However much I may like to pride myself on my organizational skills in other aspects of my life, when it comes to gift shopping, I tend to be more of a “last minute dash to the shops, thirty minutes before I am actually supposed to give the gift” kind of girl. Every year I plan to plan ahead and every year I fail to do so. This lack of gift-buying direction coupled with the fact that I am a still a university student with a fairly modest budget, means that the holiday season, as warm, cozy and magical as it can be, also stresses me right out.
One method I have of sticking to my budget while minimizing my stress is to make my own gifts. When one thinks of home made gifts one might think of sticky glue, tacky crafts or misshapen, lumpy scarves. That being said, thanks to the wonders of Pinterest and all of the talented, crafty people out there, there are a ton of different ideas when it comes to making one’s own gifts for the holidays. I have chosen four DIY gift ideas that are very easy and quick to produce (if you had all of the time in the world to painstakingly crochet or craft something out of wood, you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?) but also luxurious and indulgent. From tasty, homemade pickles to a simple yet very personal initial pendant, here are a few gifts you can (cheaply) cross off your list.
As a total pickle addict, it blows my mind that I have never before considered making my own. Using any vegetables you like (radishes, carrots, cauliflower, and green tomatoes are my favorite) you can customize each jar based on the recipients preference. Not only is this a easy gift to make (you likely have all of the necessary elements already in your kitchen) but they are absolutely delicious and are beautifully presented in a simple mason jar with a ribbon and sprig of lavender or rosemary.
When it comes to gift giving, one thing that I firmly believe it that gifts should be indulgent. When choosing something for another person, I always feel that it is best to pick something that they wouldn’t necessarily choose for themselves, and that they don’t necessarily need but that would bring them pleasure. And surely nothing brings more pleasure then the classic and ever-elegant combination of cheese and wine? Gift baskets are fun to make and are so personal because one can completely tailor the flavors and items to the preferences of the person. Choose a varied but complementary selection of cheeses and wines as the base of your basket. Other nice additions are biscotti, chocolate, gourmet crackers, olives, jams, nuts, and pickles.
Perfume is one of the most personal gifts a person can give. Our sense of smell is more powerful than we know or pay homage to and is deeply intertwined with the part of our brain that stores memories. We all link certain smells with memories or people that mean a lot to us. Whether it is the smell of your mother’s perfume or boyfriend’s clothes, or the smell of rain on hot pavement in the summer, no other sense is capable of stirring up as much emotion as our sense of smell. With this in mind, create a custom oil perfume for your loved one with all of the smells that remind you of him or her, or that you know they love. Consider it an olfactory love poem. Using essential oils and a base oil such as jojoba oil, it is not only relatively simple and quick to make, but it is also all natural, meaning that it is more intimate (you can only smell the fragrance when you are hugging the person) and it isn’t as likely to cause a reaction for people who are sensitive to scent.
Jewelry is always a classic, relatively fail-proof gift to give. One doesn’t need to worry about fit or sizes (unless it is a ring) and nearly everyone likes jewelry. Jewelry is special, luxurious and meaningful. While not all of us have the skills to recreate the stunning pieces we might see at Tiffanys, with just a bit of chain and sterling silver letter beads (easy to find at bead or craft shops). One could also swap the silver chain and beads for a rose gold or copper hue, depending on the person’s taste. In this way, it is easy to create an ultra-personal, on-trend necklace that looks high-end but is easy on the wallet.
Hope you enjoyed these ideas. Do you have any holiday gift DIYs that you love and would like to share? I would love to read about them in the comments as I am always looking for new DIY projects. Happy holidays everyone!