Handmade Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank

Something tells us that 2020 will be the year of meaningful gift-giving and simpler holiday joys. Whether you’re trying to save a little money or be more sentimental, these DIY presents will fit the bill.

Tempting treats
Cookies are always a hit, but there always are too many around during the holidays… if you like giving sweets, making homemade jam or hot cocoa mix is pretty simple and they can stay shelf-stable for months.

Something scented
Make drawer sachets, linen spray (see a recipe at the end of this article), aromatherapy charms or bath oils to leave a lasting impression along with a lingering scent. Even simpler but still impressive are nicely bound eucalyptus or lavender bouquets that can be hung in the shower.

Small handicrafts
Yarn arts like macrame and rug punch are fairly easy to pick up (if you’re new to it, keep it simple!) and ship easily. By keeping them petite, you can make more with fewer supplies and ensure that recipients can find space for them.

Creative bundle 
If the recipient is artsy or crafty, bundle together interesting supplies from your own stock that will inspire their creativity or be useful in their next hobby project. Depending on your artistic skill, you also could create a custom project blueprint, such as a cross-stitch pattern designed around an inside joke or a hand-drawn paint by number.

Baby plants
Have a green thumb? Sharing some of your handiwork can brighten up the recipient’s day—every day. Succulents especially are easy to propagate and replant into nice arrangements with things you may have around the house or in storage, such as an old bowl, lined coffee can or non-working typewriter.

Take a load off
Go beyond the ol’ “free foot rub” coupon by creating a voucher that is truly meaningful to the recipient, such as volunteering to take a friend’s dog on its early-morning walk so your friend can sleep in. Other voucher ideas include detailing someone’s car at the self-service car wash or dropping off an Iron Chef-style surprise box for a creative person who loves to cook.


DIY Linen Spray
Make a custom linen and room spray that sets the stage for good sleep. Combine 4 oz rubbing alcohol or plain vodka with 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oils. (Some of our favorite combinations follow.) Store in an opaque or amber spray bottle. Shake well and, after spot testing, spritz sheets or pillows before bed.

• 15 drops lemongrass + 15 drops eucalyptus
• 10 drops vanilla + 20 drops tobacco
• 10 drops sandalwood 15 drops lavender 
• 15 drops cucumber + 15 drops green tea