Every year, we love to find the best handmade, DIY holiday gifts for the kids to make for all the VIPs in their lives. Even if we’re not the craftiest people on the block, we love to give out DIY holiday gifts that feel more personal. (Not that our Holiday Gift Guide isn’t filled with tons of carefully considered gift ideas each year.)
So, I’ve put together some of our favorite DIY holiday gift ideas that kids can make — or at least help make — from sentimental items to be kept forever (we hope) to some really useful handmade gifts to be opened and used right away. Also be sure to check out our guide to 20 cool DIY holiday gifts you can create without a lot of effort for even more inspiration.
Happy crafting and happy holidays to all!
12 cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids
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Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Handmade photo ornaments
If you already have a mini photo printer — like the HP Sprocket which we recommended in our Teen Tech Gift Guide, the TO2 Mini Printer, or the affordable and popular Canon Ivy shown above (on sale!) — then it’s a snap (ha) to make these handmade photo ornaments using the tutorial at Homey Oh My. The kids can help pick out their favorite photos or even sign the backs. I think that putting together a collection of ornaments featuring favorite shots of the whole family would make any parent’s, grandparent’s, or family member’s holiday that much sweeter each year.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Favorite treats, packaged with love
If you have a favorite sweet holiday treat in your house — the spectacular recipe for Liz’s father’s famous peanut brittle, or a creative Christmas bark recipe, maybe it just needs the right wrapping. Our friends at Caravan Shoppe have a terrific holiday printable pack for just $6, that includes gift tags for all kinds of treats and goodies, making this DIY holiday gift from the kids an affordable one too.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Handmade hair pins
I’m going to sit my boys down with our hot glue gun, some shiny “golden” bobby pins, and some craft bling to make these pretty vintage-inspired hair pins for their sisters, using the tutorial from Maritza Lisa. Feel free to customize yours with cute enamel pins, vintage buttons, ribbons, or any other item you have on hand. Love the many flatback embellishment “gems” from Etsy’s Simply Sassy Source.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Scrabble family tree
Take your old classic Scrabble game with the missing pieces, or pick up a bag of Scrabble letter tiles, and create this cute family name tree. It’s a sweet and meaningful DIY Christmas gift for the grandparent who loves to play board games with the kids. The original source — Morning Creativity — isn’t online anymore, but you can probably figure it out yourself if you’re even a little crafty.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Sparkle unicorn ornaments
We first geeked out over these DIY Sparkle Unicorn ornaments from Hello Wonderful in our guide to cool handmade Christmas gifts you can make without a lot of effort. Using clear plastic ornaments, some craft supplies, and lots and lots of patience around glitter (like this biodegradable glitter, hint hint), they’d make an amazing gift for a friend or cousin who is as obsessed with unicorns as our kids are.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: DIY lavender pillow spray
I know I’m not the only mom who hits the bed exhausted..then can’t seem to fall asleep. Lavender works wonders for me, so this DIY lavender and sage pillow spray at Purely Katie would be a wonderful handmade gift for me that I’d use every night. She uses our favorite essential oils too! Let the kids decorate the label themselves with stickers — these stickers smell like lavender!– or their own crayon designs to make it more personal. Bonus: There’s no way you’ll use up the whole bottle of essential oil it requires, so you can save the leftovers and make one of these homemade mason jar spa gifts
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Homemade hot chocolate jar mixes
This gift is one of our favorite DIY edible holiday gift ideas every year, and a favorite of my kids’ teachers, too. The now-defunct Gringlicious offered up this OMG Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup version but you can find a similar recipe at Ruffles and Rain Boots. So decadent, it’s definitely gift-worthy, and kids of all ages just love helping to put this together.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: String art snowflakes
DIY holiday gifts from the kids made from string art takes a a bit more skill than say friendship bracelets or homemade slime, but that’s what makes them turn out so lovely. Find a step-by-step tutorial for DIY string art snowflakes at Dream a Little Bigger, that makes it simple for even newbies to give it a try with our tweens and teens. We think the result look like something you’d buy in a gift shop, so go ahead and give it a shot! Just stop at Michaels online or your local craft store and stock up on the supplies you’ll need.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Santa slime
Speaking of slime, the craze shows no signs of dying down. We totally fell for this DIY fluffy Santa slime in a jar tutorial that we found at The Best Ideas for Kids a while back, and it’s just as wonderful as a DIY holiday gift from the kids this year. Red glitter glue, red liquid food coloring, and contact lens solution come together with a few other ingredients to create a belly that will shake like a bowl full of jelly.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Homemade lavender-oatmeal bath soak
For the busy mom, teacher, grandmother, babysitter or caregiver who needs some time to relax and steal some me-time, this DIY lavender-oatmeal bath soak tutorial at The Every Girl makes a very thoughtful DIY holiday gift from the kids. Packaging it in little muslin bags is so sweet, or use in larger jars so it can be used a lot more often. Be sure to include a personalized note from the kids.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Reindeer jar treats
We love a good DIY mason jar food gift for the holidays, and this reindeer treat jar tutorial at Hello Wonderful is such a fun way to package up the kids’ homemade cookies (like our favorite lavender-salt shortbread cookies!), your favorite holiday colored candies, or other treats. Some of these holiday cookie balls would look fantastic in there too! Then pack it up for your friends, teachers, or neighbors — just be sure tot grab a set of red-lidded mason jars and get ready to decorate.
Cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids: Potted plants with a meaningful gift tag
For more DIY holiday gift ideas from the kids, check out our post on clever DIY Father’s Day gifts and printables. Of course they’re great for dads, but not just dads! For example, we love the idea of planting a succulent or other small plant in a homemade planter (use polymer clay and this DIY succulent planter tutorial from Hello Glow), then top it off with one of these sweet free printable gift tags from Anders Ruff. They read “Thank you for helping me grow” — a perfect message for moms, dads, and caregivers of all kinds. Sniff.