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5 cheap homemade Christmas gift ideas to save you money

5 cheap homemade Christmas gift ideas to save you money
Image source: Getty Images

Christmas might be a time for giving, but that shouldn’t mean having to break the bank. So, to avoid splurging on pricey Christmas gifts, here are five easy and cheap homemade Christmas gift ideas to help you save money and spread some Yuletide cheer. 

1. Christmas bakes and biscuits

Very few of us would turn our noses up at homemade cake and biscuit treats, making them a welcome and cheap Christmas gift. 

This Good Food mince pie recipe is always a winner in our house. But I’d recommend adding some of the egg to the pastry mixture to stop it from being too crumbly and using cookie cutters instead of pressing into the tin. 

If mince pies are a bit run of the mill in December, how about Good Housekeeping’s gingerbread recipe instead? Not only can you make delicious gingerbread men but you can also use the mix to make gingerbread decorations too. For anyone feeling especially creative, check out their Christmas gingerbread wreath idea.  

2. Festive candle arrangement

I made one of these a few years ago for a friend. You just need florists’ foam (which you’ll need to soak several days before you start), a plate or bowl, candles (how many is up to you), and foliage.

If you’re foraging foliage from friends and family don’t forget to ask permission before you decimate the garden. Fir tree branches make brilliant displays and you won’t need too many because they’re bushy. Holly leaves add texture and you can add colour with some winter berries.

If you can’t find berries, you can add small baubles. One year, I used some very small red plastic berries I’d saved from Christmas cracker packaging the year before). When you’ve gathered all your leafy bits, just poke them into the florists’ foam. Start with the biggest leaves then use the holly and berries as highlights. 

The display I made was on a plate with a circular piece of foam with three candles in the centre, but you can arrange yours however you like. For example, you could use a small, shallow pasta bowl and just put the candles in the middle.

The gift receiver will need to keep topping up the foam with water so that the foliage doesn’t dry out and burn. 

3. Glitter pine cone decorations

This is a fantastic cheap Christmas gift that the kids can help you with, which also means it comes with an added ‘aww, how sweet’ factor – a good one for grandparents.

Just gather as many pine cones as you can while you’re out and about and let them dry if needed. Get some PVA glue, dip the edges of the fir cones in it and then roll in glitter and leave to dry. Tie some string around the bottoms of the cones so they can be hung from the Christmas tree. 

4. Hot chocolate stirrers

An ideal cheap Christmas gift, particularly for kids. This Good Food recipe gives you step-by-step instructions, but it’s essentially a lump of chocolate on a stick that you can then stir into hot milk. What’s not to like? 

For added yumminess and to bulk out the gift, include mini marshmallows when you wrap it up in cellophane. And if you want extra bonus points for getting into the Christmas spirit, decorate the cellophane wrapper with googly eyes and a red pompom – et voilà: Rudolph! (A glue gun is best for sticking these down.) 

5. Birdseed cakes

We made these a couple of years ago and not only do they make a practical and cheap Christmas gift idea but it’s also an activity that the kids can get stuck into. We followed these instructions from the National Garden Scheme.

If you’re feeling fancy and want to upgrade the gift, instead of making shapes using cookie cutters, fill empty coconut shells with the birdseed mix. You can buy coconut halves in bulk from online marketplaces. Look for the ones with pre-drilled holes so you can tie them with string and hang them, unless you don’t mind drilling them yourself. 

Wrap your cheerful but cheap Christmas gifts with joy

OK, so wrapping gifts with joy may be impossible in a literal sense, but taking care when doing your Christmas wrapping can elevate any gift to another level (homemade or otherwise). 

For instance, why not try potato or sponge stamping festive shapes onto brown paper for DIY wrapping paper? Or, how about presenting your lovingly made gifts in festive boxes you’ve decorated yourself? And if you’re worried about not being creative, don’t be. Give it a go. After all, it’s the thought that counts. 

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