Christmas, other holidays and birthdays have gotten so hyped and over-marketed in stores lately. I think the same gifts and merchandise available in stores just keep getting recycled and regurgitated to you year after year but upgraded or slightly different in some way. I would rather come up with a couple of unique and creative gift ideas that I can make myself.
I am sick of getting the same gifts basically every year or giving out (generally) the same gifts. Seriously, I am running out of ideas for even giving out gift cards. There is something that makes me very uncomfortable about gifting the same thing twice, or even something similar.
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All these holiday deals for low-quality items that we end up forgetting about, throw away in storage or throw away a few months later also make me feel uncomfortable buying unless it’s books. Books always make the perfect gift.
Then it dawned on me. People love original gifts that are made just for them. Think about it. Isn’t that why sites like Etsy are so popular? We are all sick of getting the same stuff from department stores or the same stupid Christmas socks, lip balm stocking stuffers and random soaps that we never end up using.
I am not about all that clutter. For me, the less clutter, the better. And I think my family and friends would say the same. I’d rather get them something they will use. That is why I wanted to come up with these creative gift ideas that we can all make ourselves and give something truly special to a family member, friend or loved one this holiday season.
1. Spa in a Jar
You can make tons of lotions, scrubs and balms with everyday, all-natural, household products like baking soda and olive oil. These are inexpensive to buy if you don’t already have them lying around in your pantry. After mixing up the items you want to include in your spa jar, seal it up with some colorful ribbon. This makes for a perfect gift idea for a sister, aunt or mother.
Here is a great recipe I have used before for a simple sugar face scrub that you can include in your spa jar.
- 1 tsp organic cane or granulated sugar
- 1 tsp of water
- 1 tsp drops organic lavender essential oil
- 1 mason jar
If you don’t feel like making all of your spa-in-a-jar products yourself, check out this post from The Gunny Sack for what to buy for your spa jar. Either way, the cost stays low for a cute gift idea.
2. Arm Knit Blanket
This has got to be one of my favorite gift ideas. Instead of buying some generic throw from your local Target or Walmart, make one yourself. This arm knit blanket is seriously SO easy to make and gives a nice clean, rustic feel to any living room or bedroom.
These arm knit blankets give me that “I am cozy next to a fire in a cabin in the woods with my homemade blanket” kind of feel. All you need is a couple of packs of the Premier Yarn Couture Jazz Yarn (depending on how big of a blanket you want to make) and 45 minutes to spare. Click here to watch the full tutorial from Simply Maggie.
3. Homemade Cranberry Infused Syrup
This easy-to-make, cranberry-infused syrup is so delicious. Whoever receives this from you will be hooked. I especially love putting some of this syrup in my morning tea or vanilla latte for an extra burst of flavor.
What you’ll need to make cranberry-infused syrup:
- Thawed cranberries
- Glass bottle with stopper
- Ribbon, labels and colored markers or pens for finishing touches
To create the syrup, boil one part sugar and two parts water in a pot until the sugar is completely dissolved and gone. Then drop a handful of thawed cranberries into the glass bottle and use a funnel to pour in the syrup. Leave the glass bottle open to sit for about 20 minutes or until the steam stops so you don’t cloud the bottle with steam.
Put the finishing touches on your homemade syrup by sprucing up the outside of the bottle. Add a ribbon and maybe a label with some decorative calligraphy or some twine. Get creative with it!
4. DIY Terrarium Kit
You could either create a terrarium or put together a terrarium kit in a mason jar for the perfect creative and unique gift-giving idea.
What you will need for your terrarium kit:
- 1 mason jar
- 1 bag of small stones
- 1 bag of activated charcoal
- A few inches of potting soil
- A couple of small plants such as moss, aloe or other succulents
- Any other small decorations such as cute fairy garden decorations
- A couple of small ziplock bags or small containers (or you can just layer the contents in the jar to save on waste)
- Label and twine
Layer the bottom of your mason jar with the small stones you’ve collected or purchased. Then either put together the terrarium to give to someone or fill each of the small zip lock bags or small containers with each of the items you’ve purchased or gathered for the terrarium (or leave them loose beside the soil). Then place everything into the mason jar, seal with twine and add some decorative touches by either making your own instruction card or using the printable card included above. This makes the perfect gift idea for nature lovers!
5. Brownies in a Jar
Who doesn’t love brownies? Instead of baking brownies for someone, give them the gift of brownies in a jar. The best thing about brownies in a jar is if they don’t end up using the mix to bake brownies, they can use that same mix to make hot chocolate or a mug cake. Either layer the ingredients and place the vanilla extract in a tiny bottle attached to the jar or bag them up in mini bags and throw everything in the jar.
The supplies I have listed are a spin on what I actually include in my own brownies, which is why you will see things like almond flour instead of regular flour.
What you will need for brownies in a jar:
- Almond flour
- Organic cacao powder
- Baking powder
- Dark chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips
- Organic brown sugar
- Organic salt
- Organic vanilla extract
- Twine and labels
6. DIY iPhone Wallet
Sure, you could buy some cute iPhone wallet cases off Amazon. However, wouldn’t it be more fun to make it yourself? The DIY iPhone wallet may seem a bit complicated at first but if you have some sewing experience, it is quite simple. Just be sure to be accurate with your measurements and this gift creation will be a breeze.
What you will need for the iPhone wallet:
- 1/4 yard of the fabric and pattern of your choice
- Scraps of fabric for the flap (different pattern or color works best for the flap for contrast)
- Magnetic purse snap
- Inexpensive plastic case that fits your iPhone
- Coordinating embroidery floss & needle
- E6000 craft glue
You will need to start by measuring your fabric to your phone and cutting out the various pieces. Then attach your magnetic snaps to the inside and outside portions of your fabric. Attach the plastic case inside, and then cut out the various wallet pockets. Finish it off by cutting out the hole for the camera.
7. Mini Bar in a Jar
Alright, so this one isn’t something you can necessarily make (unless you can make some killer apple pie moonshine), but you can put it together yourself. The mini bar in a jar is by far one of the most popular creative gift ideas, and for obvious reasons.
For the mini bar in a jar, you will need one wide-mouth mason jar. Then all you have to do is fill it with a variety of airplane shot bottles. Seal it with a ribbon and any other personal touches you would like and wah-la!
8. Coffee Lover’s Survival Kit
What makes a better gift than coffee? It is more useful than most other gifts since no one lets coffee goes to waste. With the coffee lover’s survival kit, you can get your creative juices flowing. You can either include only coffee beans but several different varieties or mix it up with coffee grounds, espresso grounds, different flavors of cream and sugar and even throw in some biscotti or shortbread cookies.
What you will need for the coffee lover’s survival kit:
- 1 tin basket
- Coffee or espresso
- Biscotti or other snacks
- Chunky ribbon
- Chalkboard labels
- Want Baby Yoda Christmas cookies? Just chop off that angel cookie’s head
- This year’s ‘worst’ ugly holiday sweaters on Amazon
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Featured Image Credit: Murzik Nata / iStock.