It means a lot to get something handmade, and a small gift that took 10 hours will mean just as much as something that took 100 hours! I've seen a lot of these posts floating around Pinterest, so I tried to think out-of-the-box to help you choose gifts that won't take you months to make. I hope none of my family and friends read this post because I'll be making most of these for Christmas! <- Also I'm perfectly aware it is August and not November. I wanted to get this post out there super early because hand-made gifts take a lot of time and planning.
1. Socks (thick fuzzy ones instead of small ones)
This pattern from Tin Can Knits is so perfect for gifts! It's for worsted weight yarn, yielding a thicker, cozier sock that knits up in a fraction of the time.
Hats, headbands, ear-warmers all kinda fall under this. It's one of the items commonly found on these kinds of lists, but that's because it's a good one!
This works especially well if you're reading this close to Christmas :)
4. Pillow instead of an afghan
I'm really not trying to dog the gifts (like afghans) that take extra time to make. Those are amazing gifts as well, and the recipient will love it! However, if you've got a lot on your plate, a knit pillow or pillow case serves a similar function to a blanket, but takes a lot less time and materials. You can get cheap pillow inserts from Amazon or any of the larger craft stores. You might even have some extras lying around in old pillowcases you don't use anymore.
5. Stuffed animal for kids (they won't outgrow it - I still have my childhood stuffed animals)
As with anything on this list, you can knit or crochet these! They definitely look harder to make than they are - so if you haven't tried making one before, I highly suggest it.
6. Mug cozies
Not only is this a cute gift, but it can be super functional too. Have you heard of those re-usable straws that have gained so much popularity for helping the environment? Give this as a gift to your eco-friendly loved one so they can bring it along to their next Starbucks trip and skip the single-use cardboard versions. I also love to pair handmade gifts with store-bought ones, and how cute would this be around a re-usable to-go cup? Maybe stick a coffee-house gift card in there?
7. Something seasonally decorative
I avoid gifting knick-knacks as they tend to junk up other peoples houses and my friends and I have a more minimalist style when it comes to home decor. The huge exception is the holidays! Everyone loves decorating for the holidays! Gifting a stuffed snowman for winter or crocheted spiderweb wall hanging for halloween is totally the way to go.
The ultimate utility gift that takes virtually no time to knit up!
9. Adhering something handmade to something that isn't
Instead of spending lots of time on a hand knit bag, you can sew a cute motif onto a cheaper, store bought bag. It will have a much better structure than a completely knit bag, thus providing more usefulness.
Hey, shameless plug but I've got this super cute free scrunchie pattern that could be very useful in a situation like the one you're in right now! This is so much less commitment than a pair of socks - it uses less than 20g of yarn. As long as your gif-tee has hair, it will be a lovely gift. If you have the extra time, there are lots of indie dyers (myself included) that sell mini skein sets comprised of 5 skeins of 20g in complementing colors. I've listed my own mini sets and ones from other dyers that I love so you can make a small set of scrunchies.
11. Something a bit more time consuming...
If you want to do something a big more elaborate, consider one-size fits all garments, like a shawl or scarf. You should probably have a general understanding of your gif-tee's style to pull this off, but if not, I would say your best bet is to go neutral and chunky. Warm, soft, chunky scarves are super necessary for any environment with cold winters, and they are timeless!
Comment if you have any ideas to add to the list. If you're currently working on gifts, give us some inspiration and let us know what you are up to!