Friday 21 November 2014

5 of the Best DIY Gift Ideas

Whilst in my mind Christmas seems like a looong way off yet, it's getting close to the time where if  I want to make any presents myself, I need to start. I'm not sure yet if I'll find the time to do it, but I'm hoping to make a couple of things. If you're in the same situation as I am, then I'm hoping to inspire you with this little gift guide I've put together, gathering some of my favourite gift ideas from all over the interwebs. Oh, and all items here are perfect for birthdays too, so if you know someone with a winter birthday, here are some ideas to treat them to...

For those with wanderlust:
I absolutely love this idea from Melanie over at You Are My Fave. Her Paris Box is utterly adorable, and could be customised for any number of cities or even countries. The basic idea is this: fill a gift box with different items related to a certain place, so that when the recipient opens it, they are transported away on a mini holiday. You could include such a variety of items that suit the receiver - how about a book set in that place, or an item of clothing synonymous with that culture? Including food from that country also goes without saying. Know someone with major wanderlust? Make a box for a trip around the world, with one item from a few different countries.

For the host:
Want to turn up to a party looking like you've made more of an effort than a quick dash to Sainsbury's for a tin of Celebrations? Don't we all. The answer is this: serve up some shop bought sweets in an adorable container. You can make several before the party season begins, and fill them with whatever treats you want. I particularly like these acorn topped jars, and the tutorial for them is very clearly explained. There are lots of great tutorials out there for all kinds of containers. If you want to go the extra mile (and have the time!) you could also cook up something to put into your container. This peanut butter fudge is my go to recipe (it tastes just like Reese's!), although at the moment I'm also really into making coconut ice - it's insanely easy to make.

For the family photographer:
Everybody has that one relative who takes all the photographs at each family reunion (unless you are that relative), and more and more people are becoming interested in photography. In my experience, camera straps that are both sturdy and look good are really hard to come by. This tutorial from The House That Lars Built shows how to repurpose a scarf into a camera strap. You can use pretty much any scarf you like, which means that you can make one to suit just about anyone. It also looks far comfier than the standard camera strap I'm using at the moment, so I'm rather tempted to make one as a present to me.

For the busy bees:
I love to make notebooks to give as gifts, because they are something that everybody uses, and yet are very easy to personalise into a more luxury item. If you've never made a notebook before, why not take a look at this tutorial for stab binding - once you get the hang of the technique, you'll be whipping up notebooks for every occasion. Be creative with your choice of cover to really make an impact, and use some interesting papers for the inside as well to really personalise your gift. You can even make a set of them in various sizes, so that the recipient has a notebook for every occasion.

For the wannabe gardeners:
Let me make a confession: I'm a little bit rubbish at taking care of plants. It's a great shame, because I think indoor plants can really make a difference to the feel of a room. This is where the DIY terrarium comes in: even the most hapless of gardeners will be able to care for this low maintenance miniature garden. Fill a glass container with a few supplies needed to build a terrarium, add some decorations to add to the finished container (miniature animals look great), and you're done. To make a really unique gift, keep an eye out for some interesting glass bowls and containers to use - the sky is the limit! They can be as small or as large as you want them to be, and once you have the "ingredients" needed, are quick to put together.

If you're planning on making any gifts this year, I'd love to hear your plans!

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