It’s just after the Black Friday and Cyber Monday long weekend, and it’s so difficult to resist the temptation of filling up our online shopping baskets to the max! These bargains, discounts and clever marketing strategies have a tendency to get us swept up in the latest fashion trends and send us into a downward spiral of over-indulging in fast-fashion. I know I lost myself and my stash of cash that I saved up in a world of 70% discounts!
Home-made gifts aren’t only an excellent way of adding a really personal touch to your gift, but they are far more sustainable as well. I’m not saying don’t buy presents for people, because I love giving and receiving purchased gifts as much as the next person. But perhaps we could start with even mixing and matching with purchased gifts and home-made gifts. These are some of my top picks, personal favourites of mine, for both men and women!
Creating a personalised hamper!
Even grabbing an old shoe box you have at home for this gift is just perfect, decorate it and pop a few of the recipient’s favourite bits into it. For example, a few photos of the two of you. Maybe a homemade scented candle, I’ve heard if you make one of these yourself, you’ll never buy an in store one again.
For all of my bakers, you could whip up a batch of cookies, or whatever your recipient prefers and they will love you forever! Bath bombs are also very easy to make at home. Inexpensive handmade earrings on Depop would also be a lovely little touch to your hamper, or if you’re able to make them yourself, do that!
Make your own hot-chocolate is just divine as well. Pop some powder into a sachet or a mason jar, add a few marshmallows and your recipients favourite treat. A fantastic business in Carlow, ran by Orlaith Fallon, a third-year student in Gaelcholásite Cheatharlach who’s Instagram page @orlaith_baking has the most fantastic hot chocolate bombs for just 2 euros. What a perfect idea.
Up styling your clothes!
There is just something about wearing something that you know nobody else has. It’s completely original and just for you. You could literally take a plain white t-shirt, crop it up a little and be-dazzle it. I had an old pair of jeans that I didn’t like the colour of, so I got a permanent marker and drew smiley faces on one of the legs. It’s so simple and effective, and I am certainly no artist!
Cow print is really in at the moment, and super simple to draw onto a top, maybe a pair of trousers and much more. Maybe you have an old tartan shirt, that you could cut up and sew patches onto an old pair of jeans. Even create a little design on a tie as a gift for a man. Or knitting/making a cosy scarf. Tote bags in pound shops are very inexpensive as well, about 2 euros, and you could really do something with one of those if you got a few markers or fabrics at it. You could create something really funky for someone, with little to no creative skills!
Skincare these days is so expensive, why not make it yourself? And there’s nothing more luxurious than pampering yourself, and receiving beautiful products as a gift to do so. The more simplistic the recipe the better!
For an amazing face scrub, all you will need is 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil, like coconut or almond oil, a food processor to grind 2 tablespoons of finely ground rolled oats and 1 tablespoon of organic plain Greek yogurt. You could try making a gorgeous honey and oats scrub either, which is particularly great for oily or acne prone skin.
There are even banana scrubs and much more on the site! How perfect is this idea? A facial scrub made at home by yours truly! You could pop it into a mason jar and wrap a little bow around it maybe. Anything you think your recipient would like. Pure gold.
Christmas is a time of joy and pure delight, and these gifts can help you create this excitement for somebody else.
Gifts are a beautiful way of showing somebody that you love them, but the thought in the gift is where the recipient is truly grateful, purchased or homemade. Make sure your holidays are full of love and laughs, and enjoy every minute of it.