Did you know that homemade gifts are perceived to express more love than store-bought alternatives?

This is particularly true if you have a close relationship with the gift recipient.

Gifts symbolically convey meaning such as “I love you”.  They are a convenient way to strengthen the bond between you and the gift recipient.

The sad reality is that far too often homemade gifts are overlooked in favor of store-bought alternatives when in fact they are the very gifts that can convey feelings of love, thoughtfulness, and appreciation.

In this article, you’ll get an introduction to creating homemade gifts.

Homemade Gifts A Beginner's Guide

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What is a homemade gift?

A homemade gift is created through a person’s own effort. They’re not store-bought items.  And, they shouldn’t be confused with handmade gifts, though homemade gifts are handmade. Handmade gifts are simply items made by hand rather than a machine. You can create handmade gifts yourself or purchase handmade gifts at a local store, online, or at craft shows.

Why you should give homemade gifts (ADVANTAGES)

1. They can be cost-effective and budget-friendly

Homemade gifts can be quite economical if you are on a budget. Many supplies can be found around the house. For those supplies that you don’t have at home, try purchasing them at an inexpensive craft store or web store.  However, you should proceed with caution.  If you’re not careful, your project can become more costly than purchasing a store-bought gift. That’s because some of the supplies can be expensive.

2. They are more personalized

Homemade gifts are perceived to be more personalized. That’s because you really have to put thought into giving one that the recipient will like and enjoy.  In essence you are making a custom-made gift for the individual.  To successfully personalize a homemade gift, you should know the recipient’s age, likes, dislikes, and personality.  Also consider any needs, desires, or hobbies the recipient may have. Then create a gift that reflects your findings.

3. They are more thoughtful

Homemade gifts are also perceived to be more thoughtful. After all, you can’t run to your local department store at the last minute to buy one.  It takes forethought and planning.  The occasion and recipient must be considered as well as the amount of time it will take to make the gift. For these reasons, when someone receives a homemade gift from you, they immediately know that much time and effort were put into making the gift and their level of appreciation skyrockets.

4. They are more memorable

The time and the effort that you put into making the gift as well as the fact that the gift is personalized make it more memorable. This is particularly true if you include some items in the gift that are meaningful or stir up memories. For instance, a scrapbook or photo album can contain items that have meaning and cause the recipient to reflect on pleasant memories from the past. Special memories are priceless.

5. Making them can be therapeutic

Do you have hobbies, gifts, or talents?  Do you enjoy working with your hands, composing poems or songs, or baking?  Then creating homemade gifts may be therapeutic for you.  When you use your gifts, talents, or hobbies to make gifts you are doing something you take pleasure in which leads to lower levels of stress.  It’s therapeutic!

Why you SHOULDN’T give homemade gifts (DISADVANTAGES)

1. It takes time

If you are busy, then giving homemade gifts may not be a viable option for you. Even if it’s something as simple as making a card or baking cookies, you still need to devote time to doing it. You have to schedule the time and make allowances for the unexpected. If you don’t have the time, you’re better-off buying a store-bought gift.

2. It can be inconvenient

Let’s face the facts. Homemade gifts are more budget-friendly, personalized, thoughtful, and memorable. But you have to admit that it is much more convenient for you to pick up a gift from the store or order one online. Along with being more convenient, local merchants and online retailers always have sales which make choosing the store-bought option more enticing than making homemade gifts.

3. It takes skill

If you don’t have a single creative bone in your body then you shouldn’t try making homemade gifts. Yes, we all have gifts, talents, and hobbies.  But, if none of your strengths is in an area that allows you to create a gift that is decent enough to give, then choose the store-bought option. Otherwise, it very well might end up being an unfortunate situation whereby you don’t have anything remotely presentable to give. Of course, there are lots of books and online tutorials that can guide you through the process. However, there is only so much that a book or tutorial can teach you. You must have the raw skills or attempting to make homemade gifts is useless.

Selecting a homemade gift

Choosing a homemade gift to create is not an easy task. The following are tips that will help you select the best homemade gift for the intended recipient.

1. Consider The Occasion

When choosing a gift, the occasion should always be considered. It defines the type of gift you should give.  For example, the gift you choose to give your husband on Valentine’s Day would be different than what you choose to give him for Father’s Day because of the nature of the occasion.

2. Know The Recipient

The most important thing you need to consider when choosing a gift is the recipient. For example, your mother is unlikely to appreciate a year’s subscription to Sports Illustrated unless she just happens to be a sports fanatic, and your 6-year-old nephew probably would not be grateful for a winter scarf.  Knowing the recipient’s age, likes, dislikes, and personality greatly helps.

3. Determine If the Recipient Has a Wish List

Determine if the recipient has made a wish list of things they need or want.  People sometimes make a list to ensure they don’t receive gifts they won’t use. We have all received gifts that we either had no use for or just didn’t want. Usually, I either re-gift or give the item away. To prevent this from happening, I now keep a running list of things I need and want. If the recipient has a wish list, you can make a homemade gift that is comparable or complementary to an item on their list.

4. Listen For Needs or Desires

Listen carefully in conversations with the recipient to see if they reveal something they need or desire.  Often in conversation people mention an item they need but never got around to buying or an item they want.  This item makes the perfect gift. You can make a homemade gift that is comparable or complementary to an item they need or desire.

5. Learn Their Hobbies or Interest

Find out if the recipient has any hobbies. Many people collect items such as dolls or airplanes. Golf, chess, music, and reading are also popular hobbies.  For these enthusiasts, a new doll for their collection or a new chess set would be the perfect gift. You can create a homemade gift the recipient can use while doing a hobby/interest.

Homemade Gift Ideas

For the sake of time and brevity I have listed a few homemade gift ideas below along with resources to help you get started.  Each link will take you to a resource about how to make the homemade gift listed.

1.  Spa Gifts         

Who doesn’t like receiving spa gifts? Handcrafted soaps, bath teas, scrubs, bath bombs, butters, balms, and lotions are welcomed homemade gifts that anyone on your gifting list would enjoy.  You can cater the spa gift to the recipient by making the item using their favorite scent. You can even make a combination of different types of spa gifts and gift a spa basket.

My go-to resource for making spa gifts is The Handcrafter’s Companion. This eBook is an oldie but goodie in my gift-giving arsenal. I cut my teeth while creating spa gifts using this eBook. Jane Church does an excellent job of teaching the basics as well as covering more advanced tips and tricks for making spa-quality products to give to everyone on your list.

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2. Candles

Candles are just one of those household items that you can never get enough of. You can’t go wrong with giving a nice candle as a gift. I’ve never ventured into the world of candle making for myself or as gifts but know many people who have.

Fortunately, I have been the recipient of these wonderful aromatic creations on several occasions. And oh, what a treat it is. Particularly when the candle includes one or more of my favorite scents or are seasonal in nature. Think spiced pumpkin, peppermint, apple cider, or pine.


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3. Scrapbooks

Oh, the memories. The countless memories bouncing around in your head. Memories from the trip your family took to Disney World. And, from the countless holiday celebrations with your family and friends. Don’t forget about that time you and your friends took a last-minute getaway to Las Vegas. I’m sure you have pictures and other mementos from all the special occasions that you’ve shared with family and friends. Why not create a scrapbook?

My go-to resource for all things scrapbook is Scrapbook.com. This online store has everything you need to create a scrapbook including classes to teach you proper technique.

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4. Candy Bouquets

I’m not a big candy eater. I may have a couple of pieces a few times a year. Usually those are the times that candy is gifted to me. Because I don’t make a habit of eating candy, boy does it make me happy when I receive it as a gift. Particularly, if it’s one or all my favorite kinds.

Candy bouquets are one of my favorite ways to be gifted candy. They are aesthetically pleasing and there’s just something about pulling candy off the bouquet that brings me joy. I’ve even received candy bouquets that contained a combination of candy and some of my other favorite treats like fruit, tea bags, etc.

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5. Cards

Regardless of whether the card is homemade or store-bought, it’s standard to include a card with a gift. I like giving homemade cards because they’re fun to make and are perceived by the recipient as more thoughtful than store-bought cards.

My homemade cards normally include words of encouragement and acknowledgement, beautifully crafted decoupage, and embellishments. At times, I include sentimental photos. The options are endless. Even if the gift is store-brought, I often give a homemade card to make the gift more personalized. The responses that I’ve received to cards are priceless.

Card making sketches are my cheat sheets when I make homemade cards. I use them to get ideas and plan the creation of homemade cards. Over the years, 50 Card Making Sketches has come in handy.

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Homemade Gift Tools

1. Cricut Maker

Cricut makers are electric die-cutting machines that you can use to cut 100+ materials for your craft projects. If you enjoy doing craft projects or plan to make homemade gifts frequently, a Cricut maker is a great investment.

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2. Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer

At the push of a button, you can create thoughtful personalized gifts that mean the world to those special people in your life. Using the Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer, you can print personalized jewelry, toys, and so much more…



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3. LEVO – Herbal Oil and Butter Infusion Machine

You can easily create herbal infusions to give as homemade gifts with the LEVO Herbal Oil and Butter Infusion Machine. Infuse oils, butters, honey and more with the flavors and nutrients of herbs, fruits and other ingredients.

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No need to have a meltdown because you’ve run out of gift ideas. Homemade gifts are the perfect solution.

Homemade gifts are perceived to be more thoughtful, memorable, and personalized. They can be a cost-effective and budget friendly solution to your gift-giving dilemma.

Remember, it takes time and skill to create homemade gifts. Making homemade gifts can be inconvenient.

Consider the occasion, know the recipient and determine if the recipient has a wish list. Listening for needs or desires and learning the recipients’ hobbies or interests can help you choose the perfect homemade gift to create.

Spa products, candles, scrapbooks, candy bouquets and cards are great homemade gift ideas. Shorten your learning curve and save time by investing in resources that will help you create these gifts.

Cricut makers, the Glowforge Plus 3D Laser Printer and the Levo Herbal Oil and Butter Infusion Machine are tools of the trade and a great investment if you plan to frequently give homemade gifts.

Now that you’ve been introduced to the art of making homemade gifts, it’s time to get started.

We’d love to hear about your experiences creating homemade gifts in the comments.

Homemade Gifts A Beginner's Guide