If you celebrate Christmas, you’re probably down to the wire, rushing from one mall to the next. Fortunately, there are still alternatives to holiday traffic and spending money you may not have on unnecessary trinkets. Shareable’s covered a few of these alternatives recently: Victoria Schlesinger wrote about experience gifts, while Micki Krimmel has considered her own compulsion to purchase, and found some great ideas in the Shareable archives about alternative holiday gifts. Micki is the founder of Neighborgoods, a great resource for finding people to trade items with in your own community.

But if you’re still looking for items to stow beneath the tree, the Internet is a treasure trove of DIY gift ideas. Instructables is a veritable clearinghouse for craft tutorials that can be searched by item type, materials, or intended recipient. Craft blog Curbly has a robust forum of users kicking around craft ideas, talking shop and getting tips from the similarly-industrious. Papernstitch is a beautiful craft inspiration blog that’s giving away a free eBook of holiday gift tutorials.

Perhaps the best-known DIY publications are Make magazine and its sister publication Craft. Make veers toward the geeky and eccentric. You’ll find tricks to make bizarre and wonderful devices out of typical off-the-shelf items, if you have the will (and a bit of technical or engineering know-how.) The projects in Make are rarely for the faint of heart, but they’re sure to make for a one-of-a-kind gift. Craft is a bit more accessible: it offers tons of tutorials for making homemade knitted gear, ornaments and more. The site’s updated-daily blog is a fount of inspiration, highlighting some of the most impressive DIY projects from around the web.

Over at Is Greater Than, the culture blog I publish, Janina Larenas has contributed a wealth of food-centric holiday homemade gift ideas, from a simple hot chocolate recipe to a long post full of recipes for homemade cocktails, tea, food and household items like bath salts and air fresheners.

And if you still can’t find the right item, check out the Holiday DIY Gift Ideas Photo Pool on Flickr. The pool includes hundreds of photos of homemade gifts by members of the Flickr community. Good luck and happy holidays–and if you know of other great online resources, be sure to share them in the comments below.

Paul M. Davis


Paul M. Davis

Paul M. Davis tells stories online and off, exploring the spaces where data, art, and civics intersect. I currently work with a number of organizations including Pivotal and

Things I share: Knowledge, technology, reusable resources, goodwill.