15 Ideas for Handmade Gifts

Christmas will be here before we know it, and already I'm thinking I'd like to make most of the gifts I give. That means getting started now.

If you already sew, knit, crochet, or do similar crafts, you can probably come up with lots of ideas for gifts. But if you're not a strong crafter, there's still a lot you can make for friends and family. Here are a few ideas.

1. Canned goods. If you've taken the plunge into canning, you'll find most people are thrilled to get home canned items, especially jams, jellies, fruit butters, and the like. Check out this post on making the jars prettier.

2. An easy to knit scarf. Learn to knit by using the directions here. The design is simple, but if you choose a beautiful yarn, the end result will be lovely.

3. Fun, scarves for kids using only minimal sewing skills.

4. Family heirloom cookbooks.

5. Bath goods, like these bath fizzies, easily decorated soaps, bath "snowballs," and body scrubs; they are better than store bought.

6. Totes/grocery bags from pretty fabric. If you don't sew, try decorating simple store bought bags. One idea: Gorgeous silhouettes. Or try Martha Stewart's no-sew bag. For a simple sewing project, try making drawstring bags or desk bags.

7. Button necklaces.

8. A child's pom-poms (made from recycled plastic shopping bags).

9. Storage bag and play area for matchbox-style cars or an art caddy.

10. A simple dress-up cowboy vest for boys or girls or a really nifty superhero cape.

11. Map coasters.

12. Soap crayons.

13. Butterfly house.

Link 14. Rapunzel hair clip organizer.

14. Homemade vanilla extract.

15. Driftwood shelf or driftwood rack.

Be sure to also see last year's post on gifts children can make.

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