Admittedly, most of us are a bit strapped for cash this holiday season.  Instead of going out and buying the nicest, newest or best, many of us are opting for homemade gifts.  Below are 10 unique, affordable and personalized gifts that might be good for anyone of your friends, family or loved ones that you can’t quite figure out what to get them.

1. Family Photo Book – Ofoto and Snapfish are two well known and highly used sites for printing pictures, calendars and photo books, but Blurb and Lulu are two excellent alternatives.

2. Make Your Own Candy – Yes, we’ve all received Aunt Ida’s famous fruitcake for years, but making your own candy is different. has a great collections of easy to make candy recipes that will not only show your friends and family you care but also provide them with a sweet and delicious treat.  Add custom, printable labels from My Own Labels, and you’ve got a gift that will make everyone smile.

3. Personalize a Jelly Bean Mix – For all you Jelly Belly lovers, their new website allows you to create a personalized Jelly Belly gift, perfect for anyy occasion.

4. Create a Cookbook – A friend of mine got a personalized Tastebook cookbook for her bridal shower, what an amazing gift. Not only does this cookbook have recipes that are meaningful to you, but you can add photos and a custom cover.

5. Personalize a Shirt – I love Cafepress and have used it for several gifts (babyshowers, etc). but Spreadshirt is another great website that allows you to create a one-of-a-kind piece with your own images and text.

6. Develop Your Own Energy Bar or Shake – Do you have a health nut friend who can’t find anything healthy they like at Jamba Juice?  Then YouBar might be a great alternative.  The Build-A-Bar page allows people to design their own product down to the details like High protein, low carb or gluten free.  The site also automatically adds us the nutrition facts as you add ingredients.

7. Create Your Own Calendar – Believe it or not, family members love this gift and now Flickr makes creating a custom calendar extremely easy.

8. Make Your Own Lego Set – Have young kids or even a dorky husband/boyfriend? LEGO has launched a DesignByMe website that offers a way for you to create your own LEGO designs that are professionally manufactured and boxed for a gift.  You can even design the box too!

9. Custom M&M’s My M&M’s lets you put anything, picture, logo, text on to your personal batch of M&M’s.

10. Create Your Own Brand of Cereal – For all of the cereal and granola junkies in your life, [me]&goji, MixMyGranola, and MojaMix allow you to create you own customized cereal or granola mixes.   And as a bonus, [me]&goji allows you to customize the box too!

Hopefully these gifts have given our Rox readers a unique alternative to the gift card (although those are great! don’t get me wrong), but if you are looking for something a little more personal, try a gift from the list above.  If you do, let us know! We would love to hear about how the process and the end product came out!

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