The holidays are a time of joy, festivities, and family. However, they can be hugely stressful on both your creativity and your pocket. Having had essays throughout the final weeks of term, I’ve found little time to think about Christmas presents, let alone buy any. If you’re like me, running out of time and not looking to blow your entire student loan this winter, here’s your ultimate guide to DIY Christmas presents for anyone from creative noobs to crafty connoisseurs. Let’s sleigh the gift game!
For the lazy and skint – Mulled wine kit
- Mulling spices (cinnamon sticks, whole star anise, black peppercorns, whole clove, ground ginger, allspice berries, vanilla bean and fresh nutmeg pod)
- Bottle of wine – can fit any budget, even cheap wine tastes great when mulled!
- A jar for the spices
- Pop all of the spices into a jar, or fabric sachet, and tie with a ribbon.
- Slice an orange into thin slices and place on a tray with baking parchment. Bake at 120 degrees celsius for around two to three hours (or until dry!).
- Print off the instructions to make the mulled wine for the recipient of your gift which can be found on the website below.
For the experimental – Herbal face mask
- Dried flowers or herbs – I recommend calendula, lavender or arnica for a soothing face mask
- French green clay
- Bentonite or kaolin clay
- Blend the herbs or flowers together by grinding them, either by hand or with a mortar and pestle. If you want a finer powder, pop them through a sieve after.
- Mix the herb/flower powder with the remaining clay powders and blend everything together.
- To use, combine a few teaspoons of the powdered mixture with some warm water and spread across the skin. Leave to dry, rinse off with water and apply some moisturiser!
For the handy – Reusable bottle lamp
What you’ll need:
- An empty bottle – my personal favourites are Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire
- 1/2-inch replacement torch wicks
- 1/2-inch x 3/8-inch copper coupling with stop – like this
- 1/2-inch teflon tape
- Tiki fuel (any petroleum based lamp fuel will work)
- 1/2-inch funnel (optional, but helpful)
- Small rocks or marbles
- Place rocks or marbles in the bottom of your bottle to stop the wick from falling to the bottom.
- Wrap the wider end of the copper coupling with teflon tape so it fits snugly in the bottle neck. I would wrap a bit more than you’ll need so you can press it in firmly after you fill the bottle – so don’t press down until the end!
- Slide the wick through the copper coupling, leaving around ½ inch sticking out of the top.
- Place your funnel in the bottle neck and carefully pour in your lamp fuel. Don’t fill to the top, or it will overflow when you add the wick in.
- Add your wick into the fuel and press in the coupling so it’s a tight fit.
- Cover the wick with a cloth and tape, or a copper cap to keep the wick dry.
- The lamp is refillable, making it a lasting gift!
If by some miracle none of these great DIYs take your fancy (or maybe you’ve left it too late), here’s some great gift ideas I love: