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Ideas for easy home made christmas gifts please

(107 Posts)
reastie Mon 15-Aug-11 07:15:51

We are short of cash this year with me being on maternity leave so I'm hoping to start now making some hand made christmas gifts. Does anyone have any good ideas or links to ideas? I'm imagining making maybe some christmas tree decorations (possibly personalised) for people but don't know where to start. They need to be quite quick and simple to do as I can't spend days on each one but also look good (alot of the more simple ones I find with instructions look a bit confused ). Any ideas??? Doesn't have to be a christmas tree decoration but I quite like the idea of something hand sewn....

wigglemama Mon 15-Aug-11 09:03:35

Last year I was given a jar with ingredients for chocolate brownies layered inside. It looked lovely, finished with some christmas ribbon at the top. I almost didn't want to open it! The homemade tag had simply a message and instructions to add eggs, stir and bake time!

givemeaclue Mon 15-Aug-11 09:09:57

wigglemama thats a really good idea, I have seen those jars in gift catalogues for £8 so making someone one would be a lovely chic gift and save money. Not sure about brownies though as butter and choc are normally key ingredients - I have seen cookie ones though - something like below? I think I may do this as well - anyone know where I can get some nice jars?

reastie Mon 15-Aug-11 09:10:29

wigglesmama despite being a dab hand in the kitchen I want to try and avoid doing foody stuff this year - have done induvidual christmas cakes/mincement/jam/fudge etc in the past. Want a change and something I can do in august and it will still be good as new in december grin

reastie Mon 15-Aug-11 09:12:13

givemeaclue I spent a fortune on nice looking jars for cheap ( hmm ) christmas gifts. Granted I may have been looking in the wrong place but I spent a few pounds just on each jar. I might do that actually for a few gifts thinking on it but need some stuff I can do now

givemeaclue Mon 15-Aug-11 09:13:43

lavender bags? get some nice off cuts of shabby chic, cath kidstone type fabric and pick some lavender?

reastie Mon 15-Aug-11 09:14:49

ohh, I love the brown paper bag idea with a personalised sticky label on with biscuit ingredients/cutter - definately looking into this and going to start baking and practicing a recipe grin

reastie Mon 15-Aug-11 09:15:31

givemeaclue I did that already before grin

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Mon 15-Aug-11 09:24:20

Candles in a teacup?

chimchar Mon 15-Aug-11 09:38:10

Last year my friend was given a lovely Christmas decoration In the shape of a gingerbread family. They were painted as mum, dad, and her two dds. The family was all painted in reds and greens with White 'piping' detail and then their names were added in paint too. They were 4 individual shapes wired together iykwim and had festive ribbons etc on them with a hanging wire over the top.

Could you do something like that using salt dough?

I've not described it very well. It's Monday morning!!!!

reastie Mon 15-Aug-11 09:53:41

chimchar that sounds lovely <ponders on if I have the artistic skills> . You don't have a piccie do you so I can imagine it better? [clutching at straws]

chimchar Mon 15-Aug-11 10:17:15

Am on phone a min.... Will look on pc in a bit.

It was lush. Friend bought it from selfridges in London I think. V. Posh!! wink

Kveta Mon 15-Aug-11 10:21:18

reastie - try IKEA for jars. SLOM series are nice, and cheap. I'm using them this year for the layered cookies. may make a gingerbread saltdough ornament to go with each one. We're also making flavoured vodkas, and I'm trying to track down nice bottles for them!

chimchar Mon 15-Aug-11 10:23:38

I meant am MN on phone, not talking.

Not that it matters.

Kveta Mon 15-Aug-11 10:26:08

and here's a recipe - cokies

you just need to layer the dry ingredients, and then write the recipe on a label which will explain the need to add wet ingredients!

if you do any kind of cutout cookies in the jar, a cheap cookies cutter tied to the lid looks good too - Wilkinsons has some nice ones, and very cheap indeed!

I've also got some cheapo tins in there to fill with sweets and biscuits (which I'll make)

reastie Mon 15-Aug-11 11:27:17

I think I might go for the biscuit mix in a little bag not jar though - it'll be easier for labels etc and save cost/storage at home of jars. I will look at wilkinsons for cheap cutters - maybe star shapes as they are quite christmassy but you can use them all year also

Any more ideas for anything sewing-able or decoration wise?

chirpchirp Mon 15-Aug-11 17:39:35

Hi Reastie I'm going to attempt to make these tree decorations:

As for baking I'm thinking these:

And also include a little jar of honey cinnamon butter (it truely is the most delicious thing to spred on your toast on Christmas morning (4oz of softened butter, 4oz of clear honey, 4oz of icing sugar and 2 tsps of cinnamon).

Catsmamma Mon 15-Aug-11 17:42:40

Poundland for jars, they have the fakey Kilner type

they are a pound 3)

Kveta Mon 15-Aug-11 18:13:39

chirpchirp, thanks for the joy cookies link - is that you on pinterest btw? if so, I am following your board now smile if not, I'm still following it grin

I'm making some of these as well as some more home spun recipes - I'm starting to test recipes over the coming weeks, then I know what's easy and what's best!! and I get some yummy biccies out of it too grin

chirpchirp Mon 15-Aug-11 18:26:23

Hey Kveta, yeah that's me, thanks for the follow, I'm already working on my Christmas board. it's not on pinterest but I have a brilliant gingerbread recipe somewhere if you need one.

zipzap Mon 15-Aug-11 19:54:28

Somebody on another thread today had a link for rainbow cakes on jars, might be worth a look. Downside is they are already cooked so last about 5 days when you make them.

Thread was in chat about rainbow cakes, on phone so cant paste a link to it.

Have you also thought about things like making soaps or bath oils? Think that's sort of how jo Malone got started- knocking a batch out for presents. Also look at the craft and making kits in the shops and see if there are any that you could either replicate (especially craft ones for kids) or pinch ideas from to make yourself.

Could you put little kits together - like an emergency kit for the car or an emergency clothes fixing kit? When I was little I made pin cushions for my teachers with felt. Make a simple fish shape, sew together around the body and add an extra couple of triangles into the into the tail so ti can be used as a needle case. Make sure you have stuffed the fish body with kapok or similar and then you can use that bit as a pin cushion , use some pretty colour headed pins to make a pattern on it. A fin on each side with some different sizes of safety pin. Incorporate some shirt buttons for eyes that are easy to take off and remove. Depending on budget you can add some tiny little scissors - folding if possible either in a little pocket on it or attached by a cord. Ditto a little sewing tape measure or other bits and bobs that you can get cheaply from a haberdashers that you can incorporate into your design. If possible wind a bit of thread onto something that you can also incorporate into your design that can be used for sewing up a hem or sewing on a button. If you don't want to sew the fish you can still assemble a little kit of these sort of bits and
Put them in a little tin or box like a travelling soap box that you can then decorate.

headfairy Mon 15-Aug-11 20:02:26

Are your dcs old enough to decorate some glasses? When I was broke one Christmas I bought some cheap glasses and decorated them myself. I used glass paint pens and stuck some beads and fake jewels on them. They looked surprisingly good.

Sleepyspaniel Mon 15-Aug-11 20:41:10

If you have a Pottery Barn type place nearby then you can paint a ceramic decoration for Christmas. If you have DCs they can help. Our local pottery place has round ceramic baubles and Christmas tree shapes with fixings to hang on a tree. You can paint the names (or initials) of the recipients and the year.

Other ideas are a book in a decorated book bag and book. Buy a job lot of plain white canvas tote bags and decorate using either stencils or potato prints in fabric paint. It looks best if you keep it simple such as spots or snowflakes or hearts, in one or two colours. Then buy a cheap book (3 for 2 Tescos maybe) or a magazine that the recipient would be interested in (homes, fishing, craft) to go inside. Sometimes annual 12 monthly subscriptions to a magazine can be pretty cheap, that would be nice to go inside a personalised book bag for people closer to you.

In the same theme is Christmas canvas aprons. If you have DCs they can do a rudolph reindeer shape with their footprint forming the reindeer's face and their handprints as antlers, in brown fabric paint, then add a red pompom for a nose and black buttons for eyes. canvas aprons here.

Hot water bottle and home made cover is fairly easy to do. You can decorate the cover with bits of ribbon and lace and buttons. such as this pattern

Hope you like my suggestions!

PinotsKittens Mon 15-Aug-11 20:46:30

This thread is great!

Sleepyspaniel Mon 15-Aug-11 21:12:11

This would be cute to make from felt felt gingerbread man
or this as a garland gingerbread garland
or this for the girlsname garland. This last one you could adapt to spell out Merry Christmas in red and green fabrics and attach little golden bells at the end. That would be a nice gift.

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