How to make your Christmas a crafty one?Feature of the week
Christmas is an expensive time of the year, and most of the money spent goes on presents. It’s so hard to find the perfect gift for loved ones and friends, and impossible when all they say is that they don’t know what they want. It might be tempting to just shrug your shoulders and give them nothing at all (isn’t that what they want?), but don’t give in. If there is nothing out there in the shops or online that they want or need, you’ll just have to make it. A handmade gift is often much more appreciated than anything you can buy anyway – it shows love and care, and it shows how much you really know that person. Here are some tips on how to get crafty when it comes to gifts this Christmas.
It’s not just gifts that can be homemade – you can make your own Christmas cards too. You don’t have to slave over card and tissue paper though; you can go online and order personalised cards that will have just as great an impact. Doing that gives you more time to get on with the job at hand, and create more stunning gifts that your family will love.
Photo frames are a lovely gift to give anyone; add a special photo as well, and you’re onto a winner. There are some simple (and some not so simple) ways to create this thoughtful gift, and it will depend on how much time you have, and how arty you are. Probably the easiest way is to buy a frame – it can be a cheap one, so your budget can rest easy – and then decorate it. Create a montage of photographs on the frame and them cover them in PVA glue to keep them in place, and make them shiny. Or smother the whole thing in glue and throw as much glitter and bling at it as you can. Going to a craft shop will open your eyes to exactly how much exciting bits and pieces you can add to this one-time simple frame.
There is a movement in the UK that has recently taken hold, and it involves people leaving decorated stones in places where others will find them and enjoy them. You could take inspiration from this sweet idea and find your own small stones or pebbles (from a beach, in the garden, just walking along) and decorate them for your loved ones. Firstly, clean them up under a tap to make sure you’ve got all the dirt and grime off them. Then using either poster or acrylic paint, dab on your pattern or picture. If you prefer to just write a message, use a fine-point paint pen. Present them in a small velvet bag, or a cute box.
Having soft, healthy hands is important throughout the year, but during the winter months when the weather can play such havoc with our skin, it’s even more essential. You can make a gorgeous hand scrub and present it in a glass jar with a screw on lid, and it’s not as hard as it sounds. The ingredients are all natural: sugar, salt, lemon, olive oil and making the scrub takes hardly any time at all.
Who doesn’t need coasters (especially at Christmas when there are lots of people around and they’ve all got a drink)? Coasters are a fun gift to give if you’ve made them yourself. All you need is some cork which you cut to the size and shape you want. Then pop a picture on the top and seal it all with a clear varnish. Go the extra mile and choose a photo of the person you’re giving the coasters to, or perhaps their kids, or a place they love. Make it personal to them.
You can even give children homemade gifts, and they won’t mind at all. Did you know that it’s possible to make your own playdough using just flour, salt, water, vegetable oil and food colouring? Well, you do now, and it’s a quick and easy thing to do. Make as many colours as you want, and it will keep the little ones occupied for hours.
Perfect for the more spiritual amongst your loved ones, or for those who enjoy spending time in their garden, a homemade wind chime is a gorgeous gift. Take a piece of wire, a length of wood, a metal pipe – whatever works for you – and drill holes through it. Thread some strong through the holes, and attach shells, buttons, pieces of sea glass or anything else that will make a pretty noise to the string.
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