Handmade Christmas and Holiday Gift Ideas

The countdown to December 25, 2019 is underway– but If you get started crafting now, you still have time left to make handmade Christmas gifts for at least some of the main players on your gift list this year.

We’ve collected a wide range of Christmas gift ideas and craft projects to inspire you, ranging from crocheted treasures to holiday cards. You’ll find free Christmas beading patterns, Christmas card making instructions, and a whole bunch of other free patterns and project instructions to make.

An Edible Christmas Arrangement Featuring Candy Canes
An Edible Christmas Arrangement Featuring Candy Canes
  • Pictured here: A Christmas Candy Cane Dispenser you can make using dollar store craft supplies.
  • Christmas Patterns – Find free knitting and crochet patterns for making a variety of different holiday gifts and decorations.
  • Crocheted gift set for the kitchen including potholders and a dishcloth. Both of these patterns are available for free.
    Crocheted gift set for the kitchen including potholders and a dishcloth. Both of these patterns are available for free.
  • Crocheted Gift Sets – If you’d rather give a handmade gift that can be used year-around, this gift set might be just what you’re looking for.
  • Don’t forget the giftwrap. You could try wrapping up your gifts in handmade baskets or gift pouches — or you can use this unusual idea for wrapping oddly-shaped gifts in paper giftwrap.

See Also:

Happy crafting!

DIY Snowflake Christmas Card With Holiday Greeting

This holiday greeting card features a snowflake design, several different patterned papers, and some ethereal ribbon tied in a bow.

Snowflake Christmas Card With Holiday Greeting

Click Here to get free instructions for making this card.

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Crochet a Wreath Ornament for Christmas

You Can Crochet This Wreath Ornament for Christmas Using a Free Pattern From KnittingandCrochet.net.
You Can Crochet This Wreath Ornament for Christmas Using a Free Pattern From KnittingandCrochet.net.

Whether or not you’re ready to get started on your Christmas crafting, you might want to grab this free crochet pattern for a Christmas wreath ornament.

If you can’t wait for Christmas, and you’ve already started making Christmas projects, you’ll be able to crank out zillions of these between now and December 25, 2019.

If you aren’t in the mood to get started on Christmas crafts yet, no worries — you can grab this pattern now, file it away in your pattern stash, and you’ll have it handy when you are ready to fire up and get going on your Christmas projects.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I think this is an ideal pattern to have on hand:

  • It’s quick.
  • It’s easy.
  • It doesn’t require much yarn.
  • If you used green yarn for any other projects lately, you may even be able to use up your green yarn scraps using this pattern.
  • This pattern is great for making ornaments for ornament swaps.
  • If you need items to sell at Christmas craft sales, try these. According to KnittingandCrochet.net’s terms of use, you’re allowed to sell the ornaments you make with this pattern.
  • You can personalize the decorations you put on the wreath — try adding charms, beads, sequins, buttons, bows, pompoms or embroidery. Or keep it simple and go with the decorations suggested in the pattern — whichever you prefer.

Happy Crafting!

Amy Solovay

Related Resources:

How to Avoid Giving Unwanted Christmas Gifts This Holiday Season

For just a moment, let’s briefly discuss the uncomfortable topic of unwanted Christmas gifts. All too often, it happens that people inadvertently end up giving their loved ones gifts they neither want nor need.

In my “real job” as a freelance writer, decluttering and organizing are two of the topics I write about most frequently. I’ve had to research these activities thoroughly and write dozens of articles about them. As it turns out, holiday gifts are one of the major culprits responsible for causing massive quantities of clutter — at least, in North America and in Australia, the two major markets I write for.

As far as I can tell, there are 3 easy solutions for avoiding wasting money on unwanted gifts and creating clutter for your gift recipients in the process. Solution #1 is to ASK your gift recipients what they might like to receive as gifts. Solution #2 is to give a gift certificate to a store you know your gift recipient patronizes. Solution #3 is to give a zero-waste gift that is intended to be consumed by the recipient instead of lingering in his or her home to create clutter: organic nuts, brownies, soaps, candles, lotions, lip balms and personal care products all qualify (unless your gift recipient is a teacher — in which case, s/he will be getting zillions of each of these items — so choose things like pencils, craft papers, glue, erasers and stickers s/he will be able to use in the classroom so s/he won’t have to buy these items out of pocket. This pro tip comes to you complements of Mike’s sister, who is a teacher).

This holiday season, I invite you to give some serious consideration to applying these clutter-free solutions to your own holiday shopping.

Since this is a craft website, let’s take a look at a few resources you can use for clutter-free holiday crafting, with the intention of making your own clutter-free gifts. If you’re interested in the possibility of making your own candles, soaps and similar craft projects as gifts for your loved ones, I have suggestions for some excellent resources you might find useful:

The “Make & Give” Series of Books by Leisure Arts:

Want to make clutter-free, consumable gifts for everyone on your gift list? Check out the Make and Give Series of books by Leisure Arts. Each book features gift-worthy projects focused on a single theme: Soap making, candle making and herbal self-care products. These are wonderful books, and I highly recommend them!
Want to make clutter-free, consumable gifts for everyone on your gift list? Check out the Make and Give Series of books by Leisure Arts. Each book features gift-worthy projects focused on a single theme: Soap making, candle making and herbal self-care products. These are wonderful books, and I highly recommend them!

Make & Give Home Apothecary gives you recipes and giftwrap ideas for making all-natural body care products such as sugar scrubs, lip balm and bath bombs.

Make & Give Home Candle Making offers you step-by-step instructions and gift presentation ideas for making delightfully beautiful candles and wax melts.

Make & Give Home Soap Making empowers you to make luxurious and useful soaps in a tempting variety of styles and fragrances (or you can opt for unscented if you suspect your gift recipient may have sensitivities to fragrance).

One of the best things about these books: There are step-by-step photos and instructions for making each project. The projects are all beginner friendly, and the giftwrap and presentation ideas are outstanding!

Soaps, personal care products and candles are all useful items your gift recipient is likely to have a genuine need for. Out of these, I think soaps are one of the items that would be least likely to morph into clutter — because everyone would be likely to eventually use soaps. But I think all of these ideas have the potential to be truly useful ones.

I wish you and yours a blessed holiday season this year. Happy holidays, and happy crafting

With Love,

Amy

See Also:

Making Dolls and Toys for the Kids on Your Gift List

‘Tis the season for toy shopping, but shopping for toys isn’t your only option. Have you given any thought to the possibility of making the dolls or toys you’ll give to the children on your gift list? It’s totally do-able considering there are many, many patterns available for sewing, knitting and crocheting adorable toys.

You aren’t limited to these craft techniques, by any means. Lately my daughter has been begging me for tiny, cute needle felted toy animals (which I don’t know how to make — so I have no recommendations for needle felting patterns. Yet.) Right now, knitting and crocheting are my top craft techniques, so this post will focus primarily on pattern recommendations for crocheted and knitted toys.

Knitted Dolls and Teddy Bears

If you want to knit a teddy bear for a special child on your gift list, consider using this cute teddy bear knitting pattern from  Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs, published by Trafalgar Square Books.
If you want to knit a teddy bear for a special child on your gift list, consider using this cute teddy bear knitting pattern from Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs, published by Trafalgar Square Books.

If you want to knit truly wonderful holiday gifts for anyone in your inner circle, my top pattern book recommendation of the moment would be Arne & Carlos Favorite Designs. This book isn’t specifically intended to be a toy pattern book, but it does have some fantastic options for fun toys you can make — including a vibrant and colorful teddy bear, bunches of different dolls and doll clothes, plus assorted other toys. The book also includes patterns for slippers, socks, and all kinds of other gift-worthy items.

Learn More About This Book:

Amigurumi: Cute Crocheted Stuffed Animal Toys

Amigurumi: An Adorable Collection, published by Leisure Arts
Amigurumi: An Adorable Collection, published by Leisure Arts

There are a whole lot of outstanding amigurumi crochet patterns available for making toys and dolls. If you were to ask my opinion about the absolute best choice for a pattern book for Christmas 2019, the book pictured above would be my pick.

Why?

Bunches of reasons:

  • So far, this book offers you the best value out of any of the choices I’m aware of; it has the best per-pattern price out of any of the amigurumi pattern books I’ve reviewed.
  • These patterns are super fun, super cool and super cute. Well, OK, not all of these designs are cute, but most of them are.
  • There are designs suitable for both boys and girls, so the boys are not left out of the fun.
  • The book format is totally logical and user-friendly, with gorgeous full-color photography and readable fonts.

Learn More About This Book:

Handmade Fashion Doll Clothes to Make and Give

Want to make some doll clothes for the little girls on your gift list? You have lots of options for that. Pictured here is a rainbow top you can crochet for Barbies or other fashion dolls. In this picture, a vintage 1980s Creata Flower Princess doll is modeling the top. A free crochet pattern is available for this project.
Want to make some doll clothes for the little girls on your gift list? You have lots of options for that. Pictured here is a rainbow top you can crochet for Barbies or other fashion dolls. In this picture, a vintage 1980s Creata Flower Princess doll is modeling the top. A free crochet pattern is available for this project.

If there’s a Barbie doll fanatic on your gift list, perhaps you could whip up some new Barbie wardrobe pieces to delight her. One possibility is this cute fashion doll top. Click here to find the free crochet pattern.

If these ideas aren’t quite what you had in mind, I invite you to check out our page of knitting and crochet patterns for dolls and toys to find even more suggestions. Happy crafting, and happy holidays to you and yours. I hope your family will have a delightful holiday season this year.

By Amy Solovay

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design. Amy has been crocheting and making crafts since childhood, and knitting since her teenage years. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

Warm Knitted Socks for Winter

Winter is fast approaching. In the northern hemisphere, the first official day of winter will fall on Saturday, December 21, 2019 this year. But for many of us, the weather is already starting to turn cold and wintry. I’m currently living up in the mountains — and in my neighborhood, we’ve already had to break out the warm knitted socks for winter. And I’m also thinking of turning my attention to knitting some new wooly socks for myself and my family.

Need some warm socks to wear under your winter boots or sneakers? Or maybe even to wear to bed at night if your bedroom gets cold or drafty? If you think you might enjoy knitting some new socks, too, I invite you to consider the following winter-friendly sock patterns and knitting pattern books:

I highly recommend all of the sock knitting books pictured here: Colorful Knit Soxx by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books; Jorid Linvik's Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books; Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther, published by Trafalgar Square Books; and Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts.
I highly recommend all of the sock knitting books pictured here: Colorful Knit Soxx by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books; Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books; Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther, published by Trafalgar Square Books; and Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts.

Colorful Knit Soxx by Kerstin Balke

Colorful Knit Soxx Book by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books
Colorful Knit Soxx Book by Kerstin Balke, published by Stackpole Books

Colorful Knit Soxx is a unique and wonderful book featuring nothing but sophisticated sock knitting patterns. These patterns are all unisex designs, and they are sized for adult men and women. If you want to keep your feet warm while also making a unique fashion statement, this is definitely a book worth considering for your pattern collection.

Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks

Jorid Linvik's Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books
Jorid Linvik’s Big Book of Knitted Socks, published by Trafalgar Square Books

There are a lot of cold places around the world. Out of all of them, Norway ranks high at the top of the list of countries where residents endure some of the coldest wintertime temperatures on earth. So,if you’re interested in knitting some ultra-warm winter socks, Norwegian knitting pattern books offer you an excellent starting point; knitted Norwegian accessories are typically designed for wearing in the coldest of cold temperatures.

The Norwegians have mastered the art of keeping warm while also looking chic and stylish. Their hand-knitted socks tend to be really interesting designs. And, so far, some of the most interesting sock knitting patterns I’ve found are the ones designed by Jorid Linvik and published in her Big Book of Knitted Socks.

Jorid’s sock knitting patterns draw heavily on Scandinavian style knitting traditions, yet they are also thoroughly contemporary and unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like them. They are super impressive knitting projects — so if you’re looking to show off your knitting skills while making socks to keep your feet warm, Jorid’s sock knitting book is one you’ll want to keep foremost in mind when you’re shopping for sock knitting patterns.

Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther

Socks From Around Norway by Nina Granlund Sæther, published by Trafalgar Square Books
Socks From Around Norway, published by Trafalgar Square Books

This sock knitting pattern book by Nina Granlund Sæther features numerous examples of innovative Norwegian sock designs that have all been inspired by historic patterns of past. Of all the sock knitting pattern books I’ve reviewed, this one has the broadest diversity of different sock patterns and techniques. It’s a truly lovely book featuring sock patterns for everyone ranging from babies through adults; patterns are included for people of both genders.

In my opinion, all the books I’ve included on this particular list offer you a substantial value for the money you’d spend on them. Value is a subjective thing — but in this reviewer’s opinion, Socks From Around Norway offers the best value I’ve yet found on a sock knitting pattern book, assuming you plan to do a lot of sock knitting.

Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman

Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts
Knit Socks for Those You Love by Edie Eckman, published by Leisure Arts

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll like sock knitting, this affordable booklet gives you the opportunity to try it out without making a sizable financial commitment in sock knitting patterns. The patterns you get are all appealing ones, and this book is a great value for the money you spend on it.

As of right now, these are my top recommendations for sock knitting pattern books. If you’d like more information about sock making, I invite you to check out my page on the topic of sock knitting and crochet patterns, which is posted online at KnittingandCrochet.net.

I hope you and yours will stay toasty warm this winter season.

Best wishes,

Amy

A Book of Patterns for Knitting and Crocheting Lovely Gifts

Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet, a craft pattern book by Mags Kandis. Interweave is the publisher of this book.
Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet, a craft pattern book by Mags Kandis. Interweave is the publisher of this book.

If you enjoy creating gifts to give to your family, friends, and colleagues, you might enjoy Mags Kandis’ colorful, creative craft pattern book called Gifted: Lovely Little Things to Knit and Crochet. Interweave publishes this book, which features a wide variety of craft patterns. Most of the included items are reasonably quick to make, and there are items that will suit many different recipients. The majority of patterns featured are knitting patterns, but there are a few crochet patterns included; there are also ideas for felting, needle felting, sewing, and even a few recipes.

My three favorite projects in the book are a pair of knitted socks, a simple but elegant crocheted scarf and a colorful felted granny square tote bag. I think the granny square bag is especially clever. If you crochet a lot of granny squares, I think you’re going to enjoy seeing how this bag is put together. It is soooo simple, yet the finished results are totally fabulous.

More details are available in my book review.

Related Resources:

Crafts for the Thanksgiving Table

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends! Canadian Thanksgiving is tomorrow — October 14th, 2019. And this year, in the USA, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 28, 2019. Maybe you celebrate this holiday, and maybe you don’t…Either way, I’d like to point you in the direction of some free, crafty ideas and instructions for setting a lovely table.

  • This page features a whole bunch of different napkin rings you could make for your holiday table settings — Thanksgiving or otherwise. Some of these ideas are so super simple that you’ll barely need the tutorials. Others are so complex that your dinner guests will be dazzled by your creativity. Whether you’re looking for quick, easy ideas or projects that or more in-depth, either way, you can’ go wrong with this list.
  • Crocheted placemats are ideal for Thanksgiving and other holidays. To make a placemat, crochet a rectangle of any stitch — perhaps half double crochet stitch — and then add a fancy crocheted edging. To make them extra special, you could also add gorgeous ribbon embellishments in holiday-friendly colors.
  • This list of Thanksgiving crafts includes even more fantastic patterns, ideas and inspiration.

Happy Thanksgiving go all our readers who celebrate this holiday!

Fall Brings Sweater Weather

Autumn is the time of year that many knitters and crocheters most look forward to. We can’t wait to savor pumpkin spice lattes, and we’re excited to cheer for our favorite college football teams. But, best of all, we love to get out our handmade sweaters and flaunt them — and fall is definitely the best season for that.

When the trees decide it’s time to transform from green to rich hues of orange and gold and red, we’re there with our cameras in hand, ready to snap selfies showing off every intricate cable or colorwork motif in our handiwork.

Fashion trends come and go, but sweaters are eternal. And, if you knit or crochet, you can never have too many sweater patterns.

Are you thinking of knitting or crocheting a new fall sweater any time soon? If so, there are some outstanding sweater pattern books you should be aware of.

Traditional Danish Sweaters for Fall and Winter

Traditional Danish Sweaters by Vivian Høxbro, published by Trafalgar Square Books
Traditional Danish Sweaters by Vivian Høxbro, published by Trafalgar Square Books

If you’re interested in knitting warm wool sweaters featuring classic Scandinavian motifs and styling, you’ll definitely want to take a look at a brand new book called Traditional Danish Sweaters. This book is a unique combination of history book, design workbook, sweater knitting pattern book and knitting stitch dictionary. The designs included in this book are all wearable ones that I think will be of interest to knitters who are interested in working sweater patterns.

The Crochet Closet

The Crochet Closet: A Crochet Sweater Pattern Book by Lisa Gentry, Published by Leisure Arts. Photo Courtesy of Leisure Arts.
The Crochet Closet: A Crochet Sweater Pattern Book by Lisa Gentry, Published by Leisure Arts. Photo Courtesy of Leisure Arts.

The Crochet Closet is not a new book, but it features lovely crocheted sweater designs that look as fresh and new now as they did when they were originally published.

One of the best things about this book is the inclusive size range. The book includes sweaters patterns that have been graded for a broad range of sizes, including extra large sizes.

If you enjoy crocheting sweaters, this book is definitely worth your consideration.

Learn More About The Crochet Closet Book by Lisa Gentry

Enjoy the sweater weather this year, my friends! Happy knitting and crocheting!

Knitting Stylish Ponchos for Fall

In the Northern Hemisphere, today — Monday, September 23, 2019 — is the first day of fall. You know what that means: If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to put away your shorts and t-shirts, and start getting out your ponchos, mittens, hats, scarves and sweaters to prepare for the chillier days ahead.

If you don’t already own any lovely ponchos, perhaps you’d enjoy knitting yourself a new one. There are bunches of gorgeous poncho patterns to consider. Check out this one:

This knitted poncho is perfect for fall! You'll find the pattern for making this poncho in the book Knitting for the Fun of It! by Frida Ponten, published by Trafalgar Square Books.
This knitted poncho is perfect for fall! You’ll find the pattern for making this poncho in the book Knitting for the Fun of It! by Frida Ponten, published by Trafalgar Square Books.

Knitting for the Fun of It! is one of my all-time favorite knitting books. In addition to poncho patterns, the book also includes patterns for making shawls, fingerless gloves, sweaters and bunches of other lovely items that are suitable for wearing in fall. It also has some interesting articles on topics like how to dye your own yarn. I find the book highly inspiring — and if you knit, I bet you’ll love it, too.

If you’d rather knit a shawl or a wrap than a poncho, another fabulous book to consider is Vogue Knitting Shawls & Wraps 2. The entire book is dedicated to giving you knitting patterns for making pretty, feminine shawls and wraps that will ward off the chill on crisp fall days.

If ponchos and shawls aren’t what you feel like working on right now, no worries. We have bunches of other craft ideas you might enjoy. You’re invited to check out this list of fall patterns to discover ideas for crocheting or knitting just about any type of knitwear you might want to get started on making this fall. Happy crafting!

By Amy Solovay

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design. Amy has been crocheting and making crafts since childhood, and knitting since her teenage years. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 8-31-2019.