DIY Christmas: How getting creative could save you money this season
Christmas may be the best time of year, but it’s also the most expensive. Festooning the tree, feeding the five thousand and filling the stockings comes at a price, and January’s bank account statement arrives like the grim reaper from the mist. This year, we have some tips to help you ward away your financial worries by simply putting down the credit card and getting your hands dirty. What’s more, you might even find yourself some fun new family traditions, rather than spending time on your phone.
Why not jazz up your Christmas by crafting some of your own decorations for the tree. You can use all sorts of materials, from leftover wire, to easy-to-make moldable dough, to a simple piece of paper. If you want to make something delicate which will look good in front of the fairy lights, have a go at threading beads or experimenting with origami. For something more unusual, you could fashion quirky wreaths out of household objects, sew your own stockings or even construct homemade snowglobes. If that’s got you inspired, try looking online for more ideas.
When it comes to the festive season, food is key. But nothing tastes better than homemade bakes. Those who are into icing could have crack at gingerbread, which can be cut into classic gingerbread men, or, if you are feeling more adventurous, a GBBO-style, precariously balanced gingerbread house. The traditional Yule log and Christmas cake are also favourites, and great fun to decorate with winter scenery. There are endless free recipes available online, so you needn’t worry if your shelf is bereft of cookery books.
Making your own presents is not only kinder on the pocket, but it also adds the personal touch that money can’t buy. While you are in the kitchen, you could set apart some of your gingerbread men, or there are endless recipes for chocolate truffles which you could wrap up in a cellophane bag for a cute little treat. For lovers of booze, try making your own sloe gin or a deconstructed cocktail kit. The stove is not only great for edible goodies: you can also use it to melt wax for your own candles, which you can colour however you choose, or to create indulgent scented soaps. If you want to wrap up something more permanent, you could make jewellery; knit a scarf, hat or gloves; or paint a coaster that’s just waiting for a mug of mulled wine. As ever, the internet is your best resource, so be sure to check out some of the best homemade gift ideas.
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