DIY Christmas Presents ~ Macaroni Made

Simple and quick last minute gifts you can make yourself

By Anna Hall, Hickory, NC Publisher Mom December 17, 2021

With only days until Christmas, if you're like me, you may not think you have enough time to take care of all the last minute preparations still left to do, let alone make your own Christmas presents.  But there are many simple and quick projects you can do over the weekend and give a more personal gift to someone special this year.  Many do-it-yourself gifts are also inexpensive to make and provide a craft activity to do with the kids.  Below are a few ideas to choose from.

Personalized Shopping Bag (pictured above)

submitted by Julie

I used a 40% off coupon to buy a three pack of canvas shopping bags (normal cost 7.99).  I used craft paint ($1 per bottle) to paint my children's feet brown and stamped their footprints onto the bag. Then I used a black fabric pen to draw antlers, white and black fabric paint for the eyes. and red fabric paint for the nose.  I spent about 8 dollars total for 3 gifts. 

Cookie Kit

Layer the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe in a mason jar.  Screw on the lid and use a pretty Christmas ribbon to tie on the recipe printed on a decorative note card.


Hot glue felt to the back of a 6in square tile (or collection of mosaic tiles) purchased at the home-improvement store to create a trivet for setting hot dishes on.

Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Let the kids decorate clear bulbs with paint or stuff them with various materials for a unique look.  Or consider making a snowman handprint ornament pictured here.

Memory Jar

Fill a decorated jar with a collection of photos and memories written out on decorative business card sized pieces of card stock (fold each in half before dropping in the jar).  Ask as many family members and friends to contribute their memories of a person to the jar; the recipient then draws a memory out of the jar daily for months to come to see what others treasure about them.

Personal Gift Certificates

Give the gift of your time or expertise.  Print personalized gift certificates offering your child an afternoon of fun (movie, bowling, museum visit, etc), babysitting your sister's kids, date night with your husband, etc.  If you have a skill or hobby, print certificates redeemable for free lessons or a free service you can provide. 

Photo calendar, book or DVD

Last year, my parents gave me a DVD with a slide show of my childhood photos with a musical background.  Consider making such for a family member, or perhaps a personalized calendar or book with pictures from years past, a trip taken together, etc.

Themed Gift Basket 

A movie themed one like pictured here contains popcorn tubs filled with microwaveable popcorn and candy (you can also include popcorn flavoring salt, movie coupons, etc).   Other themes that make great baskets include gardening (a tool, hat & seeds), cooking (utensils, spices, recipes), crafts and more.

Framed Photos

Put a photo or a collection of photos in a nice frame to give as a gift.  Or have the kids decorate a simple wooden frame to place a special photo into.

Baked Goods

Spend an afternoon baking treats with the kids, then present in a nice tin container or platter (many to choose from at your favorite dollar store) with or without the recipe for a delicious gift.

Custom Cookbook

Gather up all your favorite recipes and give the collection to someone that enjoys cooking.

Tie Died Tshirts

Kids love making these as much as the recipient will enjoy wearing it!

Have ideas not on the list?  Share them in the comments below!