I remember writing a post at the end of November last year exclaiming my plans to be an organised Christmas shopper and not cut it close to xmas eve, and I did! I was organised and had finished shopping early December. But that was 2015, and 2016 is a whole other story! It’s not like I haven’t started shopping, I have, but with lots of people to buy for I haven’t finished, which means I may be scurrying around until tonight to find gifts in the ferrel of crowds also in the same position.
I feel like there can be a lot of pressure to buy the perfect present for those nearest and dearest, especially if you’re on a budget. Christmas is a pricey time of year, and not just for students – for all of us, so if you’re struggling for last minute gift ideas then I’m here to help! The people we care most about can also be the most difficult to buy for, combine that with a tight budget and you’ve got all the necessary ingredients for a nervous breakdown in the wrapping paper aisle. But hey, remember, Christmas is about giving, not spending yourself into bankruptcy. Home made presents might seem a nostalgic throwback to your five year old self sticking bits together, but in my opinion home made gifts –no matter how they turn out– show that you’ve put a lot of thought and care into making something unique for that someone special. I’ve made a few home made gifts myself this year that cost next to nothing, weren’t too time consuming and for a first attempt – look pretty sweet.
THE BUTTON FRAME
Great for mums, dads, grandparents, friends… Actually, a lovely present for anybody!
What you will need:
- A photo frame of any size (I bought a 5 x 7 from Tesco for £3.50, but Wilko, Asda and even the Pound Shop are great stores with various frame sizes)
- A laptop and printer; or letter stamps and paper
- Colourful buttons (craft stores such as The Works, Hobby Craft and fabric stands at a market are the best places to find these)
- Glue; either a Pritt Stick or craft clue
- Pencil and pens
- Scissors and wrapping paper
How to make it:
- First, open up a blank Microsoft Word document and select a printable size based on your photo frame. Online editing platforms like PicMonkey and Canva are a simple alternative to Word. Although, if you’d rather not use a computer at all that is completely fine too! The most important aspect of any home made gift is to create how you would like it to look.
- At the top of the page insert a text box and type in the family name of the person you are making the gift for. At the bottom of the page add another text box but this time with the first names of the family, or anything else you would like to write. Bright colours, funky texts and pretty page borders are fab to make this stand out.
- From here print off your template and gently outline a stick person above each of the names with a pencil. This stage is great for extra personalisation by adding little touches on or surrounding the person (based on their personality, hobbies, and favourite colours). Don’t worry if you make a mistake as pencil can easily be rubbed out until you get it right, or simply print off another copy. Once you are happy with it go over the pencil with a dark pen.
- Carefully stick on the buttons (avoid superglue – I tried this the first time and stuck my fingers together). Leave to dry for 15 minutes before popping the picture into the frame and wrapping up!
DIY HOT CHOCOLATE MUG:
Less expensive than store bought hot chocolate gifts and much more personalised! You can even substitute hot chocolate with tea-bags or coffee sachets!
What you will need:
- A mug of your choice, I’d recommend picking cups based on what the person you are making the gift for likes. Favourite animals, colours and quote styles are always a good starting point (this mug cost £1.25 from Tesco).
- Hot chocolate sachets (all supermarkets have a varied selection and cost approximately 40p each).
- Marshmallows or chocolates. As I plan on making a few of these, I bought a box of Celebrations and Roses chocolates which will be divided into smaller bags.
- Food storage bags for the chocolates and marshmallows
- Clear wrapping film and ribbon which can be purchased at any craft store or supermarket.
- Scissors and tape
How to make:
- Add the hot chocolate sachets to your mug.
- Pop the marshmallows or chocolates into a clear food bag and put into the cup.
- Cut out enough clear wrapping film to surround the cup then loosely scrunch the top of the film (so that it looks like a bunch or flowers) and tape the neck together.
- Measure ribbon around where you have taped and tie into a bow.
- Finally add a gift tag and pop into a gift bag ready for Christmas
WAIT UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS
Finally, if struggling to buy or make gifts for your friends and family, why not wait until after Christmas! One of my best friends and I have decided that instead of buying gifts for each other, we are going to wait until early 2017 and have a spa day together! The spirit of Christmas is about spending time with the people you love most rather than spending money, so try not stress out over materialistic things like presents. It is the thought that counts!
Wherever you will be spending the holidays I wish you all a happy and merry Christmas!
Love Debby x