Christmas gifts become expensive very quickly, and it is far too easy to overspend when buying for others. One wonderful way to reduce the amount that you spend during the holidays is by making some gifts yourself.

Flavored oil

1. Bath Salts

You can find bath salts in speciality stores at prices that will make you swallow your tongue. They can be made at home for a fraction of the cost, though. Mix Epsom salts with a bit of natural food dye, add a pleasant essential oil, and place them in an attractive jar.

2. Keepsake Box

Plain wooden and papier-mâché boxes in a variety of sizes can be found in most craft stores. You can decoupage them with paper keepsakes, such as copies of photos and movie or concert ticket stubs, paint something beautiful on them, or simply add a few rhinestones and metal filigrees to the box.

3. Mouse Pad

Craft foam is an easy way to make adorable mouse pads – just cut out the shapes and glue them together. You can get as complicated or simple as you want.

4. Lapel Pin

Even many women who don’t want to get involved with jewellery will wear a nice lapel pin on their jacket. Just pick up a pin back and inexpensive locket pendant or brooch setting at your local craft store, and glue them together with a bit of jewellery glue.

5. Message Board
By covering a piece of cork board with nice fabric and criss-crossing it with coordinating ribbons, you can give someone a great place to keep messages in view or display photos.

6. Flower Pot or Vase
Take a plain, terra cotta flower pot or glass vase and decorate it using paint. For a smooth, glass vase, you may have to use special paint so that it won’t chip off.

7. Cookie Jar
Take a great cookie recipe and make a copy of it. Layer all of the dry ingredients in a secure jar and make note of what you added, so the recipient will know what they need to add before the dough can be baked.

8. Flavored Cooking Oil
Take a nice bottle that can be sealed and fill up to a few inches from the top with olive oil. Add a few sprigs of your friend or family member’s favourite cooking herbs, seal the bottle, and wait a couple of weeks before giving.

9. Photo Album
Photographs are one of the most treasured keepsakes we have. Ask friends and relatives of the recipient for appropriate photos and place them in an album that you’ve decorated yourself. Few gifts are as well-received as beloved memories!

10. Ticket Book
With your computer or by hand, make up a variety of ‘tickets’ for things such as a home-cooked dinner, an evening out on the town, or just a day at the spa with a friend. Staple them together with a cute cover and give to a friend whom you don’t mind redeeming the tickets with.

Creating Christmas gifts at home is a great way to give something that is heartfelt and personalized. Not only will you be taking some of the pressure off of your wallet, but you’ll also be giving friends and family gifts that will be treasured because they didn’t come off an assembly line.

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