21 DIY Gift Ideas For The Holidays

by Dacy Knight

A lot of pressure comes with gift giving, but one of the easiest ways to avoid being cliché or redundant this holiday season is by upgrading your presents with a crafty, personal touch. This roundup of DIY gift ideas includes superior alternatives to store-bought selections that promise to be items your friends and family will actually want to keep.

Hearing "DIY gifts" might set off warning bells in your head, alerting to terrible handcrafted experiments of yesteryear. But trust me, DIY doesn't have to mean macaroni picture frames, shapeless knitted accessories, or ceramics festooned with puffy paint doodles. Save the adorably dilettante attempts for your grade school nephews, and commit to crafting presents your adult self can be proud of. Anything you dare give to a loved one this season should at least be worthy of a repin on Pinterest. If executed with taste and savvy, homemade projects will look better than their store-bought equivalents, and certainly mean a lot more to the people receiving them.

While the DIY route might seem like a tremendous undertaking — especially when the final products are to be gifting-worthy — the projects that follow span a range of skill levels, and their tutorials will walk you through, step by step.

1. Leather Notebook

No friend will fret about receiving another journal when they open this beautiful bound leather notebook. You can personalize the cover so it really speaks to the lucky individual receiving it.

Tutorial: Vintage Revivals

2. Hanging Planter

Spruce up your friend's apartment with this minimalistic hanging planter. If they don't possess a green thumb, the indoor plant holder is perfect for showcasing on-trend succulents.

Tutorial: The Merry Thought

3. Stylish Circle Frames

Give a picture frame they'll actually want to hang. These original beauties are made out of mirrors wrapped with leather belts.

Tutorial: A Beautiful Mess

4. Marbled Clay Ring Dish

These pretty dishes make for the perfect catch-all for jewelry or trinkets. An instant facelift to any nightstand or vanity.

Tutorial: Swiish

5. Leather Tote

It's hard to believe that four simple steps will craft you this sleek, minimalist tote. Once you've completed the last stitch, it might be hard to give away.

Tutorial: Delia Creates

6. Wine Glass Stakes

A must-have accessory for the picnicker. These handmade copper stakes allow the wine lovers in your life to keep it classy, even in the great outdoors.

Tutorial: Julie Blanner

7. Speckled Mugs

Everyone loves their cup of morning joe. Your favorite coffee drinkers will love it even more when sipping from these faux clay-bottomed mugs.

Tutorial: The Merry Thought

8. Leather Luggage Tags

This personalized leather luggage tag is the ultimate gift for the jetsetter in your life. They won't be able to wait to take their next trip with this lovely addition to their valise.

Tutorial: Vintage Revivals

9. Papercut Album

There's only so much that's socially acceptable to post on Instagram. Give your BFF something pretty and personalized to store all your crazier memories.

Tutorial: Now That's Pretty

10. Ombre Candles

Store-bought candles may be one of the most played out holiday gifts, but these handcrafted teacup tea lights, that can be gifted in batches for an ombre effect, are in an entirely different category.

Tutorial: Miss Renaissance

11. Marbled Clay Pendant Necklaces

You don't need to drop a whole paycheck on a gorgeous jewelry piece for a loved one. These stunning pendant necklaces are the perfect accent to any outfit, and will quickly become your friend's favorite jewelry staple.

Tutorial: A Beautiful Mess

12. Brass Geometric Himelli Hearts

These brass decorative fixtures will add flare to the dullest of walls as original accent pieces.

Tutorial: Vintage Revivals

13. Perfume

While everyone is receiving boxed department store fragrance gift sets ad nauseam, you'll be a saving grace with these unique homemade perfumes blending notes like cedar, juniper, and grapefruit. You can personalize each batch to the recipient for an extra exclusive experience.

Tutorial: The Merry Thought

14. Jewelry Display

This rustic jewelry display will add an outdoorsy touch to any apartment, showcasing your friend's favorite pieces in a decorative way.

Tutorial: Miss Renaissance

15. Pom Pom Blanket

Everyone will be in need of an extra something to cozy up with this season. This adorable pom pom throw is a playful addition to their bed or sofa.

Tutorial: A Beautiful Mess

16. Lemon Mint Sugar Scrub

Convince a much deserving friend to treat herself to a spa day with this zesty homemade scrub.

Tutorial: Julie Blanner

17. Leather & Flannel Snap Scarf

Cold weather accessories are a no-brainer go-to gift during the holidays, but this handcrafted snap scarf is in a league of its own.

Tutorial: Delia Creates

18. Leather & Fabric Clutch

This pastel accessory is a stylish little number for your chicest friend.

Tutorial: Vitamini Handmade

19. Cutting Board Clock

The innovative cutting board turned clock will make for a funky addition to your friend's kitchen wall.

Tutorial: A Beautiful Mess

20. Simple Jute Twine Crocheted Coasters

For the hostess with the mostess, these crocheted coasters will make a lovely addition to their coffee table the next time they have you over for drinks.

Tutorial: Delia Creates

21. Gold Leaf Succulent Pots

Up your friend's succulent game, and add some color to their home with these attractive gilded pots.

Tutorial: Miss Renaissance

Images: Miss Renaissance (3), Vintage Revivals (3), The Merry Thought (3), A Beautiful Mess (4), Swiish, Delia Creates (3), Julie Blanner (2), Now That's Pretty, Vitamini Handmade