14 Homemade Christmas Gifts to Make Ahead — Day to Day Adventures

The holidays are a time for spreading joy and cheer, and what better way to do that than with thoughtful, personalized gifts? Homemade gifts are a fantastic option – they show you put extra effort and care into your present, and they can be surprisingly budget-friendly. But let’s be honest, the holiday season can get hectic! Wouldn’t it be amazing to have some gifts prepped and ready to go, reducing stress and allowing you to truly enjoy the festivities?

Well, this list features 14 amazing homemade Christmas gifts that you can easily make ahead of time. From cozy knitted accessories to deliciously fragrant simmering sachets, these gifts cater to a variety of tastes and styles. So grab your crafting supplies, put on some festive music, and get ready to create some heartfelt gifts that will be cherished by your loved ones!

1. Spicy Simmer Sachets

These little sachets are a delightful gift for anyone who enjoys filling their home with warm, inviting aromas. They’re incredibly easy to make and can be customized with different herbs and spices to suit various preferences.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes (plus drying time)

Materials List:

  • Dried citrus peels (orange, lemon, grapefruit)
  • Cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces)
  • Star anise
  • Cloves
  • Dried cranberries (optional)
  • Dried rosemary (optional)
  • Dried lavender (optional)
  • Muslin fabric cut into 3″ x 4″ squares
  • Sewing machine (or needle and thread)
  • Twine or ribbon

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the filling: Combine equal parts of dried citrus peels, cinnamon pieces, star anise, and cloves in a bowl. You can also add a teaspoon of dried rosemary or lavender for a more floral scent, or a handful of dried cranberries for a touch of sweetness.
  2. Assemble the sachets: Place a spoonful of the filling mixture in the center of each muslin square. Fold the square in half, then sew the two sides closed using a sewing machine or a simple whip stitch.
  3. Tie with twine/ribbon: Cut a length of twine or ribbon and tie it around the top of the sachet, creating a small loop for hanging.

Tip: For a more decorative touch, you can embellish the sachets with dried flowers, small pinecones, or cinnamon sticks tied across the top.

2. Cozy Knit Headband

This is a perfect gift for anyone who loves keeping warm and stylish during the winter months. It’s a relatively quick knit project, even for beginners.

  • Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 1-2 hours (depending on knitting experience)

Materials List:

  • Bulky weight yarn (enough for approximately 20″ length) in a desired color
  • Size 10 or 11 knitting needles (circular needles recommended for beginners)
  • Tapestry needle

Instructions:

  1. Cast on: Cast on 30-35 stitches (adjust for head size).
  2. Knit in the round: Join the cast-on row using a stitch marker to create a continuous circle. Knit all stitches in every round.
  3. Decrease for shaping (optional): For a more fitted headband, you can start decreasing stitches after about 15 inches. Knit two stitches together at the end of every other round until you have about 10-12 stitches remaining.
  4. Bind off: Thread the yarn tail through the remaining stitches and pull tight to close the headband. Weave in the ends with a tapestry needle.

Tip: Add a touch of personality by knitting the headband in a two-tone color scheme or using a textured stitch pattern. You can find plenty of free headband knitting patterns online with various difficulty levels.

3. Vanilla Sugar Scrub

This luxurious sugar scrub is a delightful pampering treat that anyone would appreciate. It’s made with natural ingredients and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 15 minutes

Materials List:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar (preferably organic)
  • ½ cup coconut oil (solid)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional additions: A few drops of essential oil (lavender, peppermint, etc.), a tablespoon of dried oatmeal for exfoliation, a few drops of food coloring for a festive touch.

Instructions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and any dry exfoliating additions like oatmeal.
  2. Melt coconut oil: Using a double boiler or microwave safe bowl, gently melt the coconut oil until just liquid.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients: Pour the melted coconut oil into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add flavorings: Stir in the vanilla extract and any essential oils you’re using.
  5. Coloring (optional): If you’d like a festive touch, add a few drops of food coloring and mix until evenly distributed.
  6. Package it up: Spoon the sugar scrub mixture into a clean, airtight container. You can use a mason jar, a cute tin, or even small travel-sized containers. Decorate the container with ribbon, twine, or a personalized label for an extra special touch.

Tip: The sugar scrub will keep for several months at room temperature. Include a small scoop or spoon for easy use if gifting in a larger container.

4. Herbal Bath Bombs

These bath bombs are a luxurious way to unwind and relax after a long day. They fizz and release essential oils and botanicals for a spa-like experience at home.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes (plus drying time)

Materials List:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup citric acid
  • ½ cup Epsom salts
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil (coconut oil, almond oil, etc.)
  • 10-15 drops essential oil (lavender, chamomile, etc.)
  • Dried herbs (lavender, rose petals, chamomile flowers) – optional
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Silicone mold (various shapes available online)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salts, and cornstarch.
  2. Combine wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix the carrier oil and essential oils.
  3. Incorporate wet into dry: Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing well until a crumbly consistency is achieved. A few spritzes of water from the spray bottle may be needed to help everything bind together.
  4. Fill the molds: Pack the mixture firmly into your silicone mold cavities, pressing down to ensure there are no air pockets.
  5. Drying time: Let the bath bombs dry completely in the molds for at least 24 hours (ideally 48 hours) before unmolding.

Tip: For a more visually appealing bath bomb, layer the mixture in different colors or sprinkle dried herbs on top before pressing into the mold.

5. Spiced Mulled Wine Kit

This is a fantastic gift for anyone who enjoys a warm, comforting drink during the winter season. The kit includes all the dry ingredients needed to make a delicious mulled wine, beautifully packaged for easy gifting.

  • Skill Level: Beginner (assembly)
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 10 minutes

Materials List:

  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces)
  • Star anise
  • Dried orange peels
  • Dried cranberries (optional)
  • Dried cherries (optional)
  • Small muslin bags or decorative tea bags
  • Cellophane bags or decorative tins
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Printable gift tags (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the spice mixture: Combine equal parts of cloves, cinnamon pieces, star anise, and orange peels in a bowl. You can also add a handful of dried cranberries or cherries for a touch of sweetness and visual appeal.
  2. Fill the bags: Spoon the spice mixture into small muslin bags or decorative tea bags. Aim for about 2 tablespoons of mixture per bag.
  3. Package the kit: Place several spice bags in a cellophane bag or decorative tin.
  4. Finishing touches: Tie the bag or tin closed with ribbon or twine. You can also include a small card with instructions for making mulled wine (simply simmer a bottle of red wine with the spice bag for 15-20 minutes).

Tip: Create printable gift tags that list the ingredients and instructions for making mulled wine. This adds a personal touch and makes the gift even more user-friendly.

6. Photo Memory Ornaments

These adorable ornaments are a sentimental gift that will be treasured for years to come. They’re a lovely way to display cherished memories on the Christmas tree.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes (depending on number of ornaments)

Materials List:

  • Clear glass ornaments (various shapes and sizes available)
  • Photos (printed on high-quality paper and sized to fit inside the ornament)
  • Decorative paper (optional)
  • Twine or ribbon for hanging
  • Fabric scraps or ribbon (optional)
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun
  • Hole punch (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the photos: Choose photos that represent special memories with the recipient. Trim them to a size that fits comfortably inside the chosen ornament.
  2. Decorate the ornament (optional): This step is optional, but it adds a personalized touch. You can cut out festive shapes from decorative paper and adhere them to the inside of the ornament with a glue stick.
  3. Assemble the ornament: Carefully roll the photo and insert it into the opening of the ornament. You can secure it with a small piece of rolled tape if needed.
  4. Add a hanger: Cut a length of twine or ribbon and tie it into a loop. If your ornament doesn’t have a built-in loop, use a hole punch to create a small hole at the top and thread the twine or ribbon through it.
  5. Finishing touches: For an extra decorative element, you can tie a small bow made from fabric scraps or ribbon around the base of the twine/ribbon loop.

Tip: If you’re concerned about the photo getting damaged inside the ornament, you can laminate it before inserting it.

7. Miniature Spice Blends

This is a thoughtful gift for any foodie who loves to experiment in the kitchen. Create a variety of miniature spice blends with unique flavor profiles, perfect for elevating everyday dishes.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes

Materials List:

  • Whole spices (various options like black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilies, etc.)
  • Grinder or mortar and pestle
  • Small airtight containers (glass jars, tins, etc.)
  • Labels (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Choose your spices: Select a variety of whole spices to create different blends. Popular options include:
    • Italian Seasoning: Dried oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, and marjoram.
    • Taco Seasoning: Chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder.
    • Cajun Seasoning: Cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme.
    • Curry Powder: Turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, chili powder (adjust spice level to preference).
  2. Grind the spices: Using a grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the whole spices into a fine powder. You can adjust the grind size depending on your preference.
  3. Create the blends: In a bowl, combine the desired proportions of ground spices for each blend. For example, a balanced Italian seasoning might be equal parts oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, and marjoram.
  4. Fill the containers: Spoon the spice blend into small airtight containers. Label the containers with the name of the blend for easy identification.

Tip: Get creative with your spice blends! You can find plenty of inspiration online or experiment with different flavor combinations.

8. Scented Soy Candles

For those who appreciate a calming ambiance, homemade soy candles are a luxurious and customizable gift.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 1-2 hours (plus curing time)

Materials List:

  • Soy wax flakes
  • Candle wicks
  • Heat-resistant containers (glass jars, tins, etc.)
  • Essential oils (lavender, peppermint, vanilla, etc.)
  • Fragrance oils (optional)
  • Candle dye chips (optional)
  • Thermometer
  • Pouring spout
  • Safety equipment: gloves, safety glasses

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the containers: Secure the wick to the bottom center of each container using a wick sticker or hot glue.
  2. Melt the wax: Following manufacturer’s instructions, melt the soy wax flakes in a double boiler.
  3. Add fragrance and color (optional): Once the wax reaches around 185°F (85°C), remove it from heat and stir in your chosen essential or fragrance oils (around 10-15 drops per pound of wax). You can also add a few candle dye chips for a touch of color.
  4. Pour and cure: Let the wax cool slightly (around 150°F / 65°C) before carefully pouring it into the prepared containers. Allow the candles to cure for at least 24-48 hours before lighting.

Tip: For a more visually appealing gift, add a layer of dried herbs or flowers on top of the wax before it cools completely.

9. DIY Lip Balm

This is a practical and pampering gift that anyone can appreciate. Customize it with different flavors and essential oils for a personalized touch.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes (plus cooling time)

Materials List:

  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Beeswax pastilles
  • Vitamin E oil (optional)
  • Essential oils (peppermint, vanilla, etc.) (optional)
  • Flavouring oils (optional)
  • Small tins or lip balm tubes
  • Labels (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Melt the base: In a double boiler, gently melt together the shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax pastilles.
  2. Add additional ingredients: Once melted and removed from heat, stir in vitamin E oil (for extra moisture), essential oils for scent, and flavouring oils if desired.
  3. Fill and cool: Carefully pour the mixture into small tins or lip balm tubes. Let the lip balm cool completely and solidify before using.

Tip: Label the lip balms with the flavor or scent for easy identification. You can also decorate the tins with festive washi tape or stickers.

10. Etched Glassware

This project allows you to create personalized drinking glasses, mugs, or decorative jars.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Estimated Time to Complete: Varies depending on complexity of design (plus drying time)

Materials List:

  • Glassware (glasses, mugs, jars)
  • Glass etching cream
  • Stencils (optional)
  • Craft paintbrush
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses

Instructions:

  1. Clean the glassware: Wash the glassware thoroughly with dish soap and water and dry completely.
  2. Apply stencil (optional): If using a stencil, secure it to the desired area of the glass with painter’s tape.
  3. Apply etching cream: Wear gloves and safety glasses. Apply a thick layer of etching cream to the desired design using a craft paintbrush.
  4. Let it sit: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the etching cream for recommended application time (usually 15-30 minutes).
  5. Rinse and remove stencil: Carefully rinse the glass with cool water, removing the etching cream and stencil (if used). Wash the glass thoroughly with dish soap and water again.

Tip: For a more intricate design, you can draw directly on the glass with a glass etching marker instead of using a stencil.

11. Infused Vinegars

This is a gourmet gift for food lovers who enjoy adding a unique twist to their dishes.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 1 week (plus steeping time)

Materials List:

  • High-quality vinegar (white, red wine, etc.)
  • Glass jars with tight-fitting lids
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, lavender, etc.)
  • Fresh fruits (berries, citrus peels, etc.) (optional)
  • Spices (whole peppercorns, garlic cloves, etc.) (optional)
  • Decorative labels (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Sterilize the jars: Wash the jars and lids thoroughly with hot soapy water and sterilize them by boiling for 10 minutes. Let them cool completely before filling.
  2. Prepare the flavorings: Wash and dry the chosen herbs, fruits, and/or spices.
  3. Fill the jars: Arrange the herbs, fruits, and/or spices in the bottom of the sterilized jars.
  4. Pour the vinegar: Fill the jars with the chosen vinegar, ensuring all flavorings are submerged.
  5. Steep and store: Seal the jars tightly and store them in a cool, dark place for at least a week, allowing the flavors to infuse. Strain the vinegar before gifting, if desired.

Tip: Create different flavored vinegars by using various combinations of herbs, fruits, and spices. Label the jars with the type of vinegar and its flavor profile for easy identification.

12. Custom Bookmarks

This is a thoughtful gift for bookworms, especially those who love reading physical books.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 30 minutes (depending on chosen embellishments)

Materials List:

  • Thick cardstock or laminate sheets
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Decorative paper (optional)
  • Fabric scraps or ribbon (optional)
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Tassels or beads (optional)
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun

Instructions:

  1. Cut the bookmark shape: Cut out desired shapes from the cardstock or laminate sheets. Standard bookmark size is typically around 2″ x 7″, but you can adjust it based on preference.
  2. Decorate (optional): You can decorate the bookmarks with patterned paper, fabric scraps, or paint.
  3. Finishing touches: Punch a hole at the top of the bookmark if you plan to add a tassel or bead. Secure a tassel, ribbon, or bead using glue.

Tip: If you’re feeling creative, you can personalize the bookmarks further by adding handwritten messages, quotes, or small pictures related to the recipient’s favorite book genre.

13. DIY Bath Salts

For a luxurious and relaxing bath experience, create a batch of homemade bath salts.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 15 minutes

Materials List:

  • Epsom salts
  • Dead Sea salts (optional)
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Dried herbs (lavender, chamomile, etc.) (optional)
  • Essential oils (lavender, chamomile, etc.)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Glass jars with airtight lids
  • Decorative labels (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl, mix together the Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts (if using), and coarse sea salt.
  2. Add essential oils: Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil(s) and stir well to distribute the scent evenly.
  3. Coloring (optional): If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix until the desired shade is achieved.
  4. Incorporate dried herbs (optional): Gently fold in any dried herbs for additional fragrance and visual appeal.
  5. Package the bath salts: Spoon the mixture into clean, airtight jars. Label the jars with the ingredients and usage instructions.

Tip: Layer the bath salts in different colors for a more visually appealing presentation. You can also add a small scoop for easy use.

14. Cozy Fleece Throws

For a warm and snuggly gift, consider making fleece throws. They’re perfect for cuddling up on the couch with a good book or movie.

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 1-2 hours (depending on size and chosen embellishments)

Materials List:

  • Fleece fabric (enough for desired size of throw)
  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • Sewing machine (optional, for added embellishments)
  • Ribbon or bias tape (optional, for finishing the edges)

Instructions:

  1. Cut the fabric: Cut the fleece fabric to the desired size for the throw. A typical throw size is around 50″ x 60″, but you can adjust it based on preference.
  2. Finishing the edges (optional): If you don’t want raw edges, there are a few ways to finish them:
  3. Sewing: Fold the raw edges of the fleece inwards by about ½ inch and sew them down using a straight stitch on your sewing machine.
  4. Ribbon or bias tape: Use fabric glue to adhere ribbon or bias tape along the raw edges for a decorative touch.

Tip:

  • For a more playful look, you can create a tie blanket by cutting 5-inch squares from each corner of the fabric and tying the resulting fabric strips together in a knot.
  • You can also personalize the fleece throw by adding embroidery with the recipient’s initials or a simple design.

Wrap Up

These homemade Christmas gifts are a wonderful way to show your loved ones you care. They’re not only thoughtful and personalized, but they can also be surprisingly budget-friendly and a great way to avoid the holiday shopping rush. Remember, the best part of giving homemade gifts is the time and effort you put into them.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and personalize these ideas further! You can adjust the flavors of the spice blends, add essential oils to the sugar scrub for a custom scent, or choose different colors and patterns for the knitted headband.

For even more inspiration, consider making a batch of your favorite cookies or jams, decorating hand towels with festive designs, or crafting personalized ornaments from natural materials. The possibilities are endless!

We hope this blog post has helped you get started on creating some amazing homemade Christmas gifts. Now, grab your crafting supplies, turn on some holiday music, and get ready to spread some cheer!