Christmas shopping can be really expensive and often ends up being impersonal because you simply don’t know what to get people. But, it doesn’t need to be this way if you’re willing to get creative and make your own presents.
So spend a little less money and a little more time and make something that has a truly personal touch.
Aunties, mums and grannies
Pot pouri bags
These are ideal for those relatives who seem to have a never-ending supply of toiletries in their house – just pick their favourite scent and wrap up the bag in matching tissue paper.
Cut two 6in squares of material and using a thin line of fabric glue stick the two pieces together along three edges of the material.
Allow this to dry before adding a small quantity of pot pouri and glueing the fourth edge of the material.
If you are able to sew then this can make a neater finish.
Stack three bags together and tie with a piece of matching ribbon, making a bow at the top.
Uncles, dads and grandads
Using a microwaveable bowl, mix together 350g plain chocolate chips, 100g milk chocolate chips and 400g sweetened condensed milk.
Heat on a medium setting in the microwave for 3 minutes. Continue to microwave for 45 seconds at a time until the chocolate chips are fully melted and the mixture has thickened.
Alternatively, you can use a saucepan to heat the ingredients.
Pour into a well-greased tray and leave to cool.
Once hard, cut into squares and present in cellophane bags decorated with ribbons.
Mix together 50g baking soda, 25ml citric acid, 5 tsps almond oil, and 20g dried lavender.
Slowly stir in the oil and 12 drops of an essential oil of your choice. Add a few teaspoons of water until the mixture can be rolled into a ball.
Either use a cutter to form shapes of your choice or mould using your hands.
Allow to dry by wrapping in wax paper for a few days. Store in an air tight container.
This is a great option if you’ve got even just the slightest bit of artistic talent as kids won’t care that the drawing isn’t brilliant. Just buy a blank puzzle and decorate it any way you want. Younger kids will especially love it if the picture is related to them.
Girlfriends & Best friends
You’ll need to buy a cushion inner (£1.25 at Wilkinson), then purchase two pieces of material that are a few inches larger than the inner. Sew the material together on three sides (if you’re really nifty you can add a button on the fourth) then pop the cushion inner inside and et voilá you have a personal and gorgeous present to give someone at Christmas.
Pre-heat the over to 170C or gas mark 3.
Cream together 225g room temperature butter with 110g sugar until the mixture is pale, light and fluffy. You can use a fork but a blender or rotary beater will be quicker.
Sift in 275g plain flour and gently mix together.
Make small balls and place well apart from one another on a lined or greased baking tray.
Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and have a firm texture on the surface.
Package in a small box and tie with a ribbon.
For more ideas on making your friends and family homemade gifts click here.