Easy, Creative Do-It-Yourself Gifts for the Holidays
It’s that time of the year again—a time full of cheer and merriness, a time to look back on the year’s blessings and be filled with gratitude. The holidays can be a stressful time, especially when it comes to gift planning, but don’t let the stress overwhelm and steal the holiday spirit from you, or worse, let it take over your wallet’s limited gift budget.
Why not do it differently this year and create a few DIY Christmas gifts for your loved ones, especially if you have the time to spare? Don’t worry; we’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill Christmas sweaters here, but tailored and handmade presents that will let your loved ones know how much you treasure them. After all, money can only go so far in expressing the little things—the time, effort, and thought put into these customized gifts.
Before you finish your holiday shopping list, consider taking on some of these easy, creative DIY Christmas projects!
TOYS: SOFT ANIMAL PLUSHIE
If you’re skilled with the thread and needle, you can create plushies made out of cloth felt and fiberfill. You don’t need a sewing machine to create cute stuffed toys. They’re relatively easy to make as well, even for first timers. Thanks to the internet, there are many free patterns you can choose from, whether you’re planning to make stuffed animals or food items.
Quick Tip: You only really need to learn two types of stitches to create plushies—the running stitch and ladder stitch; the former is commonly used to sew parts together while the latter is used to close up the plushie without the thread being seen. To save time, you can look up videos for a fast tutorial.
BEAUTY: HOMEMADE BATH SCRUBS
For your overworked friends or beauty-conscious family members, you can create homemade bath scrubs by using ingredients you might already have in the pantry. Bath scrubs are great, tried and tested products for softening the skin and to rejuvenate its suppleness.
To create a body scrub, you will only need two ingredients—brown sugar and coconut oil. Just combine 2 parts sugar for every 1 part of coconut oil in a food processor until it’s smooth and creamy and you’re good to go!
Quick Tip: Since these are going to be given as gifts, be sure to use airtight jars to keep them longer. A telling sign these aren’t good for use anymore is when it starts to smell rancid.
FOOD: NO BAKE JARS
As an alternative to the traditional baked goods of the season, why not surprise your recipient by creating your own little version of Christmas in a jar instead? Mason jars have become a trend as of late but you can also use spare jars you may have on hand.
For a quick no bake cake recipe, try making this strawberry shortcake tiramisu. You will need: sliced strawberries, 1 pack lady fingers, 1 cup heavy whipped cream, 2 egg yolks, 8 oz. cream cheese, ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup orange juice.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar, then add in whipped cream and cream cheese and whip until thick. Get your jar and start layering the tiramisu by dipping the ladyfingers into orange juice first and crumbling them for the bottom layer. Add layer of prepared cream filling next then top with strawberries. Repeat until you reach the top.
Quick Tip: Best to make your strawberry shortcake tiramisu the night before it will be given; that way you can leave it in the refrigerator overnight. As long as you keep the jar covered, this dessert can be kept for several days.
FASHION: CUSTOMIZED CLAY BEADS JEWELRY
Jewelry pieces never go out of style and make for some of the most flexible gift items. As an added personal touch to your jewelry gifts, you can create clay beads out of polymer clay instead of buying beads to string together. The possibilities are endless with polymer clay—craft bracelets, necklaces, earrings, keychains, and many more in various vibrant colors! And the best part is, there will never be another one out there in the market like the items you make for your friends and loved ones.
If you’re not confident with handling clay, or afraid to smear the colors with one another, you can opt to use a single color of clay as your base and proceed to paint on them using acrylic paint after baking.
Quick Tip: To create neater holes in the bead, drill a hole through one direction and repeat the process again from the other side. Dip them in cornstarch and don’t forget to use parchment paper when baking to avoid sticking, browning, and scorching.
So you see, gift-giving isn’t just about what money can buy, but also about the thoughts and intentions behind the act itself.
Have you started your Christmas shopping? Maybe you have a few DIY gift projects you want to share; just leave a comment below!