137 inexpensive, handmade holiday gift ideas. Part 2: Christmas-themed

Woman making a wreath, photo

Handmade Christmas-themed gifts often double as decorations, so you might want to give these gifts early so they can be properly enjoyed during the holiday season. Or maybe the gift is making some of these together with family or friends. Either way, these crafts get in you in the holiday spirit, and they’re fun to make. (This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure here.)

Originally published August 27, 2010. Updated September 11, 2020.

Part 1: Home & garden
Part 2: Christmas-themed
Part 3: From the kitchen
Part 4: Jewelry & accessories
Part 5: Themed gift sets
Part 6: For children
Part 7: Media, service, cards & wrapping

Part 2: Christmas-themed

28. Sew a simple Christmas stocking

Stuff it with a bottle of wine (or — my favorite — sparkling apple cider) or a homemade salad dressing or seasoning mix. Personalize the stocking to fit the personality of the receiver. You can even make a stocking out of a dish towel or thrift-store sweater.
DIY custom Christmas stockings
Learn how to knit Christmas stockings
More handmade Christmas stocking ideas

29. Mix holiday-scented simmering potpourri

Fill a jar or cellophane bag and tie with decorative ribbon. Include a tag with instructions: “Scoop half the mix into a small pot and cover with water. Simmer on low heat on your stove top. Add water as the potpourri reduces down.” Here’s the recipe: 3 cups dried orange peel; 1 cup dried lemon zest; 4 cinnamon sticks, snapped into thirds; ¼ cup whole cloves; ¼ cup pine needles; and 10 allspice berries (source: fivepointscoveninc.org). Or try this fresh option:
Fresh stovetop potpourri with cranberries

30. Stitch a Christmas tree ornament

Draw your own design on mini graph paper or download a pattern. Sew and frame it in a small embroidery hoop. Add a ribbon for hanging.
Easy reindeer and snowflake cross stitch patterns
25 Scandinavian cross stitch ornament patterns
Free argyle applique ornament instructions
Cross stitch hearts
Free cross-stitch ornament patterns

31. Fold origami ornaments

Tie or glue a ribbon at the top for hanging. Make a set of ornaments and place them in a holiday box or basket.
Mini gift box
German star

32. More 3D paper ornaments

Coordinate the colors to create a set of ornaments to fill a whole tree. Try one of these tutorials.
Lacy snowflake
Quilled snowflake
3D paper ball
Sheet music star ornaments
Cardboard tube flower
Christmas bauble

33. Gift a Christmas tree

Decorate a small Christmas tree with homemade ornaments, cookies, or potpourri sachets for a shut-in friend who can’t decorate this year. For the sachets, chooses your favorite mix of cloves, bay, juniper berries, grated orange peel, peppermint, pine needles, and rosemary. Spoon the herbs into the center of a square of fabric. Pull the corners up and tie with the ribbon. Tie on a cinnamon stick, a couple jingle bells, and a loop for hanging. (Source: fivepointscoveninc.org.)
More handmade ornament ideas

34. Make snow globes

You’ll need food jars (olive, jelly, pickle, etc.) plus little figurines, clear-drying epoxy, distilled water, tarnish-resistant glitter, glycerin, rubbing alcohol, and oil-based enamel paints.
Snow globe instructions
Simple DIY snow globe video instructions
Dry winter wonderland snow globe forest

35. Create an advent calendar

Decorate small kraft paper boxes and fill each one with a goody or tiny treasure. Or hang numbered cards and candies on a small potted tree. Or tie mini gift bags to a branch. Or make one out of recycled Christmas cards. The possibilities are practically endless.
Gift box advent calendar
Recycled Christmas card advent calendar
Popsicle stick advent tree
More advent calendar ideas

36. Make a wreath

Fashion a wreath out of greenery, yarn, ribbon, pine cones, fabric, felt, flowers, paper — just about anything. Here are some ideas.
How to make a fresh greenery wreath
Pom pom wreath
Yarn loop wreath
Ribbon wreath
Fabric rag wreath
Felt wreath

37. Sew a holiday pillow

Sew a decorative pillow your friend can bring out year after year. Make one from felt, flannel, napkins, placemats, or an old sweater.
Christmas pillows made from old sweaters
Snowflake pillow
Pillows made from seasonal placemats
More placemat pillows
Pillows made from napkins
Poinsettia pillow

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