With the passing of Thanksgiving, the holiday season is officially here. And you know what that means — it's Secret Santa time. Whether in your family, among your coworkers, or with your tightest group of friends, a Secret Santa gift exchange game means you need to come up with some ideas that are equally easy and affordable to hand out this year. If you're on a budget, the affordable part is particularly important, which is why DIY Secret Santa gift ideas should definitely be on your radar.
Fortunately, not only do such ideas exist, but they are arguably even better than the store-bought gift you would have had to stand in line to buy. Besides, everyone knows DIY gifts come pre-packaged with a little extra love. Here's some more good news: you do not have to be the world's craftiest crafter to create a great DIY Secret Santa gift. There are DIY gift ideas for every category of crafter, including those who can't sew, cook, or paint. Seriously, the interweb has you covered.
So, let's look at the pros. Going the DIY route is cheaper, more customizable, and packs a sentimental punch. Sounds perfect, right? Even if you aren't a DIY expert when you begin your journey of Secret Santa crafting, you'll likely up your craftiness at least a little when all is said and done.
It's really a win-win situation. So check out these 18 DIY gift ideas when you're ready for solid Secret Santa inspo.
1A Very Merry Cupcake Kit
If you're looking for a gift anyone would love, you can't go wrong with cupcakes — they are universal joy-bringers. What's so fantastic about this gift is that it allows the recipient to decide when they want to make the cupcakes. Perfect for parents, the homemade cupcake kit from A Pretty Life In The Suburbs is capable of helping create delicious treats and memories.
2DIY Succulent Pots
When you give the gift of a plant, you give a gift that keeps on giving. Plus, succulents make such stunning home accents — especially when you create these "dipped" flower pots to house them. These DIY succulent pots from The Effortless Chic would be fantastic for that co-worker who has been lamenting the lack of decor in their cubicle.
If the luxurious look of Vintage Revivals' DIY leather pillow hasn't already won you over, the fact that they are easy and affordable to make surely will. Bonus? If you upcycle the leather from an old sofa off Craigslist (like Vintage Revivals' Mandi did) or from Goodwill, your gift will be eco-friendly to boot.
4Gold-Dipped Feather Ornament
Ornaments make thoughtful Secret Santa gifts, because they are something the recipient can use year after year and incorporate into their own Christmas traditions. These gold-dipped feather ornaments from Girl Loves Glam — which requires only five supplies — is so tres chic, it'll make anyone swoon.
5Framed Recipes Kitchen Art
Could this gift idea be any sweeter for a family Secret Santa gift exchange? Imagine the look on your sister's face when you present her Coordinately Yours' beautiful framed recipes of your mom's famous banana pudding, or let your mom unwrap a treasured recipe in her late mother's distinctive handwriting.
When the days get blustery, few things feel more comforting than a big ol' flannel scarf. Delia Creates' DIY flannel scarf makes a great gift all on its own or paired with a snuggly beanie and some hot cocoa mix. And here's a fun little secret: since the tutorial for these requires making them two at a time, you get to squirrel one away for yourself. Kinda gives new meaning to Secret Santa, eh?
7Infused Bath Salts
If you fall on the less inclined end of the craftiness spectrum, these infused bath salts from A Beautiful Mess may be just the ticket. They only require a handful of items (most of which you might even have on hand), and you can customize the essential oil blend to suit individual recipients. Packed in a pretty glass container with a beautiful label, they'll look like a million bucks — and make the recipient feel like it, too.
8Gold Flecked Tray
Before you take one look at Vitamini Handmade's gold-flecked tray and say, "I can't," breathe and reboot. You can and you will, because this beauty is alarmingly easy to create. Have a trendy friend who makes accessorizing an art form? Secret Santa them the tray to stash their bits and baubles at the end of the day.
9Red Velvet Cream Cheese Thumbprints
Red velvet plus cream cheese. If that isn't a recipe for Secret Santa success, nothing is. Besides their obvious delectable nature, what makes Something Swanky's red velvet cream cheese thumbprint cookies so fantastic is that they are pretty enough to be simply slide into a clear treat bag and tie the top with a bright red ribbon.
10Race Bib & Metal Display
Everyone has at least one friend in their life who gets their kicks from, well, lacing up their kicks and going for a long run. Not because they're being chased — the reason the rest of us run — but because they truly love the feel of their feet pounding the ground and the rush finishing a marathon gives them. Celebrate that friend Secret Santa style with Girl Loves Glam's bib and metal display.
11Modern Cake Stand
For the hospitable hostess or the budding baker, The Merry Thought's modern cake stand is sure to wow. And why not? It's ingenious. You see that stunning base? It's actually a pencil holder from Target turned upside down. Told you — ingenious.
12Graphic Laundry Basket
Does your Secret Santa recipient live in an abode that is small on square footage but big on style? Then they'll adore Studio DIY's graphic laundry baskets stenciled with cheeky phrases like "Fresher Than You," "Talk Dirty to Me," and "So Fresh So Clean." You can pick any woven or cloth style laundry basket you want too, which enables you to keep the price point of the gift in your desired range.
Salted caramel vodka. Strawberry jalapeno tequila. Cinnamon apple bourbon. If your mouth is watering at the mere mention of these lovely libations, you probably know at least one person in your Secret Santa circle who would happily share The Effortless Chic's DIY infused cocktails with you (if you gift them first).
File Delia Create's painted vase under what may possibly be the DIY gift that gives you the most bang for your buck, because it is equal parts easy and chic. Honestly, y'all, it takes five minutes to make and the only supplies you need are a vase and a multi-surface craft paint. Add a bunch of artful dobs, fill with fresh flowers, and voila!
Mmm, Nutella. You could probably just hand a jar of Nutella to someone and it would be a hit. However, you want to gussy it up a bit for Secret Santa, right? Enter Miss Renaissance's Nutella truffles. They only require five ingredients, take less than an hour to make, and will undoubtedly bring get joy to your giftee's taste buds.
16Leather & Fabric Clutch
When it comes to DIY, Vitamini Handmade's leather and fabric clutch is doubly impressive — not only do you make the bag itself, but you also make the marbled accent fabric used to make the clutch. It may be marginally more complex than your standard DIY, but it's still totally doable and worth the extra work.
17Lavender Pots & Free Printable Gift Tags
What's more lovely than lavender? This gift entails presenting the flowering plant, along with a free printable gift tag, to your Secret Santa recipient. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Coordinately Yours' lavender post boast a delightful scent, is naturally soothing, and doesn't require a green thumb to keep alive.
17Food & Dishwasher Safe Mugs
Calling all coffee lovers! You've likely seen DIY mug tutorials making the rounds before, but sadly many of them fail to survive for one simple reason: they aren't microwave and dishwasher safe. A Beautiful Mess's custom mugs are, making them a no-brainer for Secret Santa gifting. For added effect, flip the mug over and write a personal peek-a-boo message on the bottom.