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5 Practical Holiday Gifts You Can Make At Home

While 'coupon' books can be a thoughtful DIY gift during the holidays, it's not the most crafty or original gift. Think outside the box this holiday season and craft some wonderful gifts that friends and family are sure to appreciate. All of these ideas are easy to make at home, and if you don't have all the supplies or ingredients, your local grocery store or craft store will!

Cookie Kits

Cookie Kits

Desserts abound during the holidays, but rather than bring a plate of cookies, gift the ingredients in a beautiful way. Small mason jars make it easy to display the ingredients. After your favorite cookie ingredients (at least the dry ingredients) are added to the jar, you can finish the look off with a notecard detailing what wet ingredients need to be added, as well as quick step-by-step instructions and a ribbon!

Chalkboard Paint Ideas

Chalkboard Paints

Chalkboard paint... it's not just for making it easy for your kids to have some artistic fun. Chalkboard paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, and it makes the surface washable, too. Since it can be used on so many things, this is something you "need" around the house, especially when it comes to making some holiday gifts! For starters, try making a chalkboard cheese tray so all the cheese can be labeled when its served, or paint it on some reusable spice jars. Thinking of spring? Give a gardener in your life crafty garden markers that they can personalize themselves once planting season rolls around. The possibilities for making holiday gifts are endless!

DIY Candles


For a unique and charming candle, make your own. This delightful gift will be appreciated not only for how cute it'll look when you're done, but also for the cozy glow. To make this, follow the instructions on the bag of wax for heating, as well as adding the fragrance and/or dye. You'll also want to cut the wick so that it'll be about three inches taller than the top of the candle. For a full set of instructions, view them here. These candles not only make great holiday gifts, but also house-warming gifts as well.

Family Recipe Book

Recipe Books

The cooks in your life may have plenty of traditional cookbooks, but what about family recipes that only have handwritten versions? Make an incredibly unique and thoughtful gift by assembling a family recipe book. If you don't want to use the original—especially if you're making multiple family recipe books—start by color copying the recipes, and then adhering them to a black journal or moleskin. Further personalize the cookbook with photos of family meals enjoyed together.

Homemade Jam

Homemade Jam

For another gift in a jar, and something that can be made in bulk and then divvied out according to how many gifts/jars you have, make some jam or fruit preserves! There's plenty of jam recipes great for this time of year, and most are simple (fruit, lemon juice, and sugar). The key to all of them is simple: it just needs to boil long enough so it thickens and holds its shape. Once the jam is made and jarred, also consider the presentation, like this Martha Stewart holiday jam recipe does.

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not blogging about food, she's working part-time at a culinary vacation company, The International Kitchen, based in the Windy City, as well as repping Younique cosmetics and skincare products. Some of her writing can be found at

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