8 Handmade Gift Ideas for the Holidays

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Arts and Creativity Editor Emily Sheehy suggests eight different gifts you can make yourself this holiday season.

With the holiday season approaching, and the cost of living crisis unfortunately worsening, now is the perfect time to get started on handmade gifts for your friends and family. Handmade gifts can be a great way to get creative, give your loved ones a meaningful and unique present, while also saving yourself some money in the process. If you have some extra time to spare (in between assignments and exams) here are eight different ideas for things you can make yourself to give as gifts!

Handmade gifts can be a great way to get creative, give your loved ones a meaningful and unique present, while also saving yourself some money in the process.

Crochet and Knitwear

Once you know how to crochet and/or knit, the possibilities are endless. A handmade hat, scarf or pair of gloves would not go amiss in the cold Irish winter! While crocheted pieces were a big trend during this summer, I am sure that a crocheted tote bag or amigurumi doll would be a welcomed gift. I was given a glove last year that lets me and my boyfriend hold hands while keeping warm; it was a unique item that could only be made and not bought!


It is surprisingly easy and cheap to make your own jewellery, once you have some beads, chain, elastic, fastenings and pliers. Friendship bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and keychains are all simple and affordable ideas.

Clay Pieces

You don’t need a kiln or spinning wheel to make your own clay pieces. Air drying clay is widely available at most hobby shops for a reasonable price. Trinket trays and tealight holders are perfect beginner projects that will dry completely in 1-2 days and be ready for painting. If you are willing to spend a little bit extra money, oven bake clay is great for creating custom charms for jewellery.

Painting and Drawings

Drawing or painting someone’s portrait, a landscape that is meaningful to them, or even a piece of fanart could be a perfect gift! Framing your piece or painting on a canvas can make your gift a little bit more special too.

Recycled Paper Notebook

Although a bit time consuming, it is possible to recycle paper at home. You could include some plants or flowers to your paper to make your present different from the rest. Put your recycled paper between some cardstock and sew it all in place and you have a present that is unique and sustainable!

Embroidery and Cross Stitch

A piece of embroidery or cross stitch in a hoop is always my go-to house warming present. Additionally, customising a piece of clothing with embroidery or cross stitch is also a fun idea. I personally find cross stitch to be a bit easier than embroidery if you are just starting off!

Colouring Books and Scrapbooks

Hand drawing or digitally drawing someone a personalised colouring book and giving them some colouring pencils could be a fun activity. If you are not confident in your drawing skills, printing out some line drawings and stapling them together could also be an option! You don’t need to be Van Gogh to make your own scrapbook either. Printing out photos of some of your favourite memories with the person you’re making the scrapbook for and adding some stickers, tickets from attractions and captions can make for a really heartfelt gift.


Last but certainly not least, there are many ways you can go about personalising a candle. Instead of just buying a regular old candle for your loved one, why not make it more unique? Melting down tea lights and pouring them into sea shells makes your present that bit more exciting. You can also use crayons to dye your wax. You could also have a go at bending pillar candles into funky shapes.

Hopefully some of these suggestions have inspired you to take up some crafts for your loved ones, and while saving you some cash at the same time!