Hot Cocoa Mix
Homemade hot cocoa mix is the perfect antidote to cold winter days and nights. Simply add its main ingredients to the grocery shopping list: cocoa, sugar, and powdered milk. You can even give it a kick with cinnamon, espresso, or cayenne. Layer them in a mason jar, and share the sweet love.
Wish your loved ones a truly warm holiday with easy-to-make hand warmers. Stitch a pocket in a piece of felt, and fill it with rice, dry beans, or feed corn before closing. Repeat to make a pair, and package with heating instructions before slipping them into those stockings.
This winter, how about giving the gift of good taste? Mix up a big batch of your favorite spice rubs, and package it in small tins or jars. Don't forget to attach a label to each with ingredients and instructions so the recipient can remake the mix even after they’ve enjoyed the last of it.
Stuff stockings with a patterned set of magnetic clothespins—they'll add cheer to any organization, be it on the kitchen fridge or an office filing cabinet. Just personalize some with paint, fabric, or colorful tape like these shared at Sweet Tidings.
This winter, save your friends from chapped lips with the gift of lip balm. It's as easy to make as melting beeswax on the stovetop. Start with a recipe like this one from blogger Lia Griffith, and add essential oils for scent or pigment for color as desired. Then fill a lip balm tube (which can be purchased online) or a small tin repurposed for the job.
Hot Cup Sleeve
The hunt is over for gift that's both pretty and practical: a reusable cup holder. You can knit your own using a tutorial from Setting for Four. For the daily coffee drinker, it’s also likely to be the stocking stuffer that gets the most use all year.
Mini Picture Frame
Why not pick a gift that triggers a little nostalgia? Nothing does that better than a small photo reminder of a special time you and the recipient shared. Personalize a basic frame from the dollar store with stickers, felt, or—if you're feeling crafty—rolled rounds of magazine paper.
Cookie Cutter Candles
Candles shaped with cookie-cutter are as easy to make as they are to drop in a stocking! Just punch a shape 4-5 times out of colored sheets of wax, stack the cut-outs with a long wick in the middle of the pile, and press firmly together. Roll any scrap into taper candles, as seen on Paint Cut Paste.
Taking part in an adult gift exchange? Pack a DIY wine stopper into the stocking of your favorite wine connoisseur. To make, use a super glue to adhere the flat bottom of a drawer pull or geode (like this example at For the Makers) to a cork. Use a rubber band to hold together during dry time, then unwrap before you gift it.
Share the fruits of your harvest labor by packaging up seeds from your garden’s best plants and flowers. You can find many variations on seed packets on Etsy, or stamp paper envelopes with your own design. It’s a small and simple gift, but will keep on giving for years and years to come.
For more on creating a DIY holiday, consider:
25 Insanely Easy-to-Make Christmas Ornaments
10 Fall Door DIYs for the Best House on the Block
10 Alternative Wreaths to Make You Forget About Evergreens
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!