Eight Homemade Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List

November 23, 2021
hot chocolate

You’ve made your list and checked it twice and now, it’s time to create the perfect gifts for your family, friends, and special people in your life. Opting for hand-crafted gifts allows for sentimental touches and customizable options. Get the whole family involved and create one-of-a-kind pieces for anyone on your list. Love the idea, but not sure where to start? We’ve gathered eight great DIY gifts that will enhance your gift-giving experience this holiday season.


For the Kitchen Lover 

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Kit
This delicious gift is great to make if you have children, because it’s easy to prepare. To assemble each hot cocoa kit, find mason jars from Michaels at Woodbury Town Center and fill them with powdered milk, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa, salt, chocolate chips, and crushed peppermint candy. It’s a sweet way to spread some cheer to your neighbors or say “thank you” to teachers. Find recipe details here.

Jam or Jelly
Fresh fruit, sugar, and lemon juice make preserves that are perfect to top your breakfast on early winter mornings. To make this tasty topping extra special for a loved one, find small jars and fun ribbons to decorate them with at Target at Irvine Spectrum Center. Discover a delicious DIY strawberry jam recipe here.

Vanilla Extract

This two-ingredient recipe takes almost no time to prepare, but a few weeks until it’s ready. To make your own vanilla extract, you’ll need glass jars or bottles, whole vanilla beans, and vodka (although any 80-proof alcohol will do). For every cup of liquid, use about five vanilla beans. First, cut the vanilla lengthwise, and remove the vanilla flakes from inside. Then, place them in a jar and cover with your alcohol. Store in a cool, dry place for four weeks or longer and you’ll have the most flavorful vanilla extract that anyone who loves to bake is sure to appreciate. This recipe is flexible, here is one approach.


For the Sentimentalist

Milestone Ornament
A homemade ornament is a great way to commemorate a special event or milestone that occurred during the year. Make your way to Hobby Lobby at The Market Place and find clear, empty bulb ornaments. Fill them halfway with decorative elements such as holographic ribbon, fake snow, or confetti, and then add memorabilia that the receiver will cherish for years to come. A photo from a special event, a tassel from graduation, or dried flowers from a ceremony are just a few ideas to get you started.

Custom Cross Stitch
This one is a little more involved for the maker, but the payoff is worth it. Cross stitching can be a relaxing hobby while you enjoy your favorite holiday movie, so why not share your skills with a loved one? If you’re not already equipped with the materials, Michaels has everything you need to get started. To give your cross stitch an extra thoughtful touch, create patterns depicting a favorite album cover, movie quote, or a distinct design you know the receiver will love. If you’re a doer but not a designer, Etsy has shops where you can custom-order patterns.

Ceramic Art Pieces
Visit Color Me Mine at The Market Place for a fun activity the whole family can enjoy! Paint a mug, plate, or custom keepsake and walk away with a unique ceramic art piece that can be gifted to someone special. Parents and grandparents will love the hand-painted pottery that is equal parts adorable and timelessly sentimental.


For the Homebody

Sugar Scrub

Make a mild exfoliant using ingredients you can find at Pavilions in the Orchard Hills Shopping Center. Use two parts oil (coconut oil gives off a nice fragrance) to one part granulated sugar. Add in a drop or two of your favorite essential oil, like peppermint or lavender, to give the scrub a refreshing scent. You can gift a jar of sugar scrub on its own or pair it with other bath and beauty essentials as part of a set. Find more details on ingredients here.

Make a Blanket
You don’t need to know how to sew to create a custom blanket for the person on your list who loves to curl up on the couch. Choose a unique fleece fabric at Hobby Lobby, grab a pair of scissors, and get cozy! Instructions can be found here and the best news is, you can create this personalized gift in just 30 minutes.


There are so many places in Irvine to shop for the materials needed to make unique gifts at home in the Villages of Irvine. Your family will love creating memories this season, and you’ll have unique gifts for your friends and family to equally enjoy. Learn more about living in Irvine here.


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