Let’s face it: not all homemade gifts are created equal. Some people seem to have a real knack for making things from scratch, and we look forward to those kinds of gifts. Other people seem to not have such a knack…and our attics fill up over the years. (Yes, it is the thought that counts and we truly appreciate their efforts; we just can’t seem to make use of them).

Below are a few ideas for homemade gifts that are practical, delicious, cute, and frugal.

  • Chinese Takeout Boxes and Chocolate Truffles: Purchase Chinese takeout boxes from Michael’s craft store (don’t forget to use a 40% off coupon from the Sunday paper), and make homemade chocolate truffles. You can put tissue paper in the little boxes, and then fill each with a few truffles. Make a cute tag.
  • Herb-infused oil/Dipping oil: You can score great glass bottles from Marshall’s, Ross, TJ Maxx, or other discount department store. Purchase the herbs and oil, and make some beautiful and yummy gifts! You can include a long loaf of French bread, and/or directions for how to use the oil.
  • Jams and Jellies: Make a cute label from your kitchen, or from your yard, and tie it around with a festive ribbon.
  • Photo Calendar: Gather photos of your family, photos of you, photos of your travels, your favorite recipes, etc. and assemble them into a calendar. You can print these out using services such as shutterfly or vistaprints.
  • Wine Cork Bulletin Board: Save your wine corks throughout the year, or ask restaurants to save them for you. Assemble your cork board using particle board or other scraps of wood as backing.
  • Brownie and Soup Jars: This is an idea that was popular in the amish community where I grew up. Purchase bulk ingredients, mason jars (can also get these wholesale), and perhaps even a little scoop from a craft store like Michael’s. There are all kinds of neat gift in a jar ideas out there; remember to make a cute tag to wrap around it to dress it up a bit.
  • Garden Marker Rocks: For friends and family who enjoy gardening, purchase outdoor paint from Michael’s using a 40% off coupon, and purchase large pebble rocks. If you can’t find the rocks there, I was able to find some at a pet store (look in the reptile aisle). Using the paint, make garden markers for different plants like basil, lettuce, spinach, corn, etc. They look so cute and will decorate any garden!

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Do you have ideas? I’d love to hear them!

Other Articles You May Enjoy:

77+ Homemade Gift Ideas
Homemade Kitchen Apron


20 replies
  1. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Some of mine require a bit more skill, but I’m making scarves, hand-warmers, rice pillow, recipe books, and earrings.

    For hand-warmers just take two pieces of cotton fabric about the size of a 4×6 index card, sew them together like a pillow, add rice for stuffing and close the seam. Now, you can pop them into the microwave to warm and put them in your pockets when you’re going out and it’s cold. It goes without saying that I usually make 2 of these per person.

    Rice pillows are the same, just bigger. I also often put lavender or something in the rice to make them smell nice when used as a heating pad.

    Recipe books are just fabric wrapped 3 ring binders with recipes people have asked me for in page protectors. I’ve also used photo albums if I’m using recipe cards instead of print-outs from my computer.

    Covered button earrings are a bit more complicated but I’ve also just bought some cute flower buttons and hot-glued posts to the back of them for a fun little stocking stuffer.

    Hobby Lobby and Michael’s are your friend-I get so many ideas from going there. For example, I made all of my Christmas cards this year: 50 for about $8 total.

    Hope that was helpful!

  2. Suzanne with Laughing Wallet
    Suzanne with Laughing Wallet says:

    Very cute idea about using the Chinese takeout boxes as gift boxes!

    Another easy homemade gift for the craft challenged is making bath salts. All you really need is some Epsom or sea salt, a bottle of essential oil (lots of scents to choose from), and, if you want to add some color, food coloring. You just mix a few drops of the oil with the salt and boom! Bath salts!

    • FruGal
      FruGal says:

      Hi Suzanna!

      Thank you–I just love those chinese takeout boxes:).

      Also thanks for adding such a great idea!

  3. Aloysa
    Aloysa says:

    I really need to find time and make some homemade, handmade gifts. I used to do a lot of knitting (way, way back … in another life, in another country). Now all I do in the free time is writing and blogging… Should do something less selfish and more altruistic. 🙂

    • FruGal
      FruGal says:

      Ahhhh free time from blogging and writing…:). Definitely need to carve some out for yourself, but it can be very difficult to do.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Mama Kelly aka Jia
    Mama Kelly aka Jia says:

    Gifts aside. I keep meaning to make a mess of jarred soup and brownie mixes (and similar stuff) just for our own use.

    Insofar as filling Chinese take-out boxes with truffles, I can state definitively a box given to use wouldn’t last long at all.

  5. Aurora
    Aurora says:

    good ideas! I recently saw an idea on another blog that I thought was great- making homemade ravioli and freezing it to give as a gift! I love homemade pasta 🙂

  6. Vincent Chollett
    Vincent Chollett says:

    My favorite Christmas movies are: It’s A Great Life, Love Really, The Family Man, Nothing Like The Holidays, About A Boy, Four Christmases, and Elf. The Christmas movies that I still require to see that look awesome are: The Preachers Wife, Scrooged, and This Christmas. HaPpY HoLLiDaYs everybody!!!

  7. Kellen
    Kellen says:

    I would love to learn to make truffles… that seems like such a great gift to give. Kind of like giving Christmas fudge, but not as widespread?

  8. Breanna Thomlison
    Breanna Thomlison says:

    Ways to to shed the weight?i’m thirteen and i weigh two hundred and fifteen pounds. i want to tell the truth with my own self and lose weight. i want to be healthy. how can i remove fats very well? i must goal it all over. what are the most beneficial weight loss supplements? best exercises? ideal body fat targetting healthy foods? please all answers to provide help! something!! most effective possible way!!

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