DIY Presents for Christmas

You don’t need to fork out hundreds to get into the giving spirit – there’s plenty of gifts you can make for minimal cost and time that will bring a smile to a loved ones face. Our craft expert Penelope Quinn from shows us how.

At a time when it’s all about giving, appreciating each other and being together, Christmas for many has started turning into an exercise in rampant consumerism.

But if you’re growing weary of forking out hundreds on gifts people don’t want, or are just stuck on what to buy that someone special, then there are plenty of other ways you can get into the giving spirit – and best of all, most of these will only cost your time, but are sure to bring a smile to a loved ones face.

This year, buck the trend and take the time to lovingly craft a hand made gift. You’ll find your efforts are appreciated far more than any last minute buy from the shops.

Here are my favourite gifts that I’ll be making for my loved ones this Christmas!

1. DIY Mugs

Not only can you upcycle old mugs you have lying around, this is a craft that kids will absolutely love! It’s a beautifully personalized gift for a family member.
Use oil based pens such as Sharpies or Artline to scribble, then bake at 180 degrees for 30 mins. Finish with a clear gloss. Alternatively, use masking tape and spray paint – no baking required! Finish both with a clear gloss.

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

2. DIY Christmas Baubles

These Christmas baubles are a lovely gift for a family member or close friend- and something they can keep for years to come.  You can even personalize them by writing the recipients name in glitter. Kids will absolutely love this one! Warning, it’s highly addictive!  Just take clear baubles, available from most craft shops, and swirl old nail polish, glitter glue or paint inside.

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

3. Upcycled shopping bag

It’s a great idea to use reusable bags instead of plastic, but they’re not always the most fashionable things! Upcyle them and turn them into a beautiful gift by either sewing fabric on top, or making fabric yoyos and decorating.

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

4. Bath Bombs

The wonderful thing about bath bombs are not only they so simple to make, you can control the ingredients – that means no nasties in the pre-bought you don’t know about. Kids just love these at bath time – and you can even hide small plastic animals in them that will be revealed once they bubble away!

For a special friend, include some luxurious essential oils and herbs such as lavender. Full instructions HERE 

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

5. DIY Chalk Board

Everyone needs a chalkboard – whether it’s in their kitchen to write shopping lists, reminders in your office, or inspirational quotes in your bedroom.

You can buy ready-made chalk paint, but why not make your own? Just mix 5 parts non sanded tile grout, 1 part paint (any colour you like.) Then simply upcycle an old photo frame by painting over the glass.

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

6. DIY Dream Catcher

The wonderful thing about these beauties is that you can keep adding to it – and encourage the recipient to do the same! Decorate with ribbons, jewelry, feathers, beads… the list is endless.  Learn how to make them HERE

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

7. Homemade Muesli

Who doesn’t love a homemade batch of muesli? Buy the best ingredients money can buy, and then present in a glass jar with a ribbon. Or, perhaps you’d like to give a homemade batch of cookies or chocolates, or even the dry ingredients for a batch of delicious muffins!

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

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

8. Make your own gift cards

Perhaps you love to take family portraits, or love to whip up a home cooked meal. Maybe you love to babysit. Whatever your ‘skill’ may be, make it a gift! Handwritten gift cards offering your talent are a lovely way to say ‘I appreciate you’, and cost nothing but your time.

9. DIY Fabric Animals

PHOTO: Instagram/penelope_quinn

Last year, 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. My nephew's loved them! 

Wishing you a very crafty and sustainable Christmas!  

xxx Penelope 

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