How to Make Your Own Gifts

How to Make Your Own Gifts

Get creative with these personalized, boutique-like presents for family and friends.

Helping your kids craft handmade gifts is one thing, but making something yourself — for an adult, no less — may seem a little more daunting. But if you’re feeling extra crafty and want to give a truly personalized gift, try one of these unique ideas for a one-of-a-kind gift for which people will remember you.

Jewellery Cabinet

Make a pretty jewellery cabinet by using an old wooden tea box as a cabinet repainted in

a pearl-white colour. Once it’s dry, you can decorate it with a line drawing using a permanent marker. Add brass cup hooks to hang jewellery on and mount the cabinet to the wall.

Tip: Refurbish an old bathroom cabinet or buy an old wooden one from a flea market or thrift shop.

Vintage Tea Cup Candles

These classy candles are definitely unique. With the addition of citronella oil for its bug repellent property or with some drops of lavender or rose, these look like they’re straight from the boutique.

  1. Melt down old candles in something you won’t use again (an empty coffee can, for instance) in a pot of simmering water — remember to remove the wicks with tongs!
  2. Cut a wick about twice the height of a cup. Coat it in melted wax and stick one end to the bottom of the cup
  3. Coil the other end of the wick around the middle of a bamboo skewer and rest the skewer horizontally across the mouth so the wick is vertical
  4. Pour in wax to fill three-quarters of the cup and leave it to set for about an hour — it will harden with a well in the middle
  5. To even out the well, prick it with a skewer and pour in more wax to fill the cup
  6. Let harden, and then trim the wick

Tip: For fragrance add essential oils such as lavender or rose. Use citronella oil for bug repellent candles. Scout second-hand or antique stores for attractive vintage tea cups.

Sweet Treat for Kids

Buy inexpensive clear containers or tins and fill them with favourite treats and sweets. Decorate each container with initials, a name or birth month in bright alphabet stickers or magnets.

Cookies With Love


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Who can resist a batch of homemade cookies? It’s a gift that will be appreciated with every bite. Package them in a tin or paper boxes. Print or write out the recipe and place it in an accompanying envelope.

Knitted Napkin Rings

Create an heirloom gift by knitting a set of napkin rings with the following pattern.

You Will Need
Size 3.5 millimetre knitting needles
A cable-stitch holder
1 ball Stretch yarn in stone

K = knit
P = purl
cn = cable needle
C6B = slip 4 st onto cn and hold in back, K2, K4 from cn
C6F = slip 2 st to cn and hold in front, K4, K2 from cn

Cast on 14 st
1st row: K4, C6B, K4
2nd row: K2, P10, K2
3rd row: K4, C6F, K4
4th row: K2, P10, K2
Repeat rows 1 to 4 until work measures 10 centimetres or desired length. Cast off.

To make up, join the cast-on and cast-off edges.

Tip: The elasticized wool will ensure the knitted ring grips the napkin.

Punchy Place Mats

Create an elegant set of place mats and coasters with felt or foam sheets. One sheet will make a place mat or six coasters. Punch patterns into the sheet with a craft flower punch.

Message in a Bottle

Write messages on small pieces of paper — feel free to do one for every week or month. If you’re feeling bold, go for one for every day of the year! Fold them and place them in an attractive jar or canister so your recipient has a message to open each day in the coming year.

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