Simple handmade gifts can be a wonderful – and wonderfully cheap – way to share our love at Christmas and throughout the year on birthdays, Mothers Day and more.
But when we’re wondering what we can make for someone for Christmas it can be hard to find handmade gift ideas that are genuinely simple and genuinely cheap.
So if you’re racking your brain trying to decide what handmade gifts you can make this year for Christmas or a birthday do check out these simple gift ideas.
They truly are simple and they truly are cheap to make.
You can make them all quickly with very little skill, (older kids can too).
And you can upcycle them from materials in your home so you won’t have to fork out for new craft supplies which is brilliant if you want to enjoy both a cheaper Christmas and a zero waste Christmas.
You’ll find handmade gift ideas for all your family and friends from your kids or mother to teachers and grandparents so do bookmark or save for later.
I really hope you find gift ideas you love here but for more inspiration check out my huge guide to 101 Cheap DIY Gifts which is stuffed full of even more easy DIY and homemade gifts.
20 Simple Handmade Gifts You Can Make For Free
These cute button bookmarks are a super easy handmade gift to make as stocking stuffers for kids and for kids to make themselves for friends or teacher or granny.
They can be made with ribbon, fabric scraps and elastic or even elastic bands plus any old buttons you have in the house.
Original image: An Inspired Mess
You don’t have to make your button bookmarks pretty, pretty. With the right fabric and buttons they can be as cool and funky or traditional and vintage as you like …
Vintage Earring Bookmarks
Old odd earrings that have been cluttering your jewellery box for an age can be easily transformed into gorgeous bookmarks. They are another simple handmade gift you – or your kids – can make easily with what you have.
You can buy special clips to attach the earrings to whatever leftover ribbon or fabric you use but they can just be sewn on as well.
Original image : An Inspired Mess
Tassels made from left over yarn, cord or twine are another lovely handmade gift that is simple enough for kids to make that could also be a last minute stocking filler for tweens. The tassels could be tied to everything from key rings, bags, belts and charm bracelets to – if you make tiny ones with embroidery thread – earrings.
No Sew Bunting
This lovely no sew bunting uses a fair amount of fabric but can be upcycled from all those old unworn clothes you have cluttering your closet! The bunting really is super quick and easy to make – kids can do it – for parties and would also make a lovely cheap or even free homemade gift for a kids room or to decorate the garden …
Original image : The Little Sisters Guild
Citrus Stamped Tea Towels
Thee citrus stamped tea towels are a cool way to upcycle white cotton or linen whether old shirts or torn bedlinen. It’s also a really fun nature craft for kids that you could do with all sorts of fruit and vegetable cuttings.
No Sew Teepee Tent
A no sew teepee tent is another clever to upcycle a simple handmade gift for kids from old bedlinen, curtains or any other big pieces of fabric you have. The poles can be picked up at a fraction of the price you pay for a teepee tent for kids in the stores …
Super Hero Capes
These super hero capes are another super fun handmade gift for kids for Christmas or birthdays that can be made from old t-shirts and sweatshirts. If you don’t have the colour you need for your kids favourite super hero ask on a local freecycling group if anyone is decluttering a sweatshirt or t-shirt in the right colour for free.
Simple Handmade Coasters
If you – or your kids – can sew a straight line, you can make these simple handmade coasters. The quilted effect turns them into a lovely little gift but is incredibly easy to do.
They only use very small scraps of fabric so they can be made cheaply from any leftover fabric you have in the house.
Original image: 33 Shades Of Green
Alternatively these handmade coasters will take a little longer as you need to sew together the patchwork squares but they are still genuinely simple and a lovely homemade gift you can make for free.
Easy No Sew Pouch
There are a zillion one tutorials for simple pouches on Pinterest.
But they all involve zips.
Zips are not – believe me – simple for us lesser mortals!!
So make a little drawstring pouch as a handmade gift instead. You can use fun, funky fabric for kids or something more elegant for a girlfriend. The tutorial below over complicates things by adding eyelets but you don’t need to.
No Sew Cushion Cover
This no sew cushion cover is actually surprising simple if you need inspiration for a DIY gift you can make someone for Christmas.
You can upcycle it from whatever biggish pieces of fabric you have or can blag for free on a freecycling group. Old bedlinen and curtains are again a good source of fabric but the backs of old shirts can also give you enough fabric for a smaller cushion.
Apron From A Shirt
Old print shirts and blouses are also brilliant for upcycling into homemade aprons.
The tutorial for this handmade apron isn’t to be honest the best but I loved the image as an example of how simple it is to make a DIY Christmas gift. Just ignore the bits in the tutorial about cutting the buttoned front of the shirt and use 2 backs …
No Sew Tote Bags
These cool no sew tote bags upcycled from old t-shirts truly are simple and a fab cheap handmade Christmas gift for kids and for kids to make for friends …
Bobby Pin Buttons
These cute button flower bobby pins are super quick, cheap and handy if you need a whole load of homemade gifts or party favours for girls. You can buy packet of bobby pins for well under a fiver and decorate with whatever buttons & thread you have …
Original image source: An Inspired Mess
Even if you are not a sewer and have never made clothes in your life, you – and older kids – seriously can whip up a pillowcase sundress as a quick and easy homemade gift for little girls and all their dolls!
Original image: Dress A Girl
But you don’t have to reserve the sundress for little girls. It can be styled in all sorts of ways a gift for older kids, teens and girlfriends …
Original image : Talk To The Trees
Simple Handmade Tote Bag
If you – or your kids – can sew a straight line, you can make a tote bag. This DIY tote bag tutorial truly is simple even for non sewers.
You need two roughly 20 inch squares to make your bag so the backs of old shirts are again brilliant if you want to make a DIY Christmas gift for free. If you are using plain fabric you could also customise with your own prints. The citrus stamp prints used earlier on the tea towels could look great …
Original image source: rawpixel.com
Pom Pom Tote Bag
You could also jazz up a handmade tote – or customise a spare one – with cute pompoms. Again this would be a super simple handmade gift your kids could make for friends …
No Sew Hair Bands & Bows
If you have a length of leftover fabric or a blouse or dress past its best you never wear, you could transform it into this cool no sew hair band …
Or if you only have tiny scraps of leftover fabric make these cute no sew hair bows as great little homemade stocking stuffers or party favours …
No Sew Tutus
I have made so many of these no sew tutus over the years as simple handmade gifts and Halloween and book day costumes of all sorts. I even once sat up half the night making thirty of them as party favours for a class of 5 year olds! But they really are incredibly quick and easy and you can upcycle from all sorts of old fabric …
Quick Handmade Scrunchies
Sweet scrunchies make great little stocking fillers for girls of all ages and these no sew scrunchies can be made with just fabric scraps and elastic …
Simple Lavender Bags
Lavender bags may be as old as the hills as a handmade gift but they never stop being lovely and these simple lavender bags can be sewn easily from the tiniest scraps of leftover or upcycled fabric.
If you grow lavender – or other herbs – you don’t even have to pay for the filling. But if you don’t see if there is a neighbour who does who will trade for something you do have.
Original image source: Kimberly Layton
Upcycled Tie Pockets
These brilliant necktie pockets made from old ties are another fabulously upcycled Christmas gift that won’t cost you a thing. The pockets could be simple homemade gifts for him or for her as a make up bag, glasses case, pencil case or more …
Original Image : An Inspired Mess
Classic friendship bracelets are another super easy handmade gift idea for stocking stuffers and for kids to craft for their friends …
Hand making friendship bracelets is also a lovely calming sensory activity for children to get hooked on.
If you have any fabric with a Christmas feel – anything red or green, or red and white checks – you can easily and quickly make a homemade Christmas pillowcase for free …
Sun Glasses Case
This simple handmade sun glasses case needs very little fabric or time or skill so perfect for a little homemade gift …
An elegant infinity scarf is one of the quickest and easiest handmade gifts you can whip up even if you have no sewing or dressmaking skills.
You can make one very cheaply – or effectively for free – from any lengths of fabric you have stashed away or even from an old dress you’ve long since stopped wearing …
Monster Gift Card Holders
Finally I had to include these cute monster gift card holders which would make a brilliant last minute hand made present if you are giving kids a no clutter experience gift …
I do hope you’ve found lots of lovely ideas for simple handmade gifts you can make this year for Christmas and birthday for all your family and frees. For more inspiration do explore my other simple Christmas ideas and gift guides:
Such a colorful and well-spread collection!
Thank you so much, so glad you liked!