These cheap homemade gift ideas will show everyone that you’re caring and creative without breaking the bank. Don’t worry if you aren’t a crafter; there’s something on this list that everyone can do.
Super Easy DIY Soap
No previous soap making experience? No problem. Simply melt inexpensive bulk soap and add your favorite scents. You can make melt and pour soap cubes, even if you’ve never made soap before in your life.
About $15 in supplies and a microwave will let you make thoughtful gifts for about 10 people.
Cookie Kit in a Jar
By attractively stacking dry ingredients in a pretty jar and tying it with a ribbon, you can give the gift of a cookie-making kit. There are several great recipes for cookie mix in a jar, including oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, and even brownies. Give this a unique twist by using a favorite family recipe and attaching a recipe card. Cost is only a few dollars a jar.
If you grow lavender in your garden, you can dry this herb and make sachets as gifts. Even if you don’t grow lavender yourself, you can buy it fresh and dry it or purchase dried lavender in bulk. Simply spread a square of thin pretty fabric on a work surface and place a spoonful of dried lavender on top. Then use a ribbon to tie the fabric into a bundle. If you grow your own lavender, the cost of making these is less than a dollar.
Personalized scrapbooks are great cheap homemade gift ideas. If you’re on a really tight budget, download some digital scrapbooking freebies that you can either use to make scrapbook pages on your computer or print onto cardstock to take the place of traditional scrapbook supplies. You’ll only need to pay for the scrapbook itself or the paper you use to print it.
Everyone loves receiving a gift of a sweet treat. Use a delicious recipe for caramels to make a batch. Customize with sea salt, nuts, chocolate, or anything else that strikes your fancy. When they are cool, cut them into small squares and wrap them in pretty waxed paper. The cost of this gift is less than $10 for an entire pan of caramels.
Easy Heat Therapy Wrap
You can give the gift of warmth and comfort without spending much money. Make an herbal heat therapy wrap by sewing a simple tube of fabric and filling it with rice and herbs. The recipient can warm it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to warm it up and use it to relax tense muscles. If you use fabric you have on hand, you can make this wrap for only the cost of the rice.
Handmade Sugar Scrub
Another great pampering gift is a handmade exfoliating scrub. You can use a sugar scrub recipe to create a luxurious gift. Put the scrub in a pretty jar and tie it with a ribbon or twine. This makes a great present for a friend. The cost for materials is under five dollars a jar, including the jar.
Everyone loves to receive homemade jam as a gift, especially if you use pretty jars and decorate them with bits of fabric or ribbon. There are lots of wonderful jam, jelly, and preserve recipes to try, including bacon jam, fruit juice jellies, and more. Depending on the type of jam you make, you’ll pay only a couple of dollars a jar.
Train Track Chalkboard
If you’re handy with a jig saw, you can make this adorable train track chalkboard as a gift for a child. If you have some old track on hand, you can make this for about $15. Here’s how to do it:
- Assemble eight curved track pieces into a circle. Trace around the circle to get the diameter.
- Cute a piece of thin plywood, such as luan, into a circle of the appropriate diameter.
- Paint the plywood circle with chalkboard paint. Allow it to dry.
- Use epoxy to glue the track pieces around the edge of the chalkboard as a frame.
Easy No-Sew Scarf
Even if you can’t knit or sew, you can make a wonderful scarf as an inexpensive gift. Look for a piece of plaid wool in the remnants bin at your local fabric store. Then cut the fabric to be the desired size. Carefully pull out the edge threads on both ends until you have created a short fringe. If you desire, you can sew along the edges to keep it from unraveling further. Expect to spend about five dollars for half a yard of fabric on sale.
Heart Button Pillow
Pillows always make wonderful presents, and you don’t have to be an expert seamstress to customize one. You only need to be able to sew on buttons. To make a gift like this, pick up a plain throw pillow at your local craft store. Use a disappearing fabric marker to lightly trace a shape on the front. It can be an initial, a heart shape, or anything else. Then using spare buttons you already have around, sew the buttons on the pillow to fill in the shape. The total cost is only about four dollars.
Artisnal Chocolate Truffles
Another luxious DIY gift that won’t break the bank is homemade chocolate truffles. There are lots of variations, but you can start with a basic truffle recipe and try adding things like sea salt, raspberry cordial, and nuts. You’ll only need to pay for the cost of the ingredients, about $12 for a batch of 30 truffles.
Use up those broken crayone fragments and make a custom gift for the kids in your life. You can use silicone molds or cookie cutters to shape the crayons. Simply fill the mold with chunks of old crayon and bake it in the over at about 200 degrees. Watch closely for all the crayon pieces to melt. Then turn off the oven and let it cool. This gift is totally free.
Plants in Pretty Pots
For a few dollars, you can pick up some pretty flower pots at the thrift store. Then watch for sales on plants at your garden center. Score a good deal on some flowers or a succulent, and you’ve got yourself an inexpensive gift for anyone from your child’s teacher to your best friend. If you watch sales carefully, you can create this gift for under $10.
Crochet an Animal Friend
Use amigurumi patterns to make some adorable tiny crocheted animals for a child or friend. Even if you’re not an expert at crochet, these patterns make it easy to learn. You’ll need yard, embellishments, and a little bit of stuffing, so expect to spend a couple of dollars.
Vintage Fabric Pincushion
If you have some pretty vintage fabric around, you can make an adorable pincushion for free. Here’s how:
- Simply cut two same-sized rectangles of fabric.
- With their right sides together, sew around three sides of the rectangles to make a bag. Turn it right side out.
- Stuff the bag with fiber fill, cotton balls, or anything else soft.
- Fold in the raw edges of the opening and sew it shut.
- Give the pincushion with a pack of pretty pins for a special gift.
Wine Mulling Kit
Mulled wine makes a wonderful gift during the winter months. Pick up a bottle of inexpensive red wine and make sachets of mulling spices using a mulled wine recipe. The cost of this homemade gift is mostly in the bottle of wine, since you can buy the spices in bulk.
If you need a gift for someone who likes books and reading, you can make an adorable clothespin bookmark for less than two dollars. Paint a clothespin with acrylic craft paint and then attach your choice of decoration to the top of it using epoxy. You can cut things out of paper or cardstock, use artificial flowers, or add buttons.
Custom Jewelry Box
You don’t need woodworking experience to make a custom jewelry box. Pick up some old wooden boxes at the thrift store and use paint to transform them. You can even use decoupage medium and paper or fabric to decorate them. These personalized boxes are a wonderful gift for graduates, friends, or family members. The total cost comes in around five dollars.
Creative DIY Jewelry
Pick up some old beaded necklaces at the thrift store or shop the sales at your local bead shop. Then make beaded jewelry for your friends and family. Re-stringing beads in a different pattern can create a whole new look, and you can make pieces in everyone’s favorite colors. Each beaded necklace can cost as little as five dollars in supplies.
DIY Designer Bouquet
A bouquet of flowers always makes a lovely gift, but they can be expensive to buy from the store. Show the bulk flowers you see on sale or buy inexpensive artificial flowers to make your own bouquets. If you have a green thumb, you can even grow flowers in your yard. Then combine the flowers into a bouquet of your own design and wrap in tissue paper and ribbon. The total cost will depend on how you get the flowers, but if you’re careful, you can do this for under five dollars.
A Gift of Love
Making something special for someone is a great way to show how much you care without spending a lot of money. Ultimately, it’s the love you put into the gift that matters most.