When we decided to be more intentional about our gift-giving, my husband I made some big changes around Christmas. Rather than buying several gifts for our kids, we lowered the amount we got and even hand made some.
We extended the hand crafted goodness to our families, as well, and we were able to give thoughtful, useful gifts that happened to save us a lot of money.
There was a problem, though. While we were being super intentional (ok, from here on out, I’ll just say I, because I’m typically the one who comes up with ideas and my husband helps me follow through, thank goodness), it wasn’t very simple.
You see, I’d sit down and think about each person on our list, and think of gifts I could make for them. And then I’d get started and spend the weeks before Christmas in a mad rush to get it all done, wondering why I’d thought it would be a good idea to make everything by hand.
Clearly, I have superwoman issues.
Thankfully, last year, I got a clue. I love DIY gifts. LOVE them. But I was ready to simplify the process and keep everything as simple as possible. I found that by making things in batches for friends and family, I was able to spend a little bit of time for a lot of gifts. The results were delightful, handcrafted gifts that my family loved.
Here are the favorites:
1. Bar Soap
Homemade bar soap makes a great gift and I love to pair it with bath salts or lip balm (or both). The great thing about homemade soap is that even if you do just one small batch, like this recipe, you still get 16 high-end, giftable bars.
2. Bath salts
I never got what the big deal was about bath salts until I found some that I loved. Now I don’t take a bath without them. They’re super simple to make and can provide a large quantity of giftable salts for a very low cost. Try this yummy recipe.
3. Lip balm
Along with bath salts, lip balm is probably one of the easiest DIY gifts out there. Calling for just a few ingredients, you can whip up enough presents to cover everyone in one batch. Try this simple peppermint lip balm recipe, or kick it up a notch with this herbal lavender mint recipe.
Divide the balm among several 1/2 ounce tins.
4. Laundry detergent
Seriously. I did this a few years ago after my mom had mentioned that she loved my laundry detergent. It was a surprisingly big hit and I’m still being asked for more. I made up one batch of my laundry detergent and used a simple combination of lavender and wild orange essential oils.
5. Healing balm
This gift is a favorite as it has so many uses. Loved ones that I’ve given it to report using it on diaper rash, owies, tattoos, acne, bruises and more. For gift giving, I make one batch of this recipe and divide it among several 1 oz. metal tins.
6. Salted caramel sauce
Some of my favorite gifts to give are edible, including my homemade salted caramel sauce. I simply whip up a few batches of the recipe found here, divide it into some pretty jars, tie on some jute twine and it’s all good to go.
7. Simple syrup
I love giving simple syrup to my coffee-loving friends. Not only does lavender simple syrup taste delightful in coffee, but it’s great in cocktails, lemonade and even mixed in with yogurt. Use this recipe here and pour it into some lovely bottles like these.