Creative Gift How-Tos From Around The Web

If you bake, love crafts or are in any way practical, homemade gifts are a great option for birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's day and other festivities - not only because people will appreciate the extra effort you've made, but it's also fun to make the gifts and it can usually save you money too.

On this page I've compiled lists of the best and most unique how-tos and ideas for making your own gifts - from edible items to wall art, coasters and much more. The tutorials cover a range of prices and recipients from fathers to friends and co-workers.

I hope you find the ideas helpful!

These products were made and photographed by Aime Lee.

Christmas Chutney

christmas-chutney-recipe-gift Photo and spiced chutney by Simon Cook – Click here for the recipe.

Why Make Your Own Presents?

Apart from the practicality of actually saving yourself some money (usually), the best thing about giving and receiving home made gifts is the thoughtfulness behind the idea and the obvious time and effort spent on it, plus the fact that it is unique and personal.
A lot of people seem to think of DIY gifts as cheap, naff, or things that only kids make like macaroni necklaces, but please take a look at the amazing things on this page and you will completely change your mind! You won’t believe what you can make with basic materials.

If you are crafty or you can sew then the world is pretty much your oyster with regards to what you could make, and bakers or cooks have a huge array of treats and goodies to choose from too. If you’re neither craft-minded nor a fan of cooking then don’t despair; most ideas on this page come complete with step-by-step tutorials which guide even total beginners to victory! If you don’t have time for making something from scratch, then embellishing or personalizing store-bought products is a great idea too, whether it’s with personal photos in a photo album, a journal with added decoration by you, or even fun gift wrapping. OR perhaps you could buy multiple gifts with the same theme (e.g. golf, movie night, chocolate, puzzles, spa day etc.) and make up a surprise gift box!

Kits to Assemble Yourself

Fill a Box or Basket Full of Themed Goodies!

Picnic Hamper
Awesome idea especially for a couple's anniversary or wedding.
Sewing Kit
Useful gift with lots of sewing bits 'n' bobs packaged in a pincushion jar.
Birthday in a Suitcase
Really thoughtful and special suitcase revamp.
DIY S'mores Kit
Beautiful kit made up of personalized gift-wrapped products.
Giant Bubbles Kit
For kids and the young at heart.
Birthday in a Box
Fun-filled box with a colourful collection of birthday party treats.
The Ultimate Care Package
Whether you know someone at university or abroad, this is a thoughtful gift.
Painting-by-Numbers Set
Brilliant personalized kit for artistic people.
Customer Letter-Writing Box
Fill a box with luxury stationery for a keen writer.
DIY Stationery Set
Bundle homemade notebooks and paper items together.
Father's Day Collection Box
Fill a wooden box with curiosities, memories and/or interesting things.

Birthday Plant Basket

birthday-gift-basket Photo and gift basket by Bugs and Fishes – Click here for details.

DIY Gifts & Lists of Awesome Ideas

Glazed Brushstroke Bowls
Decorate your own set of mini bowls.
Seed Tape
Sweet and simple gift.
8 Homemade Gifts
Anyone can give these ideas a go.
Make Cheap Christmas Gifts
Loads of ideas for Xmas and other occasions.
Decorative Bottle Stoppers
Made from corks and door pulls.
Photo Dolls
And you can use the recipient's face!
34 Handmade Gift Ideas
From truffles to a gourmet salt assortment.
Handmade Gift Guides
From One Pretty Thing.
137 Inexpensive Gifts
Small but thoughtful handmade gifts.
100 Inexpensive DIY Gifts
Including edibles and crafts.
101 Simple Handmade Gifts
Tutorials for 101 easy and crafty presents.
A Few Thoughtful Ideas
From home spas to present-giving spread throughout the year.
Green Hostess Gifts
Lovely little gifts like vanilla infused Maple sugar, and beeswax candles.

Sharpie Embellished Mug

diy-mug-gift Turn a plain mug into a thoughtful gift with porcelain pens.

Photo and mug by Craft Pond – Click here for details.

Top-Rated Gift Ideas

A Kindle is an extremely popular gift for a loved one, and the rest of the selection below is a choice of very affordable and fun ideas for friends, colleagues or family - I particularly recommend the 'One Line a Day' memory book which I own and is perfect for busy people who would like to keep a regular diary.

Fun Handmade Projects To Try

DIY Photo Calendar
Using photos that are meaningful to the recipient.
Painted Corks
Fun DIY keyring idea that can also float!
Personalised Hanger
Write out the recipient's name in wire.
Chocolate Name
Why not spell out the gift recipient's name in chocolate?!
Sponge Cake Postcard
Hilariously realistic icing decoration on a cake slice postcard.
An Apple For Teacher
A pouch of lavender for a lovely scented gift.
Surprise Ball
Make gift opening a lot more fun!
Design Your Own Porcelain
Decorate a teacup and saucer with just one special pen.
Photo Album Cover
Buy a photo album, then personalize the cover.
Photo Display
Cool and cheap way of creating a display of photos.
Monogram Mugs
How to transfer sketchy style monograms to personalise mugs.
Send a Hug
Lovely and meaningful gift, perfect for kids to send to family members.

Print Your Own Tote Bags

type=text Buying a cheap plain tote bag and then personalizing it with fabric paint is a great idea for a gift!

To see a tutorial on how to make a monogrammed doily print bag (as shown above), click here.

Photo source link.

More Kits, Sets & Creative Present Ideas

Quills & Stationery Set
Dye and make your own feather pens.
Paper Doll Kit
Sweet crafty gift for little girls.
DIY Detective Kit
Kids would absolutely love this little spy kit.
Ice Cream Sundae Kit
I bet any sweet tooth would adore this gift.
DIY Gift Wrap Kit
Beautiful box of paper and decorative goodies.
Science Kit for Kids
I would have loved to have received this as a child.
60 Years of Memories
Beautiful and thoughtful, this memory collection would be treasured forever.

Sock Softies & Cuddly Toys

type=text Making a softie or toy for someone is a thoughtful and memorable gift for someone special, and it will be treasured.

Photo by Teresia.

Sweet Valentine's Day Gifts

Pocket Flipbook
Take photos of yourself and make a flipbook to be kept in a wallet/purse.
Valentine's Kit
Romantic idea of filling a box with classics like wine and candles.
14-Day Valentine for $20
How to treat your partner for 14 days on a budget.
Framed Love Heart
Embroider a cute heart for your loved one.
52 Things I Love About You
Adorable and romantic pack of cards.
Valentine Heart-Attack
A fun statement of love.

Make Your Own Recipe Book Holder

(Image credit: me)

A recipe book holder is a great gift for any keen cook or baker, and this project is easily achievable even for woodworking newbies – although you will need a couple of basic tools.

What you will need:
* Wood in the dimensions shown in the diagram.
You can buy a natural wood, plywood, MDF…doesn’t really matter. If you want a nice looking wood grain you’ll want to use a natural wood like pine. MDF is a cheap board and is simple to use and you can always paint it at the end to make it look nicer!
* Wood saw; hand or electric (scroll/band).
* Sandpaper
* Wood glue
* 2 clamps
* 2 x 23″ lengths of elastic tape (optional)
* Paint, stain or whatever you want to finish the wood with
* A recipe book to test the product with
* Nails (optional)

- First you will need to cut the wood pieces out as per the diagram; 1) one rectangle 16″ x 11″ (thickness of at least 1/4″), 2) and 3) two identical triangle shapes with one right angle between edge lengths of 9″ and 5″ (these will be supporting struts so can be as thick as you want but should be at least a thickness of 1/2″), 4) one rectangle 1.5″ x 10″ (thickness of approx. 3/8″), and 5) one rectangle 1″ x 10″ (thickness of approx. 1/4″).
- First you will need to glue piece 4 to piece 1, as per the diagram. The edge of piece 4 should be glued to piece 1 so that it is centered and is about 1″ from the bottom of 1.
- Clamp the pieces together to keep them in place until the glue dries. You could use nails instead (or as well as) if you wish by hammering nails from the back of 1 into piece 4.
- Piece 5 should then be attached with glue and clamps to the front of piece 4 so that the bottom edges line up with each other. This forms the ‘lip’ on the recipe book platform which will keep the recipe book held in place.
- You will then need to glue on the triangular pieces 2 and 3 as in the diagram so each one sits 3″ from each side of wood piece 1 and lines up with the bottom of piece 1. This will create a slanted book holder.
If you have trouble clamping the triangular pieces because they are on a slant, a trick is to basically make 2 mini versions of the triangle shapes of 2 & 3 so that they are smaller but the angles are the same. Turn each of these mini triangles upside down and position on the edge of each of 2 and 3 in order to make a parallel surface for the clamps to push against
- Put a recipe book in position to test that it works.
- Use the sandpaper to smooth any rough surfaces or edges and remove the wood dust with a slightly damp cloth to leave it nice and clean.
- To finish it off (making sure the holder is completely dry), you can paint it (spray or brush), stencil it with a pattern, cover with a photo collage, decoupage it with fabric, stain it (if you used natural wood) … or whatever you like – it’s up to you!
- If you want to add elastic straps to the holder (to hold the pages open when necessary), then you can do this as the last step. With a recipe book in place on the holder, wrap the elastic tape piece around both the holder and the book so that the ends meet at the back (see diagram). Sew the elastic together in a join when you have judged how long you want the elastic strap to be, making sure that the elastic will be stretched enough around the book to exert pressure onto the pages.
Do this for each piece of elastic so you have two identical elastic loops. You can glue the elastic to the back of wood piece 1, making sure the elastic seam is positioned at the back.
- Finished!

Homemade Terrarium

homemade-terrarium To see tutorials on making your own terrariums, click here or here.

Photo by Lindsay H.

Edible Presents & Ideas for Keen Cooks and Bakers

Cupcake In A Jar
Creative way to package a yummy gift.
Chocolate Truffles
A classic edible treat.
Apple Jellies
These sweets are perfect to give.
Holiday Food Gifts
29 ideas from Martha Stewart.
Homemade Fudge
Excellent recipes including vanilla and chocolate flavours.
Marshmallows
With a candy cane twist.
10 Homemade Baking Mixes
Provide the ingredients for cookies or other bakes, all in an pretty glass jar.
Cupcake Stand
Make your own cake stand from flowerpots.
Apron in a Jar
Lovely idea for a cooking themed gift.
Infused Vinegars
Sophisticated gifts for foodie friends.
Gourmet Basket Ideas
10 Ideas for filling baskets with themed luxury items.
Presents from the Kitchen
Lots of candy and sweet ideas like sea salt caramels, yum!
Rum Balls
Made with mashed up chocolate cake - yummy!
Homemade Chocolates
Brilliant tutorial for making your own choccy collection.
Recipe Inspired Apron
Transfer a whole handwritten recipe onto an apron for a unique design.

Homemade Bath Products

homemade-bath-products-gift You can make your own bath salts and soap and put them together with loofah and sponge to create a lovely gift set.

These products were made and photographed by Aime Lee.

Decorative Gifts for the Home

Surprise Postcard Wall Art
Clever and thoughtful surprise for sending in the mail.
Revamped Plates
Funky way to recycle old/cheap plates.
Bouquet of Posies
Fun tissue paper flowers.
Artistic Plates
Even kids can make great results with this idea.
Mirrors & Photo Frames
Huge list of DIY ideas for lovely and easy home decor gifts.
Chalkboard Coasters
Easy to make and would make a great hostess gift.
Glass Storage Jars
You could also etch glasses, bowls and other glass items.
House Number Sign
Using just nails and wood to make a unique sign.
Customized Clock
Personalize a clock by simply adding a photograph.
DIY Dreamcatcher
Pretty decoration made with natural objects and a doily.
Gold Clay Bowls
Easy to make, but look really expensive.

Woodburned Snowflake Ornament

snowflake-ornament Tree slices + wood burning tool + ribbon = pretty ornaments which would be perfect for Christmas presents.

Photo and ornament by MomyzMunyMakerz.

Presents To Make By Hand

Graffiti Book
Something for the artistic and creative, you could recreate this idea yourself.
Procrastinator's Desk Tower
Trendy geometric desk tower which is great for rearranging when you're bored.
Inspiring Quote Block
Lovely idea for someone who works at a desk, and very easy to make.
DIY Apothecary Bottle
Turn a glass jar into something special with a drawer knob topper.
Vintage Book Organizer
A portable tech organizer for someone who likes to travel.
A Gift For Your Pet Dog
A recipe for making cute bone-shaped treats.
Ribbon Rosette Awards
You could change the text to 'Number 1 Mum' or 'Best Boyfriend' for example.
Monogrammed Soap
A lovely idea and very easy and cheap to do.
Dough Handprints or Footprints
A great homemade gift for kids to give to parents and grandparents.
Mountaineer's Mug
Fun novelty idea for a mug to give to a mountaineering mate.
Geeky Mario Plant
Chomper plant replica from Super Mario Bros. - fun idea!
Personalized Hammered Spoons
Lovely keepsake made with simple tools.
Astrology Artwork
Display the recipient's star sign as art.

Clay Critters

polymer-clay-animal-gift Making your own little clay monsters and animals is a great idea for a unique gift.

Photo and creatures by Mike MacLeod.

Click Here for more information on how to use and shape polymer clay.

Fun Things to Make for Kids

Erupting Volcano Kit
Perfect for dinosaur or science fans.
DIY Stick Horses
Adorable traditional gift that requires only simple sewing skills.
Beanbag Target Game
Cheap to make, and endless fun for children.
Beach Pebble Traffic Set
A game made from nature that encourages imaginative play.
30 DIY Kid's Gifts
Including a monster bag and juggling balls.
Lift-the-Flap Photo Book
Great photography project.
Coloring-In Book
Create a fun and personalized picture book for kids.
Kid's Puppet Theatre
Flat puppet theatre for hanging in a doorway - for an imaginative kid.
Kid's Fort Kit
Perfect for letting kids make their own fun.
Whittle a Wand
Perfect for any Harry Potter fan.
Sewn Pizza Toy
Brilliant idea for children: a detailed hand-sewn pizza pack.

Betty Crocker Caramel Sauce

type=text Homemade jams and sauces make a lovely gift, and you can find the recipe for the caramel sauce shown in the photo by clicking here.

And if you’d like some more recipes for occasions including Valentine’s day, click here.

Homemade Gift Videos

Cool Present Ideas for Men

Guinness-Pretzel Truffles
Chocolate treats that are much more manly than the norm!
Stamped Leather Tie Clip
Personalize with a message or initials of your choice.
DIY Luggage Tag
Decorate with a cut-out appliqué shape of your choice.
BBQ Sauce Pack
Make your own BBQ rubs and sauces for the king of the grill.
Leather Wrapped Flask
Add a rustic look to a plain hip flask.
Masculine Candles
Easy to make candles inside rustic containers.
Etched Father's Day Glasses
Fun frosted designs to personalize drinks glasses.
Manly Man Apron
A kitchen apron for your favorite carnivore :)
Knitted Golf Club Covers
Bright and cheerful gifts for golfers.
Chevron Painted Tie
Paint your own plain neck ties for something more unique.

Domino Set

diy-domino-set Pebbles and paint…that’s all you need!

Photo and dominoes by ChickenJulie.

Guide for Buying Gifts Online:

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Further Things to Make for Guys

Father's Day Shrinky Dinks
Make charms for keyrings or tie clips using photos of your kids.
Whisky Sugar Rocks
Delicious whisky-flavored sugar to make perfect Irish coffee.
Photography Gift from Children
'I love Daddy' shadow photos.
S'mores On-The-Go
A fun gift for men who enjoy camping.
Rubik's Cube Tissue Box
Perfect for geeks, people who enjoy puzzles, or fans of The Big Bang Theory.
DIY Pixellated Bow Tie
Iron together plastic beads to make a very cool tie brooch.
Cufflinks with Gold Leaf
Classy cufflinks you can make easily from clay.
Dual-Purpose Cutting Board
Cut out a pine board and then add a line of chalkboard paint to allow you to add labels.
Geometric Wine Stopper
A modern gift made from wood.
Manly Paracord Bracelet
With side release buckle.

Fabric Flower Bouquet

Flowers that will last forever!

Photo and flowers by Happy Together- CLICK HERE for the tutorial.

Handmade Birdies

These are actually cake toppers, but they would be just as cute as decorations for a table, windowsill or mantelpiece. You just need to shape the body out of clay, paper mache, foam or whatever other material you can think of, and then decorate the shapes with fabric pieces and wire legs.

Photo by Jek In The Box.

Gifts for Her & Mother's Day Ideas

Teacup Candles
Very pretty and easy presents.
30 DIY Women's Gifts
Including felt bowls and a linen apron.
10 Best Gifts for Mum
From drawings to oven mitts.
Homemade Potpourri
Lovely jars of scent with added dried flowers.
Design-It-Yourself Umbrella
Fun idea to get creative with permanent markers.
Bird House Key Hooks
Such a pretty piece of home decor.
Dotty Plate & Bowl Set
Use porcelain markers to create professional polka dot designs.
Seed Bombs
A lovely idea for keen gardeners or nature lovers.
Message Bots
Little robot softies which you can put a secret message inside.

Kindle Case

This is a brilliant and simple idea for a Kindle owner, recycling an old book cover into something functional.
Cases for electronics are an ideal homemade gift – whether it’s for a phone, Kindle, laptop or camera.

Photo and case by Wendi Dunlap – Click here for details.

Ideas for Him & Father's Day Inspiration

Embroidered Tie
Classy gift for men.
Belt Rack
Using just hooks and a wooden coat hanger.
30 DIY Men's Gifts
Including printed t-shirts and an iPod cozy.
Fork Egg Cup
Awesome looking egg cup made by recycling a fork.
DIY Geek Tie
Printed with lots of computer code.
Birthday Pop Box Set
Fab idea, especially for those with a sweet tooth!
Dad Rocks!
A clever idea to make realistic pebbles out of fudge.
Monogrammed Cufflinks
Perfect personalized gift for guys.
Monogrammed Skewer Set
Perfect for camping and BBQ enthusiasts.
'You're The Bomb' Candy Idea
Easy and quick idea - but remember to put 'you're' not 'your'!
Golf Club Headcovers
Make a custom golf accessory for a golfer in your life.

iPad Stand

easy-homemade-ipad-stand Easy homemade gift for a gadget fan by simply making a slot in a block of wood.

Photo and stand by Jsupes.

Practical & Useful Items to Make

Sofa Caddy
Perfect for those who hog the remote control!
Memo Board and Key Holder
Using a chalkboard and hooks.
Utensil Key Rack
Fun and unique key hooks.
Camera Sling
Perfect for budding photographers.
Camera Strap Cover
Make using herringbone or other subtle fabrics for men.
Felt iPad or Laptop Sleeve
Straightforward no-sew sleeve for electronic gadgets.
Hand Printed Mousepad
Print a custom message or picture on a plain mouse pad.

Homemade Chocolate Truffles

homemade chocolate truffles These dark chocolate truffles have been rolled in chopped toasted walnuts, cocoa, chocolate shavings or shredded coconut.

Photo and truffles by Jeannie.

Homemade Bath & Body Products

Tea Soap
Make your own soap with cute packaging.
Bath Bombs
Classic recipe for making your own bath bombs.
Bathtub Tea Bags
A novel idea for a twist on regular bath products.
Rose Body Lotion
I think this lotion in a jar looks so lovely - great and simple presentation.
Felted Soap
Turn an ordinary gift of soap into something special.
Homemade Hand Cream
Make pretty paper labels to put on your containers too.

Plush Alphabet Set

plush homemade baby shower gift A complete set of sewn softie letters with a handmade drawstring bag. This would make a wonderful baby shower gift!

Photo and alphabet by Erin Bluhm.

Festive Treats, Gifts for Couples & Fun Games

His and Hers Pillowcases
Stencil pillowcases to make this cute present for a couple.
Lumps of Coal
Funny Christmas present made of marshmallows and Rice Crispies.
Custom Guess Who Game
Brilliantly creative and fun gift for family members.
Quilted Tic-TacToe
Sweet little sewn game in a handmade pouch.
Pebble Dominoes
Paint pebbles to make your own domino set.
Snowman Kit
Fun gift for the winter season.
Personalized Key Hanger
You could make the little keyrings look like your recipient!
Travel Tic-Tac-Toe
Made with toys or pebbles, and complete with it's own little travel bag.
Custom Cluedo
Re-making and personalizing a favorite board game is an amazing idea.
Date-in-a-Box
Give a date night all pre-planned for a lovey-dovey couple you know!

Painted Pebble Fridge Magnets

pebble-fridge-magnets Photo and magnets by Natasa Borenovic.

How to Gift Wrap PLUS Party Favor, Card & Gift Ideas

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  • superbusymama Jul 18, 2014 @ 7:18 pm
    Wow!!! What an amazing lens. I love all these ideas and can't wait to try some! Thank you!
  • mjalex Jun 15, 2014 @ 4:28 pm
    Love this cannot wait to try them. I have been looking for something like this forever. Thanks!
  • teelover Feb 18, 2014 @ 8:07 am
    There are few ideas we will definitely use!
  • nancymaggielee Feb 16, 2014 @ 11:37 am
    Nice informative and useful lens, thank you for sharing it with us! My passion is rock painting and I love to give them as gifts.
  • Mascheta Feb 08, 2014 @ 12:03 pm
    Got to save this sight Excellent info!

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