Is your wallet a bit tight these holidays? Are you looking to make your gifts more personal? Getting creative with DIY Christmas gifts is a great way to add warmth to your gifts, and avoid the madness of shopping during the holiday season. At the CAE, we have come up with a few ideas to make your Christmas gifts extra special this year.

Say it with Food

shutterstock_230591077_400x400Homemade gourmet gifts are a great way to have fun with gift-giving, especially if you dress up your food gifts with personality, colour and customise it to suit the recipient’s taste buds.

Creating a whole heap of baked treats in bulk is a great way to save money for Christmas presents – especially if you’re looking for gift ideas for extended family members. Baking and packaging in bulk saves you the effort of having to shop for individual gifts, especially if you’re not familiar with some of the names on your Christmas shopping list. You can make your hampers different by styling the jars or tins with different designs, or by shuffling the arrangement of treats – making sure that each hamper is a uniquely blended mix.

Creating food gifts can extend past baking. You can create your own blended jams, preserves and spreads in decorated jars. For family members who prefer savoury over sweet, homemade pickles, hot sauces, flavoured salts, spice rubs or infused spirits are a great idea.

Making your own Christmas food hampers are a thoughtful gift for loved ones with food allergies or dietary requirements. The time and research taken to ensure your recipes cater to their diet and their taste buds can go a long way to demonstrating your care and understanding.

Frame it!

_TJM0581 wrkd_400x400Custom frames are an expensive product to buy and making them can save you a lot of money.

If you’re looking to gift a loved one with a work of art or an art print, a memorable photo or a beautiful illustration or design, take it to the next level and make the frame a part of the present. You can make all sorts of picture frames, from simple metal sides to decorated wooden designs. The amount of detail you put into the frame will depend on the work you are framing and your confidence in your craft skills. Framed gifts are great ideas for budding or hobbyist photographers and visual artists.

Picture frames aren’t just for photos. You can create custom-designed frames to house small objects, or even gift cards and money! That’s one way of transforming an impersonal gift into one with a lot of personality.

Create your own Ceramic Sets

IMGe_8490_400x400Do you have that friend or family member that’s obsessed with cheese? Craft your own ceramic platter and fill it with a host of cheese and crackers for a one-of-kind present that doesn’t disappear after the last bite. You can craft your own serving bowls and tapas plates, and fill it with food for their Christmas table. A homemade ceramic gift is one way of transforming a perishable gift into a lasting present.

If you have a green thumb or a devout home cook on your Christmas list, you can brighten up their windowsill or kitchen with colourful ceramic pots filled with various herbs.

Other homemade ceramic gift ideas include personalised mugs, pots or candleholders (homemade candles optional).

Design your own Cards

notepad_camera_adobe_laptop_photoshop_shutterstock_436653331_400x400If you’re tired of the same cliché Christmas cards and frustrated by the idea of spending hours finding the right card, why not have some fun and create your own unique designs!

If you prefer a hands-on approach, there are many ways to create your own Christmas cards. One method is the traditional crafty approach using stationary, ink or drawing materials and cardstock. You can even get really creative and use materials lying around the house such as confetti, magazines, fabrics, scrapbooking supplies and organic materials.

There are two ways to digitally design your own Christmas cards depending on how much time or customisation you want. Online print stores such as Vistaprint and Snapfish allow you to upload a photo and choose from a variety of pre-made templates to create a bulk lot of cards to send out in the holiday season. The benefits of printing your own holiday cards in bulk is the affordability.

Another method of creating your own cards is to do it yourself with design software such as Adobe InDesign. This method is highly personable and requires some knowledge of the software, but will result in a unique look that is 100% your own. You can even modify each design to suit the person receiving the card. When it comes to printing, simply export your design files onto a USB and visit your local printer.

Forge your own Jewellery

shutterstock_174128900_jewellery making_400x400Buying jewellery for a loved one can be a tricky affair, but making your own jewellery adds a layer of thought and intimacy – making it a gift that is hard to fault!

Creating your own jewellery as a gift sounds like a challenge, but once you have the skills and know-how to create your own jewellery then it can make for a special – and very rare – kind of Christmas present. The benefit of gifting your own jewellery means that you can customise the design, imbuing it with aspects of their personality.

You can forge your own engraved rings, create fine-wire earrings or add their favourite stones to a bracelet. Jewellery is already an intimate gift, but creating your own takes the meaning to a whole new level.

If you’re looking to create a DIY gift for a loved one but don’t know where to start, why not take a look at our short courses?