It’s that time of year again. Department stores are staffed with seasonal help and Christmas decorations adorn every aisle. The dilemma is that even with all of the layaway specials and midnight sales, many south Floridians cannot afford to give big-budget Christmas gifts this year. That’s why making your own gifts is the perfect solution. When well done, homemade gifts are unique, personalized and inexpensive to make. So check out this list of stores below that will help you give Christmas gifts that are chic, not cheesy.


The Christmas Palace

9820 N.W. 77th Ave.
Hialeah Gardens, FL 33016
(305) 558-5352

The Christmas Palace is as synonymous with the south Florida holiday season as Santa’s Enchanted Forest and the Winterfest Boat Parade. Here you can find Christmas decorations galore to adorn your house, tree or lawn. Head to the craft section and pick up some trinkets to make a custom wreath for your friends or create a Christmas candle bouquet with some colorful candles and decorative bows. Classes are also available for Christmas decorating.


The Knitting Garden

1923 Ponce De Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 774-1060

The Knitting Garden is not only a craft shop where you can buy yarn and knitting supplies. You can also learn how to make gifts like sweaters, socks, scarves and even a teddy bear. It offers classes for both children and adults and the price varies based on the length of the class and the skill level of the student. So stop on in to learn a new craft and watch your friends smile when you hand them a custom gift that came directly from your fingertips.

Related: Best Places to See Christimas Decorations

Ben Franklin Island Crafts

2506 N. Roosevelt Blvd.
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 295-8450

Ben Franklin Island Crafts is famous for being the Keys’ largest arts and crafts store. Creative people go here to pick up art supplies, begin a new craft project and get custom framing. So if you’re a photography buff who wants to spread the Christmas spirit by giving your family a sepia-toned photo in an ornate frame, this is the place for you. Or if you’re really crafty, you can make your own photo frame. The design will be so unique that your friends will have a hard time believing that you made it yourself.

(Source: Google Maps)

Bead Me

5704 Bird Rd.
Miami, FL 33155
(305) 666-8446

Move over diamonds. Swarovski crystals are a girl’s new BFF. At Bead Me, you can shop for Swarovski beads to make your own unique blend of bracelets, earrings or necklaces to suit your friend’s personality. If you don’t know how to make jewelry, make an appointment for one of Bead Me’s daily classes. The classes are one to two hours long and are held between the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Speak to Maria or Atena and they will make sure that this is a Christmas your friends won’t soon forget.


JoAnn Fabrics

4700 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, FL 33021
(954) 966-9660

Price: From $17.50 for classes
Click here for class schedule.

JoAnn Fabrics is South Florida’s year-round craft store that has everything you need at an affordable price. There are four store locations across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and all offer a variety of classes from cake decorating to scrapbooking to help any sort of crafty person. While you’re there, you can pick up Christmas decorations for this year and stock up on New Year’s supplies as well. It’s a must for any creative person.

Related: Best Places for Art Supplies

Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at