Over the last few years, the question of what counts as a meaningful gift has sat at the forefront of my focus. Especially in 2023, with inflation continuing to be top of mind (coupled with retailers going all-out for Black Friday), the pressure to purchase can feel like a lot. And as I’ve grown more intentional in my gift-buying, I’m looking toward DIY gift ideas as a creative, made-with-love option.
Featured image from our interview with Devon Liedtke by Anastasiya Pudova.
21 DIY Gift Ideas Everyone Will Love
If you haven’t yet discovered the profound joy of creating with your hands, let me wax poetic. In pursuing a handmade home and a slower life, I’ve learned that filling my house with crafted goods is a gratifying lesson in love. And this holiday, it’s my goal to provide friends and family with the same, small reminder of my thanks and gratitude. And let me tell you—these DIY gift ideas are capable of communicating exactly that.
So let’s get to it! I have a feeling these gifts will each be met with a response of awe: “You made this?!” (C’mon, who wouldn’t love to hear that?)
Plastic Bottle Vases from Creative Gen
As far as DIY gift ideas go, this one delivers the best before and after. Have you ever held a plastic bottle in your hands and thought: this could be a gorgeous vase? Me neither. But after seeing the magic happen before my own eyes, I’m a believer. This gift couldn’t be easier—and while it makes a little bit of a mess, you’ll love the short materials list.
DIY Velvet Inspired Ornaments from Alice & Lois
I love the idea of DIY gift ideas that double as a sentimental reminder of your love. These sweet little velvet ornaments would be so fun to share with neighbors. Year after year, they’ll put these up and marvel at your small gift of generosity.
DIY Pearl Daisy Chain Necklace from Honestly WTF
I can’t get over how cute this minimalist daisy chain necklace is. This is the sort of DIY gift I imagine making for both myself and sharing with my best friend. Because we’ve built our friend long-distance, this thoughtful present would be a lovely way to remember she’s always just a call away.
DIY Cottage Core Hair Bows from Pin Cut Sew Studio
Hair bows are the biggest winter hair accessory, and though you can certainly find inexpensive options, they’re also so easy to make yourself. Each of these costs just $2.50 to make and call for just a little tying and sewing. Even teenagers (the notoriously most hard-to-please giftee) will wear theirs all throughout the year.
Hand Crochet Blanket From Flax & Twine
I’ve been seeing blankets on everyone’s gift guides and it makes sense. Nothing encourages wintertime coziness quite like a soft, warm throw. And while there are plenty of options online, making one by hand is all the more special. This project takes only an hour (!!) and if you’re new to crocheting, it couldn’t be easier to learn.
DIY Polymer Clay Knot Paperweight From Fall for DIY
Skip the pricey West Elm option and make this simple dupe. It only requires three supplies: polymer clay, a craft knife, and sandpaper. If you’re looking for a way to help your friends step up their shelfie game, this is it.
DIY Mushroom Lamp From Collective Gen
SO. CUTE. I can’t stop swooning over these adorable lamps. Do you have a design-obsessed friend on your list? This adorable little lamp would be perfect on a nightstand or in their office. If you’ve ever wondered what you can do in a metal mixing bowl besides bake up a treat, this is your answer.
No-Sew Braided Velvet Headband from A Beautiful Mess
How cute is this headband? And good news: it requires exactly zero sewing on your part. Seriously, anyone and everyone can make this on-trend headband. Just a little snipping, gluing, and pinning is all that’s asked of you. How fun would this be as a stocking stuffer?
DIY Fabric Wine Bags From The Merrythought
Bottles of wine are always a lovely gift, but how about adding a handmade touch to the mix? I love sharing simple gifts with friends while being sure to weave in something that feels a bit more personal. These easy bags do just the trick.
DIY Taper Candles From Alice & Lois
The colorful, bright, and cheery candle trend is holding strong. This is a bit more of an involved DIY, but the gorgeous end totally merits the means. If you want a candle that’s more geometric—and totally adorable—these bubble candles are a delight.
DIY Dried Flower Bouquet From Honestly WTF
A fresh flower arrangement feels more like a Valentine’s Day or anniversary gift. But a dried bouquet? A perfect move. You can purchase dried flowers online or visit a craft store. I’ve even discovered a few florists in Chicago who carry dried flowers as well. Follow the simple instructions to craft an arrangement that your giftee will be happy to keep for years to come.
Fluted Arch Plant Stand Two Ways From A Beautiful Mess
I love the bold look of these plant stands. They’re a cute way to elevate (literally) any of your plant pals and bring their look to new heights. The best part? From start to finish, they take only minutes to make.
DIY Knit Bandana from Flax & Twine
If you’re a knitter like myself, you’ll love this sweet knit bandana. The delicate lace edging is gorgeous, and while this project isn’t for a beginner, it won’t give you too much trouble if you’ve been honing in your skills for a few years.
DIY Faux Stoneware Candle Holder From Fall for DIY
If you’re not into the process of making your own candles, this DIY is an easy way to make a simple store-bought candle feel all the more special. The secret to this candle holder’s cool stoneware effect? Polymer and sand. Yep, that’s it.
DIY Knot Pillow From Sugar & Cloth
I’ve been coveting one of these pillows for years, but they’ve never seemed worth the price tag to me. (I mean, are they even that comfy?) Thankfully, this DIY showed me the light and convinced me that yes: these feel like you’re cuddling up next to a literal cloud. These little guys add a soft, sculptural touch to any couch, accent chair, or bed.
DIY Copper Vases From Home Oh My
If you do want to go the fresh flower route (I’ll take a dozen peach peonies, please and thank you), this is the perfect vessel. A little copper metallic spray paint completely transforms the look of a galvanized tin container.
DIY Concrete Bowl From Alice & Lois
I love the rustic elegance of these simple bowls. They’d look gorgeous on a coffee table or as a catch-all on your console. I’ve never thrown my keys into anything this stylish.
DIY Notebooks From Paper & Stitch
As a writer who’s received many a notebook for Christmas, I would love love love to find one of these in my stocking. But professions aside, these are a great gift for anyone who needs to scribble an idea before they forget or who’s always down for a good doodle sesh. So… everyone on your list?
DIY Simple Potholders From The Merrythought
When I first started knitting, I used to give my mom a pair of potholders for Christmas every year. While she used them often and lovingly, I think she’d appreciate these stunners all the more. These are fun to make out of fabric scraps or thrifted towels. An environmentally-friendly gift? You’ve done the impossible.
DIY Housewarming Gift From The Crafted Life
No one likes moving in the winter, so if you have a friend who’s had to swap homes during the colder months, they’ll be more than grateful to receive this gift. Candles, tea, jam, and a few DIY kitchen towels. I just moved a few months ago and confirm: this gift would bring me to tears (like, the good kind).
DIY Linen Hair Scrunchies From Collective Gen
I don’t see the scrunchie trend going anywhere (cute and convenient—double win). Did you know that they’re super easy to make? If you opt for linen, your gift will lean more country girl-chic than 80s-aesthete (that’s a good thing). This is another good project to put those linen scraps to use!
This post was originally published on December 9, 2018, and has since been updated.