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Published December 9th 2014
Save your pennies but still give to many
This Christmas, if you haven't started your shopping and you're thinking about how to keep costs low, create something special for your recipients to show them how much you love them.
You don't have to be a creative genius to make something which will be loved and adored. Think outside the box and consider what your friends and family love before launching into a project and also take a moment to think about how much time you've got to get these pressies made.
Who doesn't love some special seasonal food to nibble on at Christmas? Making some of these amazing recipes or variations could get you in the good books with your loved ones.
Brownies - I like to use Nigella Lawson's recipe but you might already have a favourite you can adapt to make it more seasonal. Add some mint for a candy cane taste or add in some nutmeg, cinnamon and nuts to give it a spicy fruit-cake flavour.
Photo Courtesy of Nigella Lawson
Chocolate Truffles - Make these beautiful and simple truffles and pop them in those cute little mini cupcake papers. You can add all sorts of delicious toppings with options like chopped nuts, chocolate sprinkles and coconut. Add centres to these truffles such as a glace cherry, almond or other nut you love.
Photo Courtesy of Taste.com.au
Christmas Cookies - Your giftee may not be so keen on chocolate then some buttery cookies might be the trick. Roll and cut out these biscuits then either sandwich together or decorate singly with coloured icing. Wrap them up in some cellophane and add a big bow and voila!
Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart
2. Christmas Decorations
These may take a small amount of creativity and skill but you can usually make some really great gifts from just a few materials and an hour or so.
Felt Ogee Ornament - If you can wield a sewing needle for very basic and few stitches, this is a really effective and beautiful ornament that you can whip up in minutes. With just a few cuts into felt with a sharp knife, you can have this finished in under 20 minutes.
Photo Courtesy of Betz White
French Fold Ball Ornament - These are a great way to use up small pieces of fabric if you're a crafty type or you might want to make it out of a special piece of clothing or fabric that means something to the recipient. No sewing required for this one, just folding and pinning into a foam ball. Simple!
Photo Courtesy of Knitty Gritty
Pom Pom Candy Cane - These are pretty easy but they could be really effective if you use sparkly pom poms and even try some more modern colours. Putting them on a study backing material could also make them into fun holiday wall hangings.
Photo Courtesy of Skip To My Lou
It's easy to make some subtly beautiful things for the home to give as gifts or to liven up your own place ready for the big day!
Dot Painted Mugs - This is a really easy peasy craft which will wow your loved ones as they get a personalised mug made by you which looks like a piece of art. You only need basic white mugs, some pens and stick on letters to make this one work.
Image Courtesy of Glued to My Crafts
Scrabble Coasters - For those who are handy with a glue gun (or can just squeeze a glue bottle) this is the craft for you. Make cute, customised coasters for your friends so that every time they have a drink, they think of you.
Make a beautiful bar of soap wrapped up in paper and ribbons or a delicious balm in a jar with one of these great recipes. You don't need a lot of fancy stuff to make something which the recipient will enjoy for months to come.
Orange Body Butter - This is one of those decadent things which usually costs the earth in those fancy organic stores but which you can easily whip up yourself without all the added cost. There's a cheat at the end of this recipe to make this body butter last longer so your giftee can continue using it through the year.
Homemade Soap - There's an easy way to make beautiful soaps at home with a great range of Melt and Pour kits out there. You can then add whatever ingredients you like to make it your own and wrap it up in some pretty packaging ready for gift-giving.
Photo Courtesy of Fun Home Things
Sugar Scrub - Give a bottle of Christmas scented peppermint scrub to your friends and family and they will use it all year. This is a really super simple but effective-looking present which you could give alongside a new loofah or face cloth as an added extra.
Photo Courtesy of The Idea Room
5. Simple Sewing
You've got a sewing machine and a decent pair of scissors and you're pretty sure you can sew in a straight line. These are the gifts you will be able to make without swearing too much.
Coffee Cozy - This is one of the easiest sewing projects you can undertake and will only take you around half an hour from beginning to end. These cute coffee cozies will keep your drink warm in winter and your hand cool in summer.
Photo Courtesy of One Crafty Home
Zippered Purse - I'm not going to lie, this one is a little more complex but if you can sew a little, you'll find it a breeze. It's just a few parts and everything is spelled out in this easy tutorial for you to make your own amazing zippered purse for your bestie.
Photo Courtesy of N'Stitches Designs
Child's Apron - You could make these for the little people in your life to help you when you're in the kitchen or if you want to try a bigger version, you could even make some for your older friends.
Photo Courtesy of Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Now you have your beautiful handmade gifts ready in time for Christmas, you can wrap them up in some unique ways to make them really special.
Origami Box - Make these up for all the baked goods you are giving to keep them safe and make them look festive. You can even make ones in other fancy shapes if you're feeling confident with your folding skills.
Photo Courtesy of Homemade Gifts Made Easy
Tiny Pillow Box - Use up your toilet tubes with this really simple and effective technique for making tiny boxes. Add some coloured wrapping paper to the outside and tie a little string or ribbon around them and you've got yourself some pretty awesome wrapping for small gifts.
Photo Courtesy of The Pink Door
Rudolf Wrapping Paper - This is my favourite handmade Christmas paper as it's easy for the kids to make or adult's can also get away with making it. Who could resist making little reindeer faces with thumbprints?
There are so many other amazing gifts that you can make yourself and you don't need to be a crafting whizz-kid. There are heaps of Pinterest boards out there with so many amazing projects to undertake for gifts, decorations and general festive making.