Published on November 24, 2017

It’s an unfortunate truth: knitting projects gone wrong and a proliferation of mason jar crafts have given homemade presents a bad rap, even if they are made with care. With the right DIY project, though, you can cross nearly everyone off your gift list in a way that they’ll seriously appreciate. Pretty presents like handmade soaps and candles, infused oils, and even crafted decor can help you gift in the most stylish and thoughtful way.

Not quite convinced? Test out our favorite DIY projects below and you’ll end up with a few impressive gifts on your hands—you might even be tempted to keep them for yourself.

Mood-Boosting Room Spray

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Photo courtesy of Hello Glow

When packaged in sleek, ultra-simple spray bottles, these essential oil-based sprays look totally elevated. Opt for lavender, bergamot, or chamomile depending on what kind of vibes you’d like to give your gift-ee—or give them a batch of all three!

Get the how-to on Hello Glow

Finger-Knit Hanging Plant Holder

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Photo by Lucy Schaeffer

For your friend who can’t seem to stop buying plants, a colorful plant holder makes a pretty and practical gift. Best of all: this one doesn’t require any knitting tools or serious crafting skills.

Get the how-to on Flax and Twine

Shell Candles

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Photo courtesy of Burkatron

When they’re made from seashells (extra points if you gather them yourself from the beach), tea lights feel extra-special. These ones are easy to make with just shells, wicks, and wax, and look perfectly fancy.

Get the how-to on Burkatron

Eucalyptus Soap

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Photo courtesy of Burkatron

Filled with fresh eucalyptus leaves and scented with eucalyptus essential oil, these clear soaps have a lovely, Scandinavian appeal. Bonus: the scent is positively invigorating, and will help your recipient start or end their day on the right foot.

Get the how-to on Burkatron

Arm Knit Chunky Vase

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Gifting a person a handmade sweater can be risky, depending on skin sensitivity, sizing, and style preferences. That’s why we recommend making a sweater for a vase, instead. Pair it with a fresh bouquet, and you’ve got the perfect gift.

Get the how-to on Flax and Twine

Essential Oil Candles

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Photo courtesy of Francois et Moi

If you’re looking for more of a crafting challenge, try making your own essential oil-based candle. It’s a bit more labor-intensive than other projects, but the final result looks totally professional—and you might even find yourself inspired to start your own side hustle!

Get the how-to on Francois et Moi

Paper Leather Tote

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Photo by Erin Francois for Sugar and Cloth

This customizable tote will stand out in a sea of standard black options. Over time, the paper leather will get a lovely patina that makes it look even nicer.

Get the how-to on Sugar and Cloth

Infused Olive Oil

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Photo courtesy of Gourmet Project

For your foodie friend, nothing makes a better bread-dipping situation than herbal-infused olive oil. Just make sure to put it together at least two weeks ahead of time, so they can enjoy the flavors immediately.

Get the how-to on Gourmet Project

Knot Pillow

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Photo by Erin Francois for Sugar and Cloth

Pick a bold color you know your recipient will love, and try your hand at making a super on-trend knot pillow. It will look totally cool on a bed or sofa, and it’s relatively easy to make, as long as you have a sewing machine.

Get the how-to at Sugar and Cloth.

Clay Ornaments

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Photo courtesy of Dream Green DIY

Ultra-simple, snowflake-stamped ornaments make a pretty keepsake—especially when they’re made by hand! They’re easy to make in a big batch, so everyone on your list can get one.

Get the how-to on Dream Green DIY

Homemade Soup Mixes

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Photo courtesy of Wholefully

Wintertime is, inarguably, soup season. Give the gift of warmth and a full belly by gifting soup mixes that are just as uncomplicated to assemble as they are to heat up.

Get the how-to on Wholefully

Salted Dark Caramel

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Photo courtesy by Melissa Coleman for The Faux Martha

Photo courtesy by Melissa Coleman for The Faux Martha

Instead of giving chocolate, peppermint bark, or any other expected holiday season treat, whip up this versatile salted caramel sauce. I makes the perfect final touch to a cup of cocoa, a batch of fresh cookies, or even a slice of cheesecake

Get the how-to on The Faux Martha

Retro Label Maker Glitter Ornaments

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Photo courtesy of A Bubbly Life

 

These ornaments have a sweet vintage appeal and won’t break your budget to make. Plus, you can customize the text on each one to make it just right for its recipient.

Get the how-to on A Bubbly Life

Whipped Peppermint Cream Hand Scrub

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Photo courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Dry winter hands have met their match, thanks to this exfoliating scrub. You likely already have most of its ingredients sitting in your pantry.

Get the how-to on A Beautiful Mess

Pinecone Firestarter Favors

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Photo courtesy of Something Turquoise

Give your friends and family the ultimate Yule Log experience with a festive firestarter. It’s perfectly handy for those with a fire pit or fireplace, but also smells amazing without any fire needed.

Get the how-to on Something Turquoise

More gift ideas:

Found: The Best Holiday Gifts Under $25

16 Surprising Gifts We Discovered at Target

Fun and Trendy Gifts Your Sister Will Love