It’s the season of giving and nothing shows you care more than a handmade gift. From woodworking and crafts to baking, it’s easy to find DIY projects that you can share. The key is finding a project that you take pleasure in making, so here are a variety of options for you to consider.
1. Sugar Scrub
Sugar scrubs are an ultra-easy DIY gift that the friend in your life will appreciate. Simply add your favorite oil, such as coconut, to plain white sugar and mix well. If you prefer, you can use brown sugar for a different texture and feel. Put the sugar scrub into a canning jar and decorate with ribbon and a cute label.
2. Jewelry Holder
Jewelry holders come in all shapes and styles. The easiest to make is to sand and stain or paint a board. Add teacup hooks staggered across the width so your friend can hang necklaces and bracelets. Alternately, make a wooden earring holder by adding extra sections to a silverware organizer.
3. Vinegars and Oils
The cook in your life will love the variety that herbed vinegars and oils will add to their cooking repertoire. Use what you have from your garden as inspiration. Soak rosemary, garlic, or jalapenos in oil for a flavorful boost. Stuff herbs in a vinegar bottle to create visual art and explosive flavors. Experiment with citrus and spices too. Place your goods into clear bottles and embellish to your preference.
4. Infused Spirits
Like vinegars and oils, alcohol takes well to flavor infusions. Vodka or Everclear are good choices for a variety of options. Create a coffee liqueur with coffee, vanilla, sugar, and rum or vodka. Infuse clear liqueur with citrus for a great martini mixer or soak peaches or berries until you have a peach brandy or blackberry moonshine.
5. Serving Tray
Serving trays are another gift that can easily be personalized. Use an old cabinet door or cut your own rectangular bottom. Then cut the four sides and glue, clamp, and nail or staple them at the seams. Once secure, add handles or cut out finger grooves using a jigsaw.
6. Corkboard or Chalkboard
Another well-received gift is a corkboard or chalkboard. Fortunately, they are also a great DIY project. Simply make the frame with trim and place on a base of cork board mounted to thin plywood. Alternately, use chalk paint for a chalkboard finish.
If you’re really handy in the woodworking department, create a side table, bookcase, or shoe rack. Quality furniture never goes out of style.
8. Coat Rack
Heading back to the scrap wood pile, find a pallet board, 2 x 4, or other section of lumber that is flat. Plane the edges, glue, and clamp them together for a larger surface. Once completely dry, add a random assortment of old cabinet handles and hooks to create a unique coat rack.
9. Wooden Decor Signs
If you’d rather be at a workbench than in the kitchen, master the art of sign design. You choose whether you want a distressed or clean look. Use the materials you have from pallet boards to leftover trim pieces. Paint on catchy sayings or cozy quotes. Add a hanging mechanism so your recipient can proudly display your work.
10. Sewn Goods
If you’d rather trade in your tools for a sewing machine, there are lots of gift options you could make. Consider a reusable heat pad stuffed with rice and a bit of mint or rosemary. For a personal touch, make a throw pillow with a family name on the front or a cute saying that matches the theme of a friend’s home. If you’re an advanced seamstress, make a quilt or blanket for a gift that will last years.