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17 DIY Christmas Gift Ideas You Can Complete in Less Than an Afternoon

DIY Christmas Gift Ideas

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If you’re struggling with what to give as a gift this holiday season, you’re not alone. When it comes to Christmas, it can be tricky to wade through the millions of products available online—especially when buying them can feel so impersonal. But, there is a solution! DIY Christmas gifts offer you the chance to craft your own personalized present for the special person in your life.

Thanks to sites like Pinterest, there’s no shortage of handmade gift ideas that will appeal to many different skill levels. This makes it easier than ever to find the tutorial or recipe you need to begin and finish the project at hand.

To get you started in your search, we’ve found a bevy of DIY Christmas gift ideas. Some require just a couple of supplies, but they are priceless in how thoughtful they are. Do you know someone that loves to bake? With just a vanilla bean, some vodka, and a glass bottle, you can make them a batch of homemade vanilla extract. And for the friend that swoons over terrariums (but can never get the supplies to make one), give them your own version of a “terrarium” kit to get their new year started with new plants.

Check out our selection of DIY Christmas gifts, below, and the places online where you can learn to make them, step by step.

Want to go the handmade route this Christmas? Here are 17 DIY Christmas gifts you can make in an afternoon or less.


Sugar Scrub in a Decorative Jar

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There are many sugar scrub recipes available online, which makes it easy to tailor the scent to your recipient. Make your own label for an extra-special touch.


Scratch-Off Map

Give your travel-loving friend something to commemorate every journey they take. This video DIY by Sea Lemon demonstrates three ways to make this map.


Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract takes just a couple of ingredients (as seen in this video). Try making it in large batches and divvy it up into smaller gifts for many people.


Handmade Journal

Use the book-binding technique of your choice to create a keepsake journal. Don't have those skills? Here's how to make one from scrapbook paper and staples.



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To complete this DIY, gather a few festive miniatures and some other easy-to-find ingredients. Place them in a clear mason jar, and you'll soon have a homemade snow globe that's perfect for the holiday season.


Animal Memo Holders

Gift a quirky-yet-professional addition to someone's desk when you transform an everyday plastic animal into a gold memo holder.


Personalized Ceramics with Paint Markers

DIY Christmas Gifts

Photo: Sara Barnes / My Modern Met

You can decorate ceramics—no kiln necessary! Simply grab an oil-based Sharpie marker a set your oven to 250 degrees. Draw your design and let the heat take care of the rest.


Terrarium Kit

A terrarium kit has a ton of creative possibilities. You'll want to include small stones, charcoal, and potting soil, but beyond that, it's up to you. Wit & Whistle has more tips for creating this DIY gift.


Ring Dish Made of Air-Dry Clay

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This is another DIY with many design options. Once you fashion the dish out of air-dry clay, you can paint it however you like. A Beautiful Mess even shows you how to marble the clay for a cool surface effect.


Next: More DIY options for holiday gifts.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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