17 Actually Great Homemade Gift Ideas When You’re On a Budget

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Gifts

When you’re on a budget, an awesome gift doesn’t have to be a pair of socks or hand lotion. Get creative and try your hand at some arts and crafts with these homemade gift ideas that’ll impress people while adding a truly personal touch. What’s more, you could whip these up in batches and hand them out to many people at once. Christmas gifts, sorted.

Here, actually great homemade gift ideas.


candles that make for great homemade gift ideas

Reasons candles make for an excellent gift: they’re beautiful and look fantastic in any space, they add fragrance to a space and they’re essential for this country’s rolling blackouts.

You can get candle-making kits from most craft stores and all you’ll need is some essential oil to create something thoughtful and no doubt appreciated.

Infused Olive Oil

Infused olive oil as a homemade gift idea image by Canva

All you’ll need is olive oil in abundance and your choice of herbs to infuse olive oil. These are not only great for cooking but can be used as body oils, hair growth serums and more. Put them in a pretty jar, wrap with a bow and voila! You’ve got a homemade gift people will love.

Homemade Gift Starter Kit

Storage jar for homemade gift ideas at Loot

Use jars to present your homemade gift creations in style.

festive ribbons for homemade gift ideas at Takealot

These festive ribbons dress up your offering.

decal stickers by Loot

These labels can be erased – so your gift jar or container can be reused!

READ MORE: The Top Gifts WH Team Want Under The Tree This Season

Baked Cookies

Baked cookies image by Canva

This homemade gift idea is for anyone: grandpa, mom, BFF, distant cousin you’ve met once… all applicable. Whip up your favourite batch of cookies (find an incredible recipe here), pop them in a jar and gift them to anyone. Another reason they’re great? You poured your love into them.

Hot Chocolate Tubes

Hot chocolate image by Canva

Fact: homemade hot chocolate is better than store-bought versions! This homemade gift idea is not only cute and thoughtful but also pretty cheap to whip together. Simply add your ingredients to a tube or small jar and label as you’d like. With every sip, your giftee will be thinking about you. How sweet!


Jam image by Canva

South Africa is blessed to have summertime Christmases, which means fresh fruit is in abundance. Make an event out of it and head to a local farm for cherry or strawberry picking, them whip up batches of homemade jam for your loved ones.

Cookie jar mix image by Freepik

This one is fun because you can customise your cookie mix to each person. If someone is allergic to nuts, try a chocolate chip cookie mix. Or alternate with macadamia nut and cranberry or even white chocolate. The options are endless and the ending is sweet. Win-win.

READ MORE: 17 Super-Stylish Stocking Fillers & Gifts Under R150 – That Aren’t Socks

Body Scrubs

Body scrubs image by Freepik

Healthy, skin-buffing body scrubs are so easy to make. Start with a base, like sugar, salt or coffee grounds. Add fragrant essential oils (these nourish, work through the skin and brighten the complexion) and mix with another oil, like coconut, almond, argan or olive. Almost delicious enough to eat, and so thoughtful.

Homemade Bath Bombs

homemade bath bombs image by Freepik

Bath bombs are so impressive but actually easy to make. They’re clutch self-care gifts and can also be used to freshen up the smell in linen and clothing closets.

Chilli Sauce

chili sauce image by phuonghoangthuy on Freepik

Homemade chilli sauce is delicious and a healthy source of vitamins and minerals. They can be used in almost any dish and show off your culinary skills, while still being incredibly cheap to make.

Printed Mugs

mug image by Canva

Most printing stores will have a collection of mugs for you to choose from. Simply submit your design and you’ve got a personalised gift for anyone who drinks tea, coffee or anything else.

READ MORE: 21 Best Self-Care Gifts For Her That Go Way Beyond Face Masks

Printed T-Shirts

printed t-shirt homemade gift idea image by Canva

Everyone loves a t-shirt, especially one with a message that resonates with them. Buy any shirt you’d like and personalise it with some text. Go crazy with your design and use fabric paint (if you’re that way inclined) or simply ask a printing shop to do the work for you. Sorted.

Custom Calendar

calendar image by Freepik

For this gift, you get to decide how you’d like it. Calendars make great gifts since everyone needs to track time and you can make it as personalised as you’d like. Got a budding photographer friend? Use each month as an opportunity to prompt your friend to take photos with a different theme. Got a running friend? Drop some inspirational quotes. Or decorate with motifs fitting each friend. The sky’s the limit.

Spice Rubs

spice rub Image by aleksandra85foto on Pixabay

Get creative and use your culinary skills to create inventive spice mixes. Try spice rubs for people who love to braai or make spice mixes for cooking aficionados.

DIY Laptop Sleeve

laptop sleeve image by Canva

If you’re handy with a needle, grab some fabric and create a personalised laptop sleeve for someone. It’s super easy to do and doesn’t require advanced skills. And they’ll thank you for it.

Photo Collage

homemade gift idea personalised photo grid by Rawpixel

This personalised homemade gift idea has serious legs. Print out photos that you share with someone and mount them onto a peg board, frame or metal frame like the one here. Add some loving notes and you’ve got yourself an impressive gift that didn’t cost much!

Personalised Shoppers

shopper for a homemade gift idea by Rawpixel

Everyone loves a cute shopper. And one that’s personalised is even cuter! Get creative by painting one for someone in your life, or get a cheeky message printed on it. They’ll use it for shopping, toting around town and more. Cute gift, guaranteed.

Personalised Potted Plants

potted plant image by Rawpixel

What’s great about this homemade gift idea is that it grows with time and love and you’ll be remembered for it. Simply buy a potted plant and decorate the pot with some paint or you can even deco-podge the pot with inspiring serviettes. Cute, nifty and beautiful!

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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