When it comes to Christmas presents this year, why not DIY? Homemade and handmade gifts come from the heart are special and memorable. By getting creative, you can make something truly authentic and unique, and even save money in the process. You can bypass chemicals and toxic ingredients in beauty and cleaning products and, instead, opt for organic and natural ingredients that save your skin and are beneficial to your health.
From making your own cards to complement each gift and craft a memorable message, to creating your own beauty (skincare, haircare, nail care, and bath) products, to crafting your own jewelry, you will be proud of your creative creations and so will recipients of your presents.
Get your creative juices flowing and get going as you use your hands. Be a generous giver, and make Christmas gifts that are one-of-a-kind with a personal touch. Enjoy the process of gift making, wrapping, and exchanging. Be one of Santa’s busy elves this Christmas season and cross those names off your gift and wish lists – and treat yourself to some homemade gifts you can use, as well.
CREATIVE AND CRAFTY CHRISTMAS CARDS
Christmas cards can be easy and cheap to make, and they can be personalized to have a signature flair that shows they came especially from you.
Origami– Try the art of paper folding and add origami cranes, swans, and other folded creations to your cards.
Calligraphy– practice penmanship using a steady hand to create calligraphy that is beautiful and sophisticated to convey your card’s Christmas message.
Collage/Montage– paste rice papers or magazine cutouts to your cards in an interesting and artful way.
Paint/Pastels – Whether your subject matter is a person’s or pet’s portrait, landscape, or something more abstract, create a work of art. Sign and dedicate it to your loved ones.
Photography – You don’t have to own a fancy camera with lots of lenses or boast a background in photography to create stunning pictures, but having an artistic eye does help! Simply use your phone to snap photos, check free YouTube tutorials to learn image editing, edit your pics in a free software program like Gimp, and then get them printed!
Pressed Dried Flowers/Herbs – Lay flowers and herbs flat between two tissues or two paper towels and nestle them between the pages of a big old encyclopedia or novel. Wait until they’re pressed and dried, and then glue them to your cards.
DIY BEAUTY + CLEANING PRODUCT GIFTS:
PRETTY PINK PEPPERMINT LIP BALM
1 beetroot, ground in food processer and strained (use the juice only)
1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
3 to 5 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix all ingredients together and dispense into a lip balm container. Refrigerate to solidify.
Recipe adapted from: khoobsurati.com/how-to-make-your-own-lip-balm-with-a- beetroot
COFFEE + COCONUT OIL SCRUB
¼ cup dry coffee grounds
½ cup coconut oil
Add coffee grounds to coconut oil and mix well. Store in a glass mason jar or another container. This scrub is both exfoliating and moisturizing and makes a great gift for gardeners.
Recipe adapted from: thehowtohome.com/all-natural-coconut-oil-and-coffee- hand-and-body-scrub/
ALL AROUND BEAUTY MOISTURIZING OLIVE OIL
1 cup olive oil
10 to 20 drops essential oils
Mix ingredients and use this versatile plant-based oil on your skin, hair, and nails.
COULDN’T BE CLEANER – CITRUS CLEANING SPRAY
½ cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
10 drops orange essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a bottle and screw on a spray top. Shake before spraying.
Recipe adapted from: rootandrevel.com/diy-natural-all-purpose-cleaner/
CRAFTING WEARABLE ART
Visit your local craft store and pick up earring backs, ring backs, necklace chains, bracelet chains, jump rings, and wiring to make jewelry, and then take a trip to Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment stores or flea markets for some interesting jewelry to repurpose. Create wearable art with beads, baubles, gemstones, pendants and seashells. Go on a nature walk and collect pinecones and gumballs to use, too.
The gift-giving season is upon us, and, with Christmas just around the corner, you’ll want to get busy DIY-ing your cards and presents. ‘Tis the season!