Simple Handmade Gifts – Part One

handmade gifts

I read a rather frightening post online tonight about Christmas Consumerism and how our spending is completely out of control! Guilty!

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t spend LAVISHLY on my family and friends…but I most definitely OVERspend each year. I always have in mind what I want to spend for gifts, food, decorations, etc….and it never fails but that I always go over!

This year I am TRYING to do things a little differently.  My daughter and I were talking on the phone recently about how stressful and expensive Christmas is and decided to make this year a  “handmade” Christmas…at least for the most part. With 12 and 16 year old boys still at home…this isn’t going to fly completely. I will have to make a few concessions in the form of video games, etc.  But, like I said, for the most part, this is what we are going to try and do.

And taking it one step further….we have decided that “doing” something for someone in the family is as much a gift (if not more!) than something wrapped up in paper with a pretty bow. So some of our gifts are going to be gifts of time/effort/SWEAT! :-)  For example…I REALLY want to do a makeover on our “builders special” mirrors in our bathrooms like this one at or this one at   I just think it makes SUCH a difference and is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project with a lot of “bang for the buck”.  So that is what I am asking “Santa” for this year. If I get it….it could possibly be one of the most fantastic Christmas presents I’ve ever received. :-)

I’ve titled this post Simple Handmade Gifts – Part One….because I have SO many of these I want to share…but feel like posting them all at once would be a bit much. So, since I know there are at least a few more such posts I will be making….I’m calling this Part One.  Don’t worry…this is not going to be a day after day after day thing.  Just when the mood strikes me. :-)

So here are the first 6 offerings for your gift-giving inspiration. I didn’t want to “label” any of them as “Teacher Gifts” or “Neighbor Gifts”, etc….but any of them would be great for those and all sorts of other people on your list and in your life.

handmade gifts 7

DIY: monogram mugs

What I like:
Anything monogrammed I think is fun and shows a personal touch.  I’m also partial to mugs…especially WHITE mugs. :-)  I love the font she’s used here for the letters….but you could use whatever strikes your fancy.

A couple others fonts I thought of that would be cute:

handmade gifts 8

handmade gifts 2

cereal box notepads

What I like:
Two words come to mind…..FUN and COLORFUL!  But beyond that there are some GREAT possibilities with this one. First of all it’s a great tutorial on how to MAKE a notepad…and with that knowledge you can take this idea in a lot of different directions. You could make the notepads and go a completely different direction for the covers.

Or you could lose the covers altogether and just make the notepads.

How about a custom notepad for teachers like the one here at

My guess is any teacher could use something like this!

glass tile pendants

This blog is quickly becoming one of my favs for DIY ideas! She’s got a MILLION (well it seems like a million anyway) of them! I guess her blog name is rather appropriate.

What I Like:
These are so quick, easy and inexpensive to make…you could make them with abandon and not feel bad about giving gifts to everyone you know! :-)
Actually, I think this would be an ideal gift for girls to give to their friends. I remember as a girl making long lists of all my friends I needed to get Christmas presents for…and of course my Mom telling me that was preposterous. lol.  It usually ended up being a lip gloss or a chocolate bar or something….but something like this would have been COOL!  Once again, there are endless possibilities for changing up the look and even personalizing it for each giftee.

handmade gifts 3

monogrammed hand sanitizer/soap bottles

What I Like:
This is one of the first DIY gift ideas I ever pinned on Pinterest…and I like it as much today as I did then!

It’s just a classic idea.  Almost everyone uses liquid soap or hand sanitizer in a bottle (especially teachers! For good reason!). They are actually pretty cheap to buy….but I really hate the thought of throwing out a perfectly good plastic container.  I really do.  And this is SO much more attractive to have by your sink or on your desk than the ones you buy at the grocery store.  AND it’s got the monogram thing going for it….which I always consider a plus.

handmade gifts 4

Christmas {anytime} soap wrapper

What I Like:
This one is a little different…but that’s what I like about it. :-)

handmade gifts 5

A lovely homemade bar of soap (or a pretty bar from the store) is a great gift all by itself…but wrap it up in these cute wrappers and you have something special!

These bars are dressed up for Christmas…but there are also some that are just pretty wrappers…perfect for any gifting occasion.  Bonus: they are free to download and print!

And last but not least (for TODAY)…
handmade gifts 6

fabric covered notebooks

What I like:
Inexpensive –  as in CHEAP! :-)
Broad appeal – Depending on the type of material you choose….these handy little notebooks could be well utilized by just about anyone!  Male, female, young, old, etc etc.
Multiple uses – journaling, doodling, note-taking, planning, etc.

I’m definitely going to make some of these (and set aside at least a couple for myself.)

And that’s enough for today….don’t want to send you into INSPIRATION OVERLOAD!  It’s only December 5th!  We’ve got PLENTY of time to do that! ;-)


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  1. KarenMO says

    About the fonts above, are they just ideas, or are they downloadable? Thanks so much for the ideas, and I look forward to the rest!

  2. CTY says

    Because I cannot afford to give what is really needed (lots of cash), this year I challenged myself to make all the holiday gifts with the budget of $1 or less. My ideas came from Jillee & www, my own imagination and food items that I have been giving for years. The hardest part was choosing a gift that the recipient would go gaga over. Luckily I have a short list I give to. This is what I made. DH (Jillee’s recipe) Dove Body Wash and 4 Star Trek themed (I designed) paper snowflakes, Son 1 (27 yrs old) 2 dozen Star Wars themed snowflakes (, D-inL- from felt a Harry Potter (just his face) Kindle cover (pinterest), Son 2 (23 yrs old) paper Super Hero & villains finger puppets ( also Dove Body wash. I broke the budget for my 7 month old granddaughter–spent about $5 -sorry can’t tell you what it was because I have applied for a patent (her college fund). Neighbors & other friends got food items and children got Paper Nativity Sets (like paper dolls) made from a paper box card ( the Nativity design was mine. Christmas was minimal because we help Son 2 with tuition all year long, and help son1 with groceries in the summer (he is a teacher & no pay checks in the summer). Everyone went gaga and said thank you over & over.

  3. Candace says

    I went from part 6 to part 1 but then I didn’t see a way to get to parts 2-6 again. I wanted to read them all.

    • says

      Hi Candace, if you just go to the search bar at the top of my blog and type in “Simple Handmade Gifts” it should pull all of them up.

  4. Deb says

    I tried to go in to and my malware program warned me…. Just thought I’d let you know. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas!

  5. DEBBIE says



  6. Rose Myrtle says

    I’ve never hear of a glass tile pendant, could you please tell me what it is? These are great ideas!

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