It’s Thanksgiving week already! Can you believe it? This fall has gone by so fast, and in many ways I am glad! I’m just 16 days away from graduation and it feels bittersweet. But I am so thankful and ready for some time off. I’m ready for some delicious food on Thursday. I’m ready for a few full weeks with my family at home. I’m ready for candles, Christmas decorating, and baking. I’m just so ready for it all!

But this blog isn’t about me. I thought I’d share with you some ideas for homemade gifts for the holidays. I can’t be the only one who is a little strapped for cash this season! So here I’ll show you 5 simple gift ideas that I’ve made that you can make too!

1. Handmade Journals

While I understand not everyone may have the opportunity to buy embossing materials (find my favorite Martha Stewart Crafts Heat Tool  and Powder brand), there are other ways you can decorate a journal for a friend. The first step is to find a journal! My favorites are these Moleskine journals, but you can use just about anything! Second, find a decorating medium. I love to emboss, but you could also use acrylic paint, or even glitter and glue. (Note: acrylic paint might not work as well on a shiny material) Third, decide on a design. I love to think of cute or inspiring quotes for mine. Consider decorating a journal with your home state or the symbol for your favorite team! Last, make a plan before you start. I like to lightly write in pencil on the journal before I begin so I can space things out evenly.

2. Homemade Jewelry

Making jewelry might be intimidating to you, but it’s really not very difficult! It does require a few tools, but nothing too expensive. What you’ll need for most simple pieces: The three classic jewelry tools (you can get by with this $6 set from Amazon), beads or pendant of your choosing, and some of the following parts, depending on what you plan on making: crimp beads, jump rings, earring hooks, head and eye pins, and clasps. These all can be found in a starter set here, but consider buying some chain as well if you’re making a necklace or bracelet. If anyone is interested, I’d love to write another post with basic instructions for jewelry making!

3. Wood Stained Signs

If you know anything about me, you know I love staining wood. Really, though, it’s not difficult! Find yourself a piece of wood, I often find unfinished pieces at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, and a favorite stain color. I personally love Minwax. You will likely only need a small container. I’ve been using the same stain for the last 2+ years. Anyways, secure your staining location with either a drop cloth or something else that will protect your surroundings and start staining. Use a paintbrush or a sponge. Whichever you use, make sure to have a cloth handy for soaking up the excess stain, or else the surface will remain sticky. After staining, decide on a design and go for it! Think of the person the gift is for and consider what they would love to receive. Do they have a favorite verse or quote? Are they getting married soon and joining names? Think of something creative and unique. I love to use acrylic paint or a paint pen for these projects. It will likely take several coats, so be patient!

4. Fabric Scarves

This was an extremely fun project for me a few years ago! I spent a good part of Christmas break making these fabric scarves for my friends. It was exciting to go to the store to pick out the fabric for each friend. I followed as close as I could to  this tutorial, but made a few changes based on preference.

5. Hug pillow

I made this pillow for John’s sister a few Christmases ago and she loved it! I don’t remember if I used a tutorial for it or not, but it doesn’t really need one. I simply cut two of my hand shape out of a solid fabric and hand sewed it onto some fun background fabric. I then sewed the front and back together inside out and flipped it inside out. I then stuffed it with Polyfill and hand sewed the opening shut. Super simple and super cute!

There you go! These are 5 simple (and cheap) handmade gifts you can make for your loved ones this holiday season! Let me know if you use any of these ideas and send me pictures 🙂

What are your favorite homemade gifts?

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