7 Cheap Homemade Gifts

For Christmas, I decided to make most of my gifts. After doing it, I can’t imagine buying my gifts next year either. Some of these gifts take a lot of time and/or machinery, while some may only take a few minutes, but all worth while.

Birch Wood Candles

I think this is officially the weirdest thing I’ve ever ordered from Ebay, but I grabbed a box of 6 white birch logs, cut them with a radial arm saw, drilled a hole using a 1 1/2″ self feed drill bit in a drill press, polyurethaned the tops and put a simple tea light on top.

Birch Wood Coasters

Using a milter saw (and a little help from my stepdad), we cut these as thin as we possibly could without cutting off our fingers, then put a few coats of polyurethane to seal it.

Homemade birch wood coasters


I grabbed these frames from antique stores and Goodwills, took the backs off if it came with any, and painted the outsides. Some of them came with crappy backboards or wood so I ended up buying a monster 8’x4′ piece of hardboard, cutting it down to match the frames, and painting that with black chalkboard paint from Joann’s.

I kept the big one for myself.

It’s my idea board.

I gave away the medium sized boards, and may keep the small ones for parties or as mini quote boards around the house. I’d like to use them as food labels at a fancy party, if I ever have one.

Hand Sewn Bags

I bought one of those coffee bean bags at an antique store for $5, but if you can’t find a cheap one locally, there are plenty of places to buy them online. I made about 4 bags: 1 wine bottle carrier, 2 small purses like this below and a tote bag.  {Sorry, iPhone photos below}

Not quite the completed product, but you get the idea. Here’s a coffee bag/paisley style tote shopping bag. I sewed on a nice strap too.

Customized Onesies

My best friend just had a baby, so I went out to Montana to see them. Her babe was 7 weeks old at the time, so I decided to make some decoration on some onesies. The headband was made from cut pantyhose, felt and the paisley material.

Oh brother, how cute is that? I also made some leg warmers for her! It’s very simple: Just buy adult trouser socks, cut off the foot and hem the bottom. They work perfectly.

Here’s the other onesie thing I did.


I explained everything here, but this was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding gifts I’ve ever made.

cheap homemade soap

Sugar Scrub

I’ve explained this all here, but this was one of the many random gifts I made for people. So much fun! This is an easy win, especially if you’re not quite ready for the soap-making yet.

About Ande Truman

Ande has made mistakes in the kitchen since she could reach the countertop. From a restaurant head cook, to cooking meals for friends, to her own solo plate, experimenting & learning drives her. She’s also a freelance graphic & web designer, photo/videographer, guitar player and wanderlust-er. In her spare time, she works a full-time 8 to 5 cubicle job. She’s the creator of Broke & Healthy.

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  1. […] during the holidays and thereby lining the pockets of retailers, you might want to consider handcrafted presents this year. From baked goods and preserves to small articles of clothing and ornaments, there are […]

  2. I think you got a winner there with the chalk boards. And, the birch coasters.

  3. love it!! wish i was brave enough to use power tools. maybe someday. loll

    • It’s the most empowering thing ever! That’s what I get for growing up a tomboy with a basement full of tools at my disposal. It’s come in quite handy 🙂

  4. Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig fan of chalk boards!!!!!!!!! i always wanted to make some but i never found time 😛 Love it!!!!