Making gifts yourself can be extremely satisfying. They can also mean a lot more to the recipient. In today’s economic climate diy gifts can also help to take the strain of gift giving out of the budget…..all it takes is a little organization and some ideas which you can find here.
I have managed to compile a selection of beautiful and thoughtful gifts for you to make that are sure to make an impact on the person you are giving them to.
I have always found that any gift I make myself has been extremely well recieved because people recognise the effort that has gone into it. One year I spent goodness knows how long cross stitching a picture of a barn owl which I then framed for my mother (she collects owls and over the year has received everything from ornaments to jewelry) – her face when she unwrapped it was priceless!
Gifts for the bath are welcome as baths are seen as a luxury, it is a time when you are not being hurried along; a time when you can just relax. A little bath hamper is an excellent idea and one of the things in it simply must be the Chocolate Bath Milk.
Chocolate Bath Milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 cups milk powder
Mix the ingredients together and fill pretty containers or even just little taffeta bags. For any chocolate lover this would be really appreciated.
A lovely hamper for pampering a mum would be the Chocolate Bath Milk, a chocolate bar or small box of chocolates, a small bottle of bubbly and a champagne glass. If mum doesn’t drink replace with a box of flavored coffee sachets and a special mug.
At Christmas time you can’t go past Candy Cane Bath Salts for a touch of festive spirit, these are a great gift to make with your children as they love the stripe effect and they make nice gifts for teachers.
Candy Cane Bath Salts
- 3 cups Epsom salts
- 3 tsp sweet almond oil
- 9 drops peppermint essential oil
- 1 drop of red food coloring 1 drop of green food coloring
To make the bath salts you need to separate the three cups of Epsom salts into three bowls. Place 1 teaspoon of almond oil into each of the three bowls then add the drop of red food coloring into one of the bowls and the drop of green food coloring into another of the bowls. Put 3 drops of peppermint essential oil into each bowl and mix well. You should be left with one bowl of red salts, one bowl of green salts and one bowl of white salts. Cover the bowls and leave for a couple of hours.
Once that is done you will need some jars with lids, to get the candy cane effect you simply layer the salts in the jar – one layer of red, one of green, one of white and repeat. Once you have filled the jars wrap a piece of ribbon around it with a gift tag shaped like a candy cane (or an actual candy cane).
Stuck on You Gifts
Magnetic Gift Ideas
Magnets make great gifts, you can make them yourself or if you have small children you can get them to help. You have a couple of choices in how to make them depending on the type of magnet you want.
Magnetic Sheeting can be used for ‘flat’ magnets. Purchase the magnetic sheeting and then take a picture that your child drew or a photo that you want to use. I prefer to laminate pictures or photos first for easy cleaning, then simply glue onto the back of the magnet and cut to shape.
One of the beauties of this one is that you can cut it to the shape you want ie making a heart shape around a picture of you with the person or whatever you are using.
Round Magnets are another way to go, these can be purchased at your local craft store and are about the size of a coin. Next you need to get something to put on the front and this is where you can really have some fun.
- Polymer clay
- Cross stitch cushions
- Scrapbook shapes
- Beaded animals, angels, snowmen
The list is limited only by your imagination and they can all be stuck on using an appropriate adhesive.
Edible Gift Ideas
Good Enough to Eat!
Baking gifts are another thoughtful gift. A favorite thing to make is fudge, another might be chocolate truffles or mini Christmas puddings.
My easy peasy, no-fail fudge recipe requires the following ingredients:
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 bag of chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
Place the sweetened condensed milk and the chocolate chips into a saucepan and gently heat until the chocolate has completely melted and the liquid is lovely and smooth. Next take off of the heat and stir in the vanilla. Now pour the mixture into a greased pan and allow to cool. Once it is cooled you can cut it into pieces.
This recipe can be adapted by adding in all sorts of things such as chopped up cherries, sultanas, apricots or nuts.
Once you have your fudge cut up you can wrap each piece in colored cellophane – at Christmas time I like using red and green cellophane for a festive look and then pop a few of them into a basket or add a couple to a hamper of other goodies.
Another idea is to buy a plain box, cover it with wrapping paper and pop the fudge inside.
- 1 packet malt biscuits
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
Crush biscuits, add cocoa, coconut and condensed milk and mix well. Place in fridge to cool for at least an hour (I usually leave it overnight). Roll teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls and cover in the sprinkles.
Pop them into mini cup cake papers and put them into decorated noodle boxes for a great gift.
Mini Christmas Puddings
I have never made these, but there are a number of Christmas pudding recipes around and making little ones are a great idea. If I was doing it I would wrap them up in some calico and wrap a ribbon around it – excellent for adding to a hamper or gift basket.
Special Art for Grandparents
One Christmas I brought a blank canvas from a local art store and let my then 2 year old daughter loose with some paint. Definitely an abstract painting! It was absolutely loved by her grandparents however and still has pride of place in their family room!
Another idea if you have a couple of children is to buy a canvas and paint it a solid color. Next using a different color paint get each child to put their hand or foot prints onto the canvas (use a different color for each child). Using a black marker pen write the childs name and the year.
When our friends moved into their dream house (they had been buying and selling their way up to this day), we gave them a lime tree! There is a story attached, the four of us all enjoy a corona (beer)on a hot day and we like to have a lime wedge in the neck of the bottle.
Anyway a lovely young lime tree and a six pack of coronas went down really well……..so well in fact that they gave the same thing to another friend of ours when they moved into a new house (beat us to it!)
Another great idea is to plant a variety of lettuces into a terracotta bowl – they can pick them one leaf at a time so this would be great for a single person.
A herb planter is another idea that is really appreciated by people who love cooking as you can’t beat fresh herbs.
People who only have a small backyard or balcony, but who would love to grow their own fruit and veg might appreciate a hanging basket with cherry tomatoes and/or herbs.
A great gift for your children to give their friends at Kindy or primary school is reindeer dust. This is really easy to make and has become a tradition in our house.
Basically it consists of oatbran and glitter, I think my original recipe called for a 50/50 split, but I tend to use a little more glitter now maybe 60/40 (I don’t really measure it!). You mix the two ingredients together and using cellophane make little bags to pop some in and tie off with a ribbon. Print instructions on a card that’s also attached to the ribbon and you have a great gift idea.
What are the instructions? Well you need to sprinkle the oatbran onto the lawn and the glitter helps to guide the reindoor so that they land safely and don’t miss your house 🙂 By morning the glitter and oatbran have usually blown away, but it doesn’t matter if they haven’t because Santa has been which means it worked! My dd won’t go to bed on Christmas Eve without sprinkling the lawn with the Reindeer Dust.
What gifts will you be making this year?
I’ve given you a few ideas, why not let me know which if any you’ll be using for your present giving this year.