DIY Gifts Don’t Have to Look Homemade

diy-holiday-gifts-textThe days are winding down on the calendar, but your holiday shopping list seems to not have gotten any shorter. Are you finding that your budget is running a little tight as well into the holiday season, as other expenses invariably surface?

If you can carve out the time (which is often the greatest challenge at this time of year), than you can create some DIY gifts that are cool, useful and don’t scream “homemade” when the recipient opens the box.

Family Favourite Recipe Book

If your family is like mine, we center much of our merriment around the dinner table and in cooking together. It is about savouring quality dishes as well as time together.

One of the best products of a large family get together is that many “favourite” dishes often appear. For the family food enthusiasts in your family, assemble a family favourite recipe book.  Use a small scrapbook. Have family members, who have a specialty, write their secret recipes (or write them yourself) down on index cards and mount them the pages along with some cool adhesives, appliques and stickers.

Encourage multi-generational contribution so that food traditions can be chronicled over time. This is a treasure that is sentimental and useful.

Seasonal Candles

Help boost your gift recipient’s holiday décor quotient in their home by making some fun, funky holiday candles.

Using beeswax sheets, you can fashion these awesome candles using cookie cutters and scissors (think Santa’s face, Christmas trees, stars, etc.). For each separate candle, using a cookie cutter, make ten of the same shapes from beeswax sheets. Line them in two stacks of five. Place a wick between the two piles and press firmly so that wick is implanted. Cut the wick so that it is the right length. Stand the candle up and make sure it’s base is sturdy (it can be hazardous if it’s not). Re-shape and trim as necessary.


Any writers or teenage diarists on your list? Give them a personalized journal to record thoughts, stories, shopping lists- whatever!

You can personalize this by monogramming the cover and the pages with the recipient’s initials. You can also make the journal for specific uses by modifying and decorating the cover (i.e. wine lists for wine enthusiasts, quotes from favourite authors for writers/readers, sports logos for sports fans, etc.).

The Bakery is Open!

Nothing says that you care for someone than taking time to make them some homemade treats- be they cookies, scones or something savoury.

You can make this particular offering more “gifty” in the packaging. It is always nice to display the food in a container that can serve a use afterwards.

For instance, package homemade baguettes, or stack cookies in a glass vase, adorned with ribbon and cello wrap. Pretty, personal, useful and yummy!

Get Stampin’

Do you ever scramble for a piece of paper to jot down a list or phone number? Wish you had a sticky handy to leave in the front hall to remind yourself to bring whatever is the necessary item of the day with you? Then you know the value of the memo pad!

Get an assortment of stamps, different colours of ink and several plain memo pads. Stamp around the edges of the pad, so that there is a fun pattern that will stay in place as sheets are pulled off. Package the memo blocks in a fun bag, and make the gift complete with a funky pen.