Quick & Easy Handmade

Quick and Easy Handmade Projects 15 last-minute Christmas gift ideas

Quick & Easy Handmade

Looking for a few last-minute Christmas gifts?  Don’t have the much time or money?  Check out my list of 15 quick and easy handmade projects.  These projects, including a Sharpie mug, vinyl saying candle holder, photo magnets, Polaroid photo clothespin magnets, shower melts, sugar lip scrub, Thieves© foaming hand soap, fabric bookmarks, super kid cape, sunglasses case, hand-warmers, stuffed dog bone toy, money in a jar, hot cocoa sticks, and Ritz cracker snacks, are quick and easy handmade projects that require little time and money.  Scroll down to check them out!

Christmas Stress Setting In

I don’t know about you, but I am really feeling the stress of Christmas right now.  Counting today, we have 12 days until Christmas.  Yep, that’s right, 12.  I have no idea how I am going to finish all the handmade gifts I have planned, wrap everything, finish shopping for a few last-minute items, clean, and cook/bake in the time left until Christmas.  My anxiety level is at an all-time high.

Quick & Easy Handmade

Add to that, my birthday is tomorrow (41) and I don’t even have time to take the day off.  I really do not celebrate my birthday – we may go out to dinner, but that’s about it.  But this year I was going to go see a movie – Bad Mom’s Christmas.  I loved the first movie (I can relate with the characters) and have been looking forward to seeing the second one.  But, I am watching the first movie while I write this post 😊

We do not go to the movies often because they are way too expensive and we have hundreds of cable channels, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix.  Why pay for a movie in the theater when we have so much available at home?  But, I like to go to the movies.  And, I like to go by myself.  When I go by myself, I can see a movie that I want to see and eat all the buttery popcorn I want without having to share.  I will get to see the movie, but it will probably not be while it is still in the theaters (and without the buttery popcorn).

Quick & Easy Handmade

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining.  One of my biggest pet peeves is reading “Woe is me” posts on Facebook.  I honestly do not follow Facebook as much as I used to because of that very reason.  I cannot complain because every project I have on my plate is one that I have given myself – no one is forcing me to make handmade gifts, bake cookies, or clean the entire house before our Christmas Eve party.  But, nonetheless, everything must get completed and therefore I am STRESSED.


Quick & Easy Handmade

Are You Feeling the Christmas Stress, Too?

I know one of the biggest things that gets me stressed at holiday time is the last-minute stuff.  Things that you cannot do ahead of time – clean, cook, bake, etc.  For me, one of the worst last-minute things is realizing that you forgot to get someone a gift or getting a gift and not having a gift to give in return.

Well, I am here to the rescue!  No, I won’t be coming over to your house to cook and clean, but I can help with some last-minute gifts ideas.  For the last few weeks, I have been working on some quick and easy handmade gifts.  I have compiled a list of 15 projects that I have either seen on Pinterest or created myself.  But, I have made each one of the projects on this list and can attest that each one is a quick and easy handmade projects – and you won’t have to break the budget to make them, either.


Quick & Easy Handmade

Sharpie Mug

My kids and I made a version of these mugs for last Mother’s Day.  This is a really easy project that you can make as simple or complex as you like.  It is even easy enough for the kids to make for grandparents, teachers, caregivers, etc.


  • Plain mug – white is best (I got mine at the Dollar Tree)
  • An image, word or quote sticker
  • Oil-based paint markers (I used Sharpies)

First of all, make sure your mug is clean and dry.  Then, attach your sticker.  You can design and cut your own on a cutting machine or use pre-made stickers.  Use your paint markers to draw dots (or scribbles, shapes, whatever your heart desires) around the stickers.  The key is to get close to the stickers so when you remove them you will be able to clearly see the word or shape.  That’s it.

Now, I have seen posts on Pinterest where people have baked the mugs to make them dishwasher safe.  I did not do that.  As long as you hand-wash carefully, the design should not fade. This is what I have done with the mugs we made on Mother’s Day and they are, for the most part, in tact.


Quick & Easy Handmade

Candle Holder with Vinyl Saying

I found a really nice glass vessel at the Dollar Tree a while back and thought it would be perfect for a homemade candle.  I even tried to re-purpose an old candle to make a new candle in this glass.  Well, that was easier said than done.  Definitely a Pinterest FAIL!  So I cleaned it out and came up with a new plan.

Instead, I made a glass candle holder.  I cut “Sparkle, shimmer, shine” in vinyl on my Silhouette.  I even layered 2 colors of vinyl so I could use some silver for the “shimmer”.  At first I was intimidated to layer vinyl (I never did it before) but I used this tutorial from Expressions Vinyl.  It was SO easy! You really should try it.

I added a white pillar candle (also from Dollar Tree) and now have it on a shelf in my bathroom.  Who says all the gifts have to be for someone else?


Quick & Easy Handmade

Photo or Quote Magnets

This is another quick and easy handmade project.


  • Wood circles (1-1/2″+)
  • Photo or quote printed on plain copy paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
  • Magnet

Measure your wood circle.  Then print a photo or quote a bit larger and cut it out.  Use Mod Podge to adhere the image to the wood (but you could probably use regular glue or even a glue stick).  Just make sure that the edges are firmly attached.  Since I cut my image larger than the circle, I used a sanding block (the one you use for fingernails) to smooth the edges around the circle.  Cover the image with Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. Make sure to cover the entire image and to pop any bubbles.  Let it dry completely and then add a magnet on the back.  I made a few of these with both images and photos and they all turned out great.  (I just prefer not to post pictures of my family.)

Quick & Easy Handmade

Polaroid Photo Clothespin Magnets

I got the idea for these Polaroid Photo Clothespin Magnets from a post I saw on Pinterest.  The project I saw on the Sundae Sins blog was mounted and used as magnets alone.  If you want to see how this version is made, check it out here.

I had a somewhat different version in mind and I wanted it a little it more quick and easy handmade.  And, in the tutorial, she used Photoshop which I do not have.  So here is my version:

  1. Go to Canva.com and create a free account
  2. Click on “Use custom dimensions” in upper right hand corner
  3. Choose your dimensions (default is in pixels) – I used 4”x6”
  4. Add the Polaroid frame – search “polaroid” and choose one of the options (I used the free one with the landscape inside)
  5. Click on “Upload” on the bottom of the left sidebar and upload the photo you want to showcase
  6. Drag and drop the photo into the Polaroid frame – the photo will automatically resize to fit the frame
  7. Click on “Download” on top-right toolbar. You can choose to save it as a png or a jpeg
  8. Insert the graphic into the program you are using (I used Microsoft Publisher)
  9. If you want to make magnets like the ones I made, resize to 1-1/2” x 2”
  10. Print on heavy cardstock, cut, and glue to a clothespin
  11. Add a magnet to the back

Quick & Easy Handmade

Thieves Foaming Hand Soap

Throughout my life, I have had crappy immunity and have always gotten sick way too often.  Until a year ago.  Last August I started using an immunity blend of essential oils and I have had the healthiest year ever.  So, I decided this year to give the gift of health to some of the recipients on my gift list this year.

Thieves© from Young Living is a miracle blend that kills germs and helps boost immunity.  I use a blend of thieves on the bottom of my feet each night to boost my immunity.   And I also started using a soap with Thieves oil to kill germs and boost my immunity just a little bit more.  I found this recipe for DIY Thieves Foaming Hand Soap on Simply Being Mommy and made a bunch for quick & easy handmade gifts this year.

To make Thieves Foaming Hand Soap, you will need liquid castile soap, vitamin E oil, Thieves essential oil, filtered water, and a foaming soap dispenser.  For my gifts, I bought foaming soap at Dollar Tree and just used those dispensers.  You can buy foaming soap dispensers, but they can be pricey.  Since I made quite a few of these, I opted for the more frugal version.  But, if you are only going to make a few, I really recommend purchasing a foaming soap dispenser lid for a mason jar.  I got these a while ago for my mason jar dispensers in my kitchen and powder room.  They are fantastic!  I replaced the rusty metal ones I had and these are so much better.

Quick & Easy HandmadeFor the soap I am giving as gifts, I made labels for the front and back of the soap dispensers.  Since I think the legend of the Thieves© blend is fascinating, I added that to the back label and also a tip to shake the bottle if the soap settles.

Quick & Easy Handmade

Shower Melts

I make and use shower melts for 2 different reasons:  to boost my energy in my morning shower and to help with congestion when I have a cold.  And these are another quick and easy handmade gift.  The basic recipe for shower melts that I use comes from the One Essential Community blog.  This blog is great for anything related to essential oils and this post has a ton of different recipes for shower melts.

All you need to make shower melts is baking soda, distilled water, 25 drops of essential oil, and a silicone mold.  Head over to this One Essential Community post for the recipe and a how-to video.  If you cannot find a recipe you like from One Essential Community, try one of the 2 blends that I have created.

  • Good Morning Shower Melts – 12 drops peppermint essential oil & 13 drops lemon essential oil
  • Cold and Flu Shower Melts – 12 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 10 drops peppermint essential oil, & 3 drops lavender essential oil

And, if you are going to give these for a gift (and not just keep them for yourself), you will need a label for the jar and a tag with usage instructions.  So, here are some for the 2 blends that I use.Quick & Easy Handmade

Quick & Easy Handmade

Sugar Lip Scrub

Who does not get chapped lips in the winter?  No one!  Lip scrub is the perfect quick and easy handmade gift for everyone because it helps to slough off the dead skin and then soften the lips.  I saw a post with many different recipes for Sugar Lip Scrub on Lydia Out Loud. You can make one of her many recipes, but I just used her basic recipe and made my own flavors using essential oils.

For my lip scrubs, I used ½ Tablespoon Fractionated Coconut Oil, ½ Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 drops essential oil.  I also added a few drops of food coloring make it prettier.  However, beware when using food coloring – a little goes a long way!  I did not intend for my lip scrub to be such a dark green, but I was a little heavy-handed with the bottle.  I had a few of containers around the house for my lip scrub, but I have seen small containers that would be perfect at both Dollar Tree and Five Below.

Here are a few recipes for Sugar Lip Scrubs with essential oils:

  • Peppermint – 2 drops Peppermint
  • Citrus Bliss – 2 drops Young Living Citrus Bliss or 1 drop Orange and 1 drop Lemon
  • Coconut Lime – 1 drop coconut extract and 1 drop lime essential oil
  • Lemon Ginger – 1 drop lemon essential oil and 1 drop ginger essential oil

And of course, what is a quick and easy handmade gift without a cute label?

Quick & Easy Handmade



Quick & Easy Handmade

Fabric Bookmarks

Who doesn’t need a bookmark? Just a few fabric scraps, interfacing, and ribbon and you have a quick and easy handmade gift for the book lover in your life.  To make these bookmarks, I used this tutorial I found on 7 Layer Studio. Enough said!

Quick & Easy Handmade

Super Kid Cape

A few months ago, I made a super easy cape for my nephew’s birthday.  I used this free pattern and tutorial from Create Kids Couture.  I mean, what kid doesn’t want to be a superhero?

You only need about a yard of fabric and either snaps or Velcro.  But I wanted to personalize my nephew’s cape, so I created a stencil and painted “Super Tommy” on his. Since you probably don’t have a Tommy who needs a cape, I just changed the stencil to “Super Kid”.  Download it here: Super Kid


Quick & Easy Handmade

Sunglasses Case

Since I wear glasses, I need to be extra careful with my prescription sunglasses.  A handmade sunglasses case is perfect for anyone who wears glasses or sunglasses.  I have made several cases for my sunglasses but this tutorial from Crazy Little Projects is super easy.  I used some coordinating fabric scraps and it only took me maybe 15 minutes to make one.  I even added an antique button to mine for a little pizzazz.


Quick & Easy Handmade


Cold weather is here and everybody’s hands get cold in the winter.  Hand-warmers make a great gift for anyone who spends time outdoors – even if it is just a quick walk to the bus stop.  Just pop these in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and you’ll have warm and toasty hands.

If you have four 3-1/2” squares of cotton fabric and 6 tablespoons of rice, you can quickly make 1 pair of hand-warmers.  I used this tutorial from This Grandma is Fun to make a few for all of our stockings this year.  Mine will be the ones with the hearts!  They will be perfect for long, freezing cold afternoons at the skate park.

Quick & Easy Handmade

Stuffed Dog Bone Toy

Of course, we cannot forget {wo}man’s best friend.  I always make Gunner some homemade treats and get him a cool toy for Christmas.  But this year, I also decided to make him a stuffed dog bone toy.  He has this old, dirty bone-shaped toy that I bought him when we first brought him home.  It has no stuffing left but he still carries it around anyway.  I find it covered in dirt and dog hair every time I move the furniture to vacuum, but I never have the heart to throw it out.  So, I figured if I make him a new one, maybe I can chuck that gross old one.

I made a pattern and used some denim fabric I had leftover from a previous project (I used about 1 pant leg of a pair of jeans).  Since Gunner is a pretty big dog, I made his toy about 11” long, but you can resize the pattern to whatever size suits your dog.

Quick & Easy Handmade

  1. Cut 2 pattern pieces (on the outer line of the pattern) from your fabric
  2. Pin the fabric pieces, right sides together, and sew a ¼” seam around the edges leaving a 2” opening for turning
  3. Cut notches around the curves
  4. Turn right-side out – poke out and smooth all curves
  5. Stuff with Polyfil
  6. Stitch the opening closed



Quick & Easy Handmade

Money in a Jar

Every year, we tip the wonderful men who take our garbage (they always put our cans back where they belong).  But I hate just putting money in an envelope.  So I searched Pinterest for different ways to make giving money a little more interesting.  I found tons of ways to fold money and other creative ideas.  My favorite idea was hiding money in a jar of M&M’s.  But, of course, I did not have any M&M’s.  So, I filled a jar with some peppermints, made a cylinder with a piece of cardstock, and placed a bill inside.  I hope our garbage men appreciate the little extra effort as much as we appreciate theirs!


Quick & Easy Handmade

Hot Cocoa on a Stick

Now this is an awesome idea as well as a quick and easy handmade gift – Hot Cocoa on a Stick.  Simple yet yummy.  I found the idea and tutorial for Hot Cocoa on a Stick at Thirty Handmade Days.

All you need is 2 cups of chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon of extract (I used mint), a silicone mold, and disposable spoons.  (In the tutorial, she used wooden spoons, but I really did not want to spend the money for a bunch of spoons when I only needed a few.  So, I used some heavy-duty plastic ones and they worked just as well.) I wanted to use a Christmas shape mold but the one I ordered has not arrived yet.  So, I used the cube silicone mold that I use for ice.  Since my cubes were on the larger side (about 1 ounce each) I was only able to make about 10.  Since I made peppermint cocoa, I crushed up some candy canes and added them on top of the melted chocolate.  When I packaged them, I also added some mini marshmallows because who can drink hot cocoa without marshmallows? Not me!

Quick & Easy Handmade

I also made a label for my Hot Cocoa on a Stick and used my Stampin’ Up! tag punches.


Quick & Easy Handmade

Ritz Cracker Snacks

Instead of making super-complicated cookies and candies, I like to make some quick and easy handmade snacks with Ritz Crackers.  When I saw the limited-edition snowflake Ritz crackers at the grocery store last week, I knew I had to make some Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers.  I found this recipe on the Cakes Cottage blog a while ago and have been making them on a regular basis.

To make Rolo Stuffed Ritz Crackers, you “bake” a Rolo on a Ritz cracker at 350 for 3-5 minutes.  When the Rolos are melted just enough (I bake for 3 minutes), you smush (is that a word?) the melted Rolo with the other cracker to make a sandwich.  But, instead of following the recipe from Cakes Cottage and just making 10, I buy a bag of the unwrapped Rolos and make the entire bag (there are approximately 35 in a bag). They are so good!  And they look super cute with the snowflake Ritz crackers.

Since my family loves peanut butter, I also wanted to make some peanut butter cracker sandwiches as well.  But, it is Christmas, so I dipped them in chocolate and added some Christmas themed sprinkles.  The chocolate adds just enough sweetness to make them oh, so good.  To make these, sandwich 2 crackers with peanut butter.  Then, melt some chocolate chips, dip 1 side of the sandwich in the chocolate, and then sprinkle with the candy sprinkles.

Well, that about does it.  15 quick and easy handmade gifts for Christmas.  Do you have any quick and easy handmade projects that you will be making for Christmas this year?  I can always use more ideas to keep in my last-minute gift arsenal!  Leave a comment below to let me know what you will be making in those precious last-minute moments before Christmas day.

Make some quick and easy handmade gifts to Add a Little Shimmer to your life today.

Nicole Warren-Missimer

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Nicole Warren-Missimer

Adding Shimmer to Life: A DIY lifestyle blog helping you add some shimmer to your everyday life.




All contents – text and images – belong to Nicole Warren-Missimer of Adding Shimmer to Life (unless otherwise noted).

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