Five fantastic homemade Christmas gifts

Find out how to make five fantastic homemade Christmas gifts, each for less than a fiver. Kirstie Allsopp, eat your heart out!

Making presents at Christmas can be a great way to show someone we care.

There is a perception however that hand-made products take too much time, are too difficult, or end up being more expensive than just buying something.

While this certainly is the case for many projects, if you look in the right places you can find quick and easy gifts that won't break the bank but will still show you care.

I've chosen 5 projects which you can have fun with, I'd love to hear your suggestions too - simply comment at the bottom of this article.


pom pomsRemember making pom poms as a kid? These pom-pom adornments are a great way to spruce up a cheap woollen hat or pair of gloves.

Top Tip: Use your recipients' favourite colours to make your pom-pom, perhaps their favourite football team.

Cost to make: You don't need the highest quality wool for something like this as they won't be touching the skin. Balls of wool can be picked up for as little as 40p, so the cost really depends on how many different colours you want to include.

Ribbon brooches

ribbon broochesThe Guardian's Perri Lewis has lots of ideas that would make great gifts, but a favourite of mine is her ribbon brooches. Use these to transform a bag, dress or hat, or simply give to your recipient and let them choose what to do with it themselves.

Top Tip: Keep a ribbons and scraps box if you're into crafting, and you'll soon find that odd bits of ribbon will be enough to make these brooches at very little cost.

Cost to make: Again, this is all dependent on the quality of ribbon you go for, ranging from around 20p - £3 per metre. Visit market stalls for the best bargains.

Bath bombs

bath bombsIf you're tired of shelling out extortionate amounts for smellies, making your own bath bombs is the solution for you. Give your bombs your (or even better, the recipient's) favourite smell and you'll be onto a winner.

Top Tip: The 'recipe' for the bathbombs suggests using cornstarch - you might have trouble finding this as it's known as cornflour in the UK and costs around 80p for a 500g packet.

Cost to make: Around £4-£5 per batch, but as with many baking gifts, you should be able to get more than one batch using your packet ingredients.

Sock monkeys

sock monkeyFor a unique soft-toy that you can knock up in just a few hours, sock monkeys make great gifs for kids and the young at heart and can be personalised to the extreme. All you'll need is a pair of socks (the brighter the better), some stuffing (not for your turkey) and some thread.

Top Tip: Ask your local charity shop if they have a box of odd buttons, you'll only need 2 for your monkey and they don't necessarily need to match. Sew by hand (it will take longer of course) if you don't have a sewing machine.

Cost to make:  Approximately £5. If you've already got a pair of socks you don't want anymore, this make will be even cheaper (just make sure you wash them first!). Stuffing varies depending on quality, but you can find a basic bag for around £2.50 that will give you enough stuffing for a whole tribe of monkeys.

Home-made kites

kiteAn old fashioned gift that will capture the imagination of anyone you give it to, a home-made kite can be customised to include the favourite colours or designs of the intended recipient.

Top Tip: Use scrap pieces of ribbon or material to tie at the bottom of your kite for a cheap and simple decoration.

Cost to make: Around £4 to £10 depending on the quality of paper you choose and any extras such as paint or ribbons. As little as £4 should get you the base materials (dowling about 50p in DIY shops like B&Q, string about £1.30 and craft papers £2 in all good stationers). You could even use newspaper, wrapping paper or other spare papers you have for a really home-made feel.

Tell us your tips

Please share your own tips for making Christmas gifts with other readers below - and don't forget to include costings, if you can!

Ribbon brooches photograph: Felix Clay/Guardian, Sock monkey photograph:


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