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Best Ideas for Handmade Gifts

Updated on October 26, 2015
Gifts to Make by Hand
Gifts to Make by Hand | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Giant Crochet Granny Square AfghanCrochet Ripple AfghanGranny Octagon Crochet AfghanCrochet African Flowers for AfghanGiant Colorful Granny Square Crochet AfghanMini Crochet Granny Square Afghan
Giant Crochet Granny Square Afghan
Giant Crochet Granny Square Afghan | Source
Crochet Ripple Afghan
Crochet Ripple Afghan | Source
Granny Octagon Crochet Afghan
Granny Octagon Crochet Afghan | Source
Crochet African Flowers for Afghan
Crochet African Flowers for Afghan | Source
Giant Colorful Granny Square Crochet Afghan
Giant Colorful Granny Square Crochet Afghan | Source
Mini Crochet Granny Square Afghan
Mini Crochet Granny Square Afghan | Source

#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!

Homemade Beeswax Candles
Homemade Beeswax Candles | Source

#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!

Homemade Soaps
Homemade Soaps | Source

#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!

Homemade Birthday Cards
Homemade Birthday Cards | Source
Homemade Birthday Card
Homemade Birthday Card | Source

#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.

Love Letters Make Great Gifts!
Love Letters Make Great Gifts! | Source

#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.

New Sew Blanket -- This one is perfect for St. Paddy's Day!
New Sew Blanket -- This one is perfect for St. Paddy's Day! | Source

#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.

Artisan Teddy Bear
Artisan Teddy Bear | Source

#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.

Amigurumi Cupcakes
Amigurumi Cupcakes | Source

#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!

What about you?

Do you like seasonal gifts?

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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


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    • smw1962 profile image

      smw1962 3 years ago

      I love to both give and receive homemade gifts. It makes me feel special that someone took the time to make something for me.