The holidays are around the corner, the holiday spirit is rising, and it is time to plan what gifts you will give to your loved ones. If you don’t like big lines at the mall that always form before Christmas, or if you’re tired of giving mass-produced gifts every year, you should try making them something. There are many gifts that you can do yourself that will show your loved ones that you care. Contrary to popular belief, DIY gifts don’t have to be cheap. Instead, you can pick some based on your budget and how much time you have. Here’s a list of Christmas gifts you can do yourself to serve as a guide or inspiration.
List of Christmas gifts that you can create yourself
- Camera straps
If you have a friend or a family member that loves carrying their camera around, you should consider making them a camera strap so they can hang it around their neck.
To make a camera strap, you will need some cotton fabric, one piece printed, and one solid color, coordinating thread, lightweight fusible fleece, rotary cutter or scissors, acrylic ruler, and an iron.
Cut both printed and solid pieces of fabric 23 inches long by 5.5 inches wide. Press them so they aren’t wrinkly and set them aside.
Next, cut one piece of fusible fleece 21 inches long by 4.5 inches wide and set it aside.
Put right sides together so that printed fabric faces solid fabric, sew the long sides using 1/4 inch seam allowance leaving the ends open.
With fabrics still inside out, line up fleece evenly centered on the solid piece of fabric and press. Let it cool completely before moving on.
Next, turn right side out and press both side seams. Turn both ends of straps ½ inch toward the inside of the strap and press them.
Then, sew both ends of straps together with a straight stitch using a 1/8 – 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Continue by folding the strap in half with the printed side on the outside, line up the edges, and press.
Finish by sewing the two open sides lengthwise together using a 1/8 inch seam allowance starting at the top. Keep in mind that you should backstitch at stress points.
Do you have a friend that is crazy about coasters? Here are two coaster ideas, as a way for you to make a promise that you will try to remember to use the coaster next time.
To make an agate coaster, you will need polymer clay, acrylic paint, gloss glaze, gold liquid leaf, paintbrushes, and a rolling pin.
You can choose to get polymer clay in color, but if you would prefer to paint your coasters with acrylic paint, buy white polymer clay.
Start by preheating the oven to 275⁰ F. While your oven is heating, roll out the clay. Don’t make a perfect circle, as agates have an organic shape. Roll them out so that they are about 1/4-inch thick and 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter.
Next, place your clay on a parchment paper-lined pan and bake in a 275º F oven for 15 minutes. Once you take them out of the oven let them cool off completely.
Paint your agate coasters. Since they are supposed to mimic natural stones, you don’t have to worry too much about their design, you can be as creative as you like.
If you want to add some shine to the coasters, brush on a couple of coats of gloss glaze and let them dry.
Lastly, pain the gold liquid leaf along the edges with a small brush.
If you find painting too messy, here is another way you can make coasters.
For these fabric coasters, you will need five 5″ scrap pieces of fabric any color combination you like, a 4 1/2 inch square of fusible fleece, matching thread, a sewing machine, and scissors.
Begin by cutting 5 pieces of 5″ squares. One will serve as the back of the coaster and the other 4 will form the front. Cut one 4 1/2″ square of fusible fleece.
Fuse the piece of fusible fleece onto one of the pieces by ironing. That will be the back of the coaster.
Next, fold the other 4 squares in half, keeping the wrong sides together, and press.
Keep the bottom square right side up, and layer the other rectangles onto the square covering it.
When placing down the fourth rectangle flip up the first piece and tuck the last one under the first piece. They should overlap, same as the rest of the folded pieces.
Pin all the pieces so they stay in place and sew along all four edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Lastly, trim the corners and turn the coaster right side out by reaching into the center between the rectangles.
If your friends or family members have a sweet tooth, making something sweet will surely be a great gift for them
- Dark chocolate-pecan toffee
To make a dark chocolate-pecan toffee, you will need 1 cup of unsalted butter, 1 ½ cup of pecan halves, ¾ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup packed light brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 3.5 ounces dark chocolate bar, and ¾ tablespoon large flakes sea salt.
Start by preheating your oven to 350⁰F and buttering a rimmed baking sheet.
Spread pecan halves on another rimmed baking sheet and toast them for about 7 minutes, until they are fragrant. Put 1 cup of toasted pecans with their flat side down, in a single layer on the buttered baking sheet, and leave 2 to the 3-inch border along sides of the baking sheet.
Chop remaining ½ cup of pecans.
Mix butter, sugars, vanilla, and a ¼ cup water in a saucepan. Cook it over medium-low heat and stir constantly for 18-20 minutes.
Next, slowly pour the hot mixture over pecans, and make sure you cover every one of them. Leave a 2 to 3-inch border around the baking sheet.
Chop the chocolate and sprinkle it evenly over toffee. Wait until it is slightly melted. Then spread the chocolate in an even layer with a small spatula. Sprinkle it with chopped pecans and large salt.
Let it be like that for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate for about 40 to 45 minutes until it is set.
- Gingerbread fudge
The ingredients for gingerbread fudge are 12 oz. melted white chocolate, 1 cup sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon red sprinkles, and ½ teaspoon green sprinkles.
Begin by mixing white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk together in a bowl. Then add cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and stir until combined. Next, stir in almost all sprinkles, but leave some to sprinkle on top.
Use a spatula to transfer fudge into a glass baking dish that is lined with parchment and smooth over top. Sprinkle it with the remaining sprinkles and let it cool for about an hour.
- Gingerbread pear loaf
To make a gingerbread pear loaf, you will be needing 1 ½ cup of all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon ground ginger, ¾ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon baking soda,¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup molasses, ½ cup buttermilk, 6 teaspoons unsalted butter, ⅓ cup brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract, and ½ peeled and chopped pear.
Start by preheating the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8 by 4-inch loaf pan and line it a parchment paper.
Mix flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, and salt together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine molasses and buttermilk.
Next, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on a medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until it becomes light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in eggs and vanilla. Reduce mixer speed again and beat in flour mixture and molasses mixture alternately. You have to start and end with the flour mixture. Keep mixing until everything is incorporated.
Lastly, fold in pear and transfer to prepared pan. Bake for about 40 to 50 minutes.
- Fleece blanket
A fleece blanket is a perfect gift for people who like to snuggle up in front of the tv, or with a good book. It can also be a nice decorating item.
To make a standard fleece blanket, you will need 1.5 yards of fleece and 7 yards of trim. If the person for which you are making this blanket is a bit taller, you will be needing 2 yards and 7.5 yards of trim.
Start by cutting the selvage edges of both sides of your fabric, and make sure your cuts are as straight as possible. Fold the fleece in fourths and match the corners. Using a bowl, trace a curve onto a corner and then cut a curved edge on all four corners.
You will be using a basic straight stitch to make the trim of the blanket. Line the ric rac up so that it covers the edge of the fleece.
Next, start sewing down the middle of the ric rac with a straight stitch. Make sure you see just a tiny bit of fleece under the ric rac at each bend, because that means that you are attaching it to the fleece. Once the ric rac runs out, just overlap it with more ric rac from another package. When you get back to where you started , overlap the ric rac once again, and trim the excess. Sew across the overlap and then backstitch to secure.
Just make sure that you are not stretching the fleece when you are going around the corners because that way you will end up with corners that don’t lay flat.
- Tea tree
A tea tree is a great gift for anyone who loves tea. You can use one pack of tea and make them all the same, or you can make this an opportunity for your tea-lover to try many different types of tea.
To make a tea tree, you will be needing some styrofoam cones, individually wrapped tea bags, a glue gun, glue sticks, small paper mache boxes, wooden stars, and rice.
Start sticking tea bags at the base of the cone. Put a thin line of hot glue on the upper edge of the back of a tea bag, and attach it to the cone. Hold the tea bag until the glue sets.
When gluing the next tea bag, slightly overlap it over the one you glued before so that the styrofoam cone underneath is covered up. Finish the entire base this way and then move upwards.
Glue the top of the paper mache box to the base of the cone with hot glue and add some rice in the bottom half of the box for stability. Glue the top piece of the paper mache box to the bottom piece to create one piece.
Lastly, attach a wooden star at the top.
- Christmas light leggings
Is there a better gift for a person who loves both Christmas and working out, than Christmas light leggings? Probably not. Here is how to make them and make your friend or a family member happy.
You will be needing some white leggings, different colored iron-on material. black fabric marker, iron, and a tea towel.
Start by cutting your bulbs and bulb toppers out of the iron-on material. Be creative, you can make the bulbs shaped and as big or as small as you want.
Next, remove the excess iron-on material from the liner, leaving just your bulb shapes still on the liner. Place the bulbs along the front of the leggings any way you want. Following the package instructions, iron the bulbs onto your leggings. Do the same at the back of the leggings.
Continue by placing the black tops with their liner still on top of each bulb and iron them once again according to package directions.
Lastly, use the black fabric marker to draw the strand in between each bulb working your way up and around each leg.
Make sure you give them enough time to dry.
- Scented candles
Pine scented candles are a great way to bring the holiday feeling inside the house. Plus, they are very easy to make.
To make pine-scented candles, you will need scissors, weck jars, soy wax chips, green wax dye, pine-scented candle oil, candle wicks, small wooden sticks, a pot for melting, and two heat-proof bowls with a pouring spout.
Start by melting 10 cups of soy wax chips in a large pot on medium heat. When the wax melts, add a few drops of pine-scented oil, and divide the melted wax into two heat-proof bowls with pouring spouts.
Add green wax color in one of the bowls. Keep adding the color until you make it really green.
Next, place the candle wick at the bottom of the candle jar. Wrap the top around a twig and set the twig on the rim of the glass.
Start with white wax, filling up around a ¼ of the cup. Put it in the refrigerator to speed up the drying time.
When the wax is solid, pour the green-colored wax on top. Return it to the fridge again to solidify.
Repeat this until you reach the top of the jar.
Remove the stick and cut the wick so it’s not too long.
- Decoupage plates
If your friends and family members are bored with their plain white plates, you can surprise them by giving them plates in their favorite colors and pattern.
For this gift idea, you will need 7-inch clear glass plates, fabric, dishwasher safe decoupage, sponge brush, and scissors.
Start by washing the back and the front of each plate. Make sure they are dried completely before you continue. To make sure there is no soap left, use rubbing alcohol, and it will also make the glue stick better.
Next, trace around the edge of the plate on the backside of your fabric. Try to be as close to the plate as possible, but make sure there is enough fabric to cover. Cut a circle that is a bit bigger than the circle you traced, just outside of the pencil line.
Brush on decoupage to the patterned side of the fabric in controlled vertical strokes. Do not use too much of it. A foam brush should work best to ensure even but light coverage. This will allow the fabric to adhere without any streaks or lines.
Lay the patterned side of the fabric on the bottom of a glass plate and smooth it out with hands. This will help remove any air bubbles or streaks of decoupage that may appear. Let it dry for a few hours. When it’s completely dry, use scissors to trim the edges of the fabric around the plate.
Lastly, apply a coat of decoupage to the bottom of the fabric you just applied. Let it dry overnight. Apply multiple coats, but make sure to give them at least 2 hours in between coating to dry properly.
- Canvas tote bag
Giving your bag-lover friend or a family member a unique bag that only they have is a great way to make them happy.
To make a canvas tote bag you will be needing 3/4 yard faux leather vinyl or printed fabric, 1/2 yard natural canvas fabric, 7/8 yard patterned fabric, 1-1/4 yards fusible fleece, 1/4 yard heavyweight stiff interfacing, 1/2 yard fusible web, scissors, tape measure, pen, iron, quilter’s pins, sewing machine, denim sewing needle, thread, and 6-inch sewing gauge.
Start by cutting the fabric. Cut 18-3/4×22-1/2 inch rectangles with 22-1/2 inch length parallel to the selvages, 2—18-3/4×22-1/2 inch rectangles, and 2—7-1/2×15-1/2″ rectangles from the lining fabric.
Cut 2—6-3/4×22-1/2 inch rectangles, 2—3/4×22-1/2 inch strips, and 2—3×22 inch strips from the faux leather.
Cut 2—12-1/2×22-1/2 inch rectangles and 2—1-3/4×22-1/2 inch strips from the canvas.
Cut 2—18-3/4×22-1/2 inch rectangles and 2—3×22 inch strips from fusible fleece.
Cut 2—7-1/2×15-1/2 inch rectangles from the fusible web, .
Cut 1—6-1/4×14-3/4 inch rectangle from the interfacing.
Next, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and fuse a fleece 3×22″ strip to the wrong side of each 3×22″ strip. Sew together the long edges to make a handle. Turn the handle right side out and press with an iron. Make sure to keep the seam on the underside.
Repeat to make the other handle.
Topstitch with three evenly spaced lines of stitching on each handle.
If you are using vinyl, make sure to overlap in thirds and stitch down the center. Add a line of stitching to either side of the center.
Then fold each faux leather 3/4×22-1/2 inch strip in half, right side out, to make two flat piping strips.
Put a faux leather 12-1/2×22-1/2 inch rectangle right side up on a work surface. Align long raw edges and layer a piping strip on the rectangle. Sew in place a scant 1/4 inch from long raw edges.
Next, lay a faux leather 6-3/4×22-1/2 inch rectangle right side down on top of what you did in the last step. Align along the edge with the piping edge and stitch through all layers. Finger-press rectangles open, pressing seam toward the rectangle.
Using your sewing machine, topstitch ⅛ inch from seam to make bag front. Repeat to make bag back.
Next, sew together side and bottom edges of bag front and back to make bag body, and press seams open.
In order to make a flat bottom for the bag body, at one corner match bottom seam line to side seam line, creating a flattened triangle. Measure and mark on seam allowance 3-1/4 inch from point of a triangle. Draw a 6-1/2 inch long line across the triangle, and sew right above it. Trim excess fabric, leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat at the remaining bottom corner and turn bag body right side out.
Pin the ends of one handle to one long raw edge of the bag body, while making sure that the handle is centered. Sew handle ends to bag body a scant 1/4 inch from bag’s edge. Repeat with second handle and remaining long raw edge of the bag body.
Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse a fleece 18-3/4×22-1/2 inch rectangle to the wrong side of each tan tone-on-tone 18-3/4×22-1/2 inch rectangle. Sew together side and bottom edges of fused rectangles. Using the tip of the iron, carefully press seams open to make bag lining. Shape a flat bottom for the bag lining and leave lining wrong side out.
To finish the bag, sew together short ends of two faux leather 1-3/4×22-1/2 inch strips to make a circle. Fold under 1/4 inch along one edge of the circle. Stitch 1/8 inch from folded edge to make the facing. Embed bag lining into bag body with wrong sides together and raw edges aligned. Handles should be on the outside of the bag. Slide facing over bag body, aligning raw edges, and stitch through all layers.
Lastly, turn facing to the lining side. Hand-stitch the folded edge of facing to bag lining. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and fuse a fusible web 7-1/2×15-1/2 inch rectangle to the wrong side of each lining fabric 7-1/2×15-1/2 inch rectangle. Fuse a prepared rectangle to each side of the interfacing 6-1/4×14-3/4 inch rectangle. Let cool, then trim fabric edges close to interfacing to make bag bottom. Insert bag bottom into the tote to complete your bag.