At this time of year it’s probably best to avoid your local shopping centre, but as we all know that can be a bit of a problem if you still have a list of presents to get – so why not make your own?
What!? I hear you shriek.
Don’t worry; I’m not talking about making your mum a paddle-pop stick spice rack or your dad a macaroni picture (unless you want to) – I’m talking about simple DIY gifts that look great and they’ll save you money.
Goodies in a Jar
You can put anything in a mason or decorative jar and it will look good! If you’ve got a couple of spare jars in the pantry get them out and try these crafty gift ideas:
Cakes and Cookies
There are two ways you can present cakes or cookies in a jar. You could use already prepared cookies or mini cakes (homemade or bought) and place them in a jar or you could place the uncooked dry mixture directly into a jar for your giftee to make themselves at a later date (which is much more fun).
For the uncooked version, choose a recipe you think your giftees will like. Measure out the dry elements of the recipe like the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts etc. Then add the mixture to your jar in layers, flour on the bottom, then sugar and anything else you might need. Then at the top add your chosen goodies like chocolate, fruit or nuts.
Try to mix up the colours a bit too, you might want to add pink marshmallows, white chocolate or colourful dried fruits – that way, it will look much prettier when you hand it over at Christmas time.
The thing to remember here is you’re only adding the DRY ingredients. If other ingredients like milk or eggs are required in the recipe, simply add a small “JUST ADD” label to the back of the jar stating what other ingredients your giftees will need to complete the recipe.
Once you’ve put in all the ingredients, decorate the jar using Christmas themed stickers, ribbons or fabric.
Another great gift idea is granola in a jar, it tastes great and it’s real quick and easy to make.
Place 2 cups of rolled oats, ½ cup of chopped raw nuts, ¼ cup of raw seeds (sunflower or pumpkin are good) and ¼ cup of chopped dried fruit into a bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey (or both), 2 tablespoons or healthy cooking oil, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the mixture and stir through.
Once all the mixture is coated in the honey and oil, lay the mixture out on a baking tray and then put it in the oven at 180˚c for 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Let it cool before placing it into the jars.
Decorate the jar with a Christmas themed ribbon and gift tag.
These DIY bookmarks are great for the book worms in the family and they’re so simple to make. All you need is a few bits of fabric, clear fabric glue, some bling to make them pretty, a needle and thread and some basic sewing skills.
First, cut out two long rectangular strips from the fabric (make sure they are the same size). Mix it up with patterns or bright colours; you could even use lace or ribbon. It’s best to choose a fabric that doesn’t fray.
Now to add the bling! Depending on the person, you could choose to use old pieces of jewellery, sequences, buttons or pearls to decorate the bookmark. Simply attach them by stitching them onto one of the pieces of the fabric.
Once you’ve attached all your decorative pieces to the fabric, glue the second bit of fabric onto the back of the decorated piece with some clear fabric glue. This will hide the stitches. Then, set aside to dry.
Once dry, you could add some decorative bits to the ends as well. You could use tassels, bits of jewellery, feathers, ribbons or even old keys.
Fish Bowl Garden
This one is a great Christmas gift idea for anyone with a green thumb – it’s a mini garden in a fish bowl.
For this one you’ll need an old fish bowl or you could even use a large jar. You’ll also need some pebbles or coloured stones, some sand, dirt and some hardy plants. It’s best to use plants like succulents, moss or a cactus because they’ll have a better chance of surviving.
First, place the sand into the bottom of the bowl, then add the plants and cover their roots with a thick layer of dirt. Then, place a layer of the coloured stones or pebbles on top of the dirt around the plants – and there you have it!
You could decorate the outside of the bowl with some ribbon or a bow, but we think they look good just the way they are!
So get making guys, before it’s too late!
Have you got any great DIY Christmas gift ideas? Tell us in the comments below!