Whilst I thought it was important to cover Christmas Gifts as part of Blogmas, I also thought it was important to cover DIY Christmas Gifts too. Welcome to Blogmas Day 2!
Not everyone can afford to go crazy with gift-giving (as much as you may want to), and I wanted to show you ways of creating special, thoughtful gifts that are just as good – if not better – than anything you may find in a shop.
There’s definitely been times in my life – when I was a student, not working, and this year now I’m on maternity leave – when I haven’t been able to splash the cash because I simply hadn’t got the money there to spend. And here were a few gift ideas I’ve come up with during those times that still allowed me to spoil my loved ones.
Gift hampers – This is the easiest gift you can possibly make of them all, and so easily customisable to suit the person you’re planning on giving it too. Here are some of the hamper baskets I’ve made:
- Movie night – popcorn, sweets, DVD, a drink of choice (alcoholic or none alcoholic!).
- Girls night in – Face Mask, nail varnish, cocktail, chocolate, DVD.
- Cheese lovers – a selection of cheeses from your local supermarket deli, crackers, crisps, a drink of choice (wine is a good option here), chutneys.
- Christmas themed – mince pies, nuts, gingerbread, mulled wine/cider.
You can buy a wicker basket from many homeware shops, or alternatively find a decorative box. The Movie night one I put in funky oversized American Cinema Popcorn containers that I found on eBay!
(Movie night hamper I made last year for my sister!)
Wrap it in clear cellophane and decorate with ribbons, and your gift is complete! Completely easy, and as inexpensive as you want them to be!
Cookies in a Jar – This is an idea I found on Pinterest, and thought it was a great idea for work colleagues and acquaintances that deserve a little gift. I’ve done it as a Secret Santa gift this year too, and it cost me next to nothing!
All I did was find a simple biscuit recipe – cookies are great, but gingerbread is a nice festive touch – and measured out all the dry ingredients. I then brought a mason jar and layered all the ingredients inside (minus the liquids!). Using a pretty gift tag, simply write on the amount of liquid/egg/butter needed, and cooking details, and you are done!
I always do these for the children of family friends, as it’s something mom/dad can do with the children. I include a bag of sprinkles/decorations to be used on the biscuits as an extra special touch. For adults I just Bake the biscuits myself and place them in a Kilner jar and decorate.
This is embarrassingly easy, but so thoughtful and easy to do. You can decorate the jar however you wish, and the jar can be used by the recipient again and again!
Hot Chocolate Reindeer’s – Another gift that’s perfect for children! You just need some clear piping bags that you use for decorating cakes, which can be brought in craft shops or eBay.
Just simply fill each bag with hot chocolate powder, and top off with marshmallows. Tie each bag with a ribbon or pipe cleaner, and stick on some wiggly eyes and a red bobble nose, also found in craft shops. Tasty and fun!
(This is also an inexpensive party or weddings favour, if you’re having a Christmas wedding or party).
(Photo credit: KiddyCrafty via Pinterest)
Personalised mug – I’ve done these for years for my Husband; he has a whole cupboards worth!
For this gift, all you need is a plain ceramic coffee mug in the colour of your choice, and different coloured permanent markers.
Using masking tape, cut out the letters of your recipients name, and stick them onto the mug. Using the markers, create little dots all around the mug in a random pattern, and leave until completely dry. Then, simply peel off the masking tape!
In a low heat setting on your oven, pop the mugs on a middle shelf and leave for around 15 minutes just to set the ink. And voila!
If you’re feeling particularly creative you can design whatever you want on these mugs, with or without the masking tape. Even freehand drawing/writing any design you want!
And it doesn’t have to be a mug; you can do this on plates, plant pots, dishes etc. Just remember to hand wash the mug to preserve the design; these gifts are not dishwasher safe!
Personalised candles – I cannot claim any credit for this next idea. I actually saw it done in a Primary School when I was teacher training. The teacher had brought pillar candles (I call them church candles) and had the children draw their designs on a piece of tracing paper.
She then placed the design on the candle with a piece of wax paper over the top of the image, wax side down, and used a hairdryer on each piece till the wax had melted and the design fully transferred.
I tried this myself, and it is relatively easy; however, try and trim as much tracing paper away from the design as you can. Preferably, cut out each individual image and stick to the candle using a tiny piece of melted wax so you don’t see too much excess paper.
I would also recommend using permanent markers or Sharpies, as it makes the colours more vibrant.
Alternative gift ideas (depending on level of skill): knitting scarfs or cuddly toys, homemade jams, marmelades and chutneys in mason jars, homemade wines and ciders.