Over the last few years, the question of what counts as a meaningful gift has been at the forefront of my focus. Especially in 2022, where talks of an impending recession have retailers stretching sales out long past Cyber Monday, the pressure to purchase can feel like a lot. And although I’ve grown more intentional in my gift-buying, I’ve been looking more toward DIY gifts as a creative, made-with-love option.
Featured image by Kristen Kilpatrick.
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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 reminder that someone cares for and cherishes their presence. And let me tell you—DIY gifts 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?!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
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.