With so many banking and money-saving apps to choose from, we review...
The ultimate Christmas DIY gift guide
Remember when you were a kid and it was perfectly acceptable to give someone the misshapen clay pot you’d made in school at Christmas? I miss those days. Life was simpler back then.
Fast forward 20 years and I’m currently stressing out about buying gifts – and it’s only November. “Tis the season” and all that but unfortunately it’s an expensive season that actually only lasts a day. Can’t we all decide on a universally acceptable amount to spend on each other at Christmas? Is this something we can vote on?
Until my utopia is formed (it’s only a matter of time, mua haha!) I’ve decided to go back to my roots and embrace the DIY Christmas once more (the 6-year-old me would be so proud). The good thing about DIY gifts is that everyone will be touched that you put some thought into their pressie! Luckily for you guys, I’ve put together a list of DIY presents so it’ll save you the time of actually having to come up with any ideas yourself. I really do spoil you!
Ten top DIY Christmas gifts
You know what doesn’t get enough love? Feet. They take us from A to B on a regular basis, break in all kinds of shoes and allow us to dance the night away. If you suspect your pal may be mistreating their feet, simply whip up some of the DIY foot soak that blogger Tidy Mom made. It’d be good to do a batch of these so you can bulk buy ingredients. You can get cheap jars to store them from pound shops too!
Next up is bread. Personally, I love bread, so I’d be pretty chuffed to receive all the ingredients to make some carefully layered in a bottle or jar. That’s basically what this gift is. All the recipient needs to do is add the ‘wet’ ingredients and bake (make sure they like baking). Ensure they can actually eat bread first, if you’re not sure if your friend has special dietary requirements then you probably shouldn’t be getting them a present in the first place. Friends know friends’ food requirements!
A kitchen without BBQ sauce is a sorry sight. Especially when you’re visiting a friend for a BBQ and they’ve run out. Ensure this nightmare never happens again by making them a batch of your very own BBQ sauce. There are a few different versions in this article that you can try out. Again, might be worth bulk buying ingredients and making a few batches– don’t forget to keep some at home too!
Trays are underrated. They’re so useful, how else would we carry many things at once if it wasn’t for the humble tray? This tutorial shows you how to make your own ‘rustic’ tray from a picture frame – although not to be used to carry mugs and such, the purpose of this tray is too look pretty and store ‘stuff’ like jewellery and books. I’ll stop saying tray now.
(Top tips: Don’t buy a photo frame from a shop for this, simply buy one from a charity shop and spruce it up. Also buy the fabric from a market, it’s loads cheaper.)
5. Chutneys and jams
Chutneys and jams are always a winner and you can find some really tasty ideas to make! Something to remember when looking for these kinds of recipes is that often they’re to make a bulk batch, so downsize accordingly (you don’t want some kind of overflowing, volcano-esque jam disaster). A top tip here is to start saving old jars from pasta sauces etc. and reuse them for your (hopefully) delicious creations. Bonus points if you make a fancy label too.
These little homemade owls are super cute and people tend to like cute things so you’ll definitely be onto a winner if you make this. You only need a few items to put one together although there is a risk factor involved – it could be awful and turn into a soul destroying loop of trying to craft the perfect owl. On the other hand, the tutorial says it’s easy so I’m going to hold them to it. If you’re feeling confident, go for it.
Is pre shave oil really a thing? Apparently so and now, thanks to me, everyone in your life will have some! A bit posh I know, but hey people like to be fancy at Christmas! I selected this DIY gift because it contains three ingredients and seemed quite easy to make. The benefit of this is that it seems like some kind of luxury product that people wouldn’t usually want to buy but definitely want to try.
8. A plaid scarf
(Update: 22 July 2019. Apologies – this tutorial is no longer available)
A scarf is a nice gift because essentially you’re giving the gift of warmth – I reckon that’s always a good thing. This scarf tutorial seems pretty simple so hopefully not much can go wrong. Again, pop down to the market for cheap (ideally soft) fabric and get stitching. I give this present a low disaster rating (don’t hold me to that though).
9. A knitted something or other
This is something that I won’t be attempting, mainly because I can’t knit. I do however know that many people can, given knitting is trendy again, so giving your loved one a knitted something – perhaps hat or even tea cosy (I went there, I’m bringing tea cosies back!) – seems like a lovely idea. Here are some to inspire you.
Did you see our post on DIY beauty products? It has great tips on how to make some… well, DIY beauty products. You can turn these into presents too. I particularly like the bath bomb, they’re a luxury treat but something I can’t justify buying as they just fizz into nothingness. Definitely something I’d want to receive though!
Still not inspired?
So you’ve made it through my top DIY gifts. Thanks for staying with me! If I didn’t cover a gift you’d actually want to make, fear not, I’ve found another list full of DIY ideas.
In a dramatic twist, the MoneyAware team have been challenged to a DIY Secret Santa. Make sure you don’t miss out on the follow up post to find out how the craftily challenged folk get on!
Will you be making any DIY gifts this year? How do you manage to budget at Christmas? Sharing is caring, let us know in the comments below.