The holiday season is approaching quickly, and, well, I have to admit that I feel like I’m a little behind already.  I usually like to make most of my gifts, but I may not have left enough time to plan ahead this year.

If, like me, you need some ideas for handmade and homemade gifts that won’t take months of preparation, here are a few ideas based on gifts we have given in the past, or plan to try this year.  I hope you can find some inspiration in the following suggestions.

8 Handmade and Homemade Gift Ideas

1. Baked goods

Everyone loves to get baked goods as gifts – but think outside the cookie jar.  We often give out mini-loaves of apricot-cranberry bread.  Homemade granola is a good option, too.   Even better, you can package your gift in a reusable snack bag, such as the bags from Eco Lunch Gear, and give two gifts in one.

2.  Treasure boxes

One of our favorite gifts to give and get are homemade treasure boxes.  You can go to an arts and crafts store and purchase plain wooden boxes, or re-purpose boxes you already have, such as shoes boxes or other packaging.  Paint them, decoupage them, add poetry or song lyrics – the options for personalization are endless.

3.  Homemade notebooks

One of the best ways to repurpose scrap paper is in making your own blank notebooks.  My husband taught himself to make notebooks from a book called Indie Publishing

and now he gets frequent requests from friends for personalized notebooks.

4. Magnets

We’ve made magnets from old Scrabble tiles, which is fun because people can rearrange them on their fridge to spell out different words.  Another fun option would be to use bottle caps; you could glue the magnet to either side and add a photo, a picture from a magazine, or a letter or number to the other side.  Magnets and glue are easily available at craft stores.

5.  Mix CDs

Ah, yes, the old stand-by.  Who hasn’t made or received a mix tape or mix CD at some point?  But mix CDs are tried and true for a reason: there is no better way to recreate those captured memories, or create new memories, than with the perfect soundtrack.

6.  Homemade cards

Beautiful cards can be made with scrapbooking supplies, but one of our favorite ways to make cards now is with a scanner.  Scan in illustrations from books, photographs of people or places, or found objects, and print out onto cardstock.  Fold.  Voila!  It’s a card.  Purchase a box of envelopes from an office supply or paper supply store, and you can put together sets of blank cards as gifts.

7.  Jewelry

If you haven’t tried your hand at making your own jewelry, you should!  It’s almost therapeutic; the process of threading beads on a strand can be a good way to slow down and enjoy conversation with a friend, while designing a set of earrings or a bracelet is a great creative outlet.  There are plenty of options to choose from at craft stores, but if there is a specialty bead shop in your town, you will find higher quality goods.  Alternatively, you can re-string old jewelry into new items, or make your own paper beads.

Photo by Go Make Something

8.  Homemade Lotions, Soaps, and Perfumes

Putting together homemade body care products is simpler than you might think.  I plan on concocting a few perfumes from a basic mixture of half vodka and half essential oils.  Pure vanilla extract can also be used in place of vodka to add a warm, sweet-scented base, and the alcohol in the vanilla acts as a preservative, just as the vodka does.  You can find instructions for making soap here, and a lotion tutorial here.

I hope this list has given a jump-start to your creative juices!

We love handmade and homemade gifts in our family.  And actually, almost any of these gifts could be packaged in a reusable cloth snack bag.  You can also find other ideas for eco-friendly gift wrappings on Simple Mom.

Happy crafting!

This post on homemade and handmade gift ideas was brought to you by Eco Lunch Gear. Eco Lunch Gear offers reusable cloth sandwich wraps and snack bags  for the whole family in various sizes and fabrics. You can see their products and find out more about the company at their website.

Are you planning on giving homemade and handmade gifts this season?  What suggestions do you have up your sleeve?