Best Ideas for Handmade Gifts
Reasons to Make Gifts by Hand
- They're one of a kind.
- They're personal.
- They're made with love.
- They're stash busters.
- They may save money.
There's Nothing Quite Like a Hand-Made Gift!
There's something really special about giving a hand-made gift. If you need reasons to make hand-made gifts, a few have been listed to the right to get you started. Many of these gifts will take you a while to make and some of them will cost you more money to make than they will to purchase. While this is an obvious downside to making your gifts by hand, there are plenty of reasons to give handmade gifts to your loved ones for any special occasion. Don't hesitate to take a look at the notes at the bottom of this page regarding what to avoid when giving a hand-made gift, however. This is an important notation to help you avoid an undesirable gift.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with plenty of ideas to help you come up with the best possible gift(s) for your loved one(s) whenever the gift giving season rolls around. You'll find links to patterns and instructions for various craft projects on this page, so you shouldn't have to look very far to find what you're looking for.
- Crochet Ripple Afghan Pattern
This crochet ripple afghan pattern calls for elegant beige colors and fancy tassels. This ripple afghan is worked in single crochet for a sturdy and warm cover.
- Arrow Stitch Crochet Afghan Pattern
This simple crochet afghan pattern would make a lovely addition to any home. Made using a simple arrow stitch, this crochet pattern works up quickly and easily, and is a great project for a beginner crocheter.
- Happy Hearts Afghan
A personal favorite of mine, this afghan is highly customize-able to completely change the look of the entire blanket. Change the colors or the way you make the squares or hearts for an amazing, personal afghan that's easy to make!
#1 Knit or Crochet an Afghan
The wonderful thing about afghans is that they are both beautiful (read: decorative) and they are useful. Crochet patterns are available for people of varying skill sets, and one need only know how to knit (garter stitch) in order to knit a beautiful afghan for a loved one. These are fantastic gifts for nearly anyone and you should be able to find patterns that will suit both men and women on your gifting list for each season. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter designs are all available for those who decorate seasonally. Better yet, an afghan doesn't seem to qualify for the curse of the boyfriend sweater!
It would be impossible to provide an extensive list of available afghan patterns on this page, but a few personal favorites have been included in the list of links to the right. Choose one that reflects the personality of your recipient, or take the time necessary to find one on your own. Books of patterns are available at any hobby store (Hobby Lobby is recommended because of the high quality and affordability of their store brand -- plus I support them personally during a trying time for the company).
If you're having trouble finding something that you like, please feel welcome to contact me via the comments or on my Tumblr: I'll be happy to help you find something!
- Dipped Candles
How to dip candles using a simple method.
- How to Make Pillar Candles
This tutorial shows you how to make pillar candles, also called free-standing candles.
- How to Make Jar Candles at Home
Jar candles make amazing gifts for your friends and family. If you've ever wanted to be able to make high quality homemade candles at home, this page will help you learn to create jar candles at home.
#2 Make a Candle
Candles are tremendous fun to make at home. You have so many options for the types of candles to make, and they are highly customize-able thanks to the ability to change the color and fragrance mixtures in your candles to reflect the personality of the person who will be receiving them. Maybe you want a black candle scented with Gardenia? You can do that, if you make your candles at home! Even more, you have options to make container candles, molded candles, or dipped candles. To the right you'll find links to instructions for each of these different types of candles.
One tip before you purchase any materials: Soy wax settles differently than paraffin and is therefore the recommended wax. You can get it at a good price on Amazon if you're looking to make candles with soy wax!
#3 Make Soaps or Bath Products
Soap making is not an adventure I have undertaken yet. It's one I'd love to try, and I think it's something that many people will enjoy. While I've put together some of my own bath products in the past (in an effort to avoid harsh chemicals on my hair and skin), I've never tried soap itself. Even so, I would love to get (more) homemade soap as a gift from a friend or family member who knew my preferences (oatmeal or anything with mint or chocolate please!). As stated, soap making is an adventure that you undertake, not just something that you do. There are such possibilities for a variety of different combinations of scents and oils to toss into your soap that this is something you can have fun with for quite some time. A simple casteel soap is wonderful, too!
These Bath Bombs Would Make Great Gifts!
#4 Make a Card
Handmade cards are incredibly personal and they make a great compliment to any gift -- or a replacement for a gift, or a holder for a monetary gift! Be sure before you embark on creating one of these that you have the tools and the skills necessary, however. If your card looks like it was created by a child but is given by an adult, the situation could become quickly embarrassing. I, personally, am terrible at nearly all paper crafts and therefore need to stay far, far away from this sort of project before I make a mess of things.
- How to Write a Love Letter a Man Will Appreciate
Love letters are typically written by men to their women, often during times of separation, and women aren't schooled in how to effectively communicate their love with their husbands and boyfriends.
- How to Write a Love Letter Your Woman Will Cherish
Men and women speak different languages. When writing a love letter, it is essential to write the letter in your lover's language. Men should find this guide to writing a love letter to a woman useful.
- How to Write Romantic Love Letters for Valentine's Day
Letter writing is not a lost art! Writing romantic love letters will add to your arsenal of loving gestures you can extend to your partner or spouse, particularly at Valentine's Day.
#5 Write a Letter, Poem or Story
Giving your own written work can be daunting and terrifying, but a letter, poem or story makes a great gift for a parent or for a romantic partner. If you're looking for something to give to a lover, a romantic love letter may make for an ideal gift. Follow the instructions in the link to the right in order to help you to make the most of your love letter.
It's not recommended to give written work unless you are particularly close to a person. Remember if you're quoting the written work of another person, you must credit the original author!
The articles listed to the write were all written by me, and I hope that they will be of use to you. Writing a love letter sends a powerful message to your sweetheart that you want him or her to be happy and that you deeply appreciate them.
#6 Tie a Fleece Blanket
These are also known as no-sew blankets. If you look at the image above you will probably be able to note that you've seen these at some point or another. They are fun, easy, and if you purchase the fabric when it's on sale at Hobby Lobby or Jo-Ann Fabric, you can make these inexpensively as well as easily. No-Sew blankets are great for both children and adults.
One side of these blankets should be patterned while the other should be a solid color.
#7 Sew a Teddy Bear
Teddy Bears make adorable gifts for people you love. They are, however, just a little bit complicated to make. If you believe in your sewing skills, you may want to give these a try. You can make Teddy Bears by hand or using a sewing machine. I personally prefer to work on these by hand. Be warned, however, that if you make a bear with the "right" materials, these can be quite expensive to make by hand or machine. Synthetic piles aren't recommended for use with making teddy bears as they may stretch and affect the size of your bear. You'll want to use a natural mohair pile fabric, and this can get pricey.
Fur is also an option! Check out your local thrift store to see if fur is available.
One of the most amazing things about Teddy Bears is that they're so easy to customize. You can make a bear for a toddler or child or you can make one that will suit an art-loving adult. Check out artisan teddy bears on Etsy to see the types of bears you can make!
The video to the right is the first one in a series that will show you how to make a beautiful teddy bear out of an old mink coat. You can purchase a vintage mink coat on Ebay. Be aware that the fur and the mohair cost about the same per yard (if you get a good quality mohair) so if you have no moral objections to fur, this may be a better option for creative purposes. Do note that the bear, should you choose to make a high-quality teddy bear, is probably going to run you about $200.
- Part 2 Making A Jointed Teddy Bear
This session is about selecting a bear pattern and making a pattern template from plastic.
- Part 3 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - Cutting the Fur
This is part 3 of a series on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a used fur coat. Please subscribe to get the entire series and leave any comments or ...
- Part 4 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - Pin & Sew
This is Part 4 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" Jointed Teddy Bear from a used fur coat. This session shows how to pin and sew the leg pattern piec...
- Part 5 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - The Legs
This is Part 5 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real fur coat. This session illustrates how to pin and sew one of the bea...
- Part 6 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - The Joints
This is Part 6 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real fur coat. This session illustrates how to insert the joint hardware ...
- Part 7 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - The Body
This is Part 7 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real fur coat. This session illustrates how to pin and sew the "darts" an...
- Part 8 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - The Head
This is Part 8 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real fur coat. This session illustrates how to pin and sew the ears and h...
- Part 9 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - Stuffing the Head
This is Part 9 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real used fur coat. This session illustrates how to stuff the head and se...
- Part 10 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - The Ears
This is Part 10 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real used fur coat. This session illustrates how to close the ears, posi...
- Part 11 Making a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - The Eyes
This is Part 11 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real used fur coat. This session illustrates how to attach the eyes, tri...
- Part 12 How to Make a Jointed Fur Teddy Bear - The Nose
This is Part 12 of a series of videos on how to make a 15" jointed teddy bear from a real used fur coat. This session illustrates how to sew the nose using t...
- Amigurumi Pattern Crochet PDF Coquena The by DeliciousCrochet
*This is a CROCHET PATTERN and NOT the finished toy* From the highest mountains of South America along came this sweet little llama named
- Cupcake Amigurumi Pattern PDF Crochet Instant by stripeyblue
Instant Download This is a pdf pattern to make a special cupcake. The instructions included.
#8 Knit or Crochet Amigurumi
Amigurumi is typically done in crochet, but you can find plenty of knit patterns for stuffed toys available as well. Some of my favorite things to crochet are cupcakes, such as those depicted above. The pattern for these cupcakes is on Ravelry if you're interested in doing these. Other patterns listed to the right must be purchased on Etsy but are well worth looking into. Some of my favorites are among those that you'll find on Etsy and these are also great stash-busting projects!
#8 Food Gifts
Some foods and drinks may make excellent hand-made gift items for the people on your list. Candies, drinks and mixes make the best options. You can find some ideas among my own tutorials listed in the section below. Highly perishable items are probably best avoided for gift giving, so take this into consideration!
- 6 Cute Ideas for Valentine's Day Jar Gifts
Valentine's Day is a great day for fun crafts with the family. If you're looking for cute and inexpensive gifts for the people in your life, why not put together some cute Valentine's Jars?
- Romantic Hot Cocoa Recipe
What could be more romantic than snuggling down with your honey and a hot cup of spiced hot cocoa? Set yourself up for a sexy and romantic Valentine's Day with hot chocolate!
- How to Make Delicious Ginger Beer at Home
Ginger beer is a good alternative to ordinary beer for your St. Patrick's Day party this year. Do note that brewed ginger beer is an alcoholic beverage and that it must be made non-alcoholic for kids.
What about you?
Do you like seasonal gifts?
What to Avoid
Try not to give hand-made gifts that are highly seasonal in nature. Find something that fits the personality of the person you're gifting rather than suiting the season in which you're giving it. Using seasonal colors seems like a great idea at the time, but who wants another afghan that can only be set out for display at Christmas time because it was made in red and green? All of the gifts on this page can be used for a variety of different occasions and you should be able to find something here for everybody on your list!
© 2014 Becki Rizzuti