Homemade Christmas gifts have a special place in my heart.
Early in my time as a mother, my extended family started a new tradition. Around Thanksgiving time each year we all exchange names anonymously. We all choose a name and make the recipient a homemade gift to exchange at our family Christmas gathering. Even babies and toddlers are included in the exchange. It started with all of my siblings and their spouses, my parents, and a couple of children but now has grown into eight adults and 10 kids.
Over the years we have sewn, built, and baked gifts for each other. We have gotten creative with photo gifts, seasoning mixes, and woodcrafts. We have done so many foot and handprint gifts from the little ones of the group. Each year feels like a daunting task to come up with fresh ideas, but we always do and it’s always one of the most memorable things about the Christmas season.
To me, what makes these ideas special is that they aren’t just cute “throw away” crafts. They are meant to be useful. They are meant to teach children skills to last a lifetime. So whether you want to start a new yearly tradition, or are just looking for some handicraft ideas for your kids to make for family or friends this year, this blog post gives you some of our go-to ideas.
Homemade gifts for the home
These are gifts to bring warmth and beauty to any home. The first four are great projects for young preschoolers and kindergarteners, with some assistance. Cross-stitch and embroidery are best for older children. My children learned these crafts around age eight.
1. Beeswax Candles
I love this kit. We make these all year-round for our school table. You could make air-dry clay taper holders to go with them and paint them, or just package a few together with a ribbon tied around them. These are easy for children of any ages, with a little hand-over-hand guidance for little fingers.
There are many ways to make soap. This tutorial shows you how make goat’s milk soap. You can add essential oils and even dried flowers. It would be lovely to package it together with a loofah or homemade sugar scrub.
3. Sugar Scrub
This one is popular in our family because my mom loves taking baths! We have made lavender and peppermint sugar scrubs and packaged them in mason jars. Here is a simple tutorial to make some using pantry staples you likely already have.
4. Potpourri Simmer Mix
This is a lovely gift for any home, and simple enough for kids of any age to put together. There are many scent combinations you can find recipes for, but I love this one for the holidays.
5. Framed Cross-Stitch or Embroidery
If you have older children, cross-stitch or embroidery projects can be incredibly heart-felt and meaningful. Last year my 8-year-old created a cross-stitch for my mom and embroidered her name on it like a signature. Then we framed it and gave it as a gift. You can pick up cross-stich and embroidery kits at any craft store. This blog post gives tips to getting your children started on these projects.
Homemade gifts for the kitchen
6. Cookie Jars
These classic gifts never fail. Use your favorite recipe and add the dry ingredients to the jar in layers. Last, add a tag that includes the wet ingredients and baking instructions. I have made many varieties of this and my young kids can participate with measuring, scooping, and pouring. I recommend using a funnel to help with messes and proper measurements. This post shares a ton of recipes you could use.
Photo courtesy of Tasty Yummies
7. Hot Cocoa Mix
Homemade hot cocoa mix is a staple in our home during the chilly months. Try including your kids in putting it together and gifting it in a jar with a ribbon tied around it. You could include some gourmet marshmallows or peppermint sticks to go with it! Here is my go-to, healthier hot cocoa recipe.
8. Coffee Syrups
I love making my own syrups for lattes. If your child has a coffee lover in their life, this is be a great gift for them to make. I like these glass dispensers with a gold pump and flavor labels. Here are a few simple recipes I have tried.
Photo courtesy of Dinner at the Zoo
9. Barbecue seasoning
This is another great one because kids can get in some math skills as they measure spices and make this BBQ rub mix for the ones in their lives who love to grill and cook. You could pair it with a grill apron with some painted kid handprints on it!
10. Tea blends
Homemade gifts for children
Photo courtesy of Crafty Art Ideas
11. Silicone mold crayons
This is a great way to use up old crayons. Just melt old crayons and reform them into new shapes using silicone molds. This tutorial shows you how. Kids will enjoy peeling the paper, watching them melt, and seeing their trash become someone else’s treasure.
We have made this for friends and cousins for gifts multiple times. This is my go-to recipe. My young kids love being involved in the kitchen making it. I like these containers to keep colors separated and keep it fresh. You could pair it with some wooden tools or cookie cutters.
13. Moon sand
Similarly, moon sand is a great gift for children. Try this recipe for a fun sensory gift for children of any age. You can even add paint to it to color it. Any airtight container will work for packaging it.
14. Modge Podge puzzle
This is a really sweet gift for a child to gift to another child who lives far away. Have your child draw a picture and then use modge podge to create a puzzle. Another option is to use a printed photo of your child and the person. Here’s an easy tutorial you can follow.
15. Wooden catapult
Any kid would love this! My 5-year-old is making this simple catapult for his 8-year-old cousin this year. It just takes some scraps and simple woodworking tools and skills and some help from an adult. I can’t wait to see them play with it.
Homemade gifts for anyone
Photo courtesy of It's Always Autumn
16. No-sew fleece tie blanket
This is one of my top favorites for kids to make. It can be personalized based on the fleece you choose. We usually do one side printed and the other side a plain color to coordinate. This tutorial will walk you through this simple project.
Photo courtesy of A Well Purposed Woman
17. Rice heating pad
If your child has basic sewing skills, a rice heating pad is a great gift for any adult who often has neck or back aches. We like to add lavender to ours. Don’t forget to include instructions on warming.
18. Bird house or feeders
There are many ways to make bird house or feeders based on your child’s age and skill level. You could do a simple pinecone bird feeder or use a kit like this to assemble and paint a birdhouse. If you want to bust out the tools, here is a great woodworking tutorial to build a bird house for children to follow with the help of an adult.
19. Air-dry clay bowl
We love this white air-dry clay to make all sorts of things. It dries overnight, so your kids can make little pinch pots or accessory bowls, let it dry, and paint them the next day. Another option is this terra cotta air-dry clay. We like to press pine branch pieces into the bottom of our bowls for a festive touch. There are so many ideas out there for sprucing up air-dry clay when you make little dishes and bowls. Peruse this post and be inspired. Seal them with an acrylic sealer to make them last.
20. Beginner knit hat
My 9-year-old recently used a knitting loom and made a hat for herself and a matching one for her baby doll. This video makes it easy to learn and fun to use. If your child is older and can use knitting needles, here’s a good tutorial for a simple hat.
21. Simple sewn pillow
Kids can learn to sew straight lines with a little help as young as 3 years old. Head to the fabric store and let your child choose the perfect print for your loved one. Make a simple sewn pillow, stuff it with cotton, and for a personal touch, have your child write their initials in a corner with a fabric marker.
Homemade gifts for women
Photo courtesy of The Coconut Mama
22. Lip balm
23. Knitted headband
This project comes together quickly, so if your child has beginner knitting skills, try this tutorial to make cozy headbands to give to the women in your child’s life. They will love wearing them all winter long.
24. Polymer clay earrings
25. Lotion Bars
These lotion bars are perfect for dry skin in the wintertime. They only take three ingredients and look so lovely wrapped up with ribbon or twine.Will you make any homemade gifts this holiday season? Let me know your favorites in the comments below. For more ideas on handcrafts for children, check out our blog post that includes tips to get them started and my Amazon storefront for a more supply lists and ideas.