holiday crafting | special occasions

start now for a handmade christmas

This website may earn commissions from purchases made through links in this post.

Title: Bridget Jones's Diary.
Copyright: Universal Pictures 2001.
Quality: Original scanned image.
Photo credit: Alex Bailey.
Actors: Starring Renee Zelwegger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth. I’m sorry for mentioning the ‘C word’ so early in the year. After all, there are still 138 days until Christmas.

But if you’re thinking about giving handmade Christmas presents this year, now is the time to plan and start those handmade projects in order to get them finished for the big day (without any last minute late nights).

I’m foolishly planning on having a mostly handmade Christmas this year. Foolish considering my plate is so full at the moment and mostly because DH would just rather a Playstation game.

Here are a few tips on planning and making handmade Christmas gifts.

the right gift for the right person

The key to giving great gifts is to make sure the gift matches the likes and interests of the recipient. This may seem obvious, but it can be surprising how many people miss the boat on this one.

“I saw this and I just loved it. I had to get it for you!”

“Um, thank you. It’s…lovely…”

So take some time this month to think about the people you want to give gifts to, what their interests are and what they might like. Align the right gift with the right person, then give yourself plenty of time to make a gift a they will really appreciate.

Match gift ideas with your own skills and time

While it’s always great to learn new things and stretch your capabilities, if you haven’t knitted a stitch in your life, now might not be the time to make an elaborate reindeer jumper for your loved one (and maybe it’s never a good time to make a reindeer jumper for your loved one).

It’s also best for your sanity if your crafty ambitions don’t outstrip the time you have available. Remember, things always take longer than you plan. As a rule of thumb, double however long you think you need.

find Inspiration

There are thousands of awesome craft websites and blogs around the web – if you like crafting, it’s easy to get lost down the rabbit hole and spend more time ‘pinning’ (and if you haven’t caught the Pinterest bug yet, check it out) than crafting. Below are a few websites that collate great craft tutorials and projects in one place.

  • One Pretty Thing – this website posts daily craft round ups
  • Pinterest – A social bookmarking sight for pictures – lots of projects and ideas here
  • Craft Gawker – A photo gallery of craft projects and tutorials that can be browsed or searched.
  • Craftster – This website is actually a forum where people post their craft projects and tutorials.

You can also find some crafty gift ideas in the handmade section of this blog.

And for the person who has everything…

Hampers. I can’t tell you how much I think hampers make a great gift. Not cheap (or even expensive) pre-made ones from the store, but personalised, handmade hampers that reflect the tastes of the recipient.

You can find ideas for making up personalised hampers here.

And if you’ve found the perfect crafty gift but feel that a set of handmade coasters isn’t quite enough to give, put them in a hamper with a nice wine and some chocolates.

Are you planning a handmade Christmas this year?

Image from


Similar Posts


  1. This is my cue to get on and whip up my grandmother’s brandy soaked Christmas cake so that my Mum can take it home with her as part of her Christmas present when she visits next week. I’m thinking preserves and jams for friends this year, and I might pot up some herbs in terracotta pots as well. I am not at all crafty, so think I will stick to cooking and gardening!

  2. All adults at my Christmas table so we decided to not exchange gifts at Christmas. However, everyone gets to take home a goodie bag. There is always leftover food, so people pick and choose what they want and then there is an assortment of. their favourite treats (choc, chips, lollies) and something personal. For example my sister-in-law paints, so I put something in her bag like a paint brush/cheap palette/ little canvas. My son likes sudoko puzzles, so you get the idea. It’s sort of like a showbag. I buy the bags in the Christmas sales, for next year for about a dollar. I am a needleworker but there aren’t many people who are that thrilled about getting an embroidered whatever, so I am very careful who gets my home made gifts. They are usually Christmas decorations for a couple of friends and they are being worked on now.

    1. Thanks, the goodie bag with the personal touch is a nice idea. I also agree that you have to choose special people who will appreciate your embroidery.

  3. Very true about being careful who gets your needlework, Delphine. I am the same. This post was a good reminder to start looking at Christmas gifts. This year, I am making handkerchief sachets with crochet edge handkerchiefs for my mother, daughter and a friend. I always make everyone something for Christmas, even if it’s only an apron or an embroidered tea towel. I try to make something very useful so that even if the needlework leaves them cold, the article itself will be used. So far, so good!

    Absolutely love this blog!


    1. Thanks Diann. I like making or giving useful gifts too – better than something that will get forgotten or wasted.

  4. I just wanted to share this idea with you Melissa and your readers.

    Take on odd clean baby or toddler sock, these are never hard to come across 🙂 Fill it with dry lavender or coffee beans (best to use darker socks in case of moisture and colour run) or dry coconut, or whatever else works as a potpurri. Blanket stitch (or whatever stitch works for you) the top of the sock closed. Add a cute label. great for sock draws, in the car whatever. Looks very cute, can be repeated every year for the first 5 or 6 years. Before filling you may like to embroider with year, name of child etc.

    Personal, quick, easy, frugal and fun. Sorted 🙂

Comments are closed.