Friday, December 22, 2017
We all know that a bit of DIY can be a great way to save the pennies, so why not bring some homemade know-how to your festive plans this Christmas? Here’s how…
1. Tasty gingerbread tree decorations
Make your tree a festive feast this year with these delicious treats! Not only is this a great way to keep the kids busy in the run up to the big day, it is an easy way to make low-cost edible treats for your tree.
Simply whip up a quick batch of gingerbread dough. You can do this by blending 350g of plain flour, 5 ½ tsps of ginger, 1 ½ tsps of cinnamon and 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda with 100g of butter. Then add in 175g of brown sugar, 4 tbsps of syrup and an egg. Mix well and roll out your batter. Use festive cutters to cut out your biscuits and pierce a small hole in the top for the ribbon. Bake your biscuits in a warm oven for 12-15 minutes. When they’re done you can decorate them with icing or melted chocolate and hang on your tree with ribbon or string.
2. Homemade Christmas cards
Get creative with the family this Christmas and make your own homemade cards. Cutting out the cost of shop-bought cards could save you a noticeable sum, and sending e-cards could save you even more!
If you don’t mind getting a bit messy, you can get the kids involved and have a go at some painting. Cut-in-half potatoes dipped in white paint make a great snowman outline, while little fingers in different colours of paint can be used to make a string of festive Christmas lights. When your painting is dry, simply draw on a snowman face and arms with a felt-tip or draw a wire to connect up your lights.
If you aren’t feeling creative, or you want to save on postage, why not take a festive family photo and send it to all your contacts in an email? Get everyone lined up in Christmas hats or festive jumpers, the sillier the better!
3. Simple craft gifts
If you fancy giving some more personal gifts this year, you could try making your own: there are plenty of cheap, quick and easy ideas to be found.
Try making your own soaps with a simple soap base and some scents. You can pick up plain soap bases from craft shops and all you need to do is melt it according to the instructions and add your favourite smells! You can use citrus fruit zest, lavender oil, peppermint oil, coconut flakes or even sage leaves. Once you have your scented mixture, pour it into a mould and leave it to set in the freezer. When it’s completely solid, wrap it in wax paper, tie with string and present to your nearest and dearest!
It’s also easy to make a basic body scrub: simply combine 2 ½ cups of sugar (white or brown), ½ cup of mineral, olive or coconut oil and a tsp of vanilla and decant into clean jars. You could even present your soap and body scrub together with some tea lights and other treats as a home spa kit!