18 DIY or Thoughtful Gift Ideas for a Grieving Friend

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They say it’s the thought that counts. And at times, when you have no words for the grief your friend might be feeling, you might be thinking of ways to comfort them. If words don’t come to mind, consider using that energy to make a touching gift for your grieving friend.

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Put together a plan or sympathy gift basket that can help them through their turmoil. When you make time for friendships, not only do you lift them up in their time of need, you’ll also lift your own spirits in the process.

Even if you are already a crafter or savvy internet researcher, you may discover some new and unique ways to help someone through their grieving process with our suggestions below.

DIY Gift Ideas for Grieving Friends

Homemade gifts speak from the heart and give from the soul. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few options to get your mind strumming on those DIY gifts that can pluck at anyone’s heartstrings.

1. Knit a blanket

If you know how to crochet or knit like a pro, then use your extra time to create something truly comforting and snuggle-worthy.

Oftentimes when sending condolences for miscarriages, the loss of a pet, or of a loved one, it’s hard to know what to say. Help your friend create some new memories and remind them of your support with a blanket that will keep them warm.

2. Smudge stick and bath salts

After a terrible loss, some people like to cleanse their homes by ridding them of any negative energy. If you’re not familiar with how to make a smudge stick, you can find many tutorials online.

If you pair this gift with bath salts, then your friend can soak in a warm bath for some mental cleansing, too. 

3. Make a friendship or beaded bracelet

Friendship bracelets are a kind of macramé with a series of knots that form interesting patterns. Maybe you made a few of these when you were younger, but if you don’t remember how, you can find a quick online tutorial.

If tying yarn together isn’t your thing, you could find some birthstone beads to make a bracelet.   

4. Build a wooden keepsake box

Are you crafty with wood projects? Do you have some tools in your garage or home to make a small keepsake box? If so, get out your chop or jigsaw, some nails, and a hammer. There are many approaches you could take here to make a unique wooden memory box.

Once you have it assembled, you can stain or paint the box in one of their favorite colors. To gift wrap it, just tie a ribbon around it—you don’t need to do much more when showcasing this splendid piece of artwork.

5. Make some soaps

Cleansing and aromatic products like soap can help us indulge in some much-needed relaxation. Making soaps can be a little tricky, but with a kit like this and some research online you can make soap, balm, salve, perfume, or even a lotion.

Use scent (like a calming lavender) as a mnemonic device, so that every time your friend uses one of your products, they’re able to recollect on friendship and love. 

6. Honey and bread

Few things can be truly as sweet as honey. If you have a penchant for beekeeping, or just love a local honey maker, tie a pretty ribbon around a jar of honey and place a sweet memento or note on the top.

Better yet, if you can include your bread-making skills, consider bringing them a warm loaf of bread along with the honey so you can feed their belly as well as their soul.

Baskets or Store-Bought Gifts for Grieving Friends

From sock to cookies and beyond to help your friend in need, you can always look to some premade or ideal gifts to send along. Consider doing additional research to find the right accent or complimentary gift to make it a touch more personal for your friend.

7. Plush socks or slippers

If your friend lives in an area where the days and nights get cold enough, then choose something to warm their feet with some good old fashioned foot therapy.

Pack in some scented lotion, if you like, to make it an experience. Or, keep it simple with some slippers and a card.

8. No green thumb needed

Succulents and cactus are plants that don’t require much watering, thanks to their desert origins. If your friend lacks some botany skills, these plants will last a super long time with minimal effort.

When you buy one from a store, ask the retailer if there are pamphlets available that explain how to care for them so it’s even easier.

9. Pancake fixins

When searching for sympathy gift ideas, consider gifting some comfort food. If a pancake gift basket sounds like a great idea to you, then include everything from the flour, milk, and eggs (or the milk and egg replacers). Make it extra special with a few vintage napkins or some fresh-squeezed juice.

10. Encouragement basket

Encouragement baskets can include books on grief, blank journals, beautiful stationery, and even a few pens.

You don’t have to know exactly what they’ll need, just offer a gift for what they might need. This way, your friend can use the advice of some experts to get through the tough times.

11. Trail basket

As an alternative to the luxury spa basket, what about a trail running or hiking basket? You’ll need things like a water bottle, some energy tablets or juice, granola bars, and maybe even some waste bags if they have a dog. Help them get outside to experience nature so that they can have a little mental break.

12. Gourmet cookie or smoothie delivery

Baskets like these are readily available online with a quick search—or can be made with some time and preparation on your own.

Whether your friend is a health nut or a cookie lover, they’ll enjoy the time, considerations, and thought you put into this one. Nothing says comfort quite like their favorite snack.

Gift Ideas for a Grieving Friend That You Can’t See Face-to-Face

The internet is a wonderful resource when you can’t be near the people you love in their time of need. You can still send unique gifts no matter how far away you are, from something as big as a memorial tree to something small like a giftcard for Reiki sessions.

13. Sign them up for a star registry

Naming a star after someone’s loved one is a beautiful gift for the stargazers and romantics alike. If you’re inclined to make this a gift, do a quick search on how to name a star after someone and you’ll find a lot of easy resources at your disposal.

14. Send a sapling

Depending on the planting zone in which your friend lives, why not send them a sapling for a memorial tree?

You can choose from olive trees, lemon trees, redwoods, giant cactus, or even a whole grove of white pine seedlings if you like. As they watch this tree grow, they’ll be able to revisit memories of their loved one.

15. Send a bird feeder and some seed

If your friend has a cat, there are wonderful feeders that you can attach to a window for a chance to see their feline friend hop up in excitement. If not, any kind of feeder that brings nature upfront is a treasure. Don't forget to include some birdseed as well.

Nothing is more beautiful than a songbird first thing in the morning when grief is most consuming.

16. Long-distance Reiki

Many Reiki experts offer services over the phone. Reiki is a form of energy healing, and could be of use to your friend if they are interested. Choose to either do some research or just ask them if they have a preferred expert before you book the appointment. 

17. Handcrafted wind chimes

Search online to find a local or regional business that creates handmade or personalized wind chimes. You can send it along with suggested placements for the windchime.

There are lots of options out there, including wooden, bamboo, shell, or even metal chimes. Your friend can now have a delicate melody or sound to remind them of you and your friendship.

18. Send a pre-selected comfort package 

If you are at a standstill about what to send to your friend during their time of grief, there are countless options online.

Some suggested options are gift cards for a local masseuse, a gourmet food shop, or even something super simple like a premade gift basket. Try looking for an online marketplace of small businesses where you can make personal adjustments to the options available.

Comfort and Care for Friends in Need 

You know the quirks and desires of your friend without even needing to ask. So, just take a little bit of this intuition and send some help to your grieving friend.

As time passes, your friend may need some reminders of kindness and companionship as they grieve. By sending them a gift that can bring some warmth, you can rest easy knowing your friend can rely on you. This kind of positivity will return to you ten-fold later on.

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