|Step away from the Bedazzler.|
If you are determined to make a hand made gift for someone, please look at the two examples above and promise yourself you will not try those. Unless you want to alienate the recipient. Then have at it! Otherwise, there are simple things you can make or pull together that will go over well.
First, if you're handy with a needle and thread, Bryallen found instructions on how to make a bag out of an old sweater. Actually, she has a lot of good ideas. Mulled wine sachets, tissue holders, USB covers, handmade envelopes, cookies, chocolates, and herb garden and a framed drawing are all ideas she covers in her post.
You can do a homemade soup mix. There are a bunch of sites with recipes. Put them in a clean sauce jar or a canning jar, wrap some ribbon around it, and you have something for a busy person who sometimes needs an option for a quick meal.
You can decoupage something for someone who likes decorative things. If they like candles, decoupage a jar with some shimmery tissue paper and put a tea light in it. If they need storage boxes, decoupage some boxes with scrap cloth that goes with their decor. You get the idea.
You can make drink mixes or spice mixes.
Chocolate covered spoons are also a nice option. I mean, think about it--stirring chocolate into your coffee or hot chocolate, letting it melt. . .oh, lord, my moouth is watering now.
You can take a photograph you know the recipient will enjoy and frame it. I did that for my Dad one year; I took a sweet picture of him and my niece, had a copy made, and framed it for him. Or burn a CD of their favorite songs (I did that for my mother one year--and they did enjoy it on road trips, so yay!)
If you figure people are already going to be buried under a mound of cakes and cookies, you can make them spiced nuts.
If you can can things, then pickles, jelly, jams, salsa, or preserves are almost always welcome. If you can knit, sew, crochet, carve, draw, or do something else that can be creative, then I think the gift world is your oyster. (I'm not great at those things.)
Just remember. . .no ugly sweaters. No Bedazzler. And no retrofitted Cool Whip containers.