Sometimes, rather than spending top dollar on the latest and greatest in consumer electronics, it can be nice to give a handmade gift. While less expensive, handmade gifts show a personal touch that can be more memorable than a generic gadget. That said, you certainly don’t want to give anyone a dull tchotchke, and it can be hard to find a really original gift idea.
As always, the internet has your back: below are ten handmade gift ideas, of varying difficulties and costs, that we guarantee they’ve never seen before.
10 . Origami Tyvek Wallet ($1.00)
Tyvek is a material, developed by DuPont, that appears to be made primarily out of witchcraft. Composed of polymer fibers ten times thinner than human hair, the material feels like paper, but is waterproof and virtually impossible to tear. It works great for wallets, as it’s cheap, compact, and insanely durable. You can make a wallet, using origami, from a single Tyvek envelope, which you can decorate as you wish using permanent markers before folding.
9 . Custom Shaped Candles ($25.00)
Candles are a classic homemade holiday gift, but they often lack that wow factor. Custom molded candles can help to give a personal touch: you can use a hand cast to create a visually interesting centerpiece, or you can use casts of action figures to make themed candles for kids. While this one has significant setup costs, you can make a large number of candles from the same stuff. A similar technique can be used to make custom decorative soaps.
8 . Phosphorescent Tritium Jewelry ($25.00)
Tritium (an unstable isotope of hydrogen) is constantly decaying, emitting harmless electrons. When tritium is mixed with phosphorous, those electrons are transformed into photons, producing an unearthly green light. The result is a small diode that glows continuously for a decade, and can be used as the centerpiece of a memorable, colorful necklace or bracelet made of jeweler’s wire. These pieces are great gifts for the scientifically inclined girl on your Christmas list.
7 . Spoon Ring ($2.00)
This clever design uses the neck of a common spoon to make a clever and appealing ring that, with a little bit of a shine, looks absolutely beautiful. This is a great gift that exposes the overlooked beauty of a common household item.
6 . Handmade Snow Globe ($10.00)
Snowglobes are a holiday staple that can be made fresh by a touch of personalization. Toys and photos can be used to stage miniature dioramas tuned to the interests of the recipient, giving them a quirky, original mantlepiece ornament that they might actually want to show off.
5 . Handmade Icicle Ornaments ($1.00)
These easy, elegant handmade decorations can add a personal touch to any Christmas tree, and also serve to recycle environmentally destructive plastic bottles.
4 . Biosphere Table Decoration ($30.00)
This one requires a little bit of gumption, but it’s well worth it. While it’s more complex than other items on this list, we guarantee it’ll get a reaction. Using aquatic plants, tap water, some extremely hardy shrimp, and a sealable jar, it’s possible to make a perfectly sealed ecosystem that can survive for years on nothing but sunlight. A biosphere is a cool, sciencey tabletop decoration for any family on your list.
3 . Family Photo Rubik’s Cube ($10.00)
A simple, visually-interesting photo puzzle, the homemade Rubik’s cube is a fun, creative way to preserve some family memories in a decoration.
2 . Origami ($1.00)
Giving origami gifts for Christmas can be both a great way to deliver a personalized gift tuned to the recipient’s interests, and a way to learn a new skill in the process. Origami can also be a clever way of changing a simple, passionless gift of money into something personal and memorable.
1 . Printed Candles ($5.00)
Using a stamp, conventional candles can be given a unique, personal twist by printing custom patterns on the sides in colored ink. These candles can convey a message or a design, and are cheap, attractive gifts for the artsy people on your list.
Note: With content contributions from Deborah Phillips, a staff writer for GiftPlum.com which is a gift recommendation website that makes it easier to find unique and interesting gift ideas.
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