7 Homemade Gifts Your Friends Will Actually Want To Unwrap

Nothing says 'I love you' like something you’ve made with your own hands. I try hard to give handmade gifts for every occasion. In this busy world of iPhone and Netflix, taking the time to make something for someone you love can make us feel great and make them feel even better. Giving is truly better than receiving. Feliz Navidad!

MORE: 7 Ways To Add More Meaning To Your Holiday Tablescape

1. Personalized Brownies

Turn shared photos into meaningful treats your friends and family will love! Print downloaded Instagram images onto square brownies you bake from scratch (or from a mix, I won’t tell). Print them using your inkjet printer loaded with edible ink and printable wafer paper. 

Edible Ink, $39.99, Amazon.com

Rectangle Rice & Wafer Paper, $17.66, Amazon.com

2. Homemade Dulce de Leche

It is beyond easy to make your own homemade dulce de leche, so you have no excuse to deprive your friends and family. Boil a can of sweetened condensed milk for three hours on the stove. Completely submerge the can in water for all three hours. Open and voila! 

3. Homemade Shaving Cream

Sometimes the men in our lives are the hardest to shop for. Make a luxurious and soothing shaving cream using coconut oil, sweet almond oil and essential oils. I infused my batch with the manly, pine-y scent of rosemary. Here is my favorite recipe:

Shea Butter and Rosemary Shaving Cream

1/3 cup shea butter

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup jojoba or sweet almond oil

10 drops rosemary essential oil

3-5 drops peppermint essential oil

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the shea butter and coconut oil, stirring until they are just melting together. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Add in the jojoba oil and the essential oils. Stir to mix.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill until solid. Remove from the refrigerator and whip using a hand beater or a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon it into a jar with an air tight lid and store in a cool place. Give it to dad with a shaving brush and a shaver for the perfect Christmas gift!


4. Jar Lid Ornaments

Don’t throw away those jar lids! You can turn those into adorable holiday ornaments that your friends and family will love. Spray paint them a festive color (I chose gold), and cut photos to fit inside. Add a hole for the ribbon, and you are all set. 

Design Master Antique Gold Colortool Spray, $12.97, Amazon.com

5. Customized Plates

Give a fresh baked treat and a plate with a favorite family recipe printed on it. It's easy. Purchase an inkjet transfer paper for ceramics, print the recipe to the desired size, transfer the image to the plate, let it dry and spray with an acrylic top coat. This is not meant to be food safe, but it is a great idea for serving trays like this one.

Lazertran Waterslide Decal Paper, $20.89, Amazon.com

6. Homemade Sugar Scrub

Homemade salt scrubs are an easy gift that any bath lover will really appreciate. Use coconut oil, kosher salt and whatever essential oils you would like to add. Remember oils like Lavender relax you and ones like mint and ginger invigorate.


1/4 - 1/2 cup granulated sugar, depending on how course you like the texture

1/2 cup coconut oil 

About 1/2 teaspoon of whatever essential oils you would like (about 50 drops)

Food coloring (optional)


1. Combine all ingredients.  

2. Add a drop or two of food coloring to make the scrub look as good as it feels.

7. Personalized Candles

Create personalized candles. They are the perfect gift for mom, dad, grandma or grandpa, and they are oh so easy!


Pillar candle

Tissue paper 

Colorful markers

Wax paper

Blow dryer


1. Have the kids draw up a loving design using markers on tissue paper

2. Cut the design out., and it on top of the pillar candle. 

3. Place the wax paper on top of the design

4. Use a blow dryer set on low heat to heat up the wax paper. The wax will transfer to the candle and set the design