Creating something by hand is one of the most sincere gestures you can make. That’s why these DIY gift ideas—from screen-printed tees to paper ornaments—are as much a piece of you as they are the perfect personalized gift. Even if your artistic skill set isn’t museum worthy, and the gifts are far from flawless, the recipient will appreciate the time, effort, and thought you put into this gift.
There’s no doubt that DIY gifts require patience and dedication – and that’s what makes them all the more special. Laryssa Meira says about Neutral home décor and affordable décor in Ames, Iowa. “But the truth is, anyone can do it, and you may find something therapeutic about the creation process.” Here, five DIY gift ideas anyone can make.
Textured candle holder
Here’s the perfect gift for the candle lover in your life. Mira created a wonderful DIY dollar tree candle holder which looks like a decorative piece of ceramic. Alternatively, you can recycle bowls of sentimental value, but make sure they are heat-resistant. This will allow you to skip the painting step and make ceramics the star of this DIY gift. “This project would be a great addition to any home, especially to show off when guests or family come over,” she adds.
To make the candle holder you will need:
Step 1: Glue two bowls together
Apply glue to the base of each pot and secure it. You should have an hourglass shape. “Be sure to use good glue for the pots,” says Myra. “I used an E-6000, and also let it dry completely before painting over it.”
Step 2: Paint the piece
Mira mixed white acrylic paint with a few drops of brown until you got the base color you wanted. Do not recommend painting inside the bowl as this is where the candle wax will go. To add texture to the paint, add baking soda until you get the desired effect. “There’s no secret here, just add little by little and blend for a thicker coating,” says Myra. “This will give a nice faux stone chalk paint texture to the project.”
Step 3: Add Stone Finishes
Spray on some stone texture Spray or spritz some dark paint from afar — with a brush or your hands — to mimic the look of the original stone.
Step 4: Fill in the candles
Wax melt in boiling water. You can place candle holders directly into the water, as shown in this TikTok tutorial. While you’re waiting, lay out the wicks and secure them into the candle holder that you’ve spray-painted. You can tie them to wooden supports to keep them in place while pouring. Pour the wax and allow it to harden.
Comfortable crochet pillow
“Everyone needs at least one funky pillow in their home,” says the architecture and urban design student based in Milan. Rihanna My Storywho created DIY cozy crochet pillow. This tutorial requires knowing and doing only one type of crochet stitch – which is the waffle stitch. It is very beginner friendly. “I actually thought about this project because I wanted a new cushion for my armchair, but I couldn’t find anything like I had envisioned in stores around me,” says Storey. “A lot of the projects I do are items I really want to create for my own space, and I’m happy to share the process with everyone.”
To make a crochet pillow you will need:
Step 1: Crochet two identical waffle stitch patterns
“To start your DIY crochet pillow, you first need to know what size pillow you want to make,” says Storey. Then crochet the front and back of the pillow. “I would recommend a thicker thread for your first project because it will go faster,” she adds. She recommends this helpful video about Waffle stitching. Make sure to choose a yarn needle that matches your chosen yarn. You can read the packaging or item description to find out.
Step 2: Sew the two pieces together
But be sure to leave a 4-inch hole, large enough to fit in your hand, for stuffing (or sewing around your pillow). You should be able to stuff the pillow without tearing the stitches.
Step 3: Stuffing the pillow
Insert fleece or other stuffing until your pillow is the desired consistency. Put as much of the filling as you can and push it deep into the back. This will ensure that your pillow is well filled.
Step 4: Sew it closed
Sew up the hole you left open. A regular fabric stitch will prevent it from revealing the stuffing.
Step 5: Add the pom poms (optional)
Make pom poms or tassels using scrap cardboard. This can be done by wrapping the twine around the cardboard. The more you twist it, the more fluffy the pom-pom will be. Then remove the ring from the cardboard and tie it in the middle. Snip off each end to make the fringe. Sew them to each of the four corners of the pillow. This adds some fun flair to your DIY pillow.
Snowflake paper decoration
Look no further than a DIY paper decoration Like a shining star at your next gift exchange. Julie’s storyBased in Clearwater, Florida, inspired by a Post Pinterest And she made one of her own. To get started, you will need a book that can no longer be donated. “I found that the pages that were whitewashed gave the final decoration a more antique look which is what I was going for,” says Storey.
To make a paper ornament you will need:
Step 1: Cut the pages into strips
Cut the pages of the book vertically into one-inch strips, using the ruler as a guide. Story recommends layering a few pages to help get this step through faster.
Step 2: Create the Snowflake Arms
Layer the strips and then wrap them back on themselves until both ends touch. This will be your main loop. Repeat this process but make the next loop smaller. Continue in this manner to create six more smaller loops that will hug the main loop with three loops on each side, like a branch. Secure each snowflake arm with a small rubber band to hold it in place. Cut off the excess paper at the bottom. Repeat this step until you have created six snowflake arms.
Step 3: Create the center
Take a few layers of paper and roll them tightly into a cylinder to create the central circle of snowflakes. Use a small rubber band to hold it in place.
Step 5: Attach the arms
Hot glue the arms of the snowflake to the circle. One important point: hot glue can cut rubber bands. “I found that adding a little glue and then letting it cool a bit before pressing it down the middle helped keep the bands intact,” Storey says.
Step 6: Add some sparkles
Spray the outer edges of the snow with spray adhesive and cover with glitter. Story recommends having a parchment paper underneath your project to catch the extra shine. You can fold this plate and transfer the excess to the glitter bowl to reuse in another project.
Sarahley Wilcox Hauz & Co., inspired by her travels to Mexico and Arizona when she had hand-patterned woolen coasters. “After searching for alternative looms, I came across a cardboard loom,” says the Phoenix-based designer. “From there, I knew I had all the materials in the house.” I made a Woven coasters tutorial Pairs well with seasonal beverages – like a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine. Wilcox recommends natural fiber yarns such as cotton or wool. These can handle heat and are great insulators.
You will need:
Step 1: Create the Loom
Cut a cardboard box to size: six by 11 inches.
Step 2: Create a directory
Mark a one-inch border across all sides to help center the ship and trim the loom holes.
Step 3: Trace the outline
Trace a four-by-five-inch rectangle in the center to form a coaster outline.
Step 4: Cut the slits
Now that you have the outer border and outline of the ship, cut out the loom holes a half centimeter wide. This will help you keep the coasters aligned so you don’t end up over-tightening the weave and possibly breaking the loom or warping the project.
Step 5: Weave the pattern
For the coaster, follow this simple pattern: Use yarn to knit in a top-and-bottom pattern. Alternate the pattern in the next row. “If you decide to make a pattern, always start in the middle and work your way down to the coaster outline,” Wilcox says. “This way you will know how to space each line in your design and how many rows it takes.” Wilcox recommends using a dowel and fork to speed up the process. “The fork will help you tighten or loosen your weave,” she says.
Screen printed holiday shirts
“It doesn’t cost much to get started with screen printing, and it’s a really cool way to express your creativity,” he says. Isla Reid, an innovator based in Liverpool, England, creates screen printing tutorials, like the one below. “I have personally made countless gifts with screen printing.”
For a no-hassle stencil, Fawn Giese of Iconart stencil In Duluth, Minnesota, she recommends starting with a Custom stencil kit and apply it to a shirt. “I love making personalized gifts for the holidays, and this kit allowed me to easily turn any artwork I wanted into a stencil,” says Giese.
To check a t-shirt print, you will need:
Step 1: Draw the design
Draw the design onto the plastic using a marker. Read recommends leaving gaps in the design so that they are easy to cut and allow ink to pass through.
Step 2: Cut out the design
Carefully cut out the marked parts with a sharp blade, making sure your hand is steady and that the hand holding the design is not in the path of the blade. Safety glasses are recommended in case stray pieces of plastic fly into your eyes.
Step 3: Screen print the fabric
Place the stencil and place the screen over the cut-out. Spread a thin layer of ink across the design. Apply medium pressure with a squeegee. “Don’t spread the ink over the design too many times or with too much pressure as this can cause the ink to bleed,” Reed advises. Also, always wash the screen after using it, or you won’t be able to print with it again. Allow it to dry before wrapping this gift.
Originally appeared in architectural digest
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