Handmade Holiday gifts usually save money, but not time! Here are three types of holiday gifts that take around three months to finish. With a little planning ahead and some holiday scheduling, you can make the holidays more personal and homespun with these gifts.
This article is brief so you don’t get overwhelmed. We’ve included handmade holiday gifts that include fiber arts, carpentry, and herbal items.
Gifts that Take 3 Months for a Handmade Holiday
I’ve had some handmade holiday projects that take upwards of a year – weaving projects, for example. That doesn’t mean that I work on them intensely for eight hours a day; that just means that a year is how long it takes me to absent-mindedly poke at my project to get it done by Christmas.
The following handmade holiday ideas don’t take anything like a year – these are, at most, a several month commitment. Don’t get me wrong, these gifts will still require a good amount of creative work, but they’re certainly do-able.
The key is to pick the project that lines up with your skill level. If you don’t know anything about knitting or crocheting, skip the first section and choose something easier for you! You can set a goal to learn how to crochet in the coming year and expand your handmade holiday portfolio.
- If you LOVE a gorgeous challenge, here’s a free pattern for a peppermint throw and pillowhere’s a free pattern for a peppermint throw and pillow. It’s way out of my skill level, but it’s so pretty you could eat it.
- My daughter is much more skilled at crochet than I and can totally handle these cute snowmen dolls from Grace and Yarn.
- These simple candy canes and wreaths from Repeat Crafter Me would take me a full three months to make but they’re super cute and would make sweet ornaments.
If you don’t knit or crochet, but still want to do something fiber-related, I suggest you try a knitting loom, glove animals, or needle felting. Here are three older but still serviceable articles to help get you started:
Learn about knitting looms with this article: What is a Knitting Loom?
Have you ever heard of making stuffed toys from gloves and socks? Here’s our review of the book, Happy Gloves – it’s all you need to get started doing this craft.
Joybilee Farm has 14 Quick Felting Gifts for the Holidays for you to peruse, as well.
- Here are several scrap wood project ideas from Anika’s DIY Life. If you have 2 x 4 projects, you always have scraps. Don’t burn them; turn them into gifts!
- Turning For Profit is a woodturners happy place – here are some Christmas projects for you to try. Robin has lots of technique explanations and projects for all year round.
- Everyone is still in love with pallets, so here’s a simple idea from Six Clever Sisters. This Christmas sign on its own won’t take too long but if you decide you want to make several of them, you’ll want to leave enough time.
- These Rustic DIY Holiday Porch Signs are very easy to make but you do need to clean, sand, and paint the wood, so it’s best to get started now! Free templates are included to save time, though.
Tinctures, Extracts & Herby Things
- Elderberry tincture has become very popular lately and with good reason – – it’s such a help to the immune system! Here’s another version – elderberry syrup – which is slightly sweeter.
- Another common tonic to have on hand is Fire Cider. This is NOT a great gift for children (mine call it “devil spit”), but it would be well-received by elderly friends and college students to keep them healthy through the holiday season. Here’s how to make it from Practical Self Reliance.
- Something a little tastier to brew up is vanilla extract (another word for tincture). There are several different kinds of extract to make – vanilla, mint, and my favorite, chocolate mint.
- If you want to use fall-fresh herbs in these herbal wreaths, you’ll need to make them now and let them dry completely for the holidays.
Must Everything be Handmade?
Here’s a quote from our Holiday Planning for Homemade Gifts article:
Of course not! This is your holiday season and your list of handmade gift ideas – you do it your way! Most of us will need to purchase some amount of materials even for the most handmade of handmade gifts.
Handmade is more defined by that personal touch and the time it takes to create with your own two hands. The people who receive these gifts will know we love them and took special care with their hearts this year. As Aimee Bender has written,
“That’s the thing with handmade items. They still have the person’s mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone.”
Handmade gifts can be a very relative concept. Does a bag of home-grown oranges count as “handmade”? What about potted herbs? Items purchased in bulk that need only a few embellishments to be “gifty” – do those count? Of course, they do!
If you use the “12 Days of Christmas Doorbell Ditch” outline in our book The 12 Days of Christmas, you may want to start gathering those items, too. Some of them are handmade, and some are store bought.
Schedule Your Handmade Gifts
You can use the planning sheet that’s found in our article Holiday Planning for Handmade Gifts. Use it to brainstorm and decide what you will – and won’t!! – make by hand this year. The planning sheet includes four areas of focus:
- Make a List of Recipients
- Brainstorm Handmade Gift Ideas
- Make Assignments
- Add More Names/Semi-Handmade Ideas
Here are a few other handmade holiday links that might help: