Christmas gift giving can be a confusing and expensive proposition. One way to cut down on costs and show your thoughtfulness at the same time is with a homemade gift made especially with the recipient in mind. Although homemade gift ideas for men can be particularly challenging, there are many ideas that will please just about every man on your list.
Take a glass jar with a lid, such as a mason jar, and fill it with brownie mix, soup mix, cider mix or cocoa mix, with instructions attached. Or you can fill a tall glass jar with homemade gourmet cooking oil infused with fragrant herbs.
For an even simpler idea, fill a mug with a spice mix or barbecue rub and wrap it up in cellophane and ribbon. You can use a basic mug for this purpose, or you can look for an inexpensive mug you can write on with a permanent marker to create your own messages and designs appropriate for the recipient.
If you're a handy baker and cook, then consider cooking or baking goodies like pies, brownies, candy, cookies, popcorn balls, granola or chocolate dipped pretzels or strawberries. Arrange them into baskets, tins or any decorative container.
Fill a jar with a homemade toiletry item such as aftershave or shaving soap.
To make your own aftershave, blend together 1/2 cup pure aloe vera gel, 1 tsp. water, 2 tsp. rubbing alcohol, 2 tsp. witch hazel and 10 drops of essential oil.
To make shaving soap, boil 1/2 cup grated castile soap in 1 cup water until dissolved, then place it in a blender with 2 tbsp. melted coconut oil, 3 tbsp. sweet almond oil, 1 tbsp. borax, and 10 to 15 drops of any essential oil like cedarwood or sandalwood. Stir the mixture until it's fluffy and pour it into your container.
Make a music CD for the music lover on your list. You can download tunes from the Internet or borrow some of his CDs to create a mix of his favorite tunes or a themed mix.
If your recipient is a family member or close friend, consider making a scrapbook, since men sometimes have a tendency to forget to set aside pictures, notes and small gifts from past events. Collect some of the most meaningful mementos and create a memory book keepsake.
Coupons are a great and easy way to give a gift and are often virtually free, especially if they're for a gift of your time. They can be for labor-intensive gifts such as a car wash, or entertainment gifts such as a movie rental, bowling game or golf game. You can make the coupons yourself by hand or print them from a computer on business cards to put in a small photo album or new wallet, or print them on index cards and place them in a book.
Gift baskets are another great idea for homemade gifts. For the sport enthusiast, fill the basket with a ball or puck, a sports video, sports magazines, posters of their favorite player or drink cozies. For a science fiction fan, collect science fiction novels, movie DVDs or a gift certificate for rental, tickets to a sci-fi convention and popcorn. For the beach bum, fill the basket with flip flops, sunglasses, and sun block and a beach towel. For the BBQ grilling champion, add an oven mitt, apron, seasonings, marinades and grilling accessories. For the games expert, layer a basket with playing cards, crossword puzzles and dice.