Christmas may be the season for being merry and giving, but it can soon get expensive. Especially if your kids are after the latest toys and tech from Father Christmas, and not to mention if you find yourself catering for the in-laws on Boxing Day too. However, if you truly want to evoke the spirit of Christmas this year, and are on a budget, then why not use the festive season as an excuse to get creative? Even if the thought of knitting or getting creative brings you out in a cold sweat, there are a range of programmes and sites online that can help you create some truly fantastic presents – that look shop bought. From making your own calendars or photo frames, to culinary related presents or decorations, read on and get crafty this Christmas.
A quick and relatively easy present to make, decorations can be as sparkly or as classic as you like. Sites such as Zazzle offer personalised Christmas decorations providing you with a blank canvas on which to create your own masterpiece, and then the design is up to you! Creating home or tree decorations is a great way to get the kids involved during those long school holidays too. You can pick up some great sparkles, glitter and fun festive accessories in your local craft shop or Poundland, and then let your imagination run wild! As with any activity with small kids, make sure you supervise them at all time and choose child-friendly glue to avoid any accidents. Creating your own decoration is a low-cost present that will give your nearest and dearest many years of pleasure as they see it on their tree.
Photo related gifts
If you want to create a present that is truly special, such as for your best friend, or using photos from a holiday or a family wedding, then consider a photo gift. Sites such as PhotoBox provide a step-by-step guide to help you choose the layout or style or your photo album or book. You can even add your own text, ideal if you want to document baby’s first Christmas or a visit from the tooth fairy. Plus, many sites don’t just stop at calendars or mouse mats, you can now create your own iPhone or Android phone cover too – the ideal gift for the tech lover in your life. It might not technically be ‘homemade’, but the love and attention that goes into creating your own photo project may even bring out the inner Bresson in you.
If you are on a budget, or just love getting your hands dirty, then why not give your nearest and dearest a culinary gift this year? Serious foodies will appreciate receiving their own sourdough starter kit, meaning they can bake their own bread each and every day. While elderly relatives or family friends will love some homemade biscuits or truffles, or perhaps even a seasonal mince pie! If you have more time, or budget to spare, then you could even create and assemble your own personalised Christmas food hampers – either using shop bought items or sweet treats that you have created with the kids. Wicker baskets are relatively inexpensive to pick up from your local gardening centre, and then the rest is up to you! Top treats could include Christmas cake, home brewed Sloe gin (for the adults of course!) and a bottle of Ginger wine for some serious festive cheer. Plus, you can leave the decorating to your little ones too, by getting them to help you paint and assemble your hampers. Getting creative in the kitchen is an enjoyable way to get crafty and cooking this festive season.
Whether you are on a strict budget this Christmas, or are looking for alternative ways to let the creative juices flow, making your own presents is a fun activity that will keep your entire family busy. From using your design skills online, and creating stunning photo related gifts, such as jigsaws, phone cover or albums, to making your own decorations – it’s up to you if you want to flex your tech skills along the way. Plus, if you are a dab hand in the kitchen, or a busy Mum, then getting your kids baking and helping with culinary related presents is a great school holiday activity. So, if you were thinking of shopping online or making a mad dash to your local shopping centre, then think again! Check what you have at home and get crafty this Christmas.