Every year the number of people on my Christmas present list seems to triple – new friends, additional family members, colleagues, that person whose name I pulled out of the Secret Santa hat but I don’t necessarily know or like. The cost of buying bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates and Mary Berry cookbooks for everyone mounts up rapidly and soon I can’t even afford to buy a turkey for Christmas dinner.
Sound familiar? Don’t let Christmas become a downward spiral into bankruptcy – why not make your own Christmas gifts this year? There are lots of handmade Christmas gift ideas out there (just ask Martha Stewart) that will not only save your pennies, they will come with that added ‘Made With Love’ factor.
And if making your own presents sounds as enticing as pulling your own teeth, we have had a look around and found some cool and unique presents that are pretty damn awesome but won’t break the budget.
So get your ho-ho-ho on – Movebubble has made your Christmas shopping easy this year.
Photo credit: Chloe Hague on Flickr
Make it yourself gifts
Bring Dreams Alive
Remember those monsters, aliens and loveable creatures that you drew as a child? Now they can come alive, thanks to Child’s Own. Artist, Wendy Tsao, takes children’s drawings and turns the animal or creature into a 3D soft toy. This is a great gift for both children and adults as who doesn’t want to see their fantastical childhood friends in real life?
Visit the Child’s Own website
for more information.
Another website offering similar services is Budsies
(check out what people have made here
Photo credit: Wendy Tsao on Flickr
Print a Present
Thanks to the wonders of technology and 3D printing, a swag of Christmas presents is a mere touch of the keyboard away. There are now hundreds of design apps and printing outlets for you to create and print your own products. The options are endless – make your own jewellery, model planes, personalised creatures or home furnishings. A personal favourite – these My Little Pony fan art sculptures
on sale from Shapeways
. Who wouldn’t want one of these in their stocking?
Happy Memory Scrapbook
With selfies littering every digital platform imaginable, we have moved away from the simplicity of a good old photo album. Why not print off (yes, on to paper) your favourite memories of your holiday with your best friend, your past year with your partner or that great day by the beach with the kids, and pop them into an album. You can add notes, dates and names to each image to keep a record of the who/what/when/where and those great memories will last forever.
Instagram Makes it Easy
If printing your own photos seems too hard, then let companies such as Printstagram
do it for you beautifully. Simply connect your Instagram account with their website, download your favourite images, select your chosen product and then wait for it to arrive in the mail. These companies offer a range of products including mini prints on card, coasters, framed images, books and t-shirts.
Photo credit: Justin Van Leeuwen on Flickr
Buy a wicker or plastic hamper from a low cost home-wares store (Wilkinsons or PoundLand are two good options) and fill it with goodies from local farmer’s markets. Cheese, wine, oil, vegetables, chutneys and jams – not only will you be supporting local suppliers, you will also be able to make a seriously good hamper!
Create usable art with a personalised plate or coffee mug. Simply buy a simple white ceramic mug and use a Sharpie permanent marker to draw your design. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake the mug for 30 minutes. The design will set and be hand-washable. For a more permanent design, try using specialised ceramics pens. Carly in the Movebubble office has already learned that SHARPIE MARKERS DO NOT COME OFF the mirrored table… no matter how hard you scrub.
Great Christmas Bakeoff
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without excess food consumption so why not give your friends and family some home-cooked goodies? You could make jam, chutneys, biscuits, Christmas cake, or little chocolate truffles. This is a great way to save money and everyone loves a big bag of lebkuchen!
Photo credit: LollyKnit on Flickr
A Garden in a Jar
Give the gift of life in the form of a Do-It-Yourself garden. Simply fill a glass jar with all of the essential growing ingredients such as small stones for drainage, a packet of seeds (herbs such as parsley, mint or basil are a great option), and maybe a useful set of instructions. You can decorate the jar with some cotton ribbon and your friends and family will be instant green thumbs. For something even more unique, try making this Terrarium Kit from Wit & Whistle.
Here’s a gift for the foodies in your life – design and print a book with your favourite recipes. Include step-by-step instructions, ingredients lists and add photographs. You could make it in a scrapbook style or get it printed online.
This is the perfect gift for your special someone – give them a voucher for a romantic homemade dinner for two. Once the madness of the festive season is over, the two of you can enjoy a special meal together. Perhaps leftover turkey pie?
Dogs Have Feelings, Too
Don’t forget your beloved pooch or kitty-cat – pets love Christmas, too. Instead of yet another plastic toy or scratching stick, why not make them some Christmas-themed food for them to get their teeth stuck into while you eat your turkey.
has a wide range of cat biscuit ideas that could be easily cut into Christmas tree, Santa and reindeer shapes.
And try this Martha Stewart recipe for dog biscuits
. Your furry friends will love you.
Photo credit: Nick Bair on Flickr
Seriously Cool Christmas Gifts
Give a little bit of calm, bravery or kindness this Christmas with a Virtue Doll from The School of Life. These Japanese style creatures remind us to breathe deeply and live life to our fullest potential. Plus they’re cute and would look great on a bookshelf.
These Virtue Dolls are available from The School of Life website
Photo credit: http://www.theschooloflife.com
A practical gift and stress relief in one – this bubble calendar is a fun way to keep track of 2015. Made from everyone’s favourite product, bubble wrap, you get to pop a bubble every day. If that isn’t the best way to start a day, I don’t know what is.
Get your bubble calendar from the Uncommon Goods website
for around £20.
Photo credit: http://www.uncommongoods.com/
Experience of a Lifetime
For the person who owns everything, why not give them an experience they have been dreaming about? Websites such as Red Letter Days offers real life experiences such as helicopter rides, pampering breaks, getting up close and personal with meerkats, meet and greets with famous celebrities and much more. This is a present that they will never forget and sometimes you might get to go along too!
Check out Red Letter Days
for more unique experience ideas.
And now for something really special…
This is definitely not a low budget option, nor is it handmade, but I couldn’t go past mentioning this ultimate Christmas present – a cheese subscription! This is almost better than being in a wine club; thanks to The Cheese Shed, your lucky someone (or you) can receive a 1kg box filled with five contrasting cheeses every month (or once every four months if you don’t like them as much.) As previously mentioned, it isn’t cheap but you can select from a range of frequency options to suit your budget. For one box every four months, it is £109. One box every month is £435. But how can you put a price on delicious cheese?
Sign up for your cheese subscription on The Cheese Shed website.
Photo credit: The Cheese Shed