’Tis the season for pricey gift giving—but for those on a budget or wanting to give something homemade, consider these creative crafts. If you’re strapped for money or want to give something you’ve made yourself, creativity to the rescue!
Recycle and upcycle empty beverage bottles, like wine and beer, for hand-painted vases that can also be used as scent diffusers. Use acrylic paints in festive Christmas and holiday colors, like red, green, and white, and sprinkle with shimmering glitter while still wet. Add two coats of clear varnish after the paint dries, then glue on sequins and/or rhinestones if you want an extra-sparkly, glam effect.
To create your own scent-sational diffuser oil, heat a plant-based oil such as sweet almond, then drop in your fav essential oil(s) and stir together to bring out the aroma. After cooling, pour oil mixture into your scent diffuser. Cut the pointy ends off bamboo skewers and place several skewers into the diffuser. Let them sit, saturating the scent(s) for about an hour and then turn them over. To keep the scent fresh, flip the skewers over every week or so and add more essential oil(s) as needed.
A trip to the dollar, thrift and/or craft store can be the start of something wonderful. Think creatively and envision converting items such as festive decorations, ornaments, silk poinsettias, and jingle bells into earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Package toppers and tree ornaments can become holiday jewelry with just a little wire and imagination.
When you shop for beauty products this holiday season, think of ways to avoid chemicals that can wreak havoc on our endocrine and immune systems. Go the DIY route instead and make your own bath and beauty products with inexpensive, healthy, non-toxic, organic, and natural materials. Fill a gift basket or stuff stockings with your own home-and-handmade beauty products.
Often you can whip up quick DIY beauty products from supplies you have on hand. For example, rosemary mint and/or lavender chamomile tea bath bags are easy to make when you mix Epsom salts and baking soda into two separate bowls. Stir dried rosemary and peppermint in one bowl. In the other bowl, stir in dried lavender and chamomile. Add a few drops of essential oils (optional). Fill empty tea bag filters, sealing each, then place the bags into pretty boxes, decorate and wrap. Top the package off with a sprig of rosemary or lavender tied with hemp, raffia, or jute string.
To make a simple DIY toner, refrigerate green or herbal tea, then combine with rose water and witch hazel in a plastic bottle. For a moisturizer, combine coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, vitamin E, and essential oil(s), then heat gently.
Scent-sational sachets are smell-worthy, beautiful, and easy to make. You’ll have the best-smelling stockings (above your fireplace and in your drawer) around. Combine dried rice, Epsom salts, dried herbs, dried flowers, and fragrance or essential oil(s) in a bowl. Cut scraps of pretty fabric into circles, then spoon the fragrant dried mixture onto fabric, and secure with a ribbon or bow. Fabric sachets are lovely on a Christmas tree, and when the scent fades, just open them up, add more fragrance or essential oil(s) and tie back up.
’Tis also the season to get cozy with knittables and crochetables that you can relax and make, staying warm by the fireplace. Knit or crochet blankets to wearables like hats, scarves, and leg warmers. If needles and yarn aren’t your thing, try putting together a kitchen-inspired gift basket with gourmet goodies, including home-baked sweet treats, flavored butters, jams, condiments, or seasoning and spice mixtures.
Transform the humble Mason jar into your personalized holiday gift. Add glitter, paint, ribbon, stickers, or fabric. Tie a ribbon or raffia around the top and dangle jingle bells or ornaments, like little gingerbread men or dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Fill with candies, cookies, or delicious ingredients for homemade recipes—chocolate chip cookies in a jar, s’mores, or hot chocolate, anyone? Adding scented candles will convey ambiance to any setting.
Holidays are about spending time with family and friends and sharing hand-and-home-made gifts from the heart with those you love.