101 Make your own Christmas gift ideas
Do you plan on getting crafty this Christmas? See how-tos on everything from DIY Christmas decorations to crafting your own fashion and beauty gifts. You’ll also find Christmas crafting tutorials for cute toys and unusual (but useful) things for the home. Read on!
Make your own Christmas decorations
1. See our tutorial for how to make your own Christmas crackers. The joy of it is you can put what you want inside.
2. Our Christmas decoration ideas for book lovers include a tutorial on how to turn a Christmas bauble into the Golden Snitch! Perfect for Harry Potter fans, ie. nearly everyone.
3. Have you bought a Christmas stocking yet? Make your own instead. Whether you want classic Father Christmas furs or hygge felt or burlap, we’ll talk you through the options.
4. Thinking gingerbread thoughts? Make this felt gingerbread man Christmas tree decoration
5. Make your own advent calendar – before Dec 1st, of course. Consider it an early Christmas present to your family, flatmates or cohabitees.
7. Festive table decoration: Take a cork mat, preferably a round one. IKEA and pound shops tend to stock them at around 4 for £1. Decorations: Fir cones, either bought,or picked up from the ground ( if picked up they need to be dried in the oven on a low heat to kill all the beasties), plastic red berries and leaves and superglue or a glue gun. Spray the fir cones gold or silver if you wish. Oh, and get a nice thick church candle! The candle goes in the middle, and then you just stick the fir cones etc round the candle on the mat.To give as a present wrap in cellophane.
8. You can buy candle decorating pens which are like liquid coloured wax. This means you can draw seasonal designs onto candles – or personalise them with your non-seasonal art.
Home-made beauty gift ideas
9. Make your own massage bar. Even more luxurious than soap!
10. This DIY body spray recipe using essential oils is incredible.
11. Make DIY perfume – it’s easier than you might think, can be presented in gorgeous vintage bottles bought cheaply off eBay, and you can make enough to create gifts for all the perfumistas you know.
12. Try your hand at making these candy cane bath salts using oil of peppermint (peppermint is often reffered to as the world’s oldest medicine).
13. Pamper gift kit: Buy a large toiletry bag, a packet of face mask, a packet of hair mask, a bath bomb, a mini bottle of champagne (or wine), a mini box of chocolates, and a rose. Put all items inside the bag except the rose and take the petals from the rose and sprinkle inside.
14. Make bath cookies. Ridiculously cheap, stupidly easy, you can get all the ingredients from a really average supermarket and they look and smell like real cookies!
15. Search online on how to make a clear soap, buy little alphabet letters from the cookery section of a supermarket, and form a lovely message in the middle of the clear bar of soap.
16. Search online to sign up for all sorts of free beauty samples. Knock together a really pretty beauty gift basket.
DIY fashion gift ideas
17. Lace, lace, lace! These DIY tricks with lace and doilies will help you create anything from mood lights to vintage-style chokers and bracelets.
18. Here’s how to make leg warmers from old sweaters for the perfect hygge gift. Give them the gift of Scandinavian cosiness this winter.
19. This tutorial showing how to make a beaded wire brooch shows how easy it can be. It’s therapeutic for you to make, too. Put your feet up and start beading.
Visit your local bead shop and make jewellery for friends. The cheapest would be rings, with tiny beads and ever so cheap jewelry wire…
21. Make sea glass jewellery with this wonderful tutorial from Robin Seaglass.
23. If they love books, make them this book jewellery box. So clever.
24. For some of us, every day is Halloween – including Christmas. If this sounds like someone you know, here’s how to make a skull butterfly hairclip.
25. Live in a cold climate? Give your friends the gift of warmth with a homemade hand warmer. If you know how to make a beanbag, you know how to make a hand warmer. Use wool or cashmere or felt material, but instead of filling the bags with beans, fill them with ceramic pie weights. To use these toasty treasures, simply microwave them for a couple of minutes and then slip them in your pockets. Alternate and very easy method once you’ve sorted a nice fleece or linen bag with a minimum of sewing: Mix a bag of rice with as much cinnamon and cloves, or lavender flowers as you like… fill the tubes to about two inches from the top and stitch shut… heat 1- 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave = heating pad (great for cold feet in bed!)
26. Make pretty handkerchiefs – find a fabric you like, and either hem the sides lovingly by hand or use the appropriate stitch on a sewing machine.
27. Get some old wooden coat hangers and lovingly wrap black tulle round them. So chic. So goth. Discover more tips with 17 crafty uses for wire hangers on Mookychick.
28. Make a classic tote bag. Who doesn’t need one of these. Very versatile.
Home-made food and drink gift ideas
30. Try this homemade plum jam with edible glitter recipe – the glitter gives added wintery starlight sparkle. Present in decorated jars.
31. Make these home-made lollipops. You can use the cute molds of your choice, and present them in boxes, individually wrapped in clear plastic, or tie them to gifts under the tree as a mouthwatering decoration. They’re vegan, too!
32. Acquire icing sugar and a Gingerbread man cookie cutter, google a recipe and make your own gingerbread men. Wrap them in lovely posh wrapping and offer them to just about everyone you know as a very posh and munchable christmas present indeed. This gives you the option to make gingerbread ladies with icing rude bits, gingerbread mutant freakazoids… your imagination is the limit…
33. Make chocolate spoons! Get some good quality plastic spoons to start with. Clear ones are very pretty if you can find them. Also find some good quality chocolate and different flavouring essences – almond, vanilla, raspberry etc. Melt chocolate till it is liquid, watch out that it doesn’t scorch… You can do this in the microwave. Add essence. Then just dip the spoon into the chocolate and lay the spoons with their handles over the edge of a wax paper lined baking sheet until set. You can drizzle white chocolate in a design over dark or milk chocolate. Don’t just dip lightly – you want a nice puddle in the spoon part and part way up the handle. Wrap these in clear plastic bags tied with raffia and a tag stating the flavour.
34. For boozy friends, grab a bottle of vodka and put skittles or mint humbugs in it. DIY flavoured vodka! Or put dried juniper berries in the bottom of a nice bottle of gin. A boozy gift with heart for the more adventurous sipper.
35. Beer gift kit: Buy a 4 pack of ales or beers. Also buy a novelty bottle opener and a length of ribbon. Tie the ribbon around the beers and as you tie the bow, thread the beer opener on so it’s tied up with the bow. Then add a glass and write a message with a glass writing pen.
36. Give the carnivore in your life a gift that shows you really care: a cup made out of bacon.
37. Make them do all the work instead. Get them an ale home brew kit and promise to help. Maybe also scout around for a cheap mad scientist lab coat as their second and surely appropriate gift.
38. If you’re known for something cooking-related like a sauce, then prepare jars of it and pair them with the necessary dry ingredients and recipe cards. If you only have to give one or two of these, you can also buy cheap pasta pots at a local discount store. Arrange everything in the pots, then wrap them up with a nice bow.
39. Speaking of booze, as we were earlier and never quite forgot, why not poach pears in red wine and put them in a glass jar…
40. Make a hot choc gift mug filled with mini marshmallows, hot chocolate sachets, mini whisk and spoon. wrap with cellophane and a bow.
41. Make them do all the hard work. Give them chocolate chip cookie mix in a jar.
42. Try making Baklava; there are many different recipes online.
Christmas crafting – cute toys
43. Love felt crafting? Make this cute felt raccoon doll.
Oh dear heavens, this is too charming to be relegated just to Christmas. Crochet a baby penuin amigurumi. Or just search online for amigurumi and make one of your choice…
46. This DIY felt cupcake keyring is utterly adorable. You can make animals, too.
Christmas crafting ideas for the home
48. Get some cheap magnets and stick stuff to them with superglue, like natural pebbles and sea shells, or marbles, or D20 roleplaying dice, or Pokemon keyrings, or if you are terribly macabre and/or Victorian, a lock of your own hair as a poignant memento of the time you’ve shared.
49. Save jam jars, prick lots of holes in the lid and decorate them with glass-friendly pens to make tea light holders.
50. Make a grunge, distressed photo frame.
51. How about cuttings from plants? If you have any plants or know anyone who does, you can take cuttings from them and replant in nice containers. People who love planting things tend to be really obssessed about planting things.
52. Even if you aren’t craft minded, you can make some pretty throws using just two large rectangles of fleece. Fringe the ends (make small even cuts so you have strips) and then tie the fringes together for a double layered throw.
53. Shower curtains are really not too difficult to make and can be personalised. Check what size they normally have. It might be the standard curtain or you might have to snoop around in the lucky person’s bathroom with a measuring tape. The material you want is either the plastic-cloth mixture some shower curtains have or the kind of plastic used as easy to wipe table cover. You can buy it by the metre, choose from a variety of designs and it is not expensive. Consider about 15cm extra at the top when measuring for purchase. If it is the cloth-type you are working with, sew the sides so they don’t unravel. Fold and sew a triple layer of about 5cm at the top where you then put the rings where the hangers go through. The metal rings and the hangers are available at DIY stores or household stores. It’s a perfect gift for persons in their first own house/ apartment.
54. Designer bedding is a bit messy, but it’s fun to make tie-dye bedspreads or linen. Buy cotton linen and remember that colours are only covered by darker ones, so white linen may be a good choice. Then find fabric dye (at hobby-stores), it’s not recommended that you use more than three different kinds. Use string that will not soak through and tie the areas of the cloth you want to keep in the original colour. Follow the instructions on the fabric colour package; usually you put one packet into a certain amount of water and add a certain amount of salt. You cannot use washing machine colouring to tie-dye! Wear rubber gloves and dip the cloth into the dye, either totally or partially. If you are working with several colours you can dip parts of the sheet/pillowcase into the buckets with dye so they kind of ‘melt’ into each other. Combinations like red- orange- yellow or yellow- green- blue or pink- violet- blue work nicely. When you are done, rinse the cloth well until the water is clear; there are special solutions to transfix the color properly. Hang the cloth where it can drip and dry and remove the strings when half-dry. Wash coloured linen separately!
55. There’s a ridiculous amount of stuff you can do with a cheap A4 laminating machine. Like create laminated art that lasts forever. Or decorate 3 or 4 strips of paper / cardboard, lay them a couple of centimetres apart and – voila – 3 or 4 DIY art bookmarks for each sheet of A4.
56. Paper mache your jam jars and spray them with metallic paint to make textured pots for pencils and such.
57. If you’re artistic, give memory drawings. Draw a very simple black-and-white picture of a memory that you have of you and the person. This could be a very simple drawing – even Keith Herring figures. Frame it and gift. The great thing about this (besides being cheap) is that you can give it multiple times to the same person. They will have a growing collection of memory drawings from you. Apparently this gift is very well received by family members. Also a nice idea for Christmas cards or gift tags.
58. Leaf through children’s books at the library, looking for pages and pictures that reminded you of various friends. Photocopy these pages, colour them by hand, and then frame them with construction paper. Add a little note to each friend on the back of his or her piece.
59. Unique tea towels with your own bold or delicate designs make wonderful home made Christmas gifts.
60. Sun jars – frosted jars with solar lighting in that you can keep outside in the garden – are fantastically wonderful but rather expensive. Make a home-made sun jar.
61. Make a Dali-style melting clock. Good heavens! Is there anything you can’t do with old vinyl?
62. Make teacup candles. You’ll need craft-store wicks, wax (or old candles) that can be melted down, old teacups, and maybe a fragrance or two. Pretty single teacups (with or without saucers) can often be found at thrift stores for less than a dollar. Melt the wax in a double boiler, add fragrance if desired, then support the wick standing in the teacup while carefully filling the cup with wax. As the wax cools, it will contract and form a well. You can add more melted wax of the same colour or add a second shade. These are fairly easy to make, but beware cups with obvious cracking; the hot wax may cause them to shatter.
DIY Christmas gift ideas for friends, family and loved ones
63. How about making a private pin-up calendar for your loved one? All you need is a blank calendar, glue, a camera and a very good friend. Using black and white film can make pictures look more professional/classical and is flattering for the person portrayed as well (no red blotches or yellow teeth). Don’t be cheap on photos; not all turn out as good as you think! Nature settings can be great but not if it is freezing cold or mushroom pickers surprise your shoot. If you are working indoors you want a calm background (a clear wall will do) and fairly good lighting, which is not too difficult if you move around some lamps. Take advantage of daylight but take care your neighbour across the street is not watching. It’s not their present! Then… use your imagination! Grab the living room plants and create Bikini Beach. Have fun!
64. Aw. Make them a Pokemon ball friendship necklace.
65. Little children – Teddy bears party gift kit. Buy a teddy bear, a party hat, a gift tag with a mini envelope and little gift bag. Fill the gift bag with sweets and little novelty toys. Write the gift tag from the bear like a card, put its paw through the handles, and put on its little hat.
66. Teens – Movie gift kit. Buy a gift box and put in the following: A DVD (or a rental voucher if money is tight), a packet of popcorn, a mini tub of Pringles, a mini can of drink, some chocolate, and make up your gift tag to look like a movie stub.
67. Lovers – Buy a gift box and place inside the following: A large feather, a wooden spoon with a piece of red ribbon around it, two neck scarves, a scented candle, a jar of chocolate body paint (or go for nutella or honey, it’s cheaper) some massage oil or a massage bar, some protection, and homemade voucher for a night to remember. Tie with a piece of red or black lace.
68. Best Friend – Memory gift kit (kind of…). Get a large Perspex frame, a disposable camera, lots of photos, and some old magazines. Make a collage of all your best moment and fun nights out. Also include pictures of celebs she/he fancies, cool pics, cut up letters to spell words, make up little comics pieces with speech bubbles, and whatever else you can think of! Wrap carefully with tissue paper including the camera with a tag on it saying “For new memories”, and make sure it’s well padded then tie with a bow.
69. Get a pretty cardboard box (or decorate a nasty one) and fill it with cheap novelty nonsense and pretty self-drawn cartoons and messages of whimsy and love. Like a mini tombola of surprises for people to dig into!
70. Get a goat. Everyone loves goats. And help someone in Africa.
72. Eschew the playlist and make fancy CD compilations. Either introduce them to music you’ve found this year, or make a compilation with a theme, like ‘Have yourself a very merry little kitsch/punk/goth/ragtime/torchsong Christmas’.
73. Got a computer? Create a unique tile picture for less than 3 dollars. We like this. Very clever.
74. For parents: Regiftable.com, a website that is dedicated to the art of re-gifting, offers beautiful gift certificates that you can customize and then print out as needed. This way, you can offer the gift of your time (washing up, walking the dog, naughty rudeness and wearing of stockings every day for a week) but make it official.
75. For the pagan in your life: A handmade bag or small box with something to represent each element. For example, a stick of incense, a seashell, a birthday cake candle, a pebble…