It’s the Thought that Counts: Seven Easy Homemade Christmas Gifts

Surprise and delight your nearest and dearest with a macramé tote bag, a wreath bound with dried foliage or a lovingly packaged tin of home-baked biscotti. These ethical, easy-to-make and thoughtful homemade gifts are sure to go down a treat.

The festive season is approaching. You've completed Netflix (literally, there is nothing else to watch) and evening board games have become a bit of a chore. Forgive us for sounding a touch mumsy, but why not get a headstart on your Christmas present preparations? This year we have a little more time on our hands and so, rather than doing a smash-and-grab last-minute haul, we're making some of our presents.

A homemade gift doesn't necessarily mean a dried-pasta necklace or clumsily-painted picture frame. Surprise and delight your nearest and dearest with a macramé tote bag, a wreath bound with dried foliage or a lovingly packaged tin of home-baked biscotti. Each of these gifts is not only ethically friendly (more so than a quick-fix present from Amazon Prime, at least) but easier to make than it sounds…

Seven easy (but chic) homemade gifts

Bake biscotti

Regardless of what culinary alchemy you manage to pull off, the hard truth remains that many baked gifts (gingerbread, mince pies, cinnamon rolls being three) have very limited shelf-lives. Cue: biscotti. A well-baked batch of these traditional Italian biscuits will last for up to a month in a sealed container - it's the perfect make-ahead gift. The added bonus is that they're easy to make in bulk and require very little skill. Now, fasten your apron and get cracking.

Arrange a dried wreath

Christmas wreaths, while beautiful gifts, are subject to the same fate as the aforementioned gingerbread; they might spark joy for a week or so, but their charms are short-lived. Shida Preserved Flowers has the perfect solution. Order one of its dried wreath-making kits and create a festive decoration that will last for months. Most of Shida's dried foliage lasts for up to one year, so your gift might even be in good enough shape to greet Father Christmas when he swings by in December 2021 (lockdown restrictions depending).

Weave a bookmark

What better gift for the bookworm in your life, than a hand-woven placeholder? If you're new to weaving, we suggest getting your hands on one of these eco-friendly and achingly chic starter kits from Shiv Textiles. All of the yarns are luxury offcuts sourced from British mills that would otherwise have been sent to landfill. We're weaving a bookmark, but you could just as easily make a coaster or a wall-hanging if you have the time and inclination. This particular kit comes with a pamphlet teeming with tips for the uninitiated.

Throw a clay breakfast bowl

Make something that your loved one will treasure by signing up to an at-home clay masterclass with Hackney's most stylish pottery studio, Kana London. Order one of its starter packs - you'll receive a cluster of modelling tools and a generous wodge of clay in the post - and sign up to one of its lessons to receive a Zoom link by email. During the class you'll have the opportunity to make a number of Kana classics, including a breakfast bowl and a clay spoon, with the option of firing your finished piece in the kiln at a later date.

Pour a scented candle

This year, scented candles have transcended the realm of frivolous homewares and established themselves as essential companions for stressed-out remote workers. Rather than simply buying one ready-made, why not pour your own? If you're a candle-making newbie, tune in to one of Earl of East's at-home candle-making workshops, in which you'll make one of its signature scented travel candles. Each of their scent profiles are inspired by travels past. Of course, you can always get one they made earlier if you're short on time.

Knot a macramé bag

Knitted Christmas presents? A bit on the nose. This year, we're making ours from macramé. Specifically, we're putting together this glorious shopper from Wool & The Gang. The kit comes with a spool of mustard-coloured raffia, a crochet hook, a sewing needle and pattern. This nifty tote bag is almost as effortless to make as it looks - a far cry from the gaudy knitted jumpers and sketchy-looking scarfs most people expect from amateur knitting projects.

Make marbled notecards

There's something so comforting about the wishy-washy meanderings of marbled paper. It transports us to creaky, beam-scored libraries or those artisanal stationery shops staggered along the canals in Venice. For a personalised gift, we suggest marbling A5 sheets of card and then block-printing the resultant notelets with the initials of your recipient. Marmor Paperie has a fairly comprehensive starter kit.

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