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DIY Christmas Gifts you Still Have Time to Make 

Freya Wilding

Freya Wilding

Author

Lifestyle

With the countdown to Christmas now on, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. There are those people who buy and wrap everything by October, and then there’s the rest of us, who possibly leave things till the last minute. Well, why not get organised this year?

Before it is too late to pop to the shops or you miss the last delivery slot in time for Christmas, get crafty and try making these homemade Christmas gifts!

Making your loved ones a little something extra special that would mean more to them than a new pair of socks!

Gifting something which is homemade takes away the financial aspect of spending a certain amount on each family member and friends. By keeping the presents more about the ‘joy of giving’ instead of the monetary factor, giving a DIY Christmas gift will give you the same satisfaction, if not more, knowing it is handmade.

Here we’ve put together a few ideas for you to make over the festive season…

Marigold, Honey and Oatmeal Soap

Soap making can be a satisfying and fun hobby to start in your retirement. You create soothing handmade gifts, perfect for those busy mums, who would love nothing more than to relax in a bubble bath after the mayhem of Christmas.

You Will Need:  

  • 18oz melt-and-mould white soap
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 5 tablespoons dried marigold petals
  • 4 tablespoons coarse oatmeal
  • 10 drops bergamot, neroli, or mandarin essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet almond or peanut oil
  • Soap moulds, muffin pans, or small tart pans

Step 1: Grate the soap with the coarse side of a box grater and place it in a heatproof bowl large enough to fit over one of your pans. Alternatively, you can use a bain-marie . Add the honey to the soap. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water—the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl—and melt the soap with the honey, stirring from time to time, until it’s liquid and well blended.

Step 2: Remove the bowl from the heat. Stir in the marigold petals, oatmeal, and essential oils and mix thoroughly. Lightly but thoroughly grease the moulds with a little of the sweet almond or peanut oil. Pour the liquid soap into a measuring cup and then pour it into the moulds. Rap the moulds gently on the work surface to eliminate air bubbles (this isn’t necessary if you are using silicone moulds) and leave to set for at least 4 hours.

Step 3: If you’re using silicone moulds, simply press the soaps out. If using metal moulds, use a small, sharp knife to help ease them out. Leave in a cool, dry place for 3–4 weeks to “cure” or harden. Makes 10 x 2oz soaps.

Packaging

New or vintage muffin and tart pans are an interesting shape and make great soap moulds. You can simply unmould the soap and pack them in a pretty box or give them in the pans.

Idea taken from Mother Earth Living

Arm Knitted Blanket

Try your hand (or arm!) at this fun and cosy blanket, perfect for a grandchild to throw over the bed or to cuddle under watching their favourite movies in the New Year!

Find this gift idea and more here.

Homemade Chocolate Truffles with Extra Christmas Cheer!

Make these easy creamy and silky chocolate truffles are the perfect homemade gift to wow family and friends this year! They are super easy to make and will impress any chocolate lover!

Get the recipe here.

DIY Agate Coasters

For the stylish members of the family, have a go at making these agate style coasters. Agate has always been a style staple but the real stone, nooks gorgeous, but comes with a cost. These homemade agate coasters look just as good as the genuine ones!

You Will Need:

  • Polymer clay
  • Acrylic paint of your colour choice
  • Gloss glaze
  • Classic gold liquid leaf
  • Clear bumpers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Rolling pin
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 130ºC. While the oven heats, roll out the clay. Make a natural shape so no need to make a perfect circle. Roll them to be about ¼ inch thick and big enough to put your favourite mugs on, roughly 3 ¼ to 4 inches in diameter.

Step 2: Place the clay on a parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Allow to cool.

Step 3: Now for the fun part – paint! These are supposed to mimic natural stones, you can be careless with your designs. You can mix the colours up, add water here and there, to help the paint behave more fluidly. Allow the paint to dry.

Step 4: To add shine to the coasters, brush on a couple of coats of gloss glaze. Allow to dry.

Step 5: With a small paintbrush, paint the gold liquid leaf along the edges. The agate coasters just come to life! Such a small detail, but it makes all the difference

Step 6: Attach adhesive-backed bumpers to the underside of the coasters and you’re done!

Method from Jen Woodhouse

Mason Jar Candles

Make these oh so simple soy peppermint candles, perfect for those cosy nights in this festive season.

What You Will Need:

  • Soy candle wax
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Mason jar
  • Candle wick
  • Tea light cups

Step 1: Glue candlewick in the centre of the mason jar or tea light cup.

Step 2: Melt soy candle flakes over a bain-marie or in microwave according to package directions.

Step 3: Once the wax is melted stir in the peppermint oil (about 15-20 drops). Pour into mason jar or tea lights. Use a pencil to wrap the candlewick and hold in place while the candle wax hardens. Leave candle to harden for several hours or overnight. Trim candlewick before lighting.

Step 4: Decorate as you wish, with little holly leaves, red and white string or create faux snow with Epsom salts and glitter.

Gift idea from a Pumpkin & a Princess

Christmas Marshmallows for Hot Chocolate

Christmas marshmallows are a fun and great way to spruce up traditional winter drinks. These marshmallows can be eaten as a treat on the side or as a spoon that melts into your drink.

Get the recipe here.

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