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ten gifts collage

Pinterest, blogs and Facebook, oh my! The internet is awash with projects that put Martha Stewart to shame. One project after the next, and they’re all labeled “Easy!” and “Simple!”–but the honest truth is, they’re far from simple or easy. Now, I love making homemade gifts. I do it every year, for friends and family alike. But handmade gifts should make your life simpler, not more complicated! Handmade gifts should be fun to make, save you time, and save you money. They should bless the person they’re being given to, as well. Here are my criteria for what made the list:

–simple list of ingredients that are commonly available

–non-crafty types can easily make them too

–can my ten year old make this without a lot of help?

–would I use this, if I received it as a gift?

So after several years of trial and error, of throwing out as many projects as I succeeded at, here is my list of 15 Tried and True, Truly SIMPLE handmade gifts that you can make at home this year.

Handmade lotion bars are

Handmade Lucious Lotion Bars

These bars are a huge hit year after year after year. Friends ask for the recipe all the time! They leave your skin not just moisturized, but healthier than before you used them! Plus, the recipe doubles as lip balm, is good for eczema, heals damaged dry winter skin and leaves a protective barrier to seal in moisture and protect them from future damage.

Chocolate (1)

Chocolate Peppermint Lip Gloss

Treat your friends with this decadent treat for their lips! It tastes divine but even better, it leaves your lips moisturized and silky smooth.

Oulander inspired loom knit sassenach cowlLoom knit cowl

Cowls and infinity scarves are the hot fashion accessory this year–and they couldn’t be simpler to make! Snuggle up with a pretty yarn and make one for yourself–and your friends–in just a few hours. This is so easy you can do it while you watch tv or kill time.

homemade sugar scrubSugar scrub

Sugar scrubs take less than ten minutes to make and are such a treat! They make fantastic hostess gifts. You can use this recipe many ways: a relaxing lavender scrub, invigorating grapefruit, or make a holiday-themed peppermint scrub using peppermint oil. Add a cute glass jar and a ribbon and you are ready to go!


honey_lemon_cough_syrupAll Natural Honey-Lemon Cough Syrup

This syrup is easy to make, stores well, and tastes great! We love to add just a little cinnamon to ours for a little extra anti-viral kick.

DIY-lemon-coconut-lip-balmHomemade lip balm

Keep chapped lips at bay this winter with this easy homemade lip balm! This is my all-time favorite lip balm recipe–at less than a quarter per tube, it is frugal, and it really penetrates skin to heal old man winter’s damage.

hand soapFoaming hand soap

These soaps cost pennies and take seconds to make! Plus, they smell divine. They make great hostess gifts, but are also great for anyone on your list–especially busy moms. Peppermint, orange, lemon, cinnamon–the options are endless. Plus, they kill germs without harsh, toxic chemicals that tear up your hands.

anti aging makeup removerAnti-aging makeup remover

With just two or three ingredients, you can treat your friends and family to glowing, younger-looking skin. Fine lines diminish, skin becomes more even, age spots fade, redness is minimized…the list goes on and on. Even better? It removes even stubborn waterproof makeup in a jif.


peppermint cinnamon holiday body butterPeppermint Cinnamon Body Butter

This body butter smells so good you will want to eat it! It is a decadent treat for your skin, too. Make sure you keep some for yourself–you will thank me for it!



Fizzy Bath Bombs

Pamper your friends and family with these easy Fizzy Bath bombs! These double as detox bombs, pulling toxins and impurities out of their bodies while they soak their cares away!

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