“Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection” – Pindar
A gift is something that warms the hearts of both the giver and the recipient. Every gift is precious, since it’s the thought that counts, but you can’t ignore the extra charm of a handmade gift! The fact that the person took that much time out of their busy day to collect all the materials and make it with their own hands – there’s something priceless about it! And that’s why this festive season, we are featuring 5 easy DIY ideas for Christmas! You can make these gifts at home with minimal effort and cost.
The post has been written by Fabida Abdulla, who now joins my blog as a regular contributor. She blogs at Shocks and Shoes and in her free time she loves to share her thoughts on parenting and things that make up her life. She also loves to bake some yummy stuff and you will find these recipes on her blog.
5 DIY Ideas for Christmas
1. Natural Pot Pourri
Who doesn’t want their home to smell like heaven? This season, make some natural pot pourri to bring in that festive feel. The best part – no toxic fumes, no artificial fragrances – just good ol’ Mother Nature! Here are a few ideas for a DIY Pot Pourri.
a. Autumn Breeze
Collect some twigs, cones and tree bark from your walks outside. Dry some citrus peel. Mix all this together with some orange oil and keep for at least a month, shaking it weekly to let the fragrance set.
b. Floral Fragrance
Dry some flower petals and lavender on a tray, either in some mild sunlight or a warm oven. Add an essential oil like lavender or rose. Keep the oils to just one to let it shine through. Mix it all together with your fingers, using a light hand. Keep for four to six weeks, shaking the mixture everyday.
c. Festive Spice
Slice an apple and orange into very thin slices and bake them for about an hour till completely dry. Mix together with some lightly crushed star anise, cloves and cinnamon. Keep for a couple of days before gifting.
Gifting Tip: Presentation is very important here, or else it’ll look like you’re gifting a pile of nice-smelling trash!! Put them in wicker baskets covered with net fabric or simple glass mason jars or bottles with a ribbon around the neck. Or try tiny little bottles with cork lids, strung on a necklace. Another option is to make little sachets of muslin or organza fabric and filling them, for a fresh-smelling wardrobe.
2. Handmade Bath Products
There’s a lot of awareness about the various chemical ingredients in personal care products these days, with parabens and sulfates being in the news for all the wrong reasons. In this environment, your loved one is sure to appreciate some natural, handmade bath products, free of harmful chemicals. You can make any of these, in different flavors.
a. Handmade Soap
Use your choice of essential oils and ingredients to make your own soap. You might need a few specialized ingredients, but the effort is more than worth it! You can make soaps for face, body as well as hair.
b. Lotion Bars
Lotion Bars are getting increasingly popular these days. For a foolproof recipe, check out Pratibha’s very own Orange Body Lotion Bar post. It’s very easy to make and takes less than half an hour! Make a variety with different oils.
Scrubs are probably the most popular home made personal care products. There are so many varieties you can try, it can get confusing! Start with these extensive lists of body scrubs, hand scrubs and foot scrubs.
Gifting Tip: Put the scrubs in see through glass jars tied up with pretty ribbon. Don’t forget to label them! You’ll also need to mention directions of use along with a ‘use by’ date. For soaps and bars, wrap each one in paper and tie with a piece of twine for a rustic look.
3. Scented Candles
In this crazy, rushed world, everyone would like to take some time to just be by themselves and breathe. For a perfect zen-like atmosphere at home, what better than aromatic candles? Here is a quick recipe for a candle base.
Melt candle wax on a double boiler at medium-low heat. Fix a candle wick to the bottom of your candle jar with a little melted wax and keep it upright by looping it over a pencil placed across the rim. When your melted wax has cooled a bit, add your choice of color and essential oils. Pour this into your prepared jar and allow to cool. For extra effect, stick some dried flowers to the sides of the jar before pouring the wax – the candles will look lovely! Use all kinds of containers to get funky looking candles.
Gifting Tip: A set of candles of different aromas would work well, but if you want, you can make a spa set by combining them with handmade bath products. Put them all into a cute basket and tie a ribbon on the handle for a finishing touch.
4. Apron Set
Nothing spells old world charm like a handmade matching apron and pot holder set! Gift an avid cook or baker with one made by you – there are no-sew versions if you’re sewing-challenged. Make a complete matching set with an apron, pot holders and oven gloves.
The good thing about this is that you can customize the size and fabric, and you can also design something fun to suit your friend’s personality. Get free printable patterns from the internet and buy some good quality fabric and you’re ready to go!
Gifting Tip: Make a matching adult and kiddie version to gift a Mother and child – they’ll love it! Making it in holiday-themed patterns will also go down well. Wrap them nicely in brown paper and put in little name tags. If you’d like add a jar of homemade cookie or cake mix too!
5. Salt Dough Ornaments
There are few things as versatile as salt dough – you can color and shape them to your heart’s liking! The ingredients for this couldn’t get simpler – just salt, flour and water! Here’s an easy recipe that even your kids could make.
Mix a cup of flour with half a cup of salt and water each to form a dough. Roll it out and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, or mould your own if you’re talented enough. Cut out holes as required, and bake them at 120°C for two and a half hours, more if they aren’t hard enough. Cool and paint them as you wish. String them where the hole was made. If you wish, you can also add glitter for some bling.
Gifting Tip: You can make ornaments to hang on a tree or you can make tiny pieces of jewelry. Grandparents will love their grandchildren’s creations, so you can get your child to make a hand print in the dough. Pack among leaves or flowers in cute little cardboard boxes, tied with twine.
And apart from these, there’s always food! Edible gifts are becoming very popular these days, especially when people have run out of other ideas! You can either gift baked cookies in a brown paper bag tied with ribbon or you can gift a cookie mix in a mason jar, with the recipe attached. You can also make your own custom gift basket with cookie mix + apron set or candles + bath products or pot pourri + candles. It’s the season for giving, so don’t hold back!
Have you ever gifted someone something made by you? Which of these would you be willing to try?
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*All of my reviews are based on my own personal experiences with the brand/products. If it is a sponsored post, it is indicated. Most of the brands and products reviewed are what I have tried and tested and truly recommend! All Photographs are (C) Pratibha unless stated otherwise.*