38 of Our Best Handmade Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Photo: Bryan Gardner

Friends and family always appreciate a gift that comes straight from the heart—especially during the holidays, when all of your loved ones have gathered under one roof to celebrate. You can certainly find personalized and unique gift options when shopping locally at specialty retailers or hunting down artisan works from online marketplaces, but a handmade gift lets your family and friends know that it's truly a labor of love; you've spent extra time thinking about what they'd like to receive this year and carved out time in your schedule to craft it.

While it may sound like a challenge to make a gift for everyone on your list, these ideas and how-tos are surprisingly simple, while being delightfully fun for your intended to receive. Designed to please anyone on your list—from in-laws and siblings to friends and kids—these handmade gifts are also made to last.

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Fabric Headbands

velvet and satin headbands

Elevate your intended giftee's hairstyle with these handmade headbands. We recommend using crushed velvet or a satin sik blend to elevate the look.

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Canvas Log Bag

canvas wood carried bag
Kate Mathis

Give the fire starters in your life a lift with this handsome, quick-sew canvas log carrier. Measure out one piece of canvas, 18 1/2 x 36 1/2 inches; then fold under sides of canvas by 1/2 inch, and press with a clothing iron. Fold under by another 1/2 inch, and hem all around. Using a stitching needle and waxed thread, hand-stitch leather handles onto center of short sides of canvas.

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Homemade Limoncello or Arancello

homemade lemon and orange drinks
Kate Mathis

Homemade limoncello or arancello will transport recipients with every sunny sip. Fill bottles with limoncello or arancello using a funnel; secure the tops. Fold each circle card in half, and crease with bone folder. Paint edge of semicircle with yellow or orange watercolor paint, then paint five evenly spaced triangles inside semicircle, arranged like pizza slices. Punch a hole in the top, and secure to neck of bottle with cord.

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Wooden Tea Boxes

wooden tea boxes
Kate Mathis

For a keepsake wooden tea box, stain a simple vessel with diluted paint and affix a pinecone on top as a finishing flourish. To make the box, thin craft paint with a little water. Paint exterior of round wooden box and lid and let dry. Do a second coat to build up color, if desired. Hot-glue pinecone(s) to center of lid; let dry. Line box with waxed paper and fill with a loose-tea blend.

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Snake-Belly Braided Bracelet

person wearing multiple braided leather bracelets
Nico Schinco

Braided string bracelets have a special place in our hearts, but they're as fleeting as a week at summer camp. These grown-up leather versions are for keeps: They'll last year-round, and look even better over time on your own arm and those of the lucky loved ones you gift them to.

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Marbled Soaps

diy marbled soaps
Kate Mathis

Get your loved ones in a lather (the good kind) with marbled soaps that cleanse gently and smell incredible. Our recipe combines skin-softening shea butter with spa-like eucalyptus oil or sweet almond honey, plus coral- or golden-colored natural mica powder to deposit a soft shimmer.

And making them isn't a pioneer-days chore. You simply chop the ingredients, melt them in the microwave, let them set in a small mold, and slice. Wrap up your beauty bars with waxed paper and some vibrant cord, and send them on their way.

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"Block-Printed" Notebooks

block printed notebooks
Kate Mathis

For the people in your life who love to journal, this simple DIY notebook is the ultimate gift. Bind the pages of plain watercolor paper with basic hand-stitched bindings and create a unique design by dipping a pencil eraser in watercolor paint and stamping it onto the front of the notebook.

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Lavender "Tub Tea"


Lavender can help anyone relax, which makes it a great ingredient to drop in the water when drawing a bath. To make these sweet pouches of "tub tea" simply scoop some dried lavender and Himalayan salt into diffuser sachets.

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Heirloom Tea Towels

recipe printed apron
Johnny Miller

Few things are more near and dear to our hearts than family recipes. Instead of keeping them in kitchen drawers, transform the precious handwritten keepsakes into heirloom tea towels—they're perfect for gifting.

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Citrus-and-Spice-Scented Candles

James Merrell

Here's the secret to finding the perfect candle: Make your own! Candle making is way easier than it may seem. These beautiful copper-bound candles are made with a blend of essential oils for a lovely scent that you can burn all season long.

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Painted Ceramics

painted pottery ceramics decor
Addie Juell

Customize plain, inexpensive pottery and make it look absolutely artisanal. Use ceramic paint to cover the surface of your piece then create a splatter effect by flicking paint onto item from above.

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It Kits

it kit with honey and cocktail makings
Kirsten Francis

Think of these modern spins on gift baskets as coziness, curated. They're stocked with next-level supplies for classic hot drinks. Option one, for the couple that loves a nightcap: hot toddies, with two sleek glass mugs, small-batch whiskey and honey, a lemon, cinnamon sticks, and fresh ginger, all tucked into a tray that can be quickly updated with a felt lining and raffia handles.

Option two, for the friend with a designated reading nook: soothing chamomile tea leaves, a strainer, honey, and tart lemon biscuits. Fit them into a reusable wooden wine carrier, and let the unwinding begin. To DIY neat sleeves for loose tea and cookies, wrap a piece of waxed paper around a narrow glass, fold the edge around the bottom, tape it flat, and slide out the glass. Slip the goodies inside, and tape the top closed.

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Multipocket Felt Tote Bags


We love the idea of making this felt-bound tote bag as a gift—felt doesn't fray, so no hemming is required. From largest to smallest, the pockets on the gray bag are sized to hold a newspaper, tablet, smartphone, and cards. You can make the smaller one, with pockets for small toys, for kids.

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Homemade Lip Balm

Bryan Gardner

Dry, cracked lips are a thing of the past. Learn how to make these deliciously relaxing lip balms that the recipient is sure to wear every day of the year.

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Cashmere Hat with Mixed Appliqués


In the bitter cold of winter, you'll be reaching for a warm hat every day. That's why we brightened this basic beanie with vintage bullion appliqués and iron-on metal studs. Create this look by attaching the appliqués with fabric glue, and iron-on metal studs to a vintage cashmere hat.

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Tea Gift Box

Anna Williams

For a special gift, assemble luxurious teatime in a box. The concept can be as simple or as decadent as you wish. Here, we chose antique gold-rimmed teacups, vintage silver spoons, a tin of tea, a silver strainer, and homemade rose-scented sugar and tea-spiced fruitcake.

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Leather Luggage Tags

Anna Williams

Luggage tags and stationery are natural gift choices for any traveler on your list. Achieve a timeless look by cutting out leather and embossing it with your intended giftee's name.

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Knit Mittens

Knitted Mittens

A pair of mittens are so much more cherished when a family member has knit them with love; this cozy set is the universal symbol for wintertime happiness and comfort. You can make a few pairs for loved ones on your list.

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Snuggly Shawl

Maria Robledo

Little ones will love feeling the warmth from this shawl all winter long, which is the next best thing after a warm hug. It's made with a basic stockinette stitch that can be done casually while you relax—it's the perfect low maintenance present.

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Aromatic Extracts


You can create the appealing scent of freshly baked goods using vodka and a few kitchen staples. Any of your favorite baking extracts (citrus, vanilla, almond) or citruses (lime, orange, lemon) will infuse your friends' homes and homemade desserts with your handiwork. Pour vodka over your chosen ingredients, and let them steep for three weeks before gifting. Recipients can use the infused vodka for desserts, cocktails, and more.

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Metallic Leather Pouches

silver leather pouches

Metallics and leather complement each other perfectly in these chic carryalls. Get started by downloading our print template and cutting it out, tracing it onto the wrong side of leather with a pencil; cut out with ruler and knife. Then, score along fold lines on the wrong side of leather with a knife, and run leather under water until it's pliable. Dry it with a towel, and then fold the pouch along scored lines. Lay the towel over the pouch and place a heavy book on top of it, letting it dry for an hour.

Continue by applying cement to the right sides of the tabs and inside the pouch where tabs will adhere. Let it set for 15 minutes, and fold the pouch, joining the tabs. Apply weight, and let it set for one hour. To add gilding on the bag, mask off an area you'd like to coat with masking tape. Apply adhesive to area with a brush, let it dry for 15 minutes, and then lay the gilding sheet (silver-side down) onto the surface. Rub it to adhere; remove paper, and repeat until the area is covered. Brush on decoupage medium to seal.

To add glitter, mask off like you did earlier with the golding, then brush desired area with some decoupage medium. Sprinkle glitter over the painted area; let dry. Once dry, seal again with decoupage medium. Finally, using a mallet and leather punch, make an 11/64-inch hole in the top flap of the leather pouch. Cut a 3/8-inch-long slit from hole toward top of pouch. To make stud hole, close the flap and use a pencil to mark the flap hole. Place a scrap in the pouch and use 3/32-inch punch to make the marked hole before adding your stud.

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Two-Tone Beaded Necklaces with Tassels

Necklaces with Pearls and Tassels
Kate Mathis

Remember how proud you felt handing Mom macaroni jewelry back in the day? Our handmade necklaces are made with the same amount of love, but produce a more refined result—and they might be even easier to craft. Start by sourcing two strands of stones or glass beads, a package of crimp beads, and two tassels on rings; then, thread the strands through a crimp bead, a tassel ring, and then back through the crimp bead. Flatten with pliers to secure, and repeat the process on the other end with the second tassel.

For stylish wrapping, snip two slits near one side of a square of felt. Thread a suede cord through them and through the necklace, roll it up, and tie it in a knot.

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Goat's Milk Glycerin Soap

goat's milk glycerin soaps in a gift box
Kate Mathis

Here's a handmade gift that's pretty and practical. Melt and pour your own set of soap bars, then elevate the packaging in a way that mimics a box of petit fours. You can mix and match colors or fragrance to anyone's preference.

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Pot Holders

Anna Williams

These cozy knitted kitchen accessories are the perfect way to personalize a smaller gift from a luxury kitchen or home retailer. Sewers can begin by casting on 24 stitches—decide on the width of stripes, which are made with cotton twill tape, and where you'd like to place them. Knit at least eight rows in garter stitch before placing your stripes.

For a narrow stripe, follow this pattern: Row 1, knit; Row 2, purl; Row 3 and the rest of the rows, knit. For a wider striped look, follow this pattern: Row 1, knit; Row 2, purl; Row 3, knit; Row 4, purl; Row 5, purl; and row 6 and the rest of the rows need to be knits.

Cast off your work after knitting a total of 48 rows. Weave in the ends, and then cut a 7 1/2-inch piece of twill tape, matching its width with that of the knit groove. Fold the ends under 1/2 inch and place in the groove. Then, stitch the tape to secure, hiding stitches in the knit's stitches. For a loop, cut 3 inches of 1-inch twill tape, and fold it under about 1/2 inch before sewing to one side of the pot holder. Fold the other end under and stitch it to the side as well.

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Sleep Mask

Bryan Gardner

Anyone can appreciate the gift of a good night's rest. You can use the same template to cut out each of the three layers that make up this sleeping mask. And because the bias tape serves as the trim, sewing is straightforward and foolproof.

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Embroidered Hand


There is something deeply personal and sentimental about one's handwriting. And it can be used to personalize all kinds of items—recipe cards, tea towels, family trees, and linens for the family dinner table such as the embroidered ones pictured here. Simply choose your linens and embroidery floss and embroider your name into the fabric.

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Terra-Cotta Bowl

terracotta pots for plants
Addie Juell

Gardeners love these earthenware pots because they're porous so if your giftee has a green thumb, present them with a plant of their own. Terra-cotta clay pots and planters from the garden center can be customized with craft supplies like paint, stamps, and tape.

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Knit Slippers

knit slippers
The Morrisons

Your loved ones will love sliding into a pair of these handmade accessories to keep comfy, cozy, and warm all season long. If you can knit in the round, then all you need is a set of double-pointed needles and a few skeins of bulky yarn to get started on this project; it's also customizable to fit someone of any age and foot size.

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Upcycled Photograph Frames

Vintage photos in trays and mirrors
Ashley Poskin

Vintage trays and mirrors are commonplace, while family photographs often collect dust. Why not combine them into a single beautiful heirloom? You can use decoupage medium to pair your grandfather's high school yearbook photo on his bedside tray or your aunt's old snapshot into the oval of a handheld mirror.

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Handwritten Recipe on a Pie Plate

handwritten pie plate
Ashley Poskin

Mom's chocolate chip cookies, Nana's lasagna, and your aunt's pierogis—all of them deserve honor in this family project. Transfer your handwritten recipe card onto a dish, trace it over with a glass paint marker, and bake it in the oven. It will be displayed proudly in their kitchen for generations to come.

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Therapeutic Pillow

therapeutic pillow
Bryan Gardner

This comforting project helps to alleviate pain—in the neck, shoulders, or back—with a sewn pouch that's filled with cleaned and dried cherry pits, which absorb heat. Make one in your giftee's favorite print of fabric and add in a few drops of essential oil, if desired, for fragrance.

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Weighted Blanket

pink weighted blanket on gray couch
Anusha Rajeswaran

Weighted blankets can be therapeutic for adults and children alike—particularly those prone to stress and anxiety. The weight of the blanket, which is carefully measured to suit the person using it, has a calming effect much like a hug.

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Hand Warmers

hand warmers DIY
Ashley Poskin

If you have scraps of cotton fabric, you can sew these little pocket hand warmers: They'll keep hands toasty on chilly days as charming little gifts. Add a relaxing scent by including dried herbs such as lavender or chamomile, or simply fill the fabric pouches with rice.

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Knit Pouches


Have someone on your list that wears glasses? Create these pouches out of delicate yarn to keep their spectacles safe and protected—add a button at the opening to prevent them from slipping out.

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Gingham Knit Blanket


Even if your knitting skills are novice, this gingham blanket is a project you can complete. In fact, if you can knit a scarf, this equally as straightforward blanket will be a cinch—it's as simple as knitting together several quick-to-knit strips. The recipient will love its comfort and you'll love learning something new!

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Toile-Wrapped Desk Cup

French-toile fabric covered containers
Frank Frances

Recipients of this gift will think of you every time they sit at their desk. Use decoupage to cover a round vessel, like a small drinking glass, with elegant toile fabric. Giftees will love keeping pens, paint brushes, scissors and more in it.

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Handwritten Recipe Cutting Board

handwritten recipe on wood cutting board
Ashley Poskin

Not only is this gift a great way to preserve your family's recipes, but it also does double duty as a cutting board or serving piece for charcuterie, cheeseboards, fruit plates, and more.

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DIY Leather Plant Hanger

wrapped leather plant hanger
Johnny Fogg

Give the plant parent in your life a new way to display their greenery by making them a leather plant hanger. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, giftees will appreciate that these vessels are strong and more durable than the usual macramé hangers.

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