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DIY Holiday Gift Giving

red and white homemade gift and candles in snow

I know. I know. You probably don’t want to be thinking of Christmas just yet. Neither do I. However as a crafter who makes many Christmas gifts for friends and family each year I have to start working on my list early. I should have started in June to be honest, but summer is a busy time for a librarian so I’m starting now.

Does anyone else get nervous about making gifts for others? We’ve all received those handmade items that didn’t quite tickle our fancy and I know I don’t want my nieces bemoaning all those weird things their Aunt Dana gave them for Christmas year after year when they just wanted a Barbie.

Here are a few tips for handmade gift-giving along with a list of books to get you started on your own handmade gift giving spree!

Just like regular gift giving, it’s the thought that counts. Think about the style of the person you’re planning a gift for. Have they mentioned an item you’ve made yourself that they love? What colors and textures do they like? For instance, you might not want to make a hat for someone who never wears hats.

If you’re making gifts for a big group of people consider making smaller gifts that can be done in an assembly line style. Maybe make everyone the same ornament personalizing them a bit for each person. You’ll get them done quickly and efficiently!

If you’re not an avid crafter don’t go crazy! If you just learned how to knit, don’t plan to make everyone you know a scarf. Stick with your comfort zone and maybe use some pre-made items that you can give a crafty touch. No one will be the wiser and you won’t end up hating the sight of knitting needles after a 12-hour knitting binge (not that I’ve done that or anything!).

Have fun! My favorite part of making handmade gifts is the joy I get from making them and seeing the delight on the faces of my friends and family when they open the gifts. It’s an extra bonus when I see them use the item later on.

If you aren’t quite ready to start thinking about Christmas gifts this list of books will work for your entire DIY gift giving needs throughout the year.

Cover of the book Handmade Gifts

Handmade Gifts

This is a great book for anyone who wants to get crafty without having to learn a new skill. This book contains more than 70 projects that run the gamut of crafts and also includes ideas for up-cycling.

Cover of the book Sew Gifts

Sew Gifts! : 25 Handmade Gift Ideas from Top Designers

For those in the sewing mood, this book has simple but useful designs that can be personalized for any style.

Cover of the book Meals in a Jar

Meals in a Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipes by Languille, Julie

If the culinary arts are more your style, Jar gifts are perfect for assembly line crafting! Add some cute tags and ribbon to decorate them for any holiday.

Cover of the book Project Teen: Handmade Gifts your Teen Will Love

Project Teen: Handmade Gifts Your Teen Will Actually Love: 21 Projects to Sew by Melissa Mortenson

Project Teen: handmade gifts your teen will actually love: 21 projects to sew by Mortenson, Melissa. Have a teen in your life? Try one of the 21 teen-approved projects from this book.

Cover of the book Knits to Give: 30 Knitted Gifts

Knits to Give: 30 Knitted Gifts Made with Love by Debbie Bliss

If knitting is more your style, check this book out. With 30 gifts for any occasion one will surely wow any recipient.

Cover of the book Crochet the Perfect Gift

Crochet the Perfect Gift : Designs Just Right for Giving and Ideas for Every Occasion by Kat Goldin

With Goldin's help and your own personalized touch, there's no end to the gorgeous, custom "present possibilities." Projects suitable for a range of abilities--even some that can be made in an evening for those last-minute "gift emergencies" --ensure it is as fun to make and give as it is to get...just as it should be.

Cover of the book Gifts for Kids to Make

Gifts for Kids to Make by Cheryl Owen

Want to get the kids involved? This book has simple crafts with easy to find supplies that kids will enjoy making and giving.

Cover of the book Ruby Star Wrapping

Ruby Star Wrapping : Creating Packaging to Reuse, Regive, and Relove by Melody Miller

And don’t forget about the outside of the gift! I love making the wrapping of my gifts just as creative as what is inside. For wrapping tips, check out Ruby Star Wrapping : Creating Packaging to Reuse, Regive, and Relove.

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