Part of what makes a gift so memorable is the thought and effort that goes into it, whether it’s searching the stores for the perfect item that reflects your loved one’s interests or spending time creating a gift that you know they’ll love.

I know that some of us can feel completely overwhelmed when it comes to gift-giving—where do you even start? And then we wait until the last minute, compounding our stress as we try to find the perfect gift that communicates how much we love our friends and family.

But have you considered making your own gift?

I’ve made a tradition of creating my own homemade gifts for friends and family for years now—it’s something every year that I look forward to creating and that they look forward to receiving!

So whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or you’re getting prepped for the Christmas season, I want to offer you a few ideas for creating the perfect homemade gift.

Canned Items

Take some of your fresh produce from this summer’s garden bounty, can it, and offer it as a gift!

For years, my go-to Christmas gift to friends and family has been baskets of homemade canned goods. I always include green beans, tomatoes, dill, sweet pickles, plus seasonal jams and jellies. My friends and family members love these baskets—there’s something special about receiving great-tasting, unique gifts that you can’t buy anywhere else! And they are so fun to make.

You can even throw in a jar of some local honey to really wow your gift recipient.

I like to change it up every year, too, so that they can try new items, like squash Vidalia relish or pickled beets, but I always keep the staples they love.

You can learn more about preserving your own healthy food in this blog post—in it, you’ll find recipes for Mama’s Candy Pickles and Pickled Okra from my Aunt Nelda.

Canning 101 Class — Preserving Your Own Homemade Gifts

WHEN: Saturday, October 12, 10am – 12pm

WHERE: Stoney Creek Farm in Franklin, TN

Join us at Stoney Creek Farm to learn lost art of how to preserve your own healthy food!

The class is a live demonstration of the following topics:

  • Pressure Canning for non-acidic foods (like green beans, meats, etc)
  • Water Bath Canning for sweet and acidic foods (like tomatoes, jams, and pickles)
  • Blanching for the Freezer

Learn more about this popular class here.

Homemade Sourdough or Cinnamon Rolls

In my gift baskets, I also make sure to include the fan favorites—homemade sourdough and cinnamon rolls. My friends and family rave about these, so I take time to whip up several fresh batches to include in their gift baskets. What’s cozier than putting on some Christmas classics and spending time baking delicious treats for the people you love?

You can also pass on the making and baking fun by including the recipe with your gift. When I find out what my friend’s favorite goodie was in the basket I gave them, I like to send them one of the recipes so they can try their hand at making it themselves!

Southern Sourdough Bread & Cinnamon Rolls Class

WHEN: Saturday, November 2, 10am – 11:30am

WHERE: Stoney Creek Farm in Franklin, TN

Become your family’s favorite person when you bring a fresh loaf of sourdough bread to your next gathering. You’ll learn:

  • How to feed your starter
  • Mix your dough
  • Pan or roll out your dough
  • Bake it to perfection

It’s an easy recipe for irresistible flavor! The best part? You’ll be able to taste-test fresh sourdough bread!

Learn more about this class here.

Homemade Wine

Why grab a bottle of wine from the grocery store when you can make your own?!

This is a new class that we’ll be offering at Stoney Creek Farm on Saturday, November 23 that I’m really excited about. What a fun, unique gift that will surprise—and impress!—your friends and family.

Make Your Own Wine At Home Class

WHEN: Saturday, November 23, 10am – 12pm

WHERE: Stoney Creek Farm in Franklin, TN

Learn the art of homemade winemaking with the experts, Beth and Joe Moran! They’ll show you the step-by-step method to produce delicious wine without spending a fortune. You’ll also be able to sample some of their own homemade wine!

This also makes for a great date!

Learn more about this class here.


At my heart, and at the heart of Stoney Creek Farm, is education—our farm is your classroom. Nothing gives me more joy than passing on sustainable living, homesteading skills to others like you!

Olin and I have been leading classes at Stoney Creek Farm for many years. Two of my most popular classes—Canning 101 and Sourdough Bread Making—are ones that I’ve been teaching for many years now.

I love seeing the photos from Facebook or Instagram that my students send me of the canned items or homemade bread they’ve made.

Some students have even been so generous to share their own gifts of creative homemade products with us! There was the delicious blueberry herb jelly made by Jordan P.—it melted on your tongue. Talk about divine. Then there was Melanie O.’s unique invention of peach pepper jelly. We devoured this in less than a week!

Learning these homesteading skills is the gift that keeps on giving—these skills can be passed down from generation to generation. And seeing my students find joy in making their own creative concoctions after taking a class… well, that’s the biggest gift to ME!