20 DIY Gift Ideas for the Holidays


DIY Christmas Gifts

I love giving DIY gifts and I love crafting. This time of year is my favorite because I get to live my best life DIY-ing and gift-giving! Does just looking at a craft store give you anxiety, though? Don’t worry, I’ve got 20 DIY gift ideas for the most important people on your list. From super simple and almost pre-made, to a little more difficult for those that are more crafty.

I have broken the ideas down into four different categories to make things a little easier: gifts from kids to a parent or grandparent, from kids to teachers/caregivers, from you to spouse or friends, and ornaments. So, grab the kids and start a new holiday tradition of crafting DIY gifts.

DIY Gift Ideas from Kids to Parents/Grandparents

  • Frame custom art- Have your kids draw pictures of their family members and pop them in a frame. If you have a younger child, cut out a Christmas tree stencil or other holiday picture and have your child paint or color all around it to make a cool picture.
  • Handprint or footprint art– There are so many choices out there for this craft and it is great for babies. I’ve even seen kits you can buy at the store to make it super easy! My favorite for this is a simple handprint on something that isn’t paper (think long-lasting). I want to always remember how tiny their little hands were.
  • Personalized photo frame- One of my favorite gifts I have displayed is a picture of my niece glued to a piece of wood she decorated herself. This is another one that is easy to tweak to your crafting level and child’s age. From gluing together popsicle sticks to painting a plain frame, there’s no wrong way to display a sweet picture of your kids (bonus if it is a picture of the kid and the recipient).
  • Personalized calendar- This is something that can go so many different ways! To make it a little more DIY, I recommend having your child draw pictures for each month and then take the pictures and have them scanned onto a computer so you can turn them into a calendar. Many online places are great for calendars, like Shutterfly or Walgreens.
  • Personalized gift tags- Not exactly a present, but great for littles. Just have them scribble, color, draw whatever and cut pieces out to put on gifts.

DIY Gift Ideas from Kids to Teacher/Caregiver

  • Personalized mug– The key to this is PERSONALIZED! There are so many “best teacher ever” mugs out there. Teachers don’t need more of those. I like buying plain ceramic mugs and using sharpie paint markers to make a design or have an older child write/color on it. Throw in a gift card or bag of coffee and then you’re done!
  • Painted tote bag– Teachers are always carrying all. the. things. Give them something to help them out. Use paint to make handprints or an abstract design.
  • School Supplies- Bundle up some dry erase markers, glue, Clorox wipes, or whatever they might need with some ribbon and have your child make a sweet card.
  • Online Printables- Here’s one for the not-too-crafty. There are so many cute, free printables online that can add a personal touch to anything you get. To make it a little more crafty, have your child color it or even have your child make the tags instead of printing them out.
  • Anything from your child- I think the main thing most teachers and caregivers want is something from the great kids they teach and love. Last year, I had my daughter make a card and I just taped a Target gift card to it with some sweet treats.

DIY Gift Ideas from You to a Spouse or Friends

  • 52 reasons why I love you– Grab a deck of cards, some construction paper, scissors, and markers and start thinking about all the reasons you love them! I made this for my husband when we were dating and I was broke college student. He still has the deck the cards.
  • Bouquet of stuff– Have someone who is really hard to shop for? Make them a “bouquet” of their favorite things. Candy, mini bottles of booze, snacks, gift cards, whatever they love. Tape them to bamboo skewers and put them in a jar or mug and done!
  • Bath bombs– This is great for tweens or teens too! Who doesn’t love getting something that helps them pamper themselves?
  • Recipe in a jar- Is there something you are known for making?  If it’s something that has a lot of dry ingredients, pre-measure them into a jar and attach a recipe card. If it isn’t something that can easily be put in a jar, print out a nice recipe card and attach it to something that you need to use to make the dish.
  • Crafting night out- Want someone else to come up with the idea and have everything ready? Plan a date night or girls night out at one of the many painting or craft studios around the city.


  • Salt dough– Make your own or buy a pre-packaged set. These are great of handprints, fingerprints, painting, using cookie cutters, basically whatever you can think of!
  • Clear globe ornaments- Again, so many choices for these! Fill them with fake snow, glitter, and small pinecones. Paint them (outside or inside). These are another great option for hand/footprints.
  • Cinnamon ornaments– Use cookie cutters to make shapes, let them dry and paint them or leave them as is.
  • Felt ornaments/Christmas tree– Are there little hands in your house that love grabbing ornaments? Cut out a tree and ornament shapes and have them decorate over and over again. (Pro tip: put Velcro on the ornaments to help them stick better)
  • Craft stores have SO MANY pre-packaged make your own ornaments. Buy a few different types and have fun coloring or painting.

I hope these 20 DIY gift ideas help spark your creatvity. Remember, none of these have to be perfect! Its not a fail if it’s something you and your child had fun making and loved giving. Have fun crafting this holiday season.

20 DIY gift ideas

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Born and raised in Milwaukee, and now live on the Tosa/Milwaukee border with my husband and daughter. Happily a "one and done" family just working my way through this crazy thing called motherhood. You'll find me adventuring around town with my daughter showing her all the fun stuff in the city. Lover of all things Milwaukee, soccer, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Disney. I'll probably never turn down a beer or a trip to the zoo!


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