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News Room

DIY Your Christmas Gifts This Season

Jason Snyman
2017-12-20
Why spend thousands of Rands on lavish presents this Christmas when you could make some great, personal gifts yourself? We have ideas…
Christmas has become a thing of excess. Mothers and Fathers believe it’s a time of giving, especially when it comes to their children. Families go all out for the holidays. Tinsel, lights, baubles, decorations, a full roast in the oven and a pile of wrapped up gifts under the tree. That’s what it’s all about. Though, this time of year, we usually spend our days untangling string tinsel from string lights, spending more money than we have and committing to more than we have time for. Though entirely irrational, these are just side effects of the holiday, and it’s almost the whole point of the thing. Indulgence. It has baffled economists for decades and infuriated moralists. What used to be a rigid and religious period has been entirely commercialized. More jingle bells, less Jesus. This ruinous overspending isn’t unique to the wealthy either, it’s a global phenomenon. Earlier this month mother of three, Emma Tapping, received widespread criticism for blowing £2000 (roughly R34 361) on gifts for her children. So many gifts you can barely see the tree. We’ve forgotten all about the humble and handmade beginnings of Christmas. By the time most of us are done getting all we need for the decorations and the feast, we’ve already gone into 4 digits of debt. With the gifts still to come. So, instead of blowing all your money on overpriced goods this season, we urge you to try your hand at making them yourself. We put together a list of killer DIY gift ideas.
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Infused Booze

No need to get too deep into the craft scene for these delicious vodkas. Good Housekeeping, Tasty Yummies and Kitchen Konfidence offer up a number of festive recipes. From Spicy Citrus or Chai to the more adventurous Fig, Vanilla Bean & Cardamom or Bacon & Habanero, this is a crowd pleaser for sure.  

Handmade Soap

Homemade soap is often healthier than the stuff we get in the stores. It also smells pretty great too, good enough to eat. Both A House In The Hills and I Heart Naptime have recipes we love, but there are a bunch more all over the internet. For the dark souls out there, clear glycerine soap bars with razor blades inside make for an interesting novelty gift. Or, for people who like to bath on the edge.  

Vinyl Lamps and Bowls

The price of vinyl records, thanks to the hipsters, has skyrocketed. You'll still find some affordable oldies if you shop around, though, so there's no reason to destroy your favourites. We're talking stuff that nobody should listen to anymore in anyway. Simply Red. Pitbull. Taylor Swift. Nicki Minaj. No more! Put these records to some actual use by creating retro bowls and lamps. With thanks to the folks at Morning Creativity and Homesthetics.  

Fluff Bears

These little guys are just damn adorable, and make the perfect Christmas gift for even the manliest of bearded men. They take a little time and effort, and even a little bit of skill, but the result is well worth it. Practice makes perfect. Made from eyelash yarn, Stephanie from All About Ami explains exactly how to bring the Fluff Bears to life.

Nut & Bolt Chess Set

For the man who really doesn't want a Fluff Bear and prefers to spend his time tinkering in the garage, we've got you covered. Julia Suits created a killer chess set from hardware store trinkets. You can visit her Flickr account to see how she did it, or, if you're like me and you hate clicking to scroll, the folks at Dollar Store Crafts laid it out nicely. Cub Scout Ideas also went a little more into detail with the pieces. If you don't have a chessboard on hand, you could always try your hand at making your own.  

Paracord Survival Bracelet

For the survival enthusiast, paracord bracelets make a great Christmas gift. They can be incredibly expensive to buy, but are relatively easy to make. Paracord bracelets allow you to store several lengths of strong rope on you at all times, handy for when they catch you drunk-driving on New Years Eve and decide to send you to Pollsmoor. Check out the tutorials here, here and here.

Homemade Play Dough

Here's one for the kids, who seem to love getting their hands dirty. You can find recipes all over the internet for homemade play dough, but we went with Family Education, who give us 6 of the best. Play dough isn't just for children, either. Adults seem to have a lot of fun being gross with it, too.  

Bread In A Bottle

Sunset gave us a fantastic idea. For the baking enthusiasts  (and who doesn't love freshly baked goods over Christmas?) bread in a bottle. Layers of all the tasty ingredients, ready to mix up and bake. Simply add it all into a jar and make a couple of labels. Easy, and delicious.

 

For The Sweetest Christmas...

Last but not least... Something for the sweet tooth. Salted caramel is the original trendsetter. The ultimate combination and sweet and salty, and we found a great recipe for Christmas snacks on Good Housekeeping. Enjoy!   If you have any great DIY gift ideas, we would love to hear about them!  
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