Handmade christmas gifts allow the gift-giver to save money and express some creativity. They provide the gift-recipient with a unique and memorable gift that they can’t get anywhere else. With a little thought, fun and original gifts can be made or assembled in little time.
Christmas Felt Craft
Many people think of felt as the cheap and flimsy material that was used to make kindergarten projects. Felt has evolved into a versatile and hip crafting material. Luckily, felt can also be made rather inexpensively from old wool sweaters.
To complete this project, you will need old wool sweaters, a needle, multiple colors of thread, buttons, scissors, a clothes washer and a clothes dryer.
Before making the felt, purchase a variety of wool sweaters from the local thrift store. These wool sweaters will be shrunk to make a sturdy and thick felt. To shrink the sweaters, simply wash them in the washing machine with a little soap on a high heat. Rinse in cool water and then tumble dry. The sweaters should emerge from the dryer significantly smaller than they began.
Once the sweaters have been shrunk, they can be cut with scissors into any shape or pattern desired. Since the fibers have bonded closely together, the fabric will not unravel when cut. The felt can be used to make a variety of simple crafts, from Christmas stockings to mittens to beer can cozies. Simply cut the felt and stitch with basic thread or embroidery floss. Threadbanger.com has posted an excellent thread with a number of simple tutorials for different felted sweater projects.
To make a simple stocking, cut two pieces of felt in a stocking shape. Use embroidery floss to stitch a name or message into one of the pieces of felt using a back stitch. Then stitch the sides of the stocking together using a blanket stitch.
Homemade Christmas Candy
Candy is a great gift option for those who enjoy baking. It can be made in large batches and divided into smaller tins to give to friends and family. Other edible treats such as cookies and snack mix can also be given in tins. When giving any edible item, make sure to find out if the gift recipient has any food allergies.
There are a number of online recipe sites that offer directions for candy-making. When selecting the recipe, make sure it is not too complicated for the baker’s skill level. Burning chocolate or under-cooking fudge could run up costs and cause undue frustration. Foodnetwork.com provides a variety of candy recipes for all skill levels.
Once the candy has been made, package the candy in small tins that can be purchased at a dollar store. Keep the candy from sticking to the tin by laying some wax paper in the bottom of the tin and in between layers of candy.
Dinner Gift Basket
This gift is fantastic for a foodie. It consists of a printed recipe and a basket or bag full of ingredients to make that recipe. It can be as elaborate or as simple as the gift-giver prefers.
To make this gift, find a recipe either online or in a cookbook. Print the recipe on a nice piece of colored paper.
Next, purchase all of the non-perishable food items listed in the recipe. This would be the pastas, spices, oils and canned goods. Other ingredients can be purchased if the gift can be refrigerated before and after it has been given to the recipient.
Put all of the ingredients and recipe into a basket or gift bag. Decorate with ribbon, bows or tissue paper.
Simple Gift Ideas
Each of the ideas above provides opportunities for gift givers to save money and enjoy making an original and memorable gift. With a little time and consideration, anyone can make the perfect Christmas gift.