There is something particularly special about receiving a handmade holiday gift — something that someone put their heart into.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a crafting genius to create DIY gifts that are sure to get a smile. You can make a variety of things yourself with items you likely already have around the house. And if you have Mason jars and some ribbon, you have the packaging too!
Here are five DIY holiday gifts you can easily make with items you already have in your home.
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1. Sugar Scrub
This exfoliating scrub helps boost the appearance of smoother, glowing skin. You can make a basic sugar scrub with three simple ingredients.
- In a mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup oil (olive, melted coconut, almond, etc.) and 1 cup sugar.
- Add about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil and stir in.
- Transfer to a Mason jar and tie a ribbon around it and you have a lovely, handmade gift.
2. Bath Salts
Bath salts are another very simple, yet classic, gift. To make them yourself, simply combine:
- 1 cup of Epsom salt
- 1 cup of sea salt
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 10-15 drops of essential oil
For visual appeal, try adding some lavender buds or crumbled rose petals after you’ve combined all the other ingredients. Put the salts in a Mason jar or other glass container, tie with a ribbon, and gift to someone who could use a soothing bath.
3. Ice Crystal Candle Holder
All you need for the Ice Crystal Candle Holder is a Mason jar, adhesive (like Mod Podge or glue), and Epsom salt. Coat the jar with adhesive and then roll it in the Epsom salt until the jar is coated. Allow to dry. When dry, insert a candle and you have a sparkling holiday gift!
4. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- 1¾ cups dry milk powder (whole milk or non-fat)
- ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- Goodies like marshmallows, broken candy cane pieces, and mini chocolate chips.
You can either layer each item in the Mason jar or combine all of the ingredients and then top with the goodies. Download cute recipe tags to add to your Mason jars.
5. Salt Dough Ornaments
Handmade ornaments add a charming, personal touch to your loved ones’ Christmas trees. This is a fun project for kids to help with.
To make salt dough ornaments, you’ll need:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1½ cups warm water
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters
- Craft paint
- Ribbon, twine, or string
Combine the flour and salt, then stir in the water. Knead until the dough is pliable and soft. Then, roll out the dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Make a hole for the twine or ribbon with a toothpick or straw.
Bake your ornaments at 325 F for about an hour, or until they’re hard. Once cool, paint and add special touches, then tie a ribbon through the hole so the ornament can hang on the tree. You might like to package a few ornaments in a wide mouth Mason jar or reuse a cardboard box as a gift box.
These are just 5 DIY Christmas gifts you can make with ingredients you’re likely to have at home. Reusing items from around the house reduces waste but increases the love. Happy holiday to you!
What is your favorite handmade gift to give?
Editor’s note: Originally published on December 2, 2014, this article was updated in December 2018.