Frugal Friday: Homemade Holiday Gifts

homemade gifts
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As we march further into the Holiday season and come off of last Friday’s shopping highs, I look around me and wonder how many people just might be marching further into debt too. If there’s anything that I dislike about the Holidays (aside from the stress), it’s the pressure and potential of going into debt. If you haven’t read this week’s earlier post on how to pull together a Holiday gift giving strategy, go ahead and read up on that now but there’s definitely something to be said about a homemade holiday.

Along with making sure that I have a solid gift giving strategy in place, I also tend to make several of the gifts that I give each year.  This not only presents an opportunity for customizing the gift to the recipient’s tastes, but it also tends to save me money.  Sometimes, lots of money.

I will insert my disclaimer here that making holiday gifts yourself isn’t free.  You still need to purchase supplies.  Depending on the project, you may find that you have some of these items already in your home.  Therefore, when deciding what items you will make to give as gifts, take into consideration the cost of the items that you’ll need as supplies.

Pinterest is full (FU-LLLLLLL) of Homemade Holiday gift ideas.  Essentially all of the gifts that I make and give have come from Pinterest in some way or another.  Therefore, I am not claiming originality or creator-ship of any of the ideas below.  If I alter my method at all I have noted it below but I am also linking you back to the original source of where I found the idea so that credit can be given where it is due.

I’ve pulled together some of my favorite items that I’ve made as homemade holiday gifts in years past.  I promise that none of these are difficult or time consuming because I neither have lots of time on my hand to devote to making gifts nor do I have any special crafting skills!

This post contains affiliate links. You purchasing any of these items may earn me a small commission to help keep the lights on, food on the table & wood in the fireplace but in no way costs you anything extra. I will never recommend anything that I do not use or would not use in the Frugal Farmhouse myself. 

Sharpie Marker Mugs

Y’all – this is seriously one of the easiest gifts that I’ve ever made and given and it’s totally customized to the person you’re gifting to.  It’s also uber inexpensive, which is a total bonus.  One thing that I learned (and is even called out as an update to the original post’s instructions) is to make sure you use oil based Sharpie markers. This is very important as regular Sharpie markers do not work for this project.  Oil based Sharpies are a little bit more expensive than regular Sharpies but not that much more.  I bought plain white mugs from the $1 store or even Walmart for about a dollar a piece.  Easy squeezy.  The only other costs would be the stickers or image that you want to outline around and sky is the limit on that one.  Another thing that I love about this gift is that it’s a really great one to get your kids involved in and have them help make one for a grandparent, aunt/uncle, teacher, or Dad!

Monogrammed Sharpie Mug | 25 DIY Gifts You Can Make in Under an Hour
image via

Manicure in a Jar

I made these for my girlfriends for Christmas last year.  SOOOO easy squeezy and the girls loved it!  I bought medium sized jars and a big bag of cotton balls from WalMart, travel sized bottles of nail polish, nail files, polish remover, manicure sticks, and foot lotion from a local beauty supply store.  Added ribbon and sparkly ornaments from the dollar store and finished! I don’t remember exactly how much I spent total but I know it was less than $50 for all supplies and I made a total of 5 jars.

manicure in a jar
image courtesy of Anne Le

Homemade Hot Chocolate

I actually made this and stuck it in my son’s Christmas Eve crate last year.  He loves hot chocolate and this gave him an extra little treat to look forward to.  I actually may end up making these and giving them to friends again this year as they are easy to make and very frugal.

This homemade hot chocolate mix is super creamy and SO delicious! Make a big batch for the winter or just a single serving, OR give it as a gift! |
image from Love Grows Wild

Christmas Jam

I’ve made and given this jam away as gifts for the last few years.  My family just expects it to be in their gift box!  It’s really delicious, really inexpensive, and really easy to make.  Plus, the tutorial includes the link to the cute printable label.  Win win!

P.S. That is exactly what my jam looks like when I gift it (I use the same label) so now my secret is out and I’m totally busted.  Sorry, Mom. . .I’m nothing if not utterly unoriginal.

This Christmas Jam is a simple sweet-tart jam made from strawberries and cranberries. Recipe includes a FREE label printable for gift giving!
image from A Family Feast

Cookies in a Jar

Yes, you may be noticing a theme here.  I like things that are food and things that come in jars.  When they are food and they come in jars, you’re almost talking dirty to me.  This is another easy squeezy gift idea that I gave away a couple of years ago and people loved it!  In fact, I had to hand out the actual recipe a couple of times because one friend wanted to make them again and another friend wanted to make some for her church group and give them away as gifts.

image from Cul de sac COOL

I absolutely love getting homemade gifts.  Love it!  I don’t yet have the kind of talent where I can knit or sew or crochet anything super special for people.  I just don’t think I possess that gene.  But, I can throw some ingredients in a jar, slap a cute label on it and jazzy it up a bit.  I can even wield some kitchen utensils and can up a yummy mason jar of something.  Either way, I’m putting a little bit of my heart and love into the gifts that I give and I’m definitely doing it in a way that doesn’t cause my wallet to cry a bit each time someone opens one of my gifts.

What’s your favorite Homemade Holiday item to give OR receive?  Share your favorites so I can try some new ones out!


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