inexpensive gifts
18 October 2021 (updated)

14 Homemade Gift Ideas for Friends and Family

Homemade gifts are a great way to let someone know you care about them without going over-budget!

Homemade Gift Ideas: Getting the Most Bang For Your Buck

Last year, the average American spent close to $1,000 on Christmas gifts alone. But this year, how can we make the most of what we have at home? Sometimes, a well-thought-out handmade gift can be so much more meaningful than anything you could buy from the store. We've all had our fair share of Pinterest fails, so check out these fun and easy ideas for homemade gifts that will be a total win!

Homemade Gift Boxes for Friends and Family

Subscription boxes are cool, but they can often be over-priced.  By packing your own themed present, you can make a fun and unique gift that you can't get anywhere else. Here are some ideas to make your own homemade gift box.

1. Homemade Self-Care Box for Women

We could all use a little de-stressing these days. That's why a wellness box is a perfect gift for a mom, sister, or any person who needs a little "me-time." Put in bath salts or other fun bath items! You could make your own bath bombs, shower melts, soap, candles, a sugar scrub, essential oils, and maybe even some delicious chocolates!

2. Let's Go to the Movies (Well...Let's Just Stay Home)

While most people stream their movies through a service these days, it can be fun to recreate the movie theater experience. You could popcorn, chips, their favorite drinks, candy, and napkins! You could even give great movie recommendations from Netflix. This is a low-budget yet very creative homemade gift for your best friend, brother, or even a co-worker.

3. A Personalized Box

Make a box or basket of things that the recipient loves. Whether it's food, candles, drinks, or even just warm and fuzzy socks in their favorite colors, they're sure to appreciate the personalized touch. Design or decorate the box with fun wrapping, a cute bow, or crinkly paper!

Homemade Gift Boxes for the Chef

I think homemade food from the kitchen tastes better than most things you can buy from the store. And the great thing is that they're last-minute gifts. So if you're under a time crunch, cookies, treats, or baking mixes are a perfect idea!

4. Make Your Own Baking Mixture

Who doesn't love delicious baked treats fresh out of the oven? With a little money and effort, you can make your own baking mixes and give them away in a nice mason jar or mug. Hot cocoa, sugar cookies, soup, and granola mixtures are all great gift ideas. 

5. Homemade Jam and Spreads

A tried-and-true gift from the kitchen is the homemade jam. Making your own jelly or jam is a great way to use up overripe fruit or make the most of a massive herb garden. Try making jelly, hummus, pesto, or spread. This homemade apple butter is always a hit, and really easy to make!

Crockpot Apple Butter

A yummy spread perfect for bread, muffins, or crackers!

0 from 0 votes


30 mins


12 hrs


12 hrs






20 people


30.0 kcal


  • 6.5 lbs apples peeled, cored, sliced


    apples peeled, cored, sliced

    peeled, cored, sliced

  • 1


    granulated sugar

  • 1


    light brown sugar


  • 1/2



  • 1



  • 1/4


    ground cloves

  • 1/4



  • 1


    vanilla extract


  • Crockpot Apple Butter

    1. Add apples.

      Place the apples in a crockpot.

    2. Mix and Pour.

      In a medium bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg cloves, and salt. Pour the mixture over the apples and mix.

    3. Cook.

      Cook on low for about 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and dark brown.

    4. Uncover and cook.

      Uncover, stir in vanilla and continue cooking uncovered on low for about 2 hours.

    5. Puree.

      Use a blender to puree the mixture until smooth.

    6. Divide, cover, and store.

      Spoon the mixture into sterile containers, cover, and refrigerate until ready for gifting! It can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks or frozen.



30.0 kcal


7.5 g


170.0 mg


0.2 g

Serving Amount:


Serving Unit:



6.0 g

Vitamin B:


6. Homemade Herbal Oils

Herbal oils can be a great way to spice up a recipe. All you need is a bottle of oil, a few of your favorite herbs, chili, and garlic. Pour the oil over the dry herbs and spices in a nice bottle and let it rest for a few weeks. Then, the herbal oil is ready to season all their favorite dishes! You could even create a unique set of spice blends, perfect for a quick and easy dinner!

Photo Gifts for Friends and Family

Most of us take photos every day with our smartphones-- and often they become lost in the camera roll. Sometimes, having pictures printed and placed in a special spot can make your living space or work area a little bit more personalized and cozy.

7. Hometown Coasters

For some of us, there's something about the holidays that makes us think about the places we love most, and the people who live there. That's why these DIY map coasters are the perfect gift for someone who loves their city. For this craft, cut the map into 4 even squares. Use Mod Podge to attach the map squares to tiles, making sure they are secured around the edges and without wrinkles. Add another layer of glue on top of the map. Let it dry completely, then spray with an acrylic sealant. Cut some felt backing and hot glue it to the bottom of the tiles. Once they've completely dried, tie them together in a stack with a fun ribbon!

8. Make a Photo Frame

Photos capture special moments in life. Whether it's your grandmother's birthday, your child's first day back to school, or your last vacation. Having the photo physically printed can make all the difference because you can see it without being sorting through your iPhone or Laptop. I used to collect shells from the beach and glue them to a frame to commemorate a fun beach memory with my family or friends.

9. Compile Photo Books

There are different ways to design photo books. You can either upload your pictures to a special printing service, arrange them, and wait for the printed book to come to your door. Of course, you can also do this offline and create a scrapbook. This can take a little more time, but it adds a personal touch!

10. Arrange a Photo Calendar

Photo calendars are especially popular as Christmas gifts. Just choose your favorite photo from a specific month and glue it to the month of next year's calendar. You can also add some stickers, postcards, or Washi tape to it. You can also order a custom calendar from a website!

The Best Things in Life Are Free - DIY Gifts for Friends and Family

The Best Things in Life Are Free - DIY Gift for Friends and Family

11. Write Them Some Poetry

Spending no money? Always a win. If you're the artsy type, try a self-written poem! A poem expresses thoughts and feelings that we don't always express in the day-to-day. You could even just write a kind letter, telling the recipient what their friendship or relationship means to you.

12. Write a Song

If you are musically talented, you can write a song. A "mixtape" of songs (or a playlist) that reminds you of them can be a fun way to bring back fun memories together or make them feel loved.

Other Ideas for Homemade Gifts:

13. DIY Decorated Mug

A plain mug decorated with a personalized design or monogram is the perfect way to make someone feel special. Use Sharpie paint markers for your design, then bake it at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes to set the paint. Fill it with their favorite candy or a hot cocoa mix!

14. String Art

In college, my roommate had a string art picture of her home state, with a heart where her hometown is. This is such a cute idea, and it will add a homemade touch to any room. For this, you take a slab of wood and hammer nails as the image's outline. Then, take a string and attach it to a nail, and string them across to diagonal nails to fill in the center.

15. No-Sew Fleece Blanket:

While knitting and crocheting can be a relaxing hobby, sometimes you need something a little less complicated. My friends and I used to make these together, and they're just so easy! You're using knots to tie down all the edges of the blanket with fringe, so no sewing is required!

Happy Homemade Gift-Making!

What has been your favorite homemade gift you've made or recieved? Share sweet memories about your favorite gifts with the ones you love on FamilyApp.

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