Staff picks: Easy homemade gift ideas

As students leave for the holiday break, everyone has gift giving on the mind. Don’t fret about finding the perfect gift in some corporate chain because The Bark has compiled a list of the best homemade gifts that people actually want this season. Most people would love to have something made with love, so save a few bucks and try out some of these gift ideas.

My go to handmade gifts for the holiday season are blankets. I personally love to sew so I make double sided – one side printed cotton and one side soft minky – blankets. two yards by two yards for adults and one yard by one yard for babies. For those of you who aren’t that into sewing, you can always make a no-sew blanket. For these, you will need to get some fleece (same amount as the sewn) and layer them together. Cut one inch strips all the way around the blanket and then tie them in knots! Blankets are a great gift for the cold winter season.   [Cassidy Bailey]

I’ve tried knitting, crocheting, and whatever else you can do with yarn, but I’ve never been able to make something better than a few loops and a big knot. But I’ve found a really easy way to knit scarves for friends and family members using a knitting loom. They’re small and portable, they can be found at any craft store, and they’re much easier to use than the traditional knitting needles. If I can make something passable with it, anyone can. It’s not hard to get creative either; I’ve made some with people’s favorite university colors or the colors of their Hogwarts house. [Allie Gruszkiewicz]

For just about any occasion where there’s a gift involved, I make my friends homemade gifts. Lately, I’ve been making wooden letters with pictures modpodged all over them. All you have to do to make them are print out some pictures on your normal printer or, if you’re feeling fancy, print the pictures on photo paper and plaster your favorites on the wooden letters. They make perfect homemade, sentimental gifts for any occasion, and your friends are sure to love them. [Katie Matthews]

Considering that I am not really talented in anything that involves art or crafting, I stay away from making homemade gifts the majority of the time. However, I always try to write to my friends and family members during the Christmas season. A handwritten note means a lot to me, so of course I am going to try to have the same effect on another person. [Tyler Hotz]

When it comes to homemade gifts, I’ve always turned to my more artsy side. I like to make each present special and personal for the person I’m making it for. My go to gift is a watercolor monogram. I like to take the first initial of the person’s name and paint in on a piece of small watercolor paper and with a black or dull color and follow that by creating a wreath of sticks or flowers – something that represents them in more vibrant or bright colors. It’s personal and pretty enough to be hung up. My favorite part about homemade gifts, however, isn’t just making them, but also seeing my friends faces when they open them up and see all the work and thought I’ve put into making it. [Madison Tenney]

I’m not big on homemade gifts, but you can never go wrong with food. Chocolate-covered pretzels are easy to make and taste really good. They’re an easy last minute thing to make, plus you get to eat the leftover chocolate. [Wyeth Wilson]

My go-to inexpensive, “homemade,” gift is definitely a holiday mixtape. I think most people can agree that listening to the same Christmas CDs over and over again gets boring, so in my opinion, the best way to spread a little seasonal cheer is mix it up by making my friends CDs that have a little taste of everything on it.  [Maggie Kimber]