6 Affordable & handmade gifts for friends and loved ones in 2023

When it comes to showing our appreciation for the special people in our lives, gifts play a significant role - and I'm not talking about gifts that are over-the-top and impossible to afford, but thoughtful gifts that come from a space of love and empathy. Here are 6 affordable present ideas...

Advertisement feature

But, finding the perfect gift that is both affordable and heartfelt can sometimes be a challenge. 

Luckily, there are plenty of options available that will leave your friends and loved ones feeling cherished without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll explore six affordable yet endearing gift ideas for 2023 – let’s get started!

1. Handmade Candles

Candles exude warmth, comfort, and relaxation, making them an excellent choice for a thoughtful gift. Instead of purchasing expensive scented candles, you can actually consider making your own. 

All you need are some candle wicks, wax, essential oils, and recycled glass containers. You can personalize the scents based on the recipient’s preferences, creating a truly unique and fragrant gift.

Present these handmade candles in a decorative box or tie a ribbon around them for an added touch of charm, along with a personalized label on the container. 

2. Personalized Photo Collage

For those who want to add a personalised and creative touch without spending any money, consider utilizing online resources that offer free collages. It’s a great way to compile those cherished memories into something visually stunning and sentimental, adding more value to your thoughtful handmade gift.

Turn your photos into captivating collages by creating a unique photo collage to showcase and celebrate the memories and special moments shared with your loved ones. Gather a collection of meaningful photographs, and using online platforms or simple software, arrange them into a visually pleasing collage. 

Choose a theme that reflects the recipient’s interests or a specific occasion, such as a graduation or anniversary. Once complete, print the collage and place it in a stylish frame. This personalized gift will undoubtedly warm their hearts and serve as a constant reminder of the bond you share.

3. Customized Planters

Bringing the outdoors inside has become increasingly popular, and gifting customized planters is a wonderful way to embrace this trend. Find simple ceramic or terracotta pots and unleash your creativity by painting them with intricate designs, the recipient’s initials, or their favourite quotes.

You can even add a personal touch by planting a small succulent or herb in each pot. These planters will add a touch of greenery to any space and make a meaningful gift for your loved ones, not to mention the significant benefits plants have when it comes to uplifting one’s mood!

4. DIY Bath Bombs

Everyone deserves a little self-care, and what better way to indulge your loved ones than with homemade bath bombs? 

You can easily make bath bombs using simple ingredients like baking soda, citric acid, essential oils, and food colouring. Mould them into various shapes, such as hearts or stars, and package them in cute, reusable jars or decorative boxes.

These delightful bath bombs will turn any ordinary bath into a luxurious and soothing experience. You can combine them with facemasks, your homemade candles or a pair of fluffy slippers to create the ultimate pamper hamper!

5. Customized Recipe Book

For the food lovers in your life, a customized recipe book is a heartfelt and practical gift. Compile a collection of their favourite recipes, along with some new ones they may enjoy. You can organize the recipes by categories, add personal notes or anecdotes, and include photos of the dishes. 

Design and print the book yourself, or use online services that offer customizable templates. This gift will not only inspire culinary adventures but also showcase your thoughtfulness and effort. If you’re an artist, you can also consider creating illustrated artwork for each recipe.

6. Personalized Keychains

Keychains are small yet meaningful gifts that can be customized to suit each recipient’s personality. You can find a variety of keychain materials, such as leather, metal, or wood, and have them engraved with initials, names, or meaningful symbols. 

Additionally, consider attaching a small trinket or charm that holds special significance for the person receiving the gift. Every time they reach for their keys, they will be reminded of your affection and the bond you share.

Expressing love and appreciation for your friends and loved ones doesn’t have to be expensive. You can simply choose affordable yet endearing gifts that can create lasting memories and make your loved ones feel special.

Remember, it’s the thought and effort behind the gift that truly counts. So, embrace your creativity, and let your loved ones know just how much they mean to you with these heartfelt and budget-friendly gift ideas in 2023.

Let me know any of your own homemade gift ideas in the comments below, I’d love to hear your suggestions for DIY gifts. 🙂

Pin it for later

This blog post is an advertisement feature that has been written in collaboration with a sponsor. The pink links in this post indicate a sponsored link 🙂

Share your comments, tips and ideas...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article:

Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

Take care and stay safe...


Please take care, stay safe and use common sense when following the advice, projects, recipes or ideas from

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk – so please stay safe!

New to the blog?

Popular posts

More about Cassie

Latest posts

Take care and stay safe...

Please take care, stay safe and use common sense when following the advice, projects, recipes or ideas from

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk – so please stay safe!


Resources Library

Download free money-saving
checklists, budget planners + ebooks to inspire & motivate you!

+ Top Thrifty Tips Newsletter

A round-up of money-saving
articles & seasonal tips

GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner