for favorite lens of 2012. Great job and have a Happy New Year!

    • knitstricken profile image

      knitstricken 4 years ago

      This is an eclectic, well-rounded, *comprehensive* compendium of a lens! Hooray and thank you!

    • FancyThatUSA profile image

      FancyThatUSA 4 years ago

      Ive made cookie mix in a jar for everyone this year!

    • oktoys profile image

      oktoys 4 years ago

      I like homemade gifts, I offten make my own gifts and give them to my friends.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I love home made gifts, great ideas and tutorials here, well done!

    • profile image

      rudhushudu 4 years ago

      Its good to see you r soo creative!

    • profile image

      kel305 4 years ago

      Great ideas!!! Very, very creative lens.

    • rdcbizz profile image

      rdcbizz 4 years ago

      Great lens on DIY

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      Lots of great ideas!

    • profile image

      TravelEase 4 years ago

      Very creative and innovation ideas. Some of these can be made into commercial products.

    • profile image

      Benjamynn 4 years ago

      Great suggestions

    • seashell2 profile image

      seashell2 4 years ago

      Wonderful ideas for homemade gifts!

    • profile image

      PinoyBroker 4 years ago

      Nice to discover other homemade gifts lens.

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 4 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Now that I have wings, I'm back to give an Angel Blessing!!

    • HairBowHanna profile image

      HairBowHanna 4 years ago

      Love, love, love! Great lens.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      I think homemade is often the best, very personal and special. I just don't have the time and am not very skilled with making things, so find I only make things occasionally when I've planned way ahead to give myself enough time to complete and fix mistakes!! Lovely ideas here, though and I will save this page for reference!!

    • Stickypony LM profile image

      Stickypony LM 4 years ago

      I always give homemade gifts! Don't know if my girlfriend always likes that though :P

    • profile image

      Ankushvchoudhary 4 years ago

      thanks for share great information!!!

    • profile image

      johnburson 4 years ago

      Reminds me I have to get off my butt and start fulfilling my gift list. Thanks fo the great gift ideas. www.sandiegorealtime.com

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 4 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Great gift ideas.

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 4 years ago

      Great selection of gifts! Thanks for sharing those ideas!

    • jupiter justice profile image

      Asher Socrates 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Beautiful lens and wonderful images here. I've been very inspired by my visit. Keep up the fantastic job! Thanks, Asher

    • jimconrad2 profile image

      jimconrad2 4 years ago

      Great ways to save a few bucks.

    • profile image

      pinoyrecipe 4 years ago

      cool, i really love these present ideas...

    • CoolKarma profile image

      CoolKarma 4 years ago

      Wow, fantastic gift ideas. My favorites are the sock toys and the terrariums in a bottle.

    • profile image

      christianstores 4 years ago

      never knew wall art is easy to do! thanks for this lens! great job

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      great compilation of ideas

    • MonetteMiro profile image

      Monette 4 years ago from Dubai

      That's a lot of art work

    • profile image

      touristhaven 4 years ago

      very interesting, keep up with good work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for putting this together!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These are Amazing ideas!!! Thanks so much!! I went from being clueless as to what to get my friends for Christmas, to not being able to decide!! Thanks again!!

    • profile image

      zacrew7 4 years ago

      Great Lense, you should definintely check mine out and tell me what you think! https://hubpages.com/holidays/unheardofpresents

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      Absolutely gorgeous ideas. Thanks.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      You have an interesting selection of Homemade Present Ideas for Men & Women and DIY Craft Gift Tutorials. I enjoyed this. Nice work.

    • Sara Dowling profile image

      Sara Dowling 4 years ago

      there are some fantastic ideas here, thanks for sharing with the not so crafty ones

    • profile image

      crstnblue 4 years ago

      Very nice work. Thanks for sharing!

      Blessed!