Ten handmade gifts for boys

10 boys gifts

It’s very easy to think of handmade gifts for girls, but quite often, boys are overlooked. Don’t get me wrong. In our home, boys and girls play with the same toys. Train tracks, cars and Lego are a big hit with all. I’ve made dolls for my son, as well as my daughters, but there comes a point when their interests diverge. They are growing as people. Handmade gifts need to reflect this change, if you don’t want to find your handmade offering skulking at the bottom of the cupboard, come Boxing Day.

Fixing Pixie


Why bother? It’s easy to go out and buy. True, but you miss out on something too. I know my children love receiving something I’ve made. They treasure their favouites. It’s unique and not like everyone else’s, although that’s not always a plus.

Often I have the materials I need to make it already, making it cheaper than buying. Even if I need to buy something, it does usually work out as less expensive. The biggest reason I do it is, that as I make it, I spend time thinking about the person I’m making it for. Money cannot buy you the thought and love that goes into a handmade gift.

So, here are my suggestions:

Dinosaur tshirt

1. Embellish a tshirt. My son loves dinosaurs. I took a plain tshirt and appliqued a dinosaur on to it. It could be a car, robot or anything that your little one is into.

dragon tshirt

Alternatively, use freezer paper to create a stencil, iron on to a tshirt and use fabric paints. Really simple, but very special and unique for the recipient. So easy that we did this as a party activity once.

felted triceratops

2. Make a toy. Did I mention my son likes dinosaurs? One Christmas I made four dinosaurs out of felted jumpers. He loved them. He still does. In fact he’s added one more, that he’d like, to his Christmas list.

dragon wings flap

3. Make a costume. We made dragon wings and everyone had great fun with them. Donning wings make you an instant dragon and that is the thing about dressing up. It doesn’t have to be the whole costume. One part of it, and a little imagination, leads to hours of fun.

knights waistcoat

4. Make a waistcoat. Apart from dinosaurs and dragons, knights are a big favourite. I couldn’t resist a knight fabric, but it could be any theme. Waistcoats are brilliant as they can be worn or used as dressing up. They are really easy to make. Just three pieces of fabric, not counting lining. No sleeves or collars, and fitting can be loose.

tractor and sheep needlefelted wallet front

5. A wallet. My son wanted a wallet. Not like his sisters’. More like Daddy’s. As he was into tractors, I used a mixture of wet and needle felt to make him a tractor wallet, but it could easily be made out of fabric.

two sets of fliptop mittens

6. Knit something. It sounds a cliche and one of those jokes about the worst present to receive, but I know my children love when I knit them fun gloves or hats. Even a pair of socks. These flip-top mittens went down well and are still in use. Brilliant if he wants to go out and shoot a few arrows in the garden, on a nippy day. Another advantage is that handmade gloves, hats and scarves are unique, so much easier to spot in a messy school cloakroom. Just saying.

another pencil roll

7. Pencil roll. Easier to make than it might look. If you can cut out a rectangle and sew a straight line, then this is a project for you.  I made this one a few years ago and it is still in regular use. I’ve made pencil rolls as birthday presents for the children’s friends. From the feedback, this is a really popular gift. Reports of friends taking them into school, years later. If that’s not a recommendation, then I don’t know what is!

tool belt

8. Tool belt. My son loves joining in every DIY job going on in the house. He always has done. I made him a tool belt one year. Like his Daddy’s. Kind of! I cut up an old pair of my jeans. Appliqued some fun fabric and he was able to feel part of the job. He used to make his father wait until this belt was found and put on, before any work could begin.

start of cactus garden

9. Cactus garden. If sewing and knitting are not your thing, then how about a cactus garden. Easy to put together, plus siblings can help. Children can learn a lot about gardening, by having an indoor garden like this, while not needing too much attention. No waiting till spring to plant seeds. My children swap any baby cacti between each other, so they learn a bit of plant life too.

stone carving

10. Stone carving. Strictly speaking this is not handmade, but you still need to put the kit together, so that it can be made. We bought a stone for carving, goggles and a chisel. He already had the hammer. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun he has had with this present*.

Reading through this list, I can’t help thinking that all of these gifts could have been given to any of my children. I could have tweaked them slightly to reflect their own interests, but the basic idea is good for boys and girls.

There is still time to make any of these.  None of them should take more than a day or two. If you follow the links you will find how-tos or links-to for most of the 10, but I will try to post up any that you would like to see. Just leave a comment.

Happy gift making.


potato print parcel

(potato-printed, homemade wrapping paper to wrap up a handmade gift, of course)


Linking up with #FestiveFriday over at Thinly Spread. Waving glittery hand to all, but especially to fellow linkers with Christmas Cheer.


*Stone carving should be done under suitable adult supervision. All safety gear and care should be taken.


14 thoughts on “Ten handmade gifts for boys

  • Thursday 20 November, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I am so envious of your skills – I don’t have a crafting bone in my body! Although I think the cactus garden is genius and I’m sure I could handle that. The stone carving would go down very well with my son!

    • Thursday 20 November, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      I’m sure those two would be popular. The tshirt and freezer paper is easy. Even if you don’t fancy drawing your own design, you could copy a picture. The rest is all down to ironing and painting. So effective.

  • Thursday 20 November, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    I’m pinning this to my things to make for boys board. I often find it harder to find inspiration for my sons. I was looking for freezer paper the other day, is grease proof paper the same thing?

    • Thursday 20 November, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      No, unfortunately greaseproof won’t work. No substitute for freezer paper. Only ever found it in quilting shops. I bought a 7 metre roll which is lasting me and worked out fairly inexpensive, if I remember rightly. Worth it, as so many uses.

  • Friday 21 November, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I’m terrible at crafts such as these but would give some of them a go, my two would love them!

    • Friday 21 November, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Should be something on the list for everyone to try. Hope you give it a go. Worth it just to see the recipient’s face.

  • Saturday 22 November, 2014 at 9:03 am

    It is harder to find makes for boys I agree. Some years I seem to have loads of ideas and other years very little!

    • Monday 24 November, 2014 at 1:03 am

      So true. Counting my blessings that he still likes handmade.

  • Saturday 22 November, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Some gorgeous ideas here! I love the dino T shirt and I have a small person who would love a cactus garden very much! Thanks for linking to Festive Friday 🙂

    • Monday 24 November, 2014 at 1:05 am

      The cactus garden is popular. I remember having one when I was their ages.

  • Monday 24 November, 2014 at 11:54 am

    A lot of great ideas here – I especially liked the dinosaur T shirt and the tool belt. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Monday 24 November, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks! 🙂 Hopefully something for everyone.

  • Monday 24 November, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Wow these are absolutely awesome!

    • Monday 24 November, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Thank you. 🙂 Glad you like them.

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