I know it’s completely the wrong time of year for this post, but I couldn’t reveal some of these ideas before Christmas for obvious reasons! If you’re stuck for handmade gift ideas next year, pop back and have a look for inspiration. Or if you usually find yourself in a panic in December, why not start crafting sooner?
Wrist warmers, hats and scarves make lovely seasonal gifts and you can choose a pattern and yarn to suit almost anyone. Bags, dish cloths, doll’s clothes, hair accessories, leg warmers, pot cosies, socks, toys… the possibilities are endless and Ravelry has loads of free patterns. I knitted this scarf for my mum and the sequins in the yarn made it really pretty.
My wonderful friend Ali made this beautiful flower decoration for me, which makes me smile every time I walk past it. Crochet is quicker than knitting and it’s fairly easy to learn the basics. Most things that can be knitted can also be crocheted, but you can also make small shaped decorations and amigurumi creatures.
Needle felting can be used to make 3D figures, flat pictures or add details to woollen items. These sea creatures were great fun to make. Felt through a star-shaped cookie cutter and glue the star to a stick or dowel to make a magic wand, or hang on a string to make tree decorations.
Aaron and Tabitha helped me to make these felted soaps, which look pretty wrapped up in cellophane and tied with a ribbon. Wet felting can also be used to make balls, shaped items and flat pieces of felt suitable for mats and wall hangings.
My lovely sister-in-law Jess gave us these beautiful scrapbook-style pictures to hang in the children’s bedrooms. A few months ago I used Wordle to create a piece of framed word art for my parents’ wedding anniversary. You could also use buttons to create a monogram letter on a pretty paper background.
This set of shadow puppets was cut out of black card with a craft knife and each figure was glued to a lollypop stick. You could choose characters from a book or fairytale, or a favourite theme such as dinosaurs or transportation. Alternatively you could do stick puppets along with a puppet theatre made from a painted cardboard box and fabric curtains.
These lacing blocks were fairly simple to make, only requiring a saw, a drill and a sander (or some sandpaper). A beeswax and olive oil polish adds a lovely finish. Other ideas include making a rustic photo frame by lashing sticks together with twine, or using a pyrography tool to decorate wooden spoons and cutouts.
I made some lemon curd for our neighbours (please excuse the food in the background, it was Christmas Eve and we had family coming round for a feast!). My brother made some wonderful chutney this year and my sister-in-law added pretty labels with matching fabric covers, which made it look much more special than my lazy slap-a-label-on-the-lid version!
Bookmarks, coasters, fridge magnets and keyrings are all quick and easy cross stitch projects. Alternatively you could add small cross stitch sections to larger household items (we were given a towel with a beautiful cross stitch edging as a wedding present) or use giant cross stitch on a cushion cover.
Embroidery is not as simple as cross stitch, but can easily be applied to most kinds of fabric. There are transfers available if you don’t want to do it freehand, or you could embroider around hand prints or children’s drawings.
Hand or foot prints make lovely keepsakes for grandparents and other relatives. The Imagination Tree has a great idea for turning them into tree ornaments.
A pretty jar of coloured, scented or textured playdough makes a good gift for young children. You could include a seasonal cookie cutter or small plastic figures to add to the fun.
Aaron painted these canvases for his Grandpa and Grandad (with a bit of help). Babies and toddlers can join in too, as Pinterest has lots of suggestions for making artwork out of hand or foot prints.
So there you go, lots of ideas for homemade gifts and I haven’t even mentioned sewing! What gifts did you enjoy making this year? Did you receive any lovely handmade gifts? I’d love to hear!