There is nothing more heartfelt than a handcrafted Christmas gift. However, if you’re anything like me, your 2021 has flown by and Christmas is creeping up faster than ever, making the thought of making gifts daunting. If you’re stuck for gift ideas, or just looking for something extra special to pop under the tree this year, you’re in luck!
We’ve got six of the best, easiest and most cost-effective handmade gifts for 2021. Learn how to make your own soap, earrings, playdough (for the kids and kids at heart) and even lavender pillows for those of you who love to sew.
6 Easy Handmade Gifts for Christmas
1. Personalised soap.
Soap is such a quick and easy gift to make at home with just a few ingredients. The best part about making Christmas soap is it’s completely customisable, so you can tailor your gift and make it extra special.
There are many methods you can use to make your soap, such as the hot soap method and cold process. This is just one way to make soap for Christmas gifts super easily at home.
Ingredients you need to make soap:
- Distilled water.
- Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide or caustic soda.
- Solid and liquid oils or fats.
- Essential oils or other desired scents.
How to make soap:
- Slowly pour the lye into the water and stir until fully dissolved.
- In a separate pot, begin slowly melting any solid oils and mix them with liquid oils.
- Add the lye solution into the oil mixture, whisking until thickened.
- Begin cooking the soap on a low heat until it begins to take on a gel-like texture.
- Remove from heat and add any essential oils, colour or other components.
- Pour into moulds and allow to cool for two to three days before cutting into bars.
If you’re looking to add something special to your soap, try topping it with dried flowers, adding in glitter or even creating an ombre effect with dye.
Tip: You can buy caustic soda from soap supply stores or even some hardware stores, like Bunnings.
If you’re looking for homemade gifts for young kids, playdough has got to be one of my personal favourites. Playdough is cheap, simple to make and takes less than an hour to put together, from scratch.
What you’ll need to make playdough:
- 1/2 cup salt.
- 1 cup plain flour.
- 2 tbs cream of tartar.
- 1 cup water.
- 1 tbs oil.
How to make playdough:
- Combine all your ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Stir continuously until combined.
- Tip out the contents of the saucepan and allow to cool before kneading to reach desired texture.
To make this gift even more amazing, add some food colouring to your dough and even edible glitter. Get yourself a clear container and layer the playdough in the colours of the rainbow for a stunning gift for any child in your life.
3. Polymer clay earrings.
The great thing about clay is you can make almost anything with it, including fashionable earrings for family and friends for the holidays.
All you’ll need is some polymer clay, earring findings or hardware, cookie cutters or pottery tools and an oven. Let’s be honest, polymer clay is playdough for adults. The only difference being you can cook and keep your creations forever without fear of them going mouldy.
To make polymer clay earrings, simply roll your clay out on a flat surface and begin shaping it into the design you’re after. When you’re happy with your creation, pop it in the oven on a tray at 115°C for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow it to cool on the tray. Where possible, leave your oven door slightly open to air.
When your creation is completely cool, glue your earring findings on using super glue. You can also sand your design using sand paper for a more professional look.
Don’t want to make earrings? Polymer clay can be used to make almost anything! Try making charms for a key ring, beads for a necklace or even a bookmark.
4. Cookie baking kit.
Cookie baking kits are a really simple and inexpensive way to show someone you care this Christmas. They’re a popular gift available in many major retailers across the festive season, but you can save plenty of money making your own at home.
All you’ll need is a mason jar, a festive rubber spatula, the dry ingredients from a cookie recipe of your choice, a cookie cutter and some small sealable bags. Place all your dry ingredients into the sealable bag and into the jar. Print out, or handwrite a copy of the recipe and pop it in the jar as well. From here seal your jar and using a ribbon attach your spatula and cutter to the jar.
Add a personal touch with a hand written copy of the recipe or a personal note. The best part about this gift is you can switch the recipe out to match the recipients favourite baked treat!
Alternatively, many cafés and bakeries are making their own take-home cookie kits, so it is a good way to support local businesses.
5. DIY photo calendar.
A personalised camera is the perfect gift for family and friends, especially those who may live far away. Not only is it a practical gift, it’s also a lovely keepsake. Personalised calendars can be made easily online using a calendar maker, or alternatively, you can head to your local photo shop and have one made there.
6. Lavender eye pillow.
Know someone who is in need of a little me-time this Christmas? Make them a lavender eye pillow to help them relax and drift off into a slumber.
Lavender pillows can be cooled in the freezer, warmed in the microwave or used straight out of the drawer. Their uses are endless and are known to aid with a long list of ailments, such as eye tension headaches, fevers and stress.
What you need to make a lavender eye pillow:
- Some linen (no less than a 40cm x 40cm square).
- 1 ¼ cup of flaxseeds.
- ¾ of lavender buds.
- Lavender essential oil.
- Sewing machine, or needle and thread.
How to make a lavender eye pillow:
- Cut or fold your material to make the shape of a small pillow.
- Sew the edges of the pillow together and turn inside out, ensuring to leave a small gap at one end.
- Using a small measuring spoon, pop your flaxseeds, lavender buds and a few drops of lavender oil into the pouch.
- Sew the gap shut.
Flowers are always a great addition to any Christmas gift. Find some lovely flowers for those close to you on Localsearch.com.au.