Homemade gifts are not only inexpensive to make but also more meaningful to give. You’ve spent extra time to make a gift specifically for that person and it shows. Also, homemade gifts are less likely to be re-gifted!

When I was younger, every Christmas, I would look forward to my neighbor’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, packed in a Folger’s coffee tin. But these weren’t just any chocolate chip cookies, they were the best chocolate chip cookies ever! And they went fast. Many years later, I can still remember her special homemade gift even though she has now passed on. Even now, I cannot find cookies that taste like hers, because she made it with love.

Create warm memories for your friends and family. Give a special homemade gift this Christmas!

1. Recipe Kit. Know someone who loves to bake? Why not make it easier for them to try a new recipe? Put together all of the dry ingredients, layered in a beautiful glass container. Then attach the recipe card, finished with a pretty bow.

And go beyond cookies. What about Apple Almond Gingerbread, Cinnamon Pancake Mix, or Rosemary Olive Oil? The possibilities are endless. Here are over 30 ideas to get your started.

2. Gift Basket. Gift baskets are easy to put together and are pretty awesome to receive as gifts. Start with a basket from a crafts store or even a plastic container from the dollar store. Pick a theme catered to the recipient. Then bundle things that go together in the theme.

Here are some examples:

For coffee lovers – reusable to-go coffee mug, porcelain coffee drip filter, gourmet coffee beans, and a box of biscottis.

For tea lovers – tea press, tea cup and saucer,a bag of loose leaf tea, and tea cookies

For sushi lovers – Japanese sushi tray, chopsticks, bento box, and sushi erasers

3. Baked Goods. You can’t really go wrong with baked goods. Whether it be shortbread cookies, zucchini bread, or fudgy brownies, baked goods can brighten anyone’s day. Just a tip, cookies stay fresh longer in tins. Try storing them coffee tins or cookie tins.

Here are a variety of recipes to get you started.

Also, try be conscious of any food allergies the recipient may have. There are many gluten-free/nut-free recipes you can find online.

4. Personalized item. Monogram or personalize a fleece blanket or pillowcase. Cut out letters from pieces of contrasting felt and sew onto a blanket. Or personalize a hardcover photo album by wrapping it in fabric and decorating it with the person’s name.

Not crafty? Buy a product with the person’s name or something that represents them. For my name, there is a brand of granola, a cookbook, and even a song. There’s so much out there. Be creative and the personal touch will be truly meaningful.

5. Photo Collage. Start with an acrylic box frame. Then gather photos. Photos over the years, showing a progression of time, make the biggest impact. Print or color copy the photos, then arrange in the acrylic box frame.

6. Photo Calendar. You can get these done easily and affordably at Walgreens, CVS, and Costco. If you have kids, photo calendars of your kids make the perfect gifts for your parents. For friends, you can put together photos through the years. Again, showing the progression of time is very powerful.

7. Homemade Bath Salts. Nothing says relaxation like a hot bath. Bath salts consist of sea salt, epsom salt, and essential oils. It’s all about the presentation so place them in a pretty jar or container. Be sure to list the ingredients, in case the recipient has allergies. Here is a recipe for lavender bath salts.

8. Recipe Book. Carry on your family’s legacy through food. Put together a collection of family recipes or your specialty recipes. Put recipes in a decorated binder or even make your own cookbook, which you can do online nowadays. Be sure to include recipe photos. A recipe book or cookbook makes a great gift for your older kids, siblings, family members, and friends.

9. Personal Gift Certificate. Give the gift of something precious… your time. Print your own gift certificates for babysitting, a home-cooked meal, music lesson, or something based on your own, unique skill set.

10. Mixed CD. Mixed CDs are making a comeback. With iTunes now, it makes it easier to create a custom CD for someone. Songs from a person’s younger years can really bring back memories, especially since these songs may no longer be played on the radio or heard anywhere else. The more obscure the favorite song is, the better, since it will make the CD more one-of-a-kind. And don’t forget to create a custom cover and CD label.

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