10 Handmade Gifts Sweeter than Store-bought!

December 13, 2018

Mom and daughter skating during the Winter holidays

Image by: www.depositphotos.com

The holidays are around the corner, and with the recent Canada Post Strike and climate change-related concerns about the world just having too much stuff, people are re-thinking gift giving. But, as always here at SPESCH, we like to look for the silver lining.

Take this year as a chance to make a change in your holiday traditions by making your own gifts this year! It’s a great way to get creative, upcycle, and make something that will be more special than anything you could ever buy.

Beginner

An experience!

Ok ok, so this one may not be completely handmade, but it is a great chance to create memories with the people you love, and you can still try and make it as local as possible! You could find a great outdoor skating rink and head out for a night of hot cocoa and light exercise! Or maybe take a visit to your local museum or art gallery to learn something new together. Whatever it is you decide to do, it’s easy to keep it inexpensive or go extravagant, and the memories you make will last longer than any other gifts they get this year.

Deconstructed Cookies!

This is a great one because it also gives the gift of your time — why not spend the afternoon baking together! This gift is super flexible because you can use whatever recipe is your favourite, just make sure you put all the dry ingredients for your recipe in a jar (bonus if they’re reusable!) or use multiple jars broken down into steps. Then write up the instructions, wrap it up in a bow, and there you have a handmade gift that everyone can enjoy — because snacks, duh!

Hand painted Mugs

Why go out and buy holiday-themed mugs to curl up with as chestnuts roast on a open fire, when you can make them yourself! These are super customizable, paint whatever message you want to put out into the world, with easy cleanup! Just don’t forget, these become hand wash only!

Leaf Printed Tea Towel

This one is so easy, all you need is a white tea towel, some paint, and to head outside and pick some leaves! In the event that you live in a pretty cold place where the leaves fall off the trees — don’t worry! You can always head to a craft store to get stamps, or maybe ask a friend with some indoor plants if you can use a leaf or two! Before you know it you’ll have a useful gift for the kitchen, or one that can even be framed and hung as art!

Intermediate

Upcycled Toy Planters

This gift is great because instead of needing to buy something new to make the planter, you can head out to your local antique or thrift store and pick out something cute to put a plant in! And there are so many great options: an old lunchbox, a cool jar, an old toy that can be spray painted a favourite colour, and so much more! Pro tip: the best plants for these are air plants (they don’t need soil!) but a small spider plant or single succulent will also work great!

Scrabble Coasters

Does your family still have that old cupboard of board games kicking around the house, collecting dust? Put that Scrabble to good use by turning it into something less competitive! It’s a chance to flex those spelling muscles and get creative with as many four-letter food and drink words you can. Don’t worry if you don’t have corkboard or a sealant, you can always use felt as a base and skip the glaze!

Bookends Galore

Here’s a whole list of possible bookends that can be made, and once you get the basic principle down, the possibilities are endless! Spray painting something gold always makes it look clean and chic, but you really can customize this gift to your loved one’s decor! Plus, it means another fun trip to your local thrift store to pick out knick knacks that can be turned into something new — the kookier the better!

Advanced

Arm Knitted Blanket

No previous knitting experience required! This one may take a little time and patience, but it’s the perfect thing to do while binging Netflix on a snowy night. This gift is also great for any gift exchange, because no one can ever have too many blankets.

String Art

We put this in the advanced section because the wood base may take some digging to find, and you may need to ask for some help nailing your outline, but once that is done it’s smooth sailing! The string wrapping can be as simple or intricate as you like — from mountain outlines to dog portraits. Don’t forget to add nails to the back and tie a string between them so this beautiful art can be hung on the wall once it’s done!

Pressed Flower Art

These look amazing in anyone’s home, and can be made with the wildflowers and plants you find in your backyard! Make sure to pick extra flowers and do a test run if need be, just remember that if your first one doesn’t turn out exactly like you wanted you can always keep that one for yourself and try again!

Written by Olivia Latta

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