The holidays are upon us again! Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa or a combination, it’s the time of year that we think about sharing our love through gifts. But you don’t have to rush out to the store — consider giving your time, love, and talent with some homemade presents this year. Not sure where to get started? Check out some of the books below for ideas!


If you like to work with paper, check out Creative Origami and Beyond by Jenny Chan, Paul Frasco, Coco Sato, and Stacie Tamaki, or Origami Chic: A Guide to Foldable Fashion by Sok Song. “Creative Origami” includes origami ideas for all skill levels, which you can use to decorate your gifts OR to make the gifts themselves. You’ll find instructions for bracelets, paper flowers, purses, boxes, and more! “Origami Chic” will show you how to put your paper-folding skills to use making beautiful and unique fashions — this would be perfect for brightening up a paper doll’s wardrobe! (If you like to draw, you could make the paper dolls AND the clothes for someone you love.)


Rather work in three-dimensions? Check out Modeling Clay with 3 Basic Shapes by Bernadette Cuxart. All you need to know is how to make basic teardrop, ball, and “worm” shapes to create more than 40 animal sculptures, from alligators to hedgehogs to puppies. Find the favorite animals of the people you love, pick up your clay, and have a ball! (or teardrop, or worm!)


Bags, dolls, clothes — you can make SO many gifts if you can sew! And you can find all the ideas, instructions, and even cut-out patterns you’ll need to get started in Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make by Andria Lisle and Amy Petronis Plumley. No sewing machine? No problem! Most of the ideas in this book can be completed using hand stitches! (Need more ideas? Check out this book’s sequel, Sewing School 2!)


Who doesn’t love a gift you can eat? Baked goods make great gifts because they are a special treat and usually don’t need to be stored in any special way, which means you can wrap them up or pop them in a stocking without worrying that they will go bad. You can find tons of yummy ideas in Kid Chef Bakes: The Kids Cookbook for Aspiring Bakers by Lisa Huff. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be gifted with something like sprinkle cake pops or mini chocolate muffins?!? (If you want to go beyond baked goods and create a whole holiday feast, check out Kid Chef, too!)

Do you have other ideas for homemade gifts? Share them in the comments below. You can also find more inspiration in my Maker column from last month, and my homemade gifts post from last year!

Lacey Louwagie is an adult writer and editor who got her first editing job with New Moon Girls in 2002. She is currently a freelance writer and editor and stay-at-home parent of 2 little boys. She has been a teen services librarian and coordinates book-related goodies for New Moon Girls. She is the author...

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