Handmade Gift Ideas for the Holidays

December 14, 2017

With Hanukkah already underway and just 11 days to go until Christmas, you may be scrambling to figure out what to give your family, friends, and neighbors (oh, and don’t forget about your coworkers, too). Perhaps you’ve—gasp!—already reached your budget for holiday spending, and still have a few gifts to get. Never fear! The Dime is here to help.

Here are some ideas for easy, handmade gifts for $5 or less. Bonus: they won’t scream I-threw-this-together-last-minute-with-no-thought-or-effort-at-all.

For the cook in your crew:

From one of our staffers at The Dime:

My mom is an awesome baker. In fact, her desserts, cookies, and cakes are sought after regularly.

But, she doesn’t need yet another cookie sheet or cake pan. Nor does she have any use for fancy baking tools. Still, I’d love to give her something special that’ll speak to who she is and what she loves.

Her recipes, understandably, look terrible after years and years of use (and love). They’re stained, tattered, and crumbling away from overuse. Frankly, it’s kinda gross. So this year, I’m putting my handy-dandy crafting skills to use by taking my favorite recipe of hers to new heights with something like this:


From this (courtesy of my mom’s collection)    



To this! (courtesy of Savorer Voyager, which has lots of other cute DIY ideas as well) 

Of course, I wouldn’t dare get rid of the treasured hand-written recipe. Instead, I’m going to frame both of them, and create some useful and meaningful art for her kitchen. Tip: Pick up any ol’ frame at your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, and use paint to bring the frame to new life! If you’re not so great with drawing or lettering, look for some cute font and/or drawing tutorials online.

For the athlete in your life:

Shopping for athletes can be tricky. They probably already have the clothing and equipment they need, and if they do want something specific, most of the times the gear is pretty expensive. So, why not give them something else they’ll likely need that’s much more budget-friendly: a therapeutic and relaxing muscle soak. This is an easy project that’s easily customized, and the ingredients are super affordable (you may even have some or all of them already). 

Lavender mint bath soak for sore muscles:

1 cup epsom salt

1 cup baking soda

10 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops peppermint essential oil

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then slowly add the oils, stirring well. For some added flair, add a few tablespoons of chopped fresh lavender and/or mint to the mix. Pour the mixture into a cute jar (you can pick up a box of Ball mason jars at just about any grocery store), and voila!

This gift idea is also super handy to customize for a few different friends—just swap in different oils for different people. There are tons of ideas online for different blends of oils that work well together.

For the person who stumps you ever year:

We all know at least one of those people—the one who makes gift-giving impossible, either because he or she already has everything, or because he or she won’t give you a single glue as to what a good gift would be. Or maybe it’s a coworker who you don’t know very well, but don’t want to leave out either. Suffice it to say, these people are tricky.

One thing we probably all have in common these days is an abundance of cords for our electronics. So, here’s a cute and useful idea for a no-sew cord keeper that’s easy to make out of materials you may already have, or can buy fairly inexpensively at a craft store. For full instructions, click here for the cord taco roll, and here for the leather cord roll. 

cord roll.jpg taco cord roll.jpg