Last-Minute Homemade Gift Ideas

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T-minus three shopping days until the big Christmas Saturday. If you’re not armed and ready with the best gifts for everyone on your list, here are some last-minute suggestions for easy, cheap gifts that you can make right at home.

Teacup Lights from Martha Stewart Crafts

1. Holiday Teacup Lights

How many of those fancy china teacups do you really use? Add a classy touch to your holiday with teacup lights. Give them as gifts to your co-workers or favorite party host. This project is especially great because it looks expensive but only requires a few materials, and is as easy as melting a couple of old candles. We would expect nothing less from Martha Stewart.

  • What you’ll need: nested pans, partially burned candles, candy or candle thermometer, tongs, new wicking, teacups, wick sustainers, wooden skewers
  • How to make it: Martha Stewart’s Crafts: Teacup Lights

2. Christmas Candy Wreath

While it may be a festive gift for a quickly expiring holiday, remember that you can substitute any candies in lieu of those stripped candy canes or marshmallow Santas. We love this idea for new homeowners or a couple celebrating their first holiday season together.

3. Tin Can Luminaries

We’re not sure how the chemistry works here, but the smell of a fresh pine or peppermint candle mixes so well with sugar cookies and eggnog. Instead of spending 20 bucks on store-bought holders, make your own tin can luminaries from those leftover cans of cranberry sauce from your most recent get-together. These festive candle-holders make amazing, personalized gifts.

4. Homemade Bath Salts

At-home spa treatments are always a go-to gift idea for the girlie girl on your list. This recipe is great because you can customize the salts to match the recipients own bathroom decor, or use red and green food coloring for the holiday feel. Make the bottling extra special by tacking on a satin ribbon.

Quick tip: While the salts can be used immediately, the perfumes or essential oils will actually blend better with the salt when given a few weeks to settle.

  • What you’ll need: mason jar or glass bottle, epsom salts, food coloring, ribbon or tie, perfume or essential oils (try lavender for calming or ylang ylang for gentle floral notes)
  • How to make it: Bath Salt Recipe by Sherri Osborn, About.com

5. Beautiful Wrapping Paper

Now that we’ve given you four easy crafts you can make at home, do your gift justice with the perfect wrapping. While some wrapping paper can be recycled (if it doesn’t have glitter, embedded ribbon, etc.), it’s even more thoughtful when your wrapping paper is recycled itself. At our holiday office party, we loved passing around gifts wrapped in creative materials like book pages, maps and old posters.

  • Suggestions: book pages, magazines, maps, book covers, posters, old fabric (jeans, T-shirts, leggings)

Related articles
Earth911′s 2010 Holiday Gift Guide
Holiday Crafts on a Budget
10 Items to Dress Up Your Dinner Party

  • http://www.carbonfund.org manvi hidalgo

    Great suggestions. I’m always a big fan of homemade gifts.

  • Donna

    Regarding #5: Vintage handkerchiefs, scarfs and table or
    kitchen linens make lovely, reusable gift wrappings. They can also
    serve as liners for simple bowls, tea cups, mugs, baskets and
    serving dishes filled with gifts or bags of homemade treats. I’ve
    found the cloths and containers in thrift, consignment and vintage
    stores. I’ve also used beautiful wallpaper remnants, pretty paper
    shopping bags (w/out logos or store names) and small cloth
    bags/purses for gift wrap.