Ten Ideas for Homemade Christmas Gifts

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This year why not try making your own Christmas cards and other homemade Christmas gifts?

Homemade Christmas cards

Cards are one of the oldest traditions of the holiday season. First choose the format. You can make individual cards, personalised for each recipient, or start with a template and copy it using a printer or photocopier. First work out a basic design. Use a classic Christmas image like a Christmas tree, holly and ivy, a Christmas stocking or wrapped present, or a simple Christmas greeting like ‘Wishing you a Merry Christmas’, ‘Season’s Greetings’ or ‘Happy Holidays’. Buy heavy paper or card, plus envelopes, or pre-folded blank cards.

Make your own gift bags

These make a great alternative to expensive wrapping paper and can be reuse. Decorate a plain paper bag with a piece of wrapping paper or pictures from a magazine. Print out a design on your computer and stick it onto cheap white drawing paper. Construct a simple gift bag out of newspaper using a pattern from the internet. Take a Sunny D bottle and cover it with fabric or scraps of paper to make a pretty plastic container to hold homemade biscuits or sweets.

DIY beauty products

It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own beauty products. For example, try this homemade body scrub: simply mix 1 cup of coffee grounds and ½ cup of sugar, add 1 tsp of almond oil and ½ tsp of Vitamin E oil. Optionally, add in some drops of your favourite essential oil for fragrance. Pile into a jar. Brilliant for removing dry skin and best of all it’s entirely natural.

Christmas food and drink

Homemade food and drink is always welcome. Christmas biscuits make a lovely Christmas present. Cook in batches, and pack into cellophane bags (look in the pound shop). Tie up with pretty ribbons and a gift card. Another fantastic present is homemade jam or chutney. Reuse old jam jars by scrubbing off the labels then sterilising them in boiling water or the dishwasher. Cut out a circle of old fabric as a lid and secure with string or ribbon.

Personalised mugs

Buy plain white mugs in a pound shop or market. Use indelible pen (sharpies) to draw a design onto the mug. These can be washed in hot water but are not dishwasher safe.

Homemade soap bars

Buy a block of soap base made from vegetable oil. Cut off a piece and melt in a bowl over hot water, or in the microwave. At this point add your choice of scent or decoration and stir well. Experiment with flower petals, pieces of herbs, lemon zest and essential oils. Poppyseeds make a great natural exfoliator. Pour into soap moulds, plastic jelly moulds or even mini tupperware boxes. Leave to harden for at least 3 hours. Pop out of the moulds then wrap in clingfilm or colourful paper. Tie up with ribbon.