The Ultimate Guide to Hand-Crafted Gifts

Selecting a special gift for a friend or loved one can be a daunting task for some. So many considerations go into selecting the ideal gift, from the occasion to the receiver’s personality. One thing we’ve learned over the years is that nothing quite compares to the sentimental value giving a hand-crafted gift adds. 

Girl using a machine to make a wood cut out

It may even surprise you to know there are many benefits to purchasing hand-crafted gifts. Even DIY gift-giving is a priceless gesture that cannot be matched. We’ve put together a rather compelling guide to why hand-crafted gifts and DIY gifts should be your first considerations for every loved one on your list. 

We'll share some of our favorite gift ideas for various occasions to help spark your creative juices. From all-natural bath bars to intricately carved wood maps, we’ll open your eyes to a world of gift-giving. Who knows? It may just inspire you to pick up a new hobby!

Why Consider Hand Crafted Gifts?

Think back to how many times you’ve wondered what to gift the person in your life who seems to have everything. How many Father’s Days have you presented dad with a classic blue tie since you were a toddler? If you’ve ever glanced at the gift table and wondered how many guests may have purchased the same gift set, it may be time to reevaluate your gifting strategy. 

When you consider hand-crafted gifts, you’ll know with certainty that your present­­ will be one-of-a-kind. When you present your friend or loved one with a personalized hand-crafted gift, there’s no denying yours was a meaningful purchase.

While these are all compelling reasons to step out of your gifting comfort zone, we’d love to share a few more. So, here are some of our favorite reasons for considering more meaningful, handcrafted gifts:

  1. Adds a Personal Touch

Buying a hand-crafted gift adds a personal touch that a traditional store-bought item can’t quite achieve. As they peel back the wrapping to reveal your carefully selected hand-crafted gift, they will instantly know you’ve put extra time and thought into it.

 

    2.  Uniqueness

Hand-crafted gifts will consistently score extra points for originality. Chances are, artisans are creating unique items you didn’t even know existed. When you take the time to look at all the talent in the world and what these skilled creators have to offer, it will open your eyes to a new avenue of gift-giving.

Purchasing hand-crafted gifts provides unique variations, even between the same styles. Each slight difference in color or minuscule imperfection adds to the item’s individuality and pricelessness. Your gift will forever be a one-of-a-kind piece.  

  1. Exceptional Quality

We highly recommend considering hand-crafted gifts for their exceptional quality. Artisans take the time to individually design, craft, and inspect each item they create. You’ll find handmade gifts utilize high-quality materials and ingredients to ensure their customers are happy. You can expect it may take a bit more time to produce your gift, as the maker take great pride in their craftsmanship and quality.

In comparison, you will typically find that mass-produced products tend to be made through the least expensive means possible. Cutting costs on materials, tools, and labor helps maximize profits over quality. Although they do undergo quality standard checks, there’s nothing quite like the meticulous eye of the gift’s creator. 

  1. Creative Gift Options

There’s only so much creativity you can find in a department store full of items. In comparison, if you were to browse through a few pages of hand-crafted gifts on Etsy, you would find magnificent creations from all around the world. 

With the stroke of your finger, you can find artisans’ creative twists on everything from body lotions to clothing accessories. Their style, personality, and expressive passion shine through each hand-crafted gift item you lay your eyes on.

  1. Personalization and Customization

Many hand-crafted gifts are created with varying options to customize. In addition, there are often hand-crafted gift items made by artisans who welcome your personal requests, from custom sizes and colors to images and quotes. 

If you choose to gift jewelry, you’ll find custom jewelry makers that offer beautiful name engraved necklaces. Looking for nursery décor? You can select custom colors and sizes for bookshelves to match the new baby’s theme colors. The options are endless when you take the time to explore the offerings of handmade creators. The perfect hand-crafted gift is just waiting for you to customize it.

Child working on a hand crafted, personalized gift

  1. Support for Eco-Friendly Efforts

Supporting hand-crafted gift makers means supporting eco-friendly efforts. Shopping for hand-crafted gifts is one way you can help support the conservation of energy.

Since handmade items are predominately made by human hands rather than machinery, purchasing your gifts from artisans helps reduce the need for mass production facilities. In addition, your contribution will help reduce the toxic buildup of waste and chemicals.

Hand-crafted gift makers often use eco-friendly best practices throughout their process. This usually includes using recyclable packaging and reclaimed or repurposed materials.

  1. Support for Local Artisans

Purchasing hand-crafted gifts is an incredible way to show your support for local artisans. By supporting them, you are ultimately investing money back into your own community and economy. 

The gift you purchase may help an artist continue pursuing their passion, pay their bills, and spread happiness through their skill. You will likely only find one person creating, selling, packaging, and marketing behind your special gift. However, your support makes their hard work and long hours worth pursuing their calling to create art.

Now more than ever, the passion for creating hand-crafted items has turned into a small business for many. This creative drive has sparked artisans worldwide to share their talents and make their items accessible to customers online. Supporting your local artisans is support for the growth of small businesses.

  1. The Person Behind the Masterpiece

One thing we love about shopping for handmade items is the opportunity to meet the creators. Yes, there is an actual person behind the piece you are purchasing. So when you choose to buy a hand-crafted gift, you have the opportunity to get to know the artisan.

The next time you discover a talent that takes your breath away, take a moment to browse around their shop or site. You can learn a lot about the creator and may just catch a few intriguing glimpses into their life. Many artists will share:

  • who they are and where they grew up
  • what inspires them
  • how they got started with their craft
  • what sparked their creations or particular collections

Can you say you know these details about other gifts you’ve purchased over the years? Knowing such intimate details behind your purchases gives you a greater appreciation for the crafter and their work. It even provides a story to pass on with your gift that no other can offer.

  1. The Convenience of Online Shopping

We live in a time of instant gratification through online retail. You can browse through an infinite selection of hand-crafted gifts from the comfort of your couch at any time of day. In addition, there are many note-worthy artisans around the world offering hand-crafted gifts that can quickly be shipped to your door, so take advantage of this opportunity and branch out when you search for gifts! 

When you’re considering the type of hand-crafted gift to buy, put your heart into it. Set aside some time to reflect upon who you are choosing this gift for. What is the special occasion for your gift? You may be pleasantly surprised what little tidbits you begin to stir up. Make use of these connections and let them guide you through your search to finding meaningful hand-crafted gifts.

Girl crafting

Who Are Hand-Crafted Gifts For?

A hand-crafted gift is a great way to add a personal touch for anyone on your list. Handmade presents reflect thoughtfulness and show you’ve taken the extra time to search for a present most meaningful to them.

Handcrafted gifts can be sentimental and make ideal gifts for:

  • family members
  • significant other
  • best friends

You may choose to show your appreciation with a handcrafted gift for:

  • teacher
  • a boss
  • co-worker
  • mentor 

With an incredible assortment of hand-crafted gift genres to select from, there is bound to be something unique and meaningful for everyone on your gift list.

Special Occasions for Hand-Crafted Gifts

While you can never go wrong gifting a handmade item, we’ve put together our favorite occasions and a few of our go-to ideas for each:

Mother’s Day

Moms love to be pampered, and there's no better way to accomplish this than with a basket of hand-crafted gifts. Even the gift basket can be a hand-woven gem she can easily repurpose!

Fill her wicker basket with some of her favorite bath items, or be adventurous and put together items you’ve heard her mention that she has been dying to try. We recommend a gift basket full of:

  • scented candles to enjoy around the house
  • decorative soap in an array of fragrances and designs
  •  charm jewelry with children’s names engraved
  • customized photo collage with family images

Father’s Day

Dads appreciate hand-crafted gifts, too! Use a little imagination and find something meaningful that will touch his heart. We love engraved wooden frames with meaningful quotes and poems. Many crafters give an array of color choices for customization, and mom can fill it with a photo of the kids before wrapping. He may also love:

  • a personalized leather keyring
  • custom wall art with dad as his child’s superhero           

Dad reading to his kids

Grandparent’s Day

Let's be honest – anything with the grandkids is an instant success with grandparents. Handcrafted gifts we love include:

  • personalized wooden wall art with the child’s first photo and birth stats
  • handmade shadow box with grandbaby’s photo and footprints       

Teacher Appreciation

Teachers work tirelessly to educate our children. Thanking them with a unique, hand-crafted gift shows your appreciation for all they do. Whether it’s Christmas, Teacher Appreciation Week, or the end of the year, some of our favorite ideas for educators include:

  • personalized clipboard designed with their classroom theme
  • customized coffee mug with a letter, photo, or drawing from the student
  • scented lotions or anti-bacterial with customized labels

Milestone Birthday’s

Celebrating milestone birthdays and holidays with handcrafted memorabilia is priceless. Imagine the photos they’ll capture with their child wearing a personalized outfit made just for their 1st birthday. Or search for a particular year or theme and find plenty of handcrafted gift boxes full of:

  • teen-themed goodies
  • gag gifts for a 40th or 50th celebration
  • celebratory 21st birthday box

New Baby

All new parents appreciate the unlimited supply of diapers, wipes, and burp clothes they receive. They also appreciate items from their carefully curated baby registry list.

Now, imagine adding a little something extra to the package. Whether it’s a first baby or a third, a unique hand-crafted gift for the little one adds such a special touch. Take a peek at these adorable handmade baby ideas: 

  • crocheted baby booties
  • monogrammed swaddling blanket and matching cap
  • decorative nursery wall art with baby’s birth stats

Baby in crib with a hand crafted wood map on the wall

Specialized Hand Crafted Gifts

If you’re looking for luxury hand-crafted gift ideas, you’ll fall in love with the stunning work of skilled fine jewelry designers and expert wood chart crafters. Whether you’re celebrating a special anniversary or commemorating your travels, luxury hand-crafted gift options are plentiful.

Hand Crafted Fine Jewelry Gifts

Fine jewelry making is an art form. The time and patience it takes to create each piece help you appreciate the skill jewelers have. You can show support for fine jewelers by purchasing from their small business. 

While you may not think to check, Etsy shop owners offer stunning jewelry pieces, and you’ll likely find a similar diamond solitaire necklace you might otherwise purchase from a chain store. The difference? Your hand-crafted gift will be designed and made to order and have a direct connection to the hands that crafted the necklace that will grace her neck. 

Hand Crafted Wood Maps

Wood maps make a fascinating gift for a: 

  • seasoned travele
    Hat, passport, and camera on top of a map
  • wood chart collector
  • loved one preserving memories of their travels

Intricately hand-crafted wood maps make beautiful décor pieces to remember your travels by. Each 3-D wood map boasts impeccable detail and craftsmanship that any gift receiver will appreciate.

Wood Map Style Selections

Wood maps are crafted to suit a variety of tastes. You can find a style to fit your travel enthusiast’s home or office décor style. Choose from beautifully handmade options, including

Salish Sea Cribbage Board
  • clocks
  • serving trays
  • wall art
  • stand-alone cork boards
  • cribbage boards

Gifting a Unique Wood Chart Wood Map

Hand-crafted gifts from Wood Chart are treasured works of art. Their exceptional quality and attention to detail set them apart from other wood maps you’ve encountered. Each hand-placed wood map is carefully designed, crafted, and finished to perfection with meticulous efforts in every step of the process. 

Made with elegant Baltic wood, each hand-crafted gift is carved with laser-cutters to create precise, life-like contours. Your thoughtful gift will be enjoyed for every intricate detail, including:

  • distinctly crafted bodies of water and lan
    Close up wood layers on wood chart
  • visual depth
  • realistic, hand-stained colors
  • wrap-around edges for overflow appearance

Each fine art wood map gift is hand-placed into a solid wood frame, then sealed with a durable ultra-transparent acrylic for protection. As a result, your gift will be preserved well while reminding them of their memories of travel.

The Ideal Wood Map Gift Recipients

Wood maps are a hand-crafted gift of art that anyone can enjoy. Whether one has an appreciation for art or a love of travel, wood maps are meant to spark joy and emotion in all who lay eyes on them.

Educators

You can never go wrong with a hand-crafted gift for an educator, so why not make it one they can admire and utilize for years to come? 

Imagine a magnificent wood map hanging in their classroom for students to marvel at. The beauty and detail alone are enough to create excitement for travel that a teacher can help nurture and grow.

Travelers and Dreamers

Brooklyn, New York 3-D Nautical Wood chart

Wood maps help one cherish the memories created from travel or continue to dream of where they one day wish to go. Gifting a wood map adds beauty to ay space while evoking emotion in their heart.

Select a wood map of New York if your recipient speaks fondly of their visit, or choose a location they hope to visit so that each glance gives them encouragement and inspiration. 

Seasoned Travelers

A wood map is an ideal gift for seasoned travelers to commemorate their many adventures. Gifting a wood map may add to or help begin a collection they can display and share with others.  Each time a guest inquires about the beautiful piece, it will spark a new tale to share and allow them to relive their experiences as if they were still there.

Family Souvenirs

Bringing home trinkets and little souvenirs is always a fun way to share your travels with the family. Imagine presenting them with a hand-crafted gift of a wood map to help them feel as if they were there with you. It’s a unique way to share your experience with those you love.

The beauty a wood map adds to the home is unlike any other work of art, as it comes with endless, personal stories that can be retraced. A wood map makes a sentimental gift the entire family can enjoy.

Favorite Places to Buy Hand Crafted Gifts

A quick search online will reveal an array of online shops for you to browse for hand-crafted gift ideas. Artisans from around the world can be found with a few strokes of the keyboard.

From nostalgic items and fancy pet musings to one-of-a-kind home furnishings, the hand-crafted gifting options are limitless. To help make your gift shopping a little less stressful, we’ve narrowed down a few of our favorite places to find hand-crafted gifts for everyone on your list.

Etsy

'Etsy' logo being displayed on a phone

Is there any wonder Etsy is on our list? It's a great melting pot of hand-crafted gifts and goodies that appeal to us all. But, honestly, we feel that if you can imagine it, it probably exists on Etsy.

Shop owners offer handmade digital products to hand-sewn party attire for your pets. Creativity knows no bounds, so you'll never be at a loss for hand-crafted gift ideas.

5000 Gifts

Browse through more hand-crafted gift ideas on 5000 Gifts. We love their outpouring of support for artisans and the handmade community. From pearl jewelry to lavender muscle rub, you won’t leave the site empty-handed.

Local Craft Fairs

If you’ve never visited a local craft fair, you are missing out! Imagine rows of booths displaying handmade items as far as your eye can see. From hair bows in every possible ribbon shape, color, and size, to handmade cabinetry, you’ll find handmade items you didn’t even know you needed!

If you have friends and family on your gift list passionate about holiday decorations, then craft fairs are a must. Booths are filled with Christmas wreaths and tree decorations that transform the area into the North Pole. 

Each hand-crafted item will melt the heart of your gift receiver when they unwrap their unique décor. We know you’ll leave with hand-crafted gifts for others and just as many for yourself!

Craft fair booth with DIY gifts

DIY Gifts

DIY gifts open a whole new door to the world of sentimental gift-giving. If you’re a parent, you know exactly what we mean. DIY gifts cover a wide range of options, from custom beaded jewelry to your toddler’s tiny handprint on a birthday card.

While we are huge supporters of purchasing hand-crafted gifts, we also can’t gush enough over the thought of giving and receiving DIY gifts.

Why Consider DIY Gifts

There are many benefits to choosing the DIY gift route. Some may say it’s simply easier and less expensive to create a gift. While this may be, deeper thought will show you how meaningful DIY gifts can be.

  • Each DIY gift is one-of-a-kind, handmade with love by you.
  • You can add a personalized touch, such as favorite colors, inside jokes, or elements that match their style.
  • DIY gifts are the perfect option for someone who already has everything.
  • DIY gifting allows you to be creative, use a skill or hobby, or discover a new talent or passion.
  • The best keepsakes come from DIY gifts with kids.
  • Traditions can be carried on through DIY gifts.
Woman knitting a hand crafted gift

Carrying on Traditions Through DIY Projects

Many families pass on crafting traditions that make priceless gifts. From quilting to crochet, much can come from learning these skills.

Families spend endless hours of quality time together, teaching younger generations how to hone and craft their skills. As they instill the importance of patience and craftsmanship, they also spend time sharing stories and wisdom.  

While you may undoubtedly be able to order a quilt online for a baby shower gift, imagine the light in a mother’s eyes when she unveils your handmade quilt. This DIY gift made with love and labor is something she will always cherish. She will tell her child stories about you and the meaningful gift; it is an experience you just can't buy online.

Making Keepsakes with Kids

Ask a parent or grandparent about their favorite gift, and they're bound to tell you about a DIY gift from a child. There’s simply nothing that touches your heart more than unwrapping a precious keepsake made by a child.

Creating DIY gifts with your kids comes with amazing benefits for you as well. It’s time well-spent together, as you learn a new skill and create a special project together. Creating with your children can allow you to bond, laugh, and make lasting memories.

We love the traditional DIY gifts from kids, but we thought we'd share a few of our favorites that you may not have tried. No matter what the special gifting occasion may be, these adorable ideas can be easily modified to meet your needs.

1. Photo Snow Globes 

Although the traditional snow globe boasts a wintery wonderland of flurries, this DIY gift can be crafted with your favorite colors and styles of glitter for any special occasion.

First, spend time flipping through photos with the kids and choosing their favorite to feature inside. Then, take a trip to the local craft store and pick out little trinkets to set the scene.

Hand crafted snow globes

2. Fingerprint Plant Pots

Whether you try this DIY gift idea using fingerprints or just let the kiddos paint, the end result will make a lucky loved one teary-eyed. You’re sure to have a green thumb on your gifting list. A hand-painted pot from the kids or grandkids makes a beautiful and reusable gift.

Spend the afternoon outdoors while they paint their pots. After they dry, let them plant some seeds in their work of art. Use this time to talk about how plants and flowers grow so that your little one can tell the gift receiver all about caring for their new plant.

3. Discover a New Hobby

Your DIY adventures may stem from a crafting skill you already enjoy or from an interest in the one you've wanted to learn. A new hobby also opens the door to many creative DIY gift ideas for friends and family in the future.

4. Find a Class and Learn New Skills

If you’ve been curious about a new skill or hobby, why not take the leap? There are plenty of ways to learn something new or master a skill in progress.

In-Person Classes

We recommend starting by contacting your local crafting stores and community centers for a list of classes they offer. You’ll find a wonderful mix of beginner through advanced level classes for various options, including:

Students making clothes around a table during a fashion class

In-person classes allow you to meet new people and connect with others who share your interests and passion. In addition, they give you a chance to work with an instructor and receive guidance and feedback as you work on your craft.

If you’re not quite settled on a new skill you'd like to try, we challenge you to think outside your comfort zone. There are many ideas you may not typically think of that could lead to your next passion. Who knows – you could end up becoming the next hand-crafted gift shop owner in that genre! 

Here are some of our favorite class ideas that may catch your eye:

Jewelry Making

Women hand beading jewelry

From beaded bracelets to metals and glass, you can learn to design your jewelry. Then, think of the DIY gifts you can give when you personalize each one according to their style, personality, and preferences.

Classes will teach you the basics of jewelry making and familiarize you with the tools you’ll need. There are no limits to your creativity when you learn to design your own jewelry pieces. 

Pottery and Ceramics

Close up image of pottery being made on a wheel

Stop eyeing those beautiful hand-crafted mugs and learn how to become the creator of your own. Classes will teach you how to use a pottery wheel and work towards mastering the art of clay manipulation. We promise you’ll have a few good laughs as you figure it out. You’ll be crafting swoon-worthy DIY gifts in no time.

Pottery and Ceramics Classes Will Teach:
  • hand-building techniques
  • decorating
  • glazing
  • high-temperature firing

Soap Making

You can finally start making those gorgeous bars of soap you admire on Etsy. Of course, this isn't your typical science class, but you’ll get to do quite a bit of experimenting throughout your soap-making process. 

Your classes will walk you through different methods of making soap. You will experiment with various colors, fragrances, and natural additives.

Basketry

Yes, you can even learn the art of basketry. Design functional hand-woven home décor or create hand-crafted gift baskets of your own. Discover various techniques and learn to perfect your style.

Fiber Arts

Choose from a variety of skills in the fiber arts category. Instructors will take you through the possibilities of creating an array of items, including home decor, clothing, and accessories. Your new hobby will create thoughtful DIY gifts when you learn to

Top view of sewing machine being used
  • spin
  • weave
  • knit
  • quilt
  • sew
  • work with natural dyes, fabrics, and yarns

Online Classes

Girl waving at computer while taking an online class

Online courses are ideal for those who need a flexible schedule or prefer to work from the comfort of their own home. With an online class, you can work at your own pace, pause, and repeat portions when duty calls. 

YouTube Tutorials

From picking up a quick DIY gift-making tutorial to learning the entire skillset, you can always find resources on YouTube. Crafters and artisans from around the world create content for all skill levels to enjoy. You may even find your next DIY gift idea from a tutorial project! 

Personalized DIY Gifts

Cricuts and Silhouettes are a dream for creators. Designing and creating your products has never been so easy. While you can undoubtedly find many items made by crafters online, purchasing your own crafting machine has its benefits:

  • make endless DIY gifts yourself
  • customize anything and everything
  • save money
  • learn a new set of skills
  • fall in love and open your own and crafted gift shop on Etsy 

Popular personalized DIY gifts made with crafting machines often include:        

  • shirt
    "have a happy day" decal on a tumbler cup
  • hats
  • bags
  • tumblers
  • champagne flutes
  • baby blankets

Make your next present a memorable one with a handcrafted or DIY gift to show them how much you care.


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