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Homemade gift giving

DIY your way through the holiday season

Send your loved ones a real treat with homemade holiday gifts. Photo credit: Pexels

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Raise your hand if you have a bit of an obsession with craft supplies. Luckily, this is the time of year when we can put those piles of fabric, paints, and beading supplies to good use, while making room for the after-Christmas crafts store sales. Gather your friends, kids, or just a hot mug of tea and get crafting with these easy-to-make gifts.

As previously mentioned, some of us have a thing for fabric, and sometimes the piles (or totes) get out of hand. How about making a DIY fringed throw out of flannel or fleece? If you are comfortable using a sewing machine, then step it up a notch and add some ticking or pom-pom detail. If you don't have a closet full of fabric to use up or any sewing skills, don't worry, fleece fabric by the yard is very affordable (check out Jo-Ann's), and snipping the ends for a cool fringed detail won't cause fraying. You can use larger pieces (about 2.5 yards worth) for a cozy no sew blanket scarf. For smaller quilting-sized pieces of fabric, make your loved ones a reusable homemade heating pad out of fabric remnants (or socks), white beans, and essential oil. Another great way to use up fabric remnants is by creating fabric-covered notebooks. Just cover some inexpensive notebooks with your favorite smaller patterned fabric and voilà, a beautiful and functional gift.

For more personalized options, head to your photo album. Did you have an epic, unforgettable vacation this year with your family or spouse? Take your top 12 photos and create a beautiful photo calendar that reminds them every month just how special that time was. Browse the Internet for some good coupons to sites like Shutterfly, Snapfish, or even Costco -- many of these sites often offer up to 50 percent off. You can also use those photos to create DIY photo coasters. All you need is Modge Podge, tiles (check out Home Depot or Habitat for Humanity), and some felt for backing. These are a great way to enjoy photos of family or beautiful scenery every day.

If you have someone in your life that loves pampering, then whip up some DIY body butter using shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, and essential oils if you want it to smell super yummy. Whip it all together, then throw it in a cute little jar with a ribbon and tag -- easy breezy. This is a great gift to make in a big batch to distribute to all your friends, coworkers, and basically everyone you pass in the street. For nourishing and natural homemade soap, all you need is Costco, olive oil, coconut oil, lye, and essential oils. There are many different types of soap you can make at home depending on the type of skin you are creating it for. If you know someone who has sensitive skin and needs all natural ingredients, this is the perfect gift for them.

Now, on to the homemade gifts everyone always loves: food. Making your own food gifts are great options when you are looking for generic, easy and affordable options. Tins of assorted cookies and candies are always a winner, especially if it includes your secret family recipe. Or skip the baking all together and put the dry ingredients of the recipe into a mason jar with a tag that includes step-by-step instructions. The recipient can hold onto their cookie mix in a jar until they are ready to enjoy hot cookies straight out of their oven. Use lidded jars for other gifts as well, including Hot Chocolate Mix, Spice Mixes, Infused Oils, Lemon cello or other spirits, Savory Butters, caramel and hot fudge -- really, the list goes on and on. Just add a nice ribbon and handmade tag.

Hopefully you are now inspired to DIY all your holiday gifts this year. Your friends and family will love you for it, and you'll feel great about making it all yourself. Most of these gifts are so easy your kids can help out, too. If your creativity is sparked by any of the projects above and you would like more details, simply Google the bolded text and go from there. Happy crafting! 

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