Best DIY Gifts to Make for Mid-Century Modern Enthusiasts

Step into the world of Sputniks, boomerangs and hairpin legs with these DIY gift ideas for mid-century modern fans. With paint, glue or a dash of glitter, you can create a personalized gift that is as quirky and stylish as your loved one.

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Hand-Painted MCM Cat Coasters

Retro atomic coasters with Sputniks and mod kitties

These atomic kitty coasters will delight any gift recipient. Combining form and function, they exude whimsical joy while protecting the coffee table.

Pick up plain cork coasters and acrylic paint, and then follow my simple guide to make this mid-century modern gift. Complement these coasters with winter tea and a pair of stylish mugs.


Dansk-Inspired Serving Tray

DIY mid-century modern serving tray

Crafting a beautiful mid-century modern serving tray doesn’t have to be a big chore. To keep it simple, just add modern handles to a cutting board.

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, consider shaping and sanding a custom piece of wood like this one, inspired by the Dansk surfboard tray. Stock it with all the fixings for cocoa to make an unforgettable gift.


Atomic Kitty Painting

Handmade mid-century modern cat painting

For a personal gift, create a portrait of the recipient’s favorite fur babies in mid-century modern style. Paint some simple football and bowling pin shapes plus asterisk star accents to make a one-of-a-kind painting that your loved one will cherish.


Sputnik Card Wreath

Silver glitter modern card wreath holding Christmas cards on turquoise front door

Inspired by the Sputnik satellite of 1957, the atomic starburst shape is still enjoyed by mid-century modern fans today. It is common in light fixtures and artwork, but it makes an even bigger statement when prominently displayed on the front door.

Grab some glue and pre-cut wood pieces to make a stunning wreath for your MCM-loving friend. Add alligator clips and glitter paint to turn it into a colorful card display.


Side Table With Hairpin Legs

Mid-century modern plant stand can also be used as a side table

This DIY side table is surprisingly easy to make by adding hairpin legs to a ready-made shelf. You can paint or stain the shelf first or leave it natural.

It will add style points to any corner of the house, looking especially lovely as a plant stand covered in foliage.

DIY plant stand shelf and cascading houseplants

Retro Felt Table Runner

Felt Christmas table runner in pink with white glitter holiday shapes

A handmade table runner is the perfect gift for someone who prefers the more retro decor of the mid-century era. Just cut out shapes like boomerangs and starbursts, and then glue or sew them to a long rectangular piece of felt.

You can print out my vintage Christmas stencils or Cathrineholm-inspired lotus stencils to inspire your project.


Wooden Wall Art

Wooden vintage cats displayed on fabric in frames on wall

This mid-century modern gift requires some strategic thrifting on your part. Check antique stores, flea markets or Etsy sellers to find a set of wooden cats that are flat on the back to hang on the wall. Then find some coordinating picture frames, wrap the glass in modern fabric and attach the cats to the frames.

DashTenWorks makes wooden and acrylic cats that would be adorable. Of course this project works with other mid-century shapes, but what could be better than cats?


Mid-Mod Plant Markers

DIY plant markers in a potted herb garden

Do you need a gift for someone who loves plants as much as they love MCM design? Give them a potted plant and a set of retro plant markers. Print and laminate these boomerang, oval and rounded rectangle plant markers and attach them to stakes.


1950s-Style Cloth Napkins

DIY cloth napkins with colorful retro pattern

Fabric napkins make a sustainable, useful gift that can also add mid-century charm to a home. Pick out a flashy retro pattern or modern solid fabric, cut napkins to the desired size, and then fold, iron and sew the edges down.

Wrap them in ribbon, and maybe throw in a gourmet candy bar to increase the wow factor.


Vintage Nightstand Makeover

Mid-century modern nightstand with fresh wood stain, yellow paint and a modern drawer pull

If you’re up for more thrift shopping, look for an antique nightstand or other piece of furniture that could use a refresh. Sand and stain it, add a modern drawer pull and consider giving it some bold paint.

And if you’re rethinking the whole DIY thing, you might also like these handmade mid-century modern decor items you can buy on Etsy.


DIY gifts for mid-century modern fans, including boomerang plant markers, a Sputnik wreath, a restored nightstand and more
Cute DIY gift ideas for mid-century modern fans including a modern serving tray, hand-painted atomic coasters and a plant stand made with hairpin legs

3 thoughts on “Best DIY Gifts to Make for Mid-Century Modern Enthusiasts”

  1. The MCM enthusiasts would love any of these awesome gifts! All great ideas and handmade with love is always a great gift.!! You have come up with alot of different crafty ideas for all the holidays over the years! You rock Tara!!

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