Make It a DIY Christmas
Make Christmas more meaningful by using your creativity instead of your pocket book! If you have a hobby such as knitting, scrapbooking, woodworking or calligraphy utilize your skills by crafting some DIY gift ideas this season.
Homemade gifts are highly appreciated and hold a special sentimental value for the receiver. Handmade objects provide a “feel-good vibe” that can’t be replicated by a factory-made item. There are so many great DIY gift ideas that are both easy and inexpensive to make. You don’t have to have a special skill or be artistic to make a wonderful gift.
Here’s a list of DIY gift ideas you might consider making. If you need more ideas check out Pinterest and get ready to have some fun!
Family Scrapbook. A scrapbook or photo album filled with memorable photos taken throughout the year can make for a heartwarming gift. Enjoy reliving the memories as you put it all together. It is a gift that will be kept! Costco, Amazon and other online resources print photos at very reasonable prices. Shop around and compare prices. You can even print photos at home if you have a printer.
Photo collage. An easier but equally thoughtful avenue is to display some of life’s best memories in a photo collage. Check out IKEA for affordable frames and then select your favorite photographs. Giving photos of the kids to the grandparents is a great gift idea. They will love it!
Family calendar. Another take on the scrapbook idea is to create a family calendar. Construct the calendar using with a blank calendar from the dollar store as your base (or print one out from the computer). Use colorful paper as a background. Print out your favorite photos from the past year, glue them to your background and place onto the appropriate months. Be sure to highlight all birthdays and anniversaries.
There are also a number of online companies that will print the calendar with the images for you but that tends to be more expensive this the DIY version.
Knit a scarf. Whether you are a beginner or advance knitter, a hand-made scarf will always be appreciated. Select yarn with the right color and texture to match someone’s favorite jacket or sweater. Or make a long whimsical scarf made of many different colored yarns. Have fun designing a unique item for each person.
Handwritten Note Cards If you are a calligrapher or just have lovely hand writing think about creating a box of gift cards for a present. Find inspirational quotes that are appropriate for different occasions and write them on a hand-cut label with an ink pen. Use contrasting colored or patterned paper for a background. You will create a stunning collection of cards. A box of homemade cards is a delightful present to receive.
Wooden items. If you enjoy working with wood there are many great gift ideas you could make. Make a series of standing wooden cut-outs in the shape of Christmas trees and coat them with different colored stains. Make some stackable block or wooden cars for the kids. Your mom might enjoy a fancy holiday cutting board. Hand-made wood objects hold a high value as a gift item.
Food items. Everyone loves to receive home-baked goods. This is a great gift for the extended family, neighbors and friends. You may even develop a “signature” item that you will be remembered for. Think about making it more festive by hosting a homemade baking party. Invite your close friends or just your neighbors. This might be a good opportunity to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while.
Christmas Cookies. Can there be Christmas without cookies? Make an assortment of your favorite cookies and batch them together into cookie boxes! Friends and families will be impressed at your baking skills and you will be a welcome guest at holiday parties!
Bread. Consider making a quick bread in a foil tin as a gift. There are so many great recipes to choose from your head will spin. Candy cane chocolate mint, pumpkin with gingerbread topping, or orange cranberry are just a few delicious recipes to consider. Experiment with a variety of recipes and find your favorite.
Have fun with the wrapping. A homemade loaf of bread can be wrapped in foil and tied up with a fresh new dish towel and ribbon. Or find holiday themed tins at the dollar store.
Herb and spice blends. You can use dehydrated herbs from the garden or purchase quality herbs and spices in bulk to create homemade seasoning blends. Some of the combinations could be a Cajun spice blend, a chili seasoning, a curry blend or a Greek or Italian blend. Look for recipes online and make your favorite or create a variety pack.
Infused Vinegar or oil. You can make replicas of those expensive bottled vinegars or oils. Select the dried herbs or spices you want to use. You can use hot chilis, sage, cinnamon or even lavender as an infusion option. Start with a good white balsamic vinegar and add your dried herbs. Give it time to absorb. You can purchase attractive glass bottles (IKEA has a great selection) for the container.
Tea Sampler. For all the tea lovers in your life, think of creating a tea sampler. Assemble a festive sampler package of various teas. If you’re a gardener, consider using bounty harvested from your very own herb garden and present it bundled together with an attractive insulated mug. What better way to warm up a person from the inside out!
Spa in a jar. Everyone deserves some good relaxation. Homemade body scrubs, bath bombs, and body butter are all easy and inexpensive to make, plus you can personalize with the recipient’s favorite fragrances! Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
Sugar scrub. Take brown or white sugar, coconut oil, Vitamin E oil and your favorite essential oil. Mix until the oil is absorbed into the sugar and the desired consistency is reached. Store it in a recycled or holiday container.
Bath bombs. Select a mold for the holiday, then mix equal parts epsom salt and baking soda. Slowly add lemon juice until you have a sticky, sandy consistency. Add food coloring if desired and pack into your mold. Set aside and allow it to harden.
Dog Treats. If you have a dog lover in your life, consider gifting them with a container of home-made dog treats. Here is an easy no-bake three ingredient recipe. Simply take one half cup of baked sweet potato, one cup oatmeal and a quarter cup of peanut butter. Mix ingredients together and roll out into a sheet. Cut out biscuits with a bone-shaped cookie cutter and let dry. Both human and dog will dig it.
Give a homemade coupon book. Another great gift idea is a coupon book. Make it good for the upcoming year. Include coupons for babysitting, lawn mowing, car washes, meal preparation or anything else you can do for the recipient.
Homemade Candles It’s not as hard as you think to make candles. Wax, wick and scent can be purchased online inexpensively. Also check out the dollar store for the supplies. You can also shop at the thrift shops for old teacups or one-off bowls for your containers. Finish off the project by making handwritten labels with a poetic name for the fragrances.
A Final Word
The giving of homemade DIY gift ideas is about connection and personal interaction. It is about sharing something that you have made and having that effort valued. Homemade gifts will take you away from the overt commercialization of the holiday and back to something more meaningful.