Before you read that title and start getting excited about clearing all those old latch-hook rugs or paint-by-number pictures out to give as gifts, you need to think long and hard about your actions. Homemade gifts for coworkers do not mean all the failed craft projects that you can’t figure out what to do with, yet the pack rat in you just can’t seem to throw them away.
If your gift for coworkers is homemade, it needs to be something you would actually like to receive yourself. If you are still trying to rationalize giving that latch-hook with the turtle on it, and arguing with your subconscious that you would be thrilled to receive it, then you probably need more help than even I can offer. Whether it”s homemade Christmas gifts or a ‘just-because’ gift, here are several ideas you make yourself.
- Soap – First off, if you can’t even boil water without having issues, you have no business making soap that requires any kind of melting. Soap is a big challenge, but the great thing about it is that one block can be cut into several pieces. You can mix and match these with salts and candles if you have several people to give gifts too. There are plenty of soap making kits to choose from too.
- Bath Salts – Even if the guy opening the gift secretly indulges in bubble baths with candles like Chandler from Friends, there is little chance he is going to act excited over this gift. Reserve bath salts for the female coworkers and please use quality ingredients. The last thing you need is them coming to work covered in a rash from them. Bath salts are ridiculously easy and inexpensive to make, especially if you use a mix of Epsom and sea salts. Then, you simply add skin-safe fragrance oils and package them in decorative jars.
- Treats – If no one ever eats your cookies and cakes at home, there is a slight chance that they are just not as good as you think they are. However, if you are famed for your mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies or delicious holiday fudge, then homemade baked goods can be a fantastic treat. Please make sure the gift receiver is not a vegan, and if you plan on using nuts, you better be confident that there are no allergies, unless you want to be known for sending your coworkers to the emergency room because of your baking.
- Calendar – A dozen pictures of your new baby is probably not going to get hung in any offices. If you love to take pictures of nature, animals or something that the gift receiver is really into, and then you could have a homemade calendar made that will actually be wall-worthy.
- Ornament – If you consider yourself a crafty person, you can always make ornaments. You could buy plain balls and decorate or personalize them with glitter, paint or ribbon, or you could always make baked clay ones of snowmen or trees in molds.
- Jar Gifts – If you are going to put cookie, cake, muffin or hot cocoa mix in a jar, please take the time to do something creative with the jar. At least tie a ribbon around it and use a gift tag to write the directions.
- Stepping Stones – A personalized stepping stone is something anyone can appreciate. If the person just had a baby, decorate it with baby bottles or a stork. If they have a pet that they talk about more than most people talk about their children, paint bones and paws on it. Stepping stones can be made with minimal cost, if you use a mold and make your own concrete or cement.
- Candles – Everyone loves candles, and believe it or not, they are a lot easier to make than you think. Get yourself a good recipe, a mold, coloring and oils or fragrances and get creative.
- Hand and Feet Warmers – Nearly everyone is addicted to those warmers that you toss in the microwave for a couple minutes and then place on your neck, hands or toes. All you need is fabric to make the beanbag, and then rice or beans to fill it.
- Homemade Granola – If the person you are making the gift for is not into cakes and cookies, homemade granola is a great idea. It is super easy to make and can be customized a multitude of different ways with sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, nuts, etc.
- Jewelry – If you need a gift for coworkers and they all happen to be female, you can make them jewelry. Go to the craft store and buy beads, charms and anything else that catches your eye. Be warned though, this is a dangerous isle to go down if you are easily distracted by shiny things. Keep in mind that the store does have a closing time.