Today’s ideas help you use what you already have (or can easily find) to make and give beautiful, useful gifts. Create budget-friendly, planet-friendly gifts your friends and family will love.


Today’s Guest Curator: Meryl from My Bit of Earth

Meryl writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography and whatever else comes up on any given day at My Bit of Earth. From the time she was small, she’s always enjoyed making things outs of bits and bobs that other people might be apt to throw away. Recycling old sweaters, making patchwork from ratty t-shirts and using up even the tiniest bits of fabric appeals to both her frugality and her desire to live a bit more lightly on the earth. With that in mind, here are some fun, giftable projects that embrace those ideals and– even better– can probably be made from stuff you have in your house right this very second!

Make It


Sew Your Own Mittens
Use old sweaters to Sew Your Own Mittens with Elsie at A Beautiful Mess, in collaboration with Missy Creed of Momentum Fashion.


Turban Headband
Alisa Burke shows you how to make these easy Turban Headbands out of t-shirts (and don’t miss her other fantastic, artistic tutorials). Do you remember Alisa’s Doodle Pillow tutorial?!


Fabric Wrapped Bracelets
Natalie’s Fabric Wrapped Bracelets at créme de la craft take five minutes to make and turn bits of fabric into something special.


Upcycled Boy Hats
We love Cheri’s Upcycled Boy Hats made from old t-shirts at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar.


Monogram Pants
Use your favorite fabric scraps to personalize clothing like Meryl does with her Monogram Pants at My Bit of Earth.


Make a Fabric Basket
Learn how to make rag rope out of old tablecloths, sheets and more, then Make a Fabric Basket with this tutorial at The Red Thread.


Fabric Covered Boxes
Diane at In My Own Style shows you how to make Fabric Covered Boxes, a technique that could make any box special!

Related tutorials you might enjoy: Eco-Friendly Gifts, Gifts for the Eco-Conscious

Mix It


Pie Scrap Cookies
These Pretty Tasty Pie Scrap Cookies were a “total revelation” for Emma. She loves using every last bit of her baking to create something delicious.


Festive Holiday Granola + Labels
This one is a recipe and a printable! Make, print, package and give the Festive Holiday Granola + Labels from Malia at Yesterday on Tuesday.

Print It


Christmas M&M Gift Jar
Download the printable for this Christmas M&M Gift Jar via Kristyn of Lil’ Luna for Infarrantly Creative.

Win It

Comment on today’s post for a chance to win one of these prizes!
Tip: If you’re hoping to win a prize that notes “US Winners Only,” include your state in your name (i.e. Beth in WA) so we can confirm residence and avoid any disappointment on your end. Shipping range is determined by the generous companies and artisans that donate Handmade Holidays prizes.

Win a $50 gift certificate to Martingale where you can choose from the latest quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet titles!

Pretty in Patchwork: Doll Quilts: 24 Little Quilts to Piece, Stitch, and Love
(International Shipping)

Author: Cathy Gaubert
Publisher: Lark Crafts

Welcome to Pretty in Patchwork, a fresh new series that explores the sweet spot where sewing and quilting come together. Doll quilts are the perfect little package to start the fun: they’re pretty, miniature, and a wonderful canvas for experimentation and skill building. Twenty top online designers, led by Cathy Gaubert, contribute an adorable array of patterns that use appliqué, piecing, embroidery, and more. A brief basics section, photos of vintage doll quilts, and instructions for adorable extras (like matching doll’s clothes), round out this appealing volume.

Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays: 30+ Seasonal Patchwork Projects to Piece, Stitch, and Love
(International Shipping)

Author: John Q. Adams
Publisher: Lark Crafts

Happy patchwork holiday! Celebrate the season with the second in our Pretty in Patchwork series. It’s a very merry collection of absolutely adorable projects from the popular “Quilt Dad” blogger and friends, including pieced polar bear and penguin pillows, a too-cute pillowcase and matching hedgehog stuffy, stockings, ornaments, tree skirts and more. Of course, there are assorted quilts of all sizes, too. With a robust basics section, color step-by-step illustrations, and color variations throughout, Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays will help you deck your halls in style!

Date Keeper—Quilted Masterpieces
(US Winners Only)

Record all the milestones of your life in this beautiful calendar and keep them at your fingertips forever. The Date Keeper perpetual weekly calendar from C&T Publishing helps you remember important birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and special occasions. There’s even room for your family tree. Featuring 60 gorgeous heirloom quilts, this heirloom-quality, spiral-bound album will last a lifetime.

• Makes a lovely keepsake gift.
• Enter dates only once—no need to transfer to a new calendar every year.
• Includes guide to anniversary gifts, plus each month’s birthday gemstones and flowers.

Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids: 20 Designs That are Fun and Unique- Just Like Your Kid!
(US + Canada Winners Only)

Author: Ruriko Yamada
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing

Today’s DIY generation loves to outfit their kids in stylish homemade clothes, and kids love clothes that feel good. Designer Ruriko Yamada draws from her own experiences as a mom to create designs and sewing patterns that are fun to wear, easy to make and infused with covetable Japanese style. Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids features easy-to-follow diagrams, Japanese sewing patterns in English and simple instructions on how to make twenty super-comfy pieces for both boys and girls. Yamada provides four sizes of westernized patterns, each of which can easily be adjusted to fit children from three to nine years old. Simple lines give kids room to move, and the classic styles look good on any frame. Sewing for children has never been easier. With Happy Homemade, you’ll whip up a fantastic, money-saving wardrobe in practically no time at all!

Don’t miss our Handmade Holidays photo pool, and check out our 2012 Handmade Holidays list for more fabulous ideas. Here are our 2013 themes:

November 13: Gifts for Book Lovers
November 12: Gifts for Girlfriends
November 11: Gifts for Boys
November 10: Eco-Friendly Gifts
November 9: Advent Calendars
November 8: Gifts for Make-Believe
November 7: Gifts for Travelers
November 6: Gifts for Geeks
November 5: Gifts for Babies + Toddlers
November 4: Holiday Party Clothes + Accessories
November 3: Gifts for Cooks
November 2: Gifts for Gadget Lovers
November 1: Gifts for Tweens

We respect the copyright of all crafters. All photos are used with permission from the artist.