Handmade gifts for Christmas

Ditch those generic toiletry sets and last-minute gifts this year and spread some Christmas cheer with one of our simple handmade gift ideas. Making your own presents can not only cut costs but you can also personalise them to an individual’s taste. Appreciation guaranteed!

Preserve it

There’s something special about making your very own homemade chutney or jam. Make the most of the autumn produce like apples, damsons and sloes that are ripe for the picking this time of year. There are plenty of recipes online and you can buy special jam jars or be frugal and save up your own. Pop a nice cover on the lid, add a pretty label and you’re good to go. Chutney is at its best after a few months, which allows it time to mellow. So make yours now and it will be the perfect accompaniment with cheese and cold meats this Christmas.

A Christmas tipple

Take advantage of the hedgerows that are laden with sloes and damson this time of year and make your very own sloe or damson gin. Pop the fruit into a bag in the freezer overnight so the skins burst. Fill up a sterilised big jar with your pickings, add sugar and top with gin. Store in a cupboard and keep shaking the jar every few days until the sugar has dissolved. By Christmas, the result will be a tasty, dark liqueur that hits the spot with tonic and ice, can be added to your glass of prosecco, or makes a nice after-dinner drink. You can even decanter it into smaller bottles to give away – if there’s any left!

Scrub up

You don’t need anything fancy to make your very own body scrub and can make the most of the ingredients you find lying at home. Choose some sugar or coarse salt as your base, add herbs like rosemary or lavender from the garden, an oil of your choice (we like coconut oil as it’s natural and smells great). You can also get creative and add lemon or orange, or anything else that takes your fancy. There’s plenty of recipes on Pinterest and Youtube to inspire you. Add your mixture into a nice jar and you have a perfect personalised gift with none of the nasties.

Create the perfect atmosphere

Why not make your own candle, with a scent and colour of your choosing? Put it in a pretty vintage teacup or glass holder and you have a lovely gift at the fraction of the cost. You can find candle-making courses across the country or have a crack at it on your own. It’s an investment that will keep giving all year round.

All wrapped up

Wrap it all up with your own personalised wrapping paper. Buy a roll of brown paper, tie it up with raffia or ribbon of your choice and decorate with doodles, stamps and get creative. Add a sprig of pine leaf or holly berry for that festive touch. The result? DIY gift wrapping with your own unique touch. The presents will look too good to open.