Why you should care

Because homemade gifts are cheap — and cool. 

The do-it-yourself movement is often associated with Martha Stewart wannabes. But hipsters, like with so many other hobbies, have commandeered the DIY niche — perhaps for the better. OZY presents a few cool homemade gift ideas for those of you looking to add a personal touch to this year’s holidays. (We promise there are no brownie-in-a-jar mixes here.)

Washers yard game

From Frisbee to cornhole, hipsters love their yard games. Another Midwestern favorite, washers is similar to horseshoes, except in this case players toss metal washer rings around a goalpost made of copper plumbing pipes. Mount the post to some artificial turf and paint the washers your color of choice. It might even provide some competitive holiday spirit at your next party.

Book planters

For the person in your life who loves to read and breathe fresh oxygen: planters made from books! Use just one or a stack of worn-looking hardbacks, which can be picked up on the cheap at any second-hand bookstore, carve a hole in the middle, plant a small succulent or cactus — and that’s it. For a finishing touch, tie the books together with some twine or add some colored pebbles. “There is just something about having made it yourself,” says acupuncturist-turned-office-gardener Russell Brown. “It’s special to people.”

Watercolor mugs

Can’t go wrong with this one. Sure, these decorative mugs can be used for sipping coffee, but you can also use them to store jewelry on the bedroom dresser or paper clips at work. Simply start with a plain porcelain mug, then dip a wet brush in watercolor paint and get creative. The wetter the brush the more the paint will run. When you’re finished, let it dry and then pop it in the oven to set the colors.

Dream catchers

This project is a bit more complex than some of the others, but it’s also the most creative and personalized. Make mini dream catcher earrings or a larger version for over a bed; the size, colors and style can all be adapted depending on the recipient. Start by building the base, and from there go wherever the wind blows. Shellie Wilson, editor of CraftGossip.com, calls it Anthropologizing. “People are seeing things at places like Anthropologie and then making it themselves and customizing,” she says.

Infused simple syrups

Hipsters are known for their complex — all organic, of course — mixology. But this gift works for anyone. After all, who doesn’t like blackberry lemonade or a well-made mojito? From raspberry mint to rose cardamom, infused simple syrups can run the gamut of flavors. When finished, store your homemade brew in a mason jar or wire-bail glass bottle and slap on a homemade label.

Wrapping paper

To add the finishing personal touch, customize your own wrapping paper. All it takes is some plain brown or solid-colored (just not shiny or aluminum) paper, a unique stamp — such as a typewriter or the ubiquitous mustache — and perhaps some string. Then explore some pattern ideas.

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