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Craft Your Own Christmas

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by Kath Chown (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Annerley, Brisbane. I write about my suburb and other local spots. If you like my articles please subscribe (just after my name) or 'like' at the end of the post to let me know what else I should write! I love comments too :)
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.

1. Food

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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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!

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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!

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
Photo Courtesy of Skip To My Lou


3. Homewares

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!

Block Printed Tea Towels - This is easy to do with any simple image and some basic materials. You could make a whole set as gifts or make some in Christmas colours to add to your kitchen. With a raft of great places to get free downloadable graphics, you don't even have to be able to draw to make something artistic and beautiful.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart


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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
Photo Courtesy of The Gourmet Gab


4. Skincare

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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
Photo Courtesy of She Wears Many Hats


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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
Photo Courtesy of Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom


6. Wrap it up

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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
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.

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, 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?

Christmas, Make It Yourself, DIY, Baking, Presents, Cheap, Affordable, Gifts
Photo Courtesy of Red Ted Art


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.
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Why? Make Christmas presents for less
When: Before the silly season is upon us!
Cost: Free to $20
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