Maybe you’re on a budget or maybe you just want to put a little extra effort into a handmade gift. Either way, if you’re up for the challenge, skip the crowded shopping centres and try these thoughtful, do-it-yourself gifts instead.
Millennium Falcon Purse
You’ll need some sewing skills (and a lot of leather) to pull off this project, but if you’re up for it, this glorious Millennium Falcon purse is the perfect gift for a Star Wars fan. It requires some craftsmanship and quite a few supplies. It also looks pretty time-consuming, so if you’re going to attempt this DIY project, you should probably start now to finish before the holidays.
Secret Compartment Shelf
In the above video, YouTuber Grant Thompson shows you how to build a “Stealth Shelf“, which is basically a secret shelf where you can store your cash, precious jewels, pristine Beanie Baby collection or whatever other valuables you’re hoarding. The shelf itself is made of crown moulding, and you’ll also need access to woodworking tools. It’s a complicated project that will probably take you a weekend, but it makes for a fun, handmade gift for someone on your list.
A Fun Toy for Your Best Friend
If your dog is on your holiday list, this DIY dog toy is the perfect handmade gift. It’s basically made out of scrap wood, a metal pole and three empty bottles (well, you’ll fill them with dry dog food later). The video tutorial shows you how to make it from start to finish. Toss in the treats and you’ll keep your dog busy for hours.
A Secret Book for Stashing Valuables
OK, if a Stealth Shelf is a bit much, here’s a simpler option: A book with a secret stash. Find a thick, old book you’re willing to turn into an arts and crafts project, and from there, you’ll cut into it with an X-Acto knife or a box cutter. Obviously, you want to be careful with this project but Hannah Margaret Allen at Over at Food52 shows you exactly how to do it in the above video.
Wooden Beer Carrier
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a beer lover, don’t just get them another craft brew — think outside the box (er, bottle). This wooden beer caddie is a useful gift that also looks great. You’ll need some power tools for this one, along with a hardwood board, nails, wood glue, sandpaper and mineral oil to finish. It isn’t complete without the wall mounted bottle opener, either. This tutorial at Instructables guides you through the process from start to finish.
Make everyone on your list happy with the best gift of all: Booze.
Infuse your own fancy Italian Liqueur — it sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. As our own Claire Lower explains, it’s basically just throwing plant parts into alcohol and giving it time to infuse. Fill a jar with some herbs and aromatics, like lemon and cardamom, then add some strong booze. You’ll need it to sit for at least a week (a month if you want it weaker), so plan accordingly.
Poster Print Frames
If you like the idea of a handmade gift but you’re not exactly crafty, this is the project for you. You’ll work with two or four pieces of lattice, depending on whether you want to frame your entire print or just the top of it. Just make sure the lattice is cut 5cm wider on each side than your poster. From there, you’ll fasten it all together with some small screws, washers and bolts. Oleander and Palm includes the full tutorial for you.
Give the gift of handmade art with this statement abstract canvas. This website walks you through the whole thing, but you only need a few supplies: Black acrylic paint, a large brush and a big canvas. With the canvas upside down, you’ll make broad strokes and your brush should be almost dry to give it that abstract, feathery look.