DIY Christmas Gift Guide

Avoid the the Christmas buying frenzy and make your own gifts this year! Here are a few simple gift ideas from our resident craft expert, Penelope Quinn, that come from the heart and won't burn a hole in your credit card

Parties, over indulging, time with friends and family… there’s lots to love about Christmas. But there’s is one thing I get decidedly Grinch-like about – and that’s the pressure to go on a reckless buying frenzy spending money on gifts that people that don't really want or need. 

While it’s hard to imagine NOT waking up to a haul of presents on Christmas morning,  giving at Christmas comes at a massive cost to the environment - according to, Australians unwanted presents, Christmas trees, wrapping and food will amount to 40 tones of waste. 

For most of us, time is more precious than money – so with that in mind, here are a few simple ideas of what you can give your nearest and dearest to re-discoverer the joy of receiving a hand made gift from the heart! 


Consider buying a guitar lesson, a kayaking tour or 10 salsa classes. Better still; spend your money on activity that you can enjoy together, like a lunch out or horse riding trail tour.

Or what about giving your own time and talents? A 'gift voucher' of a night of baby sitting or if you're a shutter bug, consider gifting a family portrait session. 


Make your gift really count by donating to a charity on someone’s behalf, or consider buying one of CARE Australia’s online range of meaningful and life-changing gifts for impoverished communities, such as goats, chickens, clean water for a community or you can even send a girl to school. Gifts start at $10.

Cook up a storm

If you’re a foodie and a wiz in the kitchen, share your culinary gift by gifting a home made cake, pudding, cookies, or home made chocolates.

Even something as simple as a jar of healthy home made muesli can make a gift that is sure to be appreciated – and enjoyed.

Here’s a simple recipe I love from Mel at Escape Haven Retreat and Spa in Byron

Simply mix together a cup each of Chai seeds, Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachio nuts, Sesame seeds, Poppy seeds, Lecithin Granules, and shredded coconut, drizzle with maple syrup and coconut oil and bake at 160 for around 45 minutes. Present in a jar with a festive ribbon or doily!


If you’re a gun on the sewing machine, consider making something simple and useful like a bag. Here, I just covered a supermarket shopping bag with fabric – its super simple and only took 20 minutes!

Kids gifts

Rather than buying something with batteries that will be forgotten after a day, inspire kids creativity with simple homemade presents that you can work on together. I made these (rather lumpy looking) shark and dolphin out of calico, stuffed them with old material and wrapped up with a set of fabric pens.

Or, if you’re crafty, whip something up like a DIY Chalkboard, a batch of bath bombs, or make up a set of materials for a project, for example everything you need to make a DIY Dream Catcher.

Remember, it's the thought that counts!

Happy Christmas :) 

Do you have an No Buy Christmas gift idea? I’d love to hear about it! Just leave a comment at the Ask a Question section or head to LifestyleHOME Facebook 

For more craft tutorials, visit



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