BreakingModern — Decorations are out, houses are ablaze with holiday lights and stores are shelving extra merchandise. Christmas is definitely right around the corner.
Whether you’re on a budget or feeling crafty, do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts are an easy and heartfelt way to complete your Christmas list. Unless you’re capable of managing your time, it’s best to keep Christmas DIY gifts simple.
Handmade ornaments always add a touch of home to the Christmas tree. You can keep it simple with craft paper, dazzling it up with sprinkles and paint (a great craft to do with kids as well), or geekify the ornaments by painting them with a friend’s favorite comic/anime character.
If you decide to paint a clear glass ornament (find one at any crafts store), simple acrylic paint will work. But keep in mind that you’ll need to apply multiple layers. A neat trick is to take the hook off the top of the ornament and pour the base-layer paint inside the ornament. From there, make sure the paint evenly coats the entire ornament. Later, all you have to do is paint the exterior, add extra accessories and … ta-da!
Personalized or Christmas-themed mugs are always a great stocking stuffer. Whether you choose to make them at home or at a store where you can paint your own design (these stores will usually glaze and fire the mug/plate/item for you once you’ve completed designing it), you can never get enough mugs.
Add an extra bit of warmth with a side gift of instant hot chocolate.
Reusable handwarmers as gifts are easy to make and great for cold days. For the simplest of DIY creations, all you need is felt, fabric and rice. Using the felt, create a pocket and fill it 50 to 75 percent full before you seal it shut. Make a slighty bigger slip that will cover the felt and rice bag. You can also create small animal-like pouches (I did owls one year), but you could keep things simple by using square and circle designs.
Personalize the hand warmers by adding a drop or two of some sort of extract. For example, if you know a friend likes vanilla, it’s simple enough to find a bottle of vanilla extract to mix in with the rice. I personally like using lavender or peppermint — the first is calming, while the latter is a breath of fresh air in your pocket.
Note: When heating the hand warmer in the microwave, make sure you leave a little tag or note stating it shouldn’t be heated up for more than 45 seconds. Any more than that and you may burn yourself.
Speaking of Chocolate …
Hot chocolate and marshmallows are always a hit during the cold winter months. Needless to say, you can mix and match your own ingredients, from the cocoa mix to the marshmallows to peppermint stirrers. Whether you choose to put them into a mason jar or individually into small canisters or tubes is up to your discretion.
Scarves, Sweaters and Mittens
If you’re feeling adventurous, and up to learning a new skill set, knitting or crocheting your gift is always a nice touch. Ugly sweaters are also making a comeback and are a big hit for Christmas parties and laughs.
All images: Cassandra Chin