Handmade Gifts and the Best Kind of Gifts

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Published on December 7, 2014

The Holidays are a very tough time of the year, especially for students. Many students, myself included, do not have disposable cash to spend on gifts for family and friends. However, there is a way to give a nice thoughtful gift to everyone on your holiday list without destroying your bank account, handmade gifts.

When most people hear “handmade gifts” they picture macaroni necklaces or lopsided vases that we all have made for our parents as children. However, you can make cute, professional looking gifts for a few dollars in supplies and a bit of research.

I have been making holidays gifts for most of my life. Last year I made everyone on my list a soy candle which I poured into an old tea cup. They were a huge hit. One pound of soy wax costs between $3 and $13 depending on where you get it from and one pound is enough to make about eight candles. The only other costs was wicks, which were about $4, essential oil for the scent which costs about $10, and teacups that cost about a dollar each at a thrift store. That means that the candles only cost around $4 each but the price per candle goes down the more that you make.

Candles sound hard to make, but they are actually quite easy. There are countless tutorials online to walk you step-by-step through it but basically you just melt the soy wax in a double boiler on your stove and then you pour the melted wax into a teacup with the wick. It is insanely simple, and the final product is really cute. Also it only took about an hour to make all the candles after I gathered all the materials.

The best part is that you can customize this project for everyone. If you want to make a candle for your golf-loving father, make the candle in a golf-themed mug, for your floral-loving grandmother, pour the wax into a beautiful floral teacup.

hand made gifts photo 1

Handmade soy candle

Another great gift idea is baked goods. Most people can’t resist the taste of a fresh baked cookie, and they are easy to make. If you want give something a bit more upscale, just pick a slightly fancier recipe. Last year I made adorable meringue cookies in the shape of mushrooms and they were visually appealing, as well as delicious.

Vanilla and chocolate meringue mushroom cookies

Vanilla and chocolate meringue mushroom cookies

Those are just two examples of the countless handmade gifts that you can make. The internet is filled with tutorials on how to make just about anything you can imagine, everything from hand-carved wooden kitchen spoons to a knit scarf. Some good sites to check out are instructables.com, pinterest.com, and craftster.org. However, if you just google “How to make (insert item here)” you can find instructions on many other sites.

A handmade gift is only a bad gift if you do not put in the time and effort required. They are much more meaningful than any plastic nicknack you could buy from a store, are completely customizable for the giftee, and are way cheaper than buying all of your gifts. I firmly believe that handmade gifts are the best gifts. Try to make some this year, and I am sure you’ll agree.