Are you tired of shop bought gifts and want to put your craft skills to work? DIY Christmas gifts are perfect for that personal touch

If you’re a little bit crafty, a baker or candlestick maker you’re probably starting to think about what delights you can make for Christmas gifts and DIY.

But for the clumsy DIY gift makers amongst us, who have been burnt by many a project that’s turned out looking like a three-year-old’s craft endeavour, it’s hard to get back on the homemade horse.

It’s difficult to forget the projects that went pear-shaped: the time when all the legs broke off the 20 gift packs of (ultra-thin) gingerbread men; the year when the sleeves of the made-with-love knitted jumper only reached to the elbows of the receiver; and the occasion when a big batch of fresh Christmas-inspired muffins was given to the gluten-intolerant neighbour.

But onwards and upwards.

A new book, Homemade Simple*, by journalist Joanna Gosling, is here to help the most incompetent of DIY gift makers. Her book features about 50 imaginative homemade items, ranging from the useful (magnetic spice jars and hanging bookshelves) to the eye-catching (salt-dough star garlands for Christmas and charm bracelets) that can be used at home or given away.

The best news is that many of her projects only take ten minutes to complete.

From glittered ornaments to cosy personalised blankets there are plenty of simple projects in this hardback book that will make a lasting impression.

“By opting to make something yourself – or at least an element of homemade – you can make a gift really personal,” writes the mother-of-three in her “giving” chapter.

“It also shows you have taken time over what you’re giving, which is often cherished above the gift itself.”

Some of Gosling’s Christmas gift ideas:

  • A hand-picked collection of songs
  • A framed photograph
  • A knitted scarf
  • Covers for notebooks/e-book readers/mobile phones
  • Simple cloth gift bags
  • Cloth lavender bags
  • A personalised picnic blanket
  • Lip balm, bath oil and baklava.


Try this one for yourself: Peppermint and lime lip balm

You will need (for 1 small pot of lip balm):

  • 1 heaped teaspoon refined shea butter
  • 1 heaped teaspoon solid coconut oil
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops lime essential oil
  • Containers
  • Wire wool, paint or spray paint


  • Put the shea butter and coconut oil in a clean heatproof bowl set over a pan of boiling water and heat to melt.
  • Once they are about 50 percent melted take the bowl off the heat and stir well to melt all the solids.
  • Now add the essential oils and mix.
  • Pour into a small, clean pot. Mini jam jars are perfect – the sort you get in hotels or restaurants.
  • If you’re using a recycled jar, either sand or scrub the paint off the lid, or spray paint it.

*Homemade Simple, by Joanna Gosling, published by Simon & Schuster, RRP$32.99

Share you favourite DIY Christmas gift or recipe with us!