If you’re looking to save money this Christmas, why not go the handmade route? Here are 10 completely free gift ideas you can DIY using things you already own – that people will actually like!
2020 has been flaming dumpster fire trashheap of a year. Let’s just start with that. It’s been tough, it’s been tight and it’s hit most of us financially. The economy is in a recession; unemployment has skyrocketed; millions of businesses have closed and millions of jobs have been lost . . . and now we come to the end of it, do we all have the spare cash to lavish on the Christmas season? I think not.
As much as I love Christmas, I think I now love financial stability a bit better. So I thought a fun post idea could be to think up some completely free gift ideas. I know I’m super premature, but I figured it was better to start early because a few of these need a little bit of prep or growing time.
For how to make all of these, I would love if you had a watch of my Youtube video and subscribed to me over on there too!
1. Free Advent Calendar Planter
Spoilers for when we actually hit Christmas, but your girl has a significant amount of advent calendars coming your way. What can I say? The post-Christmas craft store sales were enticing and mama stocked up. One idea I had, though, was for this completely free advent calendar planter!
All you need?
- Pack of 12 or 24 eggs
- Some soil
- Some seeds or rooted cuttings/propogated plants
- Spray paint for decoration
- (Optional) Tea lights & dried flowers
And that’s it!
This gift is a sure hit for any plant lovers in your life – plus, if you’ve got a good variety of seeds, you could even plant a different type in each egg!
2. Baby Succulents In Upcycled Planters!
If you guys don’t already know how to propagate succulents, make sure you have a read this handy post! It’s super easy and completely free; all you need are some cuttings of succulents you already have around the house. (Or, if you haven’t got any mumma plants, you can buy cuttings off places like Etsy.)
A great way to gift these is to recycle things you already own into super cute planters. My favourite options for this are old wine corks and upcycled bottles of The Ordinary serums – but you can use whatever you’ve got in your recycling bin!
3. Gift Avocado Trees
Old school followers may remember my post on how to grow avocado trees from old store-bought avos. If you aren’t aware of that life hack . . . well, get excited! All you need is an avocado pit, some toothpicks and a jar. And we’re millennials – we’ve all got that in our kitchen!
These generally take about a month or two to split and start to sprout, which is largely why I’m posting this gift guide so early. Naturally, there are loads of fun and creative ways you could decorate a jar to make it more festive – even just adding some twine wrapped around the top!
4. Homemade cookies
Who doesn’t love cookies?
I’ll tell you who – monsters. Cretins who don’t deserve gifts to begin with, so why are they even factored into this?
Here’s a simple and minimal shortbread recipe, using things most people will have in their cupboards at home. It’s easy enough for even the most inexperienced baker, it’s easy to jazz up with icing or decorations and it tastes real good. (Our oven doesn’t actually work so I just bought these ones . . . but it’s the thought that counts, right?
5. “Bake Your Own” Mason Jar
Yeah, yeah – everyone and their mother has seen this on Pinterest. I know, I’m unoriginal. What I will say, though, is that this is popular for a reason. “Bake your own” gifts are super cute, they’re great for kids and can be made completely for free!
All you need?
- A recycled clean jar
- Flour 3 cups
- Caster sugar 1/3 cup
- & a note to tell the gift recipient to add 250g of butter!
I personally filled this jar with a shortbread recipe because it’s super stripped back and minimal, but you could always use a gingerbread recipe too.
6. DIY Painting/Colouring Book
This gift might take a little longer, but I think it’s so beautiful! Depending on what materials you have at home, there are a couple of ways you can do this.
- Use a deckle & mould and make handmade paper
- DIY a deckle & mould and make handmade paper
- Or use whatever type of paper you have lying around at home!
I’m extra, so of course I used handmade paper – and not just that, but handmade paper with petals in it. (And it turned out wonderful, highly recommend.) One of my favourite things about handmade paper is the thick, woven texture of it . . . perfect for watercolour painting!
7. Propagate plants in water
Anyone else sensing a theme here? What can I say – I love plants! Loads of popular plants are almost offensively easy to propagate from cuttings, which means you can gift them to friends completely free. Here are a couple of household favourites you’ve probably got kicking around that you can propagate as a gift:
- Climbing Ivy
- String of pearls
- Snake plant
How to propagate plants differs from species to species – but here’s a rough guide! If a plant has nodes (thick, nubbin roots that will sprout where a new growth appears) use scissors to cleanly cut just below the node. If it doesn’t have a node, you want to cut close to the base and, again, cleanly with scissors. Don’t rip cuttings off as that can damage your main plant.
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Oh, and if you use Pinterest make sure you’re following my DIY boards on there! It’s a fun time, I share lots of cute things to do.
8. Seed paper!
Handmade seed paper is so easy to create – all you need are some seeds, a mould and deckle and some recycled paper! (You can even DIY the mould and deckle using things you have at home.)
This is a fun craft because you can really tailor it to suit what you have lying around. If you’re like me and have an abundance of untouched notebooks, you can create a cute notebook cover. But otherwise you could just gift sheets of paper on their own, or even make some DIY Christmas cards. (And for inspo for that . . . check out my tutorial here!)
Remember, lovers, the full tutorial for all of these is in my Youtube video, so make sure you have a watch!
Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I genuinely loved creating it! I had so much fun and it was a really cool challenge to flex my creative muscles a bit. Which of these gifts was your favourite? Would you try to make any? Let me know your thoughts down below!