Making gifts used to be a tradition, but nowadays it is an unusual and slightly strange habit that almost no one practices anymore. However, homemade gifts can still be the most amazing way to show someone you care about them, and the personal aspect adds a lot of emotional value to the present itself. So read on for some ideas as to what you can make for your loved-ones.
Jams, chutneys and pickles may sound like a mundane gift, however this needn’t be so. With easy recipes from the internet including some from celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, you can buy jars, sterilise them and use them to store your homemade goodies. With a few essentials like a nice ribbon and some beads (available at any craft shop like Hobbycraft) you can jazz them up really prettily. Tailor them to your friends with nods to their favourite colours and stick on some pretty labels. Gather all your jars into a basket (also available from craft shops), and you’ve got yourself an amazingly personal gift that will be enjoyed for months to come.
Sewing is a traditional method of making homemade gifts. Quilts and blankets can be sewn by hand or by machine; many people feel it will take forever in either case, but this is not at all necessarily true. If you sew a little every evening you will be able to build a quilt or blanket very quickly and easily. Fabric shops or eBay sellers can provide you with the fabrics you need; on eBay you can even find pre-cut squares so you don’t have to worry about measuring. Online tutorials including videos and step-by-step picture diaries can show you the intricacies of sewing. Alternatively, fleece is the perfect fabric to use for making soft toys. Simple patterns are freely available, or you can make one up as you go along. As fleece doesn’t fray, you won’t have to worry about the seams coming undone. Craft shops will carry stuffing, which is generally machine washable, too!
If you are quite creative, a painting is always a possibility too. If you know the intended recipient, you can tailor the colours you use to fit in with their interior decorating scheme. You needn’t be able to represent things with crystal clarity; abstract paintings often work best from a decorating perspective. Let yourself loose on a couple of canvases and you’ll soon have a nice present to give.
Homemade gifts are often discounted because they call to mind lacklustre efforts and poorly executed designs. If you put some thought into your homemade gifts, however, you will be able to produce lovely presents with that personal touch that can’t be beaten.