DIY Gifts for the Whole Family

By Ashley Wirgau on December, 22 2021
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Ashley Wirgau

Burnt out on holiday shopping but still have presents to buy? Join the club. By the third week of December most of us have had enough of the lists and the lines. Instead of running back out to wrap up those last-minute gifts, now is the time to roll up your sleeves and get to DIY-ing. Because if you haven’t checked the calendar lately – time is running out (and those lines just keep getting longer).

For the Adults on Your List


Christmas Card Holders

In need of something handmade and homey for the adults left on your Christmas list? Look no further than a sweet and simple Christmas card holder. Head down to your local hardware or big box store to purchase a piece of wooden lattice. You’ll want the section sized according to how much real estate the gift recipient has available. For a smaller space, try a three-foot section. For a larger home, you could go up to five or six feet in length. Some stores will even cut the piece for you if you don’t have the tools at home to handle the job, so be sure to ask. Now, all you need is a can of spray paint (try red, green or gold), a few small decorations like holly berries or pinecones to hot glue on the corners, and you’re done!

Crafty Cocktails

There is nothing like a perfectly-timed cocktail to lift holiday spirits. Whether it’s your in-laws, your neighbors, or the Secret Santa you were handed at work – most folks could use a drink by mid-December. A mason jar cocktail is just the ticket for a tasty present that’s sure to not be regifted. Zola provides step-by-step instructions on how to build these beverages for any occasion, though we suggest the Blissful Mary or a Mistletoe Mar-jar-ita to stay on-theme.

For those who abstain from adult beverages, mason jar kits can always house hot cocoa or spiced cider. For cocoa, include a packet of instant mix along with a handful of marshmallows and some chocolate shavings and attach a candy cane to the outside of the jar for a festive stirrer. If cider is more fitting, insert two cinnamon sticks and some dried orange or apple slices and accompany the jar with a small bottle of cider and a reusable copper straw.

Kid-Friendly Creations


One-of-a-Kind Toys

The internet is filled with ideas on DIY toys for littles, but if you don’t have a ton of time or energy, here are a few options you can make in a flash. For younger kids, mix up a batch of homemade playdough or fluffy slime partnered with fun mix-ins like sequins or beads in an accompanying baggy. For older children, construct a DIY lego table in just a few easy steps. Build a small table yourself or pick up a cheap one at a second-hand store, adhere square lego baseplates to the top, and you have a much less expensive version of Legos design.

Personalized Ornaments

We all remember sitting at sticky school desks as kiddos crafting beaded candy cane ornaments to give to our family and friends. So, what’s changed? Why don’t we pour our hearts into hands-on gifts like that anymore? This season, get back to that elementary school vibe by creating something beautiful for those you love and their indoor evergreens. Not sure the pipe cleaner candy cane is going to cut it? Don’t fret! Oprah’s folks have compiled a number of DIY eye-catching ornaments to whip up before that big holiday gathering. For the tiny ones on your list, be sure to personalize the ornament by including names. There are few things kiddos like more than seeing their name in print.

DIY Desserts

Gifting edible creations is a time-honored tradition, especially around the holidays. This December, throw on your baker’s hat and get to the kitchen. Bust out those go-to Christmas cut-outs and chocolate covered pretzels or mix up your grandmother’s peanut brittle or cranberry pie – any of these recipes are bound to leave those left on your list smiling and satiated. In search of something fresh and fun this year? Try these creative Christmas present brownies, a scrumptious fudge recipe, or an ever-popular (and adorable) selection of mason jar cookies.

Those left on your list will be delighted to receive a Christmas offering from the heart this year. Anyone can throw a pair of fuzzy socks and a back massager into a gift bag, but who wants to be just anybody around the holidays? Stand out as somebody who cares enough to craft a thoughtful token of generosity and love that will last the whole year…or in the case of a delectable DIY dessert, a whole fifteen minutes.