Upcycled Holiday Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

November 28, 2018

By Lori Melton

With Black Friday already behind us, the gift-giving season is just getting started. If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping crowds, giving handmade gifts to the people on your list is a wonderful alternative. Homemade presents often mean more to the people who receive them. Plus, putting a crafty spin on items you already have can be eco-friendly and easier on the budget. Check out these suggestions below for upcycled gifts your family will treasure.

Framed Book Page

Framing a page from a loved one’s favorite book makes a great, sentimental gift. Did your mom love “The Secret Garden” as a child? Does your friend love a quote from “Pride and Prejudice?” If you have a copy of their favorite book or can get one from a used book/swap shop, a framed page is a unique and meaningful gift.

Glass Jar Gifts

Old mason jars have become a popular, rustic farmhouse design element. There are many ways to upcycle a glass jar or bottle to make a beautiful gift. Spray painting a jar or bottle and adding decorative embellishments can yield a gorgeous vase. A detailed, step-by-step list of instructions (with photos) can be found here.

Wine bottles make excellent taper candle holders and add an elegant, decorative touch to a kitchen or island counter. A collection of bottles also makes a pretty table centerpiece. Choosing candle colors to complement a relative or friend’s décor is also a nice touch.

T-Shirt Quilt

The teen or college students on your list should love wrapping up in a cozy quilt made from all of their faded and favorite t-shirts. The shirts can feature favorite sports teams, a school logo or colors, a favorite band, a memorable vacation souvenir shirt and more. The more eclectic and colorful, the better. You can make them as simple or as complex as you like, and sizes can vary from a lap quilt to a full-size bedspread. The Spruce Crafts gives great instructions here.

Vinyl Record Redo

Vinyl records have recently made a comeback. You can still find vintage albums in used record shops, antique stores, and flea markets and, better yet, you can even pull from your own collection or use someone else’s discard pile to make some cool gifts for the music lover on your list. Simply framing an album for a wall-hanging is a neat artsy gift. Lots of other creative album gifts can be crafted including bookends, magazine racks, shelving units, a side table, coffee table and more. A quick Google search on any of these vinyl transformations gives lots of options with detailed directions.

Keepsake Box

Turning scraps of wood into a personalized keepsake box is relatively easy and makes a thoughtful, personalized gift. Stenciling initials or a favorite phrase onto the top or sides of the box, decoupaging photos or travel stamps onto the box or embellishing it with personal items are all ways to add special meaning to a gift that can also be used to store other personal treasures. Woodshop Diaries has a fantastic example of a small DIY keepsake box here.