Homemade Christmas gift ideas
Christmas is a time of giving. The tradition of exchanging gifts has its roots in ancient mid-winter rituals and celebrations, which over the centuries became absorbed into the Christian tradition. It’s the perfect occasion to show your appreciation and affection for a special someone with a thoughtful, well-chosen Christmas present. If you are looking for a little extra inspiration, read on for some great homemade Christmas gift ideas to show how much you care.
If you love being creative, making your own Christmas presents is a fantastic opportunity to give everyone a perfect, personalised gift. Avoid the hassle and stress of spending hours in overcrowded shops and instead show your loved ones that you know them with something that you have made especially for them.
Food & Drink: Christmas presents from Nature
If you are a keen gardener or forager, the world is your oyster when it comes to Christmas gift ideas. Choose your loved one’s favourite flavours to create a personalised present of food or drink that is a guaranteed to be a Christmas hit. These thoughtful gifts are also good for the environment with fewer food miles and fewer additives than shop-bought versions. Here are some of the delicious goodies we love to receive:
Homemade jam, chutneys, pickles or preserves make lovely Christmas gifts, especially with seasonal touches like an extra dash of cloves or cinnamon for winter spice. Present them in a pretty jar with a hand-written label and a gingham lid cover for an individual look.
Scour the autumn hedgerows for sloes to make traditional sloe gin: a perfect winter warmer guaranteed to make the Christmas festivities go with a swing. Add a handful of sloes to dry London gin with a little sugar and store in a cool, dark place for a couple of months, shaking the bottle every week or so to help things along. Decant your gin into a beautiful bottle before presenting it.
Our top tip: customise your sloe gin recipe by adding your own special blend of fruit and spices that you know the recipient will love. Sloe gin infused with orange peel and cinnamon sticks is one of our favourites.
If you are a whizz in the kitchen, it’s easy to cook up some tasty Christmas gift ideas:
Homemade biscuits or brownies in an attractive, beribboned glass jar are a beautiful present. Make them extra special by adding your own icing designs on top.
Gorgeous handmade chocolates or truffles in a stunning decorated box are bound to be a hit with a friend or relative with a sweet tooth. Add their favourite fruit, nuts or alcohol
Salt dough: making gorgeous homemade Christmas gifts on a budget
For the ultimate versatility in Christmas gift ideas, you simply cannot go wrong with salt dough. It is a wonderful way to design personalised Christmas presents and the creative possibilities are endless. It’s easy, fun and inexpensive and, as an added bonus, it’s brilliant for getting the kids involved in making Christmas gifts too.
Salt dough couldn’t be simpler to make and you probably have all the ingredients in the house already. There’s just one very important thing to remember: this raw dough is not edible. Keep an eye on young children to make sure that they don’t try and eat it and keep it well away from pets.
How to make salt dough
Combine about 250 g of plain flour with approximately 125 g of table salt in a large bowl and gradually add up to 125 ml of water and stir until the mixture starts to form a ball. Place the dough on a floured surface, roll it out and let inspiration take over by cutting the dough into shapes freehand or using cookie cutters.
Once you have finished, put the dough on a silicone baking sheet or a tray lined with parchment and bake in pre-heated oven at 100 °C for approximately three hours until solid. Alternatively you can leave your designs in a warm place to air dry but this will take at least 24 hours and can take a lot longer, depending on what you’ve made.
To complete your creations, decorate them with your own designs in eye-catching acrylic paints and then seal them with varnish or polyurethane spray.
Christmas gift ideas
Some of our favourite homemade Christmas gift ideas include:
Christmas tree decorations crafted using cookie cutter shapes or your own original designs made freehand using a knife. Stars, reindeer, robins and Christmas trees all make adorable homemade presents. Use a pencil to make a hole at the top of your decoration before baking it so you can thread through some brightly coloured ribbon for a real Christmassy feel.
Homemade jewellery makes an inspired Christmas present and it is so easy to make with salt dough. Pendants work particularly well and can be threaded onto a pretty chain, ribbon or leather thong.
Make Christmas gifts that will be treasured as keepsakes by pressing a handprint, footprint or pawprint onto the dough before baking it. You can also inscribe it with your own special message on the dough for an extra personal touch.
Using salt dough to design and decorate your own coasters, candleholders and photo frames are also great options for individual Christmas presents.
It’s a wrap
And finally, one of the best things about homemade Christmas gifts is that you can really ramp up the wow factor when it comes to presentation. Keep an eye out for unusual, eye-catching containers, materials and labels that you can use to wrap your Christmas presents. And don’t be afraid to try something different to make your homemade Christmas gift: for example use a striking fabric or a homemade decoupage for a stunning, original effect.
Nothing shows that you care like taking the time and making the effort to create truly personalised Christmas gifts for those you love. Be inspired by our homemade Christmas gift ideas to celebrate your best-ever Christmas in style this year. And for great ideas for how to look fabulous while doing so, check out our essential guide to 12 days of Christmas fashion.