The holidays are nearly here! If that sentence has left you gasping for air and double-checking the calendar, sure that I am wrong, don’t worry: there’s still plenty of time to whip up something handmade for the loved ones on your list. In today’s How-Tuesday round-up, you’ll find a collection of 25 tutorials to help you create special, personalized gifts.
Time to fire up your oven! Homemade baked goods are a holiday classic. Make some cardamom sugar cookies, handmade chocolates, or spiced pumpkin seed brittle for those with a thriving sweet tooth. Make a big batch of granola to jar up for healthy crunchy friends (see below for jar ideas).
Dress up that little something-something in the finest of handmade attire. Try etching glass jars, make your own fiber baskets, or revamp an old cookie tin into a handy chalkboard container that will outlive that batch of cardamom cookies and serve as a useful item around the house.
Cups & Mugs
Once you’ve got a set of Pebeo paint pens made for glass or porcelain, the possibilities are endless (and pretty fast). Make a teacup and saucer for a coffee or tea aficionado, draw a handwriting paper motif mug for your favorite teacher, or make customized painted glassware or a cross-stitch-inspired mug for just about anyone on your list.
I love paper for many reasons — it’s incredibly versatile, affordable, easy to recycle and repurpose, and lends itself to experiments and quick projects. Make globe garlands from recycled maps for a faraway friend with a case of wanderlust. Fold up jewel-toned paper gems for a treasure chest effect. Print out and fold weekly planners for a list-making fiend, or make paper dolls for an imaginative kid.
Tools of the Trade
Why not make your artist, crafter, or designer friend a handy tool to support their practice and inspire fresh creativity? Make a recycled hanging notepad or mini matchbook sketchbook for notes and sketches. Create a custom bulletin board for a studio wall — just the thing for pinning up visual inspiration or even making a visual map of Etsy sales or contacts across the country. Using an old wool sweater, stitch up a laptop sweater cozy; you can also scale this pattern fit just about any device. For the crafty set, sew a skinny pincushion designed to nestle right up against a sewing machine, or try your hand at making a knitting mushroom, a classic knitting tool for making I-cords.
Shower a pet lover with quick gifts for their furry friends. Pay tribute to a precious pup with a silhouette tote bag, or whip up a handmade leash with your choice of cotton webbing and ribbon for a stylish trip to the dog park. Cat toys are a fun and quick gift. Try making a few pom-pom toys or a catnip stuffed mouse toy. Meow!
Happy handmade holidays to you and yours!
Julie Schneider is a Brooklyn-based artist, teacher and punster. When she's not working on Etsy's community team, she's writing, drawing and making cards and papercuts. Keep up with her latest creations on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.